Table Rock Dam
All the gates open
With all the snow, ice, freezing drizzle and being warned to stay off the roads for the past few weeks it’s no wonder I got “cabin fever”. I needed to go somewhere! I have been wanting to have breakfast at a mom and pop diner in my area for about a year now. I’ve put it off because it was so close that I figured I could go there anytime. I’m such a procrastinator. With the uncertain road conditions I decided that this was the perfect time to go. Not that I was driving, my husband Rick was the chauffer. It was far enough to be a nice drive and close enough so that if the road was bad we wouldn’t mind. The road was actually pretty good.
The destination was Lillee’s Sunrise Grill &Catering in Reeds Spring, Missouri, about 30 miles to the south of us.
The town was built around a spring, which had a wall built around it and a roof put over it, many, many years ago. One hundred years ago Reeds Spring was a bustling town. At one time it had the fame of being the capital of railroad tie production in the USA. There was also a very large tomato canning factory in the area because the weather was very favorable for tomato farming.
Another claim to fame for Reeds Spring is that one day in 1934, several weeks before they were killed, Bonnie & Clyde drove into town in a stolen car, had a shootout with the local police, and kidnapped a local man so that they could make a getaway. The 3rd Annual Bonnie & Clyde Days event was held in Reeds Spring in October 2013.
Lillee’s Sunrise Grill is easy to spot on the main road through town.
The current owners have only been here for one year, but have already gained a lot of support from local customers because of their good home cooking. I tasted it a few days ago and I’m ready to go back.
They are also catching the attention of folks in Branson, MO. As I was looking through the photos on their Facebook page I noticed that a popular group of Branson entertainers had been shooting what they hoped would be a future TV series, The Bucket Lid Café, using Lillee’s as the show’s café. Another photo was of Barry Williams, aka, Greg Brady of The Brady Bunch fame. He had stopped by for lunch one day.
The owners are not new to the food industry. Melissa and her husband moved their restaurant to Reeds Spring from the nearby town of Spokane, MO, where they had been for 2 years. Before that she had worked and managed a catering business, The Wild Fork, in Nixa, MO, for 10 years. Her husband was doing the cooking the morning we were there and let me tell you, he is a darned good cook!
Their menu is not huge, a good thing because I don’t want to read a book before ordering. It runs the gamut from good for you healthy food to total cholesterol bomb. Melissa was our waitress. The service was excellent, she is such a pleasant person to talk to and brought us more coffee just before we needed a refill. I swear she is psychic.
I ordered the Birds Nest, 2 eggs on a huge pile of hash browns and asked to have it topped with gravy. Yes, I went with a cholesterol bomb.
Both dishes were delicious, and the coffee was really good. Almost 100% of their food is made from scratch. Our next trip will be for lunch. If you live in the Springfield area or will be visiting Branson, make the trip to Reeds Spring for breakfast or lunch. Their Winter hours are Monday thru Saturday from 8am to 3 pm. The rest of the year they will be open Monday thru Saturday from 7am to 3 pm. You will find them on Main Street, in the original part of town. The address is 22221 Main Street, but don’t trust Google Maps, it landed me in the wrong place. You will get much closer by just entering Reeds Spring, MO. The restaurant will be across the street on the south side of the bend in the road, which is also know as highways 413 and 265.
And for photos of their food go to their Facebook page.
If you are planning a trip to Branson Missouri sometime this year, try to make it in April or May when the Redbuds and Dogwoods are blooming. Give yourself an extra day for a side trip to a place called Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a 10,000 acre landscaped park with lawns, streams, springs, waterfalls and wild areas. This beautiful park is about 25 miles southwest of Branson.
Walk-in admission to the park is $8.95 per person. This is good if you have a bicycle to bring with you. If not, my suggestion is that you pay $25.95 for the Tram Tour. This is the route my husband and went. The tram takes you on a 2 hour tour of the park, stopping at many picturesque places along the way. You get fantastic photo opportunities all along the way of waterfalls, picnic areas, the stream, a chapel, unique rocks and in April and May the beautiful flowers of the Redbud and Dogwood trees.
Dogwood Canyon crosses the border into Arkansas. The Arkansas area of the park is where herds of buffalo, deer and elk are kept. The tram tour includes a tour through the areas where the animals roam. There are many stops along the way for picture taking. For the more adventurous there are horse and Segway rentals. Fishing is encouraged.