In my blog Go See Do I talked about getting out and doing all that you can because you don’t know what tomorrow holds.  That doesn’t mean big, long, expensive trips. It can be a weekend away, a days getaway, or enjoying what is in your own hometown.  No matter how big or small, just get out enjoy what all there is to enjoy.  

Springfield, MO seems more like a big town than a city to me.   The population is 167,000, but it does not take you long to drive to the edge of town to hit a rural area.  While there are many amenities and things to do in Springfield, it still does not have all that the big cities have.  One of the charms to Springfield is that you have some city amenities and attractions, but are more than likely to run into someone you know when you go out, which gives it that more small town feel.  

I have many places that I like to frequent, but these are my favorites that I seem to return to time and time again.  

DESSERT:

If you have read I Will Only Have One Cookie, and Other Lies I Tell Myself, you will know that sweets and carbs are my weaknesses, but I always allow myself one cheat day per week because I am not going to tell myself the lie that I can give up sweets and breads for the rest of my life.  Just like church fuels my soul for the week, a cupcake can curb my sweet craving for the week and keep my family from disowning me when I become cranky from lack of sweets.  

My go-to dessert is Star Cakes Bakery at 1332 E Republic Road #E.

I can not remember how I found Star Cakes.  I think someone may have brought me one or maybe I just found them when searching for a place to buy cupcakes.  I tried them for the first time in 2015. They were not in the same location they are currently located. After I discovered them, I stopped by frequently and would just stop in and get one cupcake.  Then they closed down their storefront and had a few cupcakes located in a wedding store and you could call and make an order, which I did, but I am very glad that they have a storefront again and I can just pop in and get my favorite salted caramel cupcake.  

Springfield has been home to Star Cakes Bakery since 2011.  I stopped in and met the owners Lisa and Ted, and learned that they had moved to Springfield from Kansas City.  Lisa said they found themselves coming down to this area quite frequently, so they decided if they liked to visit then they would probably like to live here.  They had made a trip down from Kansas City to make the final decision between opening Star Cake Bakery in Joplin or Springfield. As they headed home on May 22, 2011, Joplin was hit by a tornado.  The decision was made for them and to Springfield they came.  

I have never made it past the cupcakes when I have stopped in because they are so delicious that I don’t want to try anything else, but they do have other sweet treats. They make pies, cookies, wedding cakes, and birthday cakes.  Make sure to check out their facebook page to see the incredible cakes they have made. On the day I stopped by to meet Lisa and Ted, they had fresh cinnamon rolls and they looked heavenly.  

These are not just your box cupcakes or plain cupcakes that have been prettied up with icing.  These are delicious and moist…..every single one of them. 

I am partial to the salted caramel, but I have tried most of them and they are all full of goodness.  They have several different flavors daily, but make sure to check out their daily cupcake flavors and their seasonal flavors.  Monday’s Caramel Cubed and Saturday’s Italian Cream are two other flavors that rank high on my list. I noticed they have Caramel Pecan on Friday and I can not wait to try that one.  Our 19 year old son’s favorite flavor is Raspberry Lemon, so I ordered some of those for his graduation party last year and they were the first ones gone and everyone raved about them.  Even non sweet eaters loved them and wanted to know where I got them.  

I love to stop by and get one for myself or grab a dozen assorted that they have already made, but don’t forget that you can order any flavor ahead of time.  

Ok, now I am really wanting a cupcake ~sigh~

FOOD:

There are so many food options in Springfield that I could not possibly pick my one favorite, so I had to pick by category.  I chose to focus on my favorite place for Mexican food and hamburgers.  

MEXICAN FOOD:

I love Tortilleria Perches at 1601 W Sunshine Street.  

I used to say Mexican food is Mexican food.  I wasn’t picky at all as long as it was not Tex Mex.  That was until I ate at Tortilleria Perches. I think what made it different for me is that they make their tortillas fresh in house.  On the day that we visited (purely for research ~wink wink~) I was told that they would be making 250 tortillas that day.  

My standard order is a chicken chimichanga with no beans.  It tastes so different from any other I have eaten because of the fresh tortilla.  The tortilla is light and crispy.  

