Sunday, April 23rd con’t…
We departed Niecie’s Restaurant
for a leisurely Sunday drive north on I-35 to the country. Our destination….
…is the legendary Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor Restaurant
With a pastoral setting…
…on the banks of river….
…the inside is comprised of several rooms, all fully capable of letting the sun shine in!
Of course, there’s a bar…
…and finally, our dining room with the big table in the foreground set for us.
This record Bluegill, caught by guide and fisherman extraordinaire Michael Hoffman
, still decorates one of the many archways.
I loved the view from our dining room. So serene, perfect for a leisurely Sunday meal!
Lots of history here…
…and several options along with the fried chicken.
Unfortunately, there is no pre-screening process for diners…they let anybody in!
As soon as Joe
spotted the gizzards on the menu, he was all in. I talked him down from the ledge and he relented and went with a half order for $5.95!
As for numbers, Danny
posts more pictures then he consumes gizzards and at the end of the Gizzard Smackdown
, the plate was still 90% filled. Even the Smackdown King
himself artfully dodged these fine gizzards...but not the salad which he is artfully photographing for his trip report.
All meals are accompanied by your choice of salad or soup. The soup option is, Chicken Noodle of course, and it’s a very good rendition. Loaded with chicken in a savory broth, the noodles were so soft and delicate. One or two non-conformists choose the salad….
Most of the group went with fried chicken and we were brought two humongous platters.
Family style (all you can eat) sides included mashed potatoes…
…cottage fries which were awesome with gravy ladled on…
…green beans and some of the best cream gravy I’ve ever had!!! Rumor has it that chicken skin cracklins are added in. I poured it on everything. Chris
and I went a different direction with Chris
ordering his go to, Chicken Fried Steak while I went with Chicken Fried Chicken. Both were hubcap sized servings and we quickly exchanged hunks so we could do a little comparison. It was a tie as Chris
preferred the CFS, I took the CFC and Ralph
tried them both and wasn’t overly impressed with either. You can appreciate the rich, thick and creamy texture of the gravy from this photo. We went through bowls of it!
Shocked to find CFS and CFC on the same table as fried chicken, Dale
express their outrage before a calmer Joe Rogo
proclaims them both to be Regionally Appropriate
! Thanks Joe
When I was told there would be cinnamon rolls, I thought to myself, these might be an afterthought. BIG MISTAKE! Our waitress apologized on the 30 second delay for our baskets to arrive saying new trays had just popped out of the oven. These cinnamon rolls, distributed in over stuffed baskets are incredible. I took one to be polite and knife & forked into it.
After a 2nd
dive into the pool, I recognized greatness and before I knew it, there were four gone! These are not light, not heavy either, but they are loaded with cinnamon, sugar and butter. The process works like this. Take one roll from a basket, get an entire new basket. There were hot cinnamon rolls everywhere. A few minutes later, our server brought several different sizes of to go packaging and I grabbed a few for the microwave the next day. As we pushed back from the table totally stuffed, we slowly got up to say our good byes and bring the crawl to an end. We’ve had a lot of fun over the years and been joined by some mighty fine folks along the way. We appreciate the efforts of Glee Club that kicked off many of these gatherings perhaps 15 years ago, particularly those no longer with us - Mayor Al, Bushie, Poverty Pete and Padre Rick and one who still joins us on occasion, Sundancer! Thank you to everyone that went out of their way to attend and join in the friendship and comradery.
We departed Stroud’s
and headed north up I-35 to the Kansas-Missouri Expressway, U.S. 36. This was both the shortest of the three routes home at just under 490 miles but also to me, the most scenic. We crossed into Illinois near Hannibal MO and had we not been so tired and full, we might have stopped to enjoy a bit of Twain-ian
Gas north of Springfield allowed us to carefully avoid contact with said town and continue from I-72 to I-55 and right into Chicagoland. As we exited the interstate we were happy to see that including our one stop, we had averaged 75+ for the trip.
Time for a reward! Once we were safely within the boundaries of my town, I pulled into a small parking lot and we disembarked. Tasty Treat
is my local ice cream parlor and serves up huge portions at below market pricing. Here’s two scoops each of rum raisin and pistachio for a total of 4 scoops for $1.90 or $2.07 with tax!
Once again, many thanks to Chris
for all their efforts organizing another, in a great string of Roadfood Meet-Ups, as well as everyone that traveled from near and far to participate. Can’t wait to do it again! The End!
post edited by ChiTownDiner - 2017/05/07 00:35:31