Recently, we released an article showcasing our Top 10 stops during our travels in 2017. (You can read it here>) We purposely left any food places off of that list, as we wanted to highlight those separately. In this article we have attempted to compile our favorite breakfast, dinner, and specialty locations from all of the destinations we visited last year. Since we both have our own opinions, (Yes, Crystal doesn’t always see it my way.) we decided to go with a Hers, Mine, and Ours approach. See how many of them would make your list.Author preparing for breakfast.

Breakfast Time

We both realize the importance of starting the day with a good meal. The most important meal of the day is also one of the hardest with which to find picturesque plates. While we can always fall back on eggs and bacon, we prefer to look for those unusual dishes that make the meal more interesting. We believe that dining begins with the eyes, so our mission is to be on the lookout for plates that offer not only sustenance, but presentation. This has turned into something of a quest for us, and we always become excited when we discover a new treasure.

The Fancy Cakes at Blue Bird Bistro were Crystal's favorite breakfast meal.

Hers – Blue Bird Bistro

Blue Bird Bistro in Kansas City, Missouri is one of those places that offer a departure from the standard fare. While their menu is not as robust as some, the dishes they serve include some creative options. For her meal, Crystal selected their Fancy Cakes, which are made with whatever is currently available from the local markets. She was so pleased with this dish that she had to do an impromptu InstaStory video detailing her satisfaction. (Read more about Blue Bird here>)

Breakfast tacos at dilly Diner rose to the top of Jeff's breakfast foods.

Mine – Dilly Diner

I am the more adventurous diner, and will often ask our server (or the owner if we meet them) what are some of the most photogenic dishes they serve. It may seem like an odd way to order, but it helps me move out of my comfort zone, and test new dishes. Sometimes it ends with a meal that is not of my taste preference, but usually I get something that sparks my desire to try even more new dishes. This is what happened at Dilly Diner in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The manager suggested the Breakfast Tacos, which are a delicious blend of flavors. (Read more about Dilly here>)

Nibbles Eatery in Eureka Springs was a favorite of both authors.

Ours – Nibbles Eatery

It’s extra special when we find a place that blows both of us away. Nibbles Eatery in Eureka Springs, Arkansas was the last restaurant we tried at that destination. Our meals ended up being so delicious, that we wish we would have discovered it sooner. Of course, then we wouldn’t have sampled the other breakfast locations around town. The combination of fresh ingredients with an interesting assortment of courses made for a delightful meal. Added bonus for the lively conversation in this intimate setting. (Read more about Nibbles here>)

Everyone is busy in the kitchen.

Let’s Do Dinner

The word dinner has different meanings to various people. For some it is the second meal of the day, as in breakfast, dinner, and supper. Others have been raised with the knowledge that it is the evening meal, as in, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Whatever your definition, for us it is the main meal of the day. Sometimes we may have a heavy mid-day meal, and then go light in the evening, others it will be the opposite. When we travel we just aim to sample as many locally-owned dining venues as possible.

Chicken Pot Pie is a popular dish, and Third Street Social in Lee's Summit makes Crystal's favorite.

Hers – Third Street Social

Sometimes we don’t have to wander too far to find an experience that we never knew existed. An evening excursion brought us to Third Street Social in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. Situated in a historic World War II era manufacturing building, this casually upscale eatery boasts an open air atmosphere. Crystal surprised me with her choice of the Chicken Pot Pie, especially since it included mushrooms, which is her dreaded nemesis. Evidently, the red wine braised chicken, and flavorful sauce more than compensated. I have to admit it made a beautiful plate presentation.(Read more about Third Street here>)

The Cowboy Carl loaded burger can be found at Black Sheep Burger in Springfield, Missouri, and stands at the top of Jeff's burger list.

Mine – Black Sheep Burger

For me dinner is usually about the beef. Black Sheep Burger, in Springfield, Missouri delivers with gusto. Having planned our visit, I was anxious to attempt to devour their Cowboy Carl. This super-size monstrosity is constructed with a quarter-pound burger patty, smoked brisket, candied bacon, spicy fried onions, pickles, and white cheddar cheese. This is slathered with barbecue sauce, and contained within one of their toasted buns. It was more than a mouthful, and I had to dissect it to fit it in my mouth. (Read more about Black Sheep here>)

The steaks at Final Cut at Hollywood casino in Kansas City, Kansas are delicious, tender and the overall favorite dinner meal for both authors.

Ours – Final Cut

It was an odd coincidence that brought us to Final Cut in Kansas City, Kansas. Sitting in our own backyard, we had never visited this upscale dining option located in Hollywood Casino. An earlier visit to their sports bar and grill allowed introductions to their executive chef, who hoped that we would be willing to let him show off this top tier dining venue. We are so lucky that this meeting happened, because what we discovered at dinner was pure bliss. Fork tender steaks, mouth watering appetizers, perfectly seasoned sides, and delectable desserts can be found in abundance. (Read more about Final Cut here>)

Sweet treats come in a wide variety.

Sweet Extras

There is an old saying that goes “Life is short, eat dessert first”. While we may not live by this quote, we certainly enjoy the extras that we find along the way. Whether visiting a chocolatier, patisserie, bakery or even a coffee shop, we try to find a pleasurable addition to our day. At this point I should put a disclaimer about us not eating like this every day. What we highlight are the places we explore during our travels in and out of our hometown. It also helps that we do a lot of walking during our visits.

Pie is Crystal's favorite, but only when it comes from The Upper Crust in Overland Park, Kansas.

Hers –  The Upper Crust

We enjoy attending some of the recurring events around Kansas City. One of them is the Third Friday Local Life festival. This is where we were introduced to The Upper Crust in Overland Park, Kansas. This unique bakery specializes in pie, and is quite proud of their products. During the monthly event, they offer slices of various flavors at special prices. Now whenever we go to this festival, it is required that we stop in for a trio of their offerings. While this was chosen by Crystal, I have to admit I enjoy them just as much. (Read more about Upper Crust here>)

Chocolate isn't always Jeff's favorite dessert, but it is when it comes from Glacier Confections in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Mine – Glacier Confection

Chocolate is not my usual dessert choice, (It’s ice cream!) but when I have a chance to try some unique creations I find it hard to pass up. We have had the opportunity to sample a few chocolatiers during our travels, but one really stood out to me. Glacier Confection, in Tulsa, Oklahoma has a wide variety of designer flavors, and we even got to meet the person who thinks them up. They also have a special dark chocolate bar that is unbelievable. (Read more about Glacier here>)

The authors don't have to go far to find their favorite coffee shop, which is Splitlog Coffee in Kansas City, Kansas.

Ours – Splitlog Coffee

Our list of top eats wouldn’t be complete, if it didn’t include a coffee shop. There are tons of great places, but the one that rises to the top for us is Splitlog Coffee, in Kansas City, Kansas. This newcomer has been making big waves on the caffeine scene. They use locally roasted beans, and get their baked goods from a local bakery. (Read more about Splitlog here>)

Here’s To A New Year Of Exploring

With 2017 wrapped up, we can now look forward to all of the new places we will discover this year. With lots of destinations in our schedule, we are excited to see what new dishes we find. This list will be hard to top, but we are going to try our best. Be sure to keep sending us your suggestions. It really helps us when we make our itineraries.

Author's signatures.



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