I love that they have 6 different specialty meats that you can choose for a small price.  Our oldest son, Bryce, likes the lengua, which is made from cow tongue. He says it is very tender.  I will have to trust him because I don’t think I can be that brave to try it. I will stick with chicken.  

Tortilleria Perches was started in 2005 by the Perches family and you can definitely tell that it is a family atmosphere.  The customer service is great and you can tell that they are very appreciative of your business.  

They also offer catering and I can not wait to use them for one of our office or family holiday parties.  They have a great website with their menu and catering menu. The menus include prices, which I think is great.  When I get a party catered I like to see the prices in front of me, so that I can plan what I want before I call.  

Y’all, I almost forgot!  Tamale Thursday! 99 cent tamales all day long.  They also have other daily specials, but the tamales are what I am all about.  I once took my oldest…remember, cow tongue boy,….and he got 2 tamales and a side of beans for under five dollars with tax included.  

You should try Tortilleria Perches  today…unless it is Monday. They are closed on Mondays.  

HAMBURGERS:

I am not a huge hamburger fan, but every now and then I just want a good ol’ burger.  Not a fancy, fat, ten dollar burger. There is now a place in town that is causing me to crave hamburgers.

Red’s Giant Hamburg is located at 2301 W Sunshine Street and is easy to spot with a red and white 1955 Buick parked under the retro sign.  

Red Chaney opened the first drive-thru in America right here in Springfield, MO on route 66.  It opened shortly after World War II and stayed open until 1984. The building has since been demolished.  

The new owners opened Red’s at its new location in 2019 and did an incredible job of keeping it authentic.  Make sure to check out their facebook page to see a side by side comparisons of the original building to the new location.  

I had gone through the drive thru a few times and was shocked at the amount of food I got for the price.  I get the single patty basket that comes with fries and a drink. I order my burger the same every time, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and red spread. 

We finally had some time to stop in and eat and was blown away.  You will definitely step back in time with the decor, Rockabilly music playing, videos playing on the tv, and pictures hanging on the walls of days gone by.  

We had our two youngest boys with us who are ages 15 and 17 and at one point I started to laugh as they both chimed “Let’s go surfin’ now, everybody’s surfing now” with the Beach Boys singing over the speakers.  Normally they would be looking at their phone, but something about Red’s makes you happy and starts conversation.  

My oldest son told me that I HAVE to get the root beer, so I did.   It is on tap from Springfield Brewing Company and yes, you MUST try the rootbeer.  

Each time I go I say that I am going to have a milkshake because I have heard that they are incredible and each time I am too full to have one.  I know you are thinking I could go get a milkshake without eating there, but no, I could not. I must eat a burger when I am there.  

And y’all, the fries.  How could I almost forget to mention those?  They are real fries and perfectly done. I could eat a whole plate of those.  Don’t forget to grab some red spread for dipping. 

Husband’s double burger

Every time I have gone through the drive thru or eaten inside, the service has been top notch and we have gotten our food quickly.  The price can not be beat for the quality and amount of food that you get. The single burger basket with fries and a drink is under seven dollars with tax.  

So, go put on your bobby sox and twist on over to Red’s Giant Hamburg.  You will not regret it.  

SHOPPING:

I am not sure what to call Five Pound Apparel.  Is it a boutique, clothing store, specialty store?  I think I will call it unique, because that is what it is.  

Five Pound Apparel has 2 locations.  The original location at 412 South Avenue Downtown and 2144 E Republic Road in Farmers Park.  The Farmers Park location is where I shop.  

What’s with the name Five Pound Apparel?  Well, this is part of what makes the store so awesome.  For each Five Pound Apparel branded item they sell, they donate 5 pounds of food to Ozarks Food Harvest.  Five Pound Apparel has donated almost sixty thousand pounds of food over the last 7 years.  

Before writing this, I stopped in to take some pictures and was chatting with the manager and learned so much more about Five Pound Apparel.  Not only do they commit to Ozarks Food Harvest with their brands, they also only carry like-minded companies that give back. I was blown away as she walked around the store telling me of what each brand represents and donates to.  

