Sandy Clark, a Dine on Our Dime columnist for the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader, reviewed a restaurant off old Route 66 that’s flown under our radar.
It’s the Crossroads Restaurant, on the crossroads of Missouri Highway 96 (old Route 66) and Missouri 39, behind an old gas station. It’s listed in some directories as being in Miller, Mo., but it’s practically in the hamlet of Albatross, Mo.
Clark reports the restaurant owned by David and Barbara Manning opened at that location in March 2010, closed for a few weeks after a recent kitchen fire, and has reopened.
It’s open for dinner only on Friday and Saturday, and features ribeye steak, chicken fried steak and one particular specialty, fried green beans. And plenty of desserts.
This excerpt in the