Food Friday: Casa De Luz

There are several Mexican cuisine options in Branson so it’s hard to know which ones are good, but I can assure you that a trip to Casa De Luz is time well spent.

This mexican restaurant is nestled between retail shops in the historic downtown Branson on Commercial Street and caters to those who enjoy traditional Mexican fare as well as tasty American dishes. This locally owned gem is the only restaurant in Branson that serves Mexican breakfast — and they serve it all day long!

I stopped in for a quick lunch last week with a friend of mine and we both ordered the combination plate, which offers a choice of three from a taco, an enchilada, a mini burrito and a mini chimichanga for just $10.99. It also comes served with rice, beans, lettuce, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream and cheese.

The presentation of the food on it’s own was appetizing but it tasted just as good. The portion sizes are really large, in my opinion, so I had quite a bit of food left over on my plate well after I was stuffed full. And of course, you get unlimited homemade chips and salsa which is my favorite thing about Mexican restaurants!

The atmosphere inside Casa De Luz is very calm and there’s nothing really flashy or unique but the servers and staff are very welcoming and friendly. My friend and I were lucky enough to get a very nice server who was perfect. She made us feel important, checked up on us often but still gave us enough space and time to enjoy the meal without feeling rushed.

There’s certainly nothing negative I can say about Casa De Luz and I highly recommend it for any casual breakfast or lunch. Try it out and let us know what you think!

For more information or a full menu, please visit the Casa De Luz Facebook page.

Details

Location: 108 S. Commercial St., Branson, Mo.

Hours: Tues.-Sat. 7 a.m.-2 p.m.

Sun. 7 a.m.- 1 p.m.

Fare: traditional Mexican food and some American dishes

Price Range: most dishes are anywhere from $7-$12 per person

Food Friday: Farmhouse Restaurant

photo (2)I’ve read lots of good things about the Farmhouse Restaurant in Branson so this week I decided to give it a try.

I was in town on Monday and it was a cold, rainy day that was just begging for some comfort food. When I stopped by the Farmhouse Restaurant in historic downtown Branson, the dining room wasn’t very full but there were several tables occupied by small groups of people enjoying the warmth and eats of the place.

I was promptly seated at a small table near the window and looked over the menu as I sipped a glass of cold water. I was happy to see that just about everything on the menu could be considered “comfort food,” from chicken fried steak and the roast beef dinner to BBQ sandwiches, creamy mashed potatoes and flame-grilled pork chops.

My waitress returned to collect my order and I decided to go with the chicken and dumplings. I figured a nice warm bowl of that would be the perfect compliment to a dreary, rainy evening.

She returned just a few minutes later with my meal and I was delighted to see that everything on my plate was piping hot and fresh. My bowl was filled to the brim with delicious and creamy chicken and dumplings and sat next to a large helping of buttery, red-skinned mashed potatoes and gravy. The meal came with a warm homemade biscuit and a choice of side. I went with the green beans which ended up being a great choice. They were delicious!

In fact, everything on my plate was exceptional. It was just what I expected from a restaurant that bragged “homestyle cooking.” The dining room was quiet and made for a nice, relaxing getaway where I could enjoy my meal.

If you’re looking for some warm comfort food in Branson, look no further than Farmhouse Restaurant. Now that I’ve been there I can understand all the rave reviews and I’m confident you will too!

Details

Address: 119 W. Main St., Branson, Mo.

Hours: Daily 7 a.m.- 8 p.m.

Fare: Homestyle cooking

Price range: Most dishes range from $7-$10 per person

Ideal for: Casual breakfast, lunch or dinner; family dining; group dining

Food Friday: Jayne Dough Sandwiches

photo 1 (7)Every week while I’m in Branson I get to try a new restaurant and share my experience with all of you. Exciting right? I like to think so.

Last week as I was researching the many dining options in Branson, I came across a neat little sandwich shop called Jayne Dough. It’s over by The Shoppes at Branson Hills & Branson Hills Plaza. If you don’t know where that is, you can see the Books-A-Million from Highway 65 traveling south.

Anyway, this locally owned sandwich shop reminds me of Subway, just with WAY better customer service. I stopped by around 4 p.m. for an early dinner and the lady behind the counter greeted me warmly. I felt like I was staring at the menu for ages because I wasn’t sure of what to get and had never been there before but the lady never rushed me and gave me all the time I needed.

Eventually I decided on the Chicken Salad sandwich on wheat bread. When I ordered she smiled broadly and said, “Well that’s the local favorite!” I was happy to have chosen something so promising and as she prepared my sandwich right there in front of me we chatted a bit. I learned that she was actually the owner of Jayne Dough and that she and her husband opened the sandwich shop together. I could immediately tell this was a family-oriented company because of her genuine kindness, the fantastic prices and I may have spotted some school pictures on the wall behind the counter.

