We were famished after our day of sightseeing in historic Independence, Missouri. The Courthouse Exchange had been suggested to us as a dinner option, and we were ready to test it out. We had seen the outdoor patio used as a beer garden during the Santa-Cali-Gon Festival, but on this cool day it was empty.
That Old-Time Feeling
We entered at the street level, which is at 113 West Lexington, on the square. Immediately you have to go down a floor to reach the restaurant. This was a little unusual, but it has been in business since 1899. We are guessing that in those days, being below street level helped regulate the interior temperature on hot days.
Upon entering the restaurant, we found thick rock walls, old wooden beam ceilings, and a long bar. This certainly exudes a cozy, and muffled atmosphere. Being located across the street from the courthouse, we can only imagine the political conversations that have taken place in this historic basement. Large pew-style seating lines the walls, and the lighting is adequate, but low enough to lend a mysterious undertone to our visit. A look around the place uncovered a large banquet style room in the back. (Pictured at top of article) The walls are covered with familiar images of local people, places, and events.
Courthouse Exchange Dining
We took a page from Harry Truman’s notebook, and decided to have dinner. The menu lists daily specials, and being a Saturday it was the Frisco Burger, which I chose. It is pretty much a standard cheeseburger, and it comes with all of the regular toppings. It was certainly flavorful, and cooked exactly as I had requested. For my side, I opted for the applesauce, upon the recommendation of our server. What a delightful choice. It is made in-house, and has just enough chunkiness to give it texture, and the flavor was amazing.
Crystal has a preference for a certain green fruit (or vegetable, I’m not sure), so she ordered the Turkey Avocado & Bacon sandwich. It is served on toasted wheat bread, and it was quickly obvious that she really enjoyed it. Since I had picked the applesauce, she chose the fries. This allowed us to sample both sides . the fries were crispy, and good, but nothing out of the ordinary. Of course, the applesauce put up quite a challenge in the taste department. (Yes it was that good.) We were pretty worn out, so we finished our meal, and skipped the dessert options. That was unfortunate, since I bet Harry Truman would have had a piece of pie.