Love this and will be supporting this cause. On a mission to provide a hat to every child in America with cancer.

I was at the farmers market at Farmers Park one Saturday a few years ago and decided to pop in Five Pound Apparel and I was hooked.  I love to look at the tshirts with the clever sayings. I always believe in laughing at yourself first and the ones they have about Springfield are just funny. 

It is the store to go to whether you need something for a child, man, woman, or your dog.  They even have cards, so you can walk out with your gift and card. I have bought everything from clothes and candles for myself to cologne, billfold, and tshirts for my boys. My latest purchase was a pair of 417 dress socks for one of the boys.   They also carry a great line of Giving Keys that I talked about in A Few of My Favorite Things.  

If you have not visited Five Pound Apparel or have not been there recently, stop by this week and check them out.  You will feel good about your purchase, knowing that you have helped give back.  

If you can’t make it to Springfield, you can always shop on their website.

ENTERTAINMENT:

I know you will probably say “really, a movie theater is the best she’s got?”.  Well, then you have not tried Alamo Drafthouse at 4005 South Avenue. Once you go to a movie at Alamo Drafthouse it will be hard for you to see a movie at another theater.  

I have been to other theaters that have recliners with food service, but they can not be compared to Alamo.  

Here are my reasons for loving Alamo Drafthouse:

  • The recliners are roomy, so that you are not having to snuggle the person next to you.
  • The theaters are smaller and more intimate
  • They truly enforce the no talking and/or cell phone rule.  I saw a lady get a warning card for excessively talking during the movie.
  • The food is good.  Especially the adult milkshakes (so I have heard) and I love the big metal bowl of bottomless popcorn you get when you order popcorn.  
  • A glass of water is waiting at your seat when you arrive.
  • The theater is always clean.  No more of my shoes sticking to the unknown substance on the floor. 
  • They show clips and videos before the previews that go along with the movie.
  • The movie parties with props.  I have seen Elf, Sandlot, and Christmas Vacation, at their movie parties and they are very fun.  

And my number one reason I love Alamo Drafthouse is that I can reserve my seats online and buy my tickets. I get to pick the location of my seats.  No more having to arrive early to get a good sit or stand in line for the opening of a hit movie.  

Go see a movie at Alamo Drafthouse and see if you are as impressed as I am.  Better yet, go see a movie party with props.  

PLACE TO TAKE OUT OF TOWN GUESTS:

Hands down the first place I take out of town guests is Wonders of Wildlife.  WOW is located in Bass Pro at 500 W Sunshine (intersection of Sunshine and Campbell).  

The first year that WOW opened we bought passes because it is less than the cost of going two times.  We went several times during the year we had the passes.  

When it was being built and the hype was starting, I honestly thought “how incredible could it be?”.  Well, in true Johnny Morris style, it is INCREDIBLE. Just like all of his other projects and properties there are almost no words to describe and for sure no words to do it justice.  

Yes, there are fish and a lot of them, but there is so much more.  Penguins, otters, eagle, gators, beavers, stingrays, penguins, sharks, flamingos, and bears, just to name a few.  When I tell someone who has never been they almost always say “you mean like the taxidermy stuffed kind”. No! These are live animals.  Of course not one detail is left untouched.  

You will see something different each time you walk through, whether it is the incredible murals in the Wildlife Galleries, or an octopus that was hiding and you missed the first time you walked through. You have to look from top to bottom or you may miss a small mouse hiding in the brush in the Wildlife Gallery or a copperhead that is under your feet as you walk over an aquarium near the otters.  

You can walk through quickly and spend an hour, but I promise an hour is not enough time to see everything or you can take your time and spend a half of a day.  You can pet stingrays, swim with sharks, or take a more relaxed approach and meander through and marvel at all of God’s creatures and the creation of Wonders of Wildlife by Johnny Morris.  

Springfield has many options for places to eat and things to do, so if you have never been to Springfield, MO, come visit us.  If you are from the area, get out this weekend and visit a place you have never visited.