When you order a sandwich at Jayne Dough, much like at Subway, you can pick and choose what veggies, sauces and other toppings you want on your sandwich. I added tomato, lettuce, spinach and onion to my Chicken Salad sandwich and it was to die for. Seriously.

I can see why it’s the local favorite! It’s the perfect combination of creamy and tart and pairs well with veggies and the soft, fresh-baked bread it comes served on. Oh, and did I mention the chicken salad is homemade?

The menu features a variety of traditional sandwiches including turkey, ham, roast beef, roasted chicken, the Italian Classic and more but if you’re not in the mood for a sandwich, you can choose from delicious pizza wedges, salad or soup.

Everything I had at Jayne Dough was absolutely delicious and as I stepped out the door to leave, the owner said, “Thanks for stopping in Kelsey. Have a great day!” The fact that she even remembered my name says a lot about her and her company’s character.

Definitely stop by this Branson gem for a great lunch or dinner!

Details:

Location: 1232 Branson Hills Pkwy., Suite 201, Branson, Mo.

Hours: Monday-Saturday 11 a.m.- 8 p.m., closed Sundays and holidays

Price Range: $8-$10 per person

Cuisine: Deli food

Good for: Family meals, casual lunch or dinner

 

Food Friday: Florentina’s Ristorante Italiano

Florentina'sThis week in Branson I stopped into Florentina’s Ristorante Italiano for a warm, hearty dinner and couldn’t have been more impressed. Well-liked for its authentic local Italian dishes, Florentina’s has an impressive selection of delicious entrees that will leave you absolutely stuffed and content.

For a Monday night in Branson, the place was completely packed and the buzz of ongoing conversations filled my ears as I pulled the front door open. I was immediately seated at a small table in the dining room and greeted by my friendly server who placed the thick menu in front of me.

The restaurant’s decor was filled with warm colors, lush plants and decorative art. Large tables seated big groups of people and families who were loudly enjoying their meals and the waiters and waitresses were all busy serving plates and happily chatting with customers.

I was eyeing the lasagna on the menu when my server arrived back at my table and offered his own advice. He told me the local favorite was the Rigatoni Florentina and I warily took his advice, convincing myself that it would be best to try something new.

He returned less to my table less than ten minutes later with a heaping plate of rigatoni noodles coated in a creamy tomato cream sauce and topped with a melted, gooey cheese blend. I was anxious to try this dish of interesting ingredients. A unique blend of grilled chicken, red onion, mushrooms, broccoli, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, capers, kalamata olives and garlic, the Rigatoni Florentina is definitely one of the more interesting dishes on the menu.

I took a bite, not really sure what to expect, but was pleasantly surprised with the diverse array of flavors that greeted my tastebuds. Each bite incorporated a new zesty flavor that was simply too delicious to describe.

There was no way I could finish my entire portion, even if I tried, so be aware that if you dine at Florentina’s you’ll most likely leave with leftovers. Which is fantastic! I took my leftovers to work the next day and had my coworkers jealously sniffing the air.

Next time you’re in Branson, check this place out! You won’t be disappointed.

Details

Location: 2690 Green Mountain Dr., Branson, Mo
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11 a.m.- 9 p.m; Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.- 9:30 p.m.
Price range: $7-$9 per person for lunch, $10-$15 per person for dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Good for: Date night, family dining

 

Food Friday: Greek Gyros & Deli

Greek GyrosWelcome back to your weekly Food Friday blog! I’ve been eyeing one of the newer restaurants in Branson lately, Greek Gyros & Deli. Have you noticed it?

It’s wedged in downtown Branson between an array of flea markets and specialty shops, just down the road from the Branson Landing on Main Street.

It stands out from many of the other restaurants in the area because it brags authentic Greek food, which is delicious by the way! I stopped in for lunch on Monday and the modest dining room of the restaurant wasn’t empty but it wasn’t full either. A few other guests sat at small tables throughout the room, quietly enjoying their meals.

My waiter brought me a glass of water and a menu as I got situated at my table. The menu was very small, consisting of only salads, sandwiches, sides and desserts but the prices were all incredibly low.

I decided on the Greek Salad and a side order of hummus and pita bread which was served just a few minutes later. The Greek Salad was delicious and served with what I originally thought was ranch dressing, but it’s actually a homemade feta cheese dressing. At the bottom of my salad was a mound of delicious homemade potato salad which surprised me because I’ve never had a Greek salad with potato salad in it, but it was beyond delicious!

Both my salad and side of hummus came served with warm pita bread but I was glad because it was delicious! Not only was it soft and baked fresh to order, but it paired perfectly with everything on my plate.

My server offered me some of their mouthwatering, homemade baklava as well, but I politely declined because I was just way too full to even think about it. It was tempting though!

For the amount of deliciousness I ended up consuming at this restaurant, the price was beyond amazing so I will definitely be returning there to pick up lunch again soon.

Greek Gyros & Deli is at 111 East Main Street, just up the road from the Starbucks.

To see the full menu, visit the Greek Gyros & Deli Facebook page. Hours of operation are Monday-Sunday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

Food Friday: McFarlain’s Family Restaurant

The colder weather of winter has been slowly creeping back for the last two months of the year, making it the perfect time for warm, home cooked comfort food.

I was really feeling some home cooking this past week while I was in Branson, so I stopped by McFarlain’s Family Restaurant, which has a reputation for delicious and hearty home cooked meals.

The staff was very welcoming as I stepped inside and the atmosphere was warm, cheery and old-timey. The walls were full of antiques, original artworks and other decor that looked like it came straight out of the early 1900s.

The menu had a great selection of a number of tasty looking options including an especially inviting breakfast menu. Unfortunately, breakfast at McFarlain’s is only served until 11 a.m. so I was a little late to that party.

I moved on to the dinner menu, eyeing the Chicken Alfredo Pasta and the Chicken N’ Dumplings. Both sounded delicious, especially on a cold November evening but I decided on the Alfredo Pasta.

My waitress quickly returned after taking my order with a plate of warm corn bread in hand. It came served with two large dollups of creamy butter which was absolute perfection when scraped over the sweet bread.

She returned only minutes later with my entree, which was a heap of piping hot broiled chicken, penne pasta, red and green peppers, spinach and broccoli all smothered in a creamy Alfredo sauce and dusted with Parmesan cheese.

Everything was absolutely delicious and really hit the spot. For only spending $10 I can honestly say my meal at McFarlain’s Family Restaurant was one of the best I’ve had in Branson!

I definitely didn’t have room for desert but next time I go back I’ll have to make sure to save some space because the desert menu had a number of delicious looking pies, cakes and other goodies.

If you haven’t stopped by McFarlain’s Family Restaurant inside the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex yet, make sure to try it out, especially if you’re in the mood for some hearty comfort food.

The Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex is at 3562 Shepherd of the Hills Expwy., less than a quarter mile from the intersection of Highway 76 and Shepherd of the Hills Expressway near RFD-TV Theatre.

 

Food Friday: Clocker’s Cafe

This week while I was in Branson I stopped for breakfast at Clocker’s Cafe downtown.

A few weeks ago, I was taking a ghost tour with Branson Ghosts & Legends and the guide suggested Clocker’s Cafe as a great breakfast spot so I decided to go back and try it out for myself.

The cafe is a small shop on Commercial Street next to the Hollywood Studio Store and right off Main Street. I went there for breakfast on Monday and for a sleepy Monday morning, that place sure was busy. Every single table was full but the lady at the register quickly acknowledged me and asked me if I preferred a table or a booth. I told her I could wait for a booth and she promised to have me seated in just a few minutes.

She followed through on her promise and I was seated just a few short minutes later at a small, two-person table. I was really feeling a good breakfast and several cups of coffee sounded ideal so I skipped over most of the menu’s selection of burgers, sandwiches and dinner entrees and went straight for the breakfast options.

Clocker’s serves breakfast all day, for all you breakfast-for-dinner people out there and the selection is very good. You can pick up just about any breakfast food here, from waffles and pancakes to toast, eggs, bacon, oatmeal and the works.

I decided on the Clocker’s Breakfast — eggs, cooked any way you like, bacon or sausage, grits or hash browns and a biscuit or toast. Of course, I asked for a cup of coffee with my meal and for a small town diner during the heat of a mid-morning rush hour, the coffee was pretty good.

My server was extremely polite and she made sure I had everything I needed throughout my meal. A stack of newspapers lay on a chair nearby and I picked one up to accompany my meal. Everything I ordered was great, served hot and was good quality for the price I paid.

I left satisfied with the service and quality of food that I received and I will definitely be back again, maybe for lunch next time.

If you haven’t been to Clocker’s Cafe, definitely check it out! You might just find a new regular breakfast spot for yourself.

It’s located at 103 S. Commercial St. Hours are Monday-Thursday 6 a.m.- 6 p.m., Friday-Saturday 6 a.m.- 7 p.m. and Sunday 6 a.m.- 2 p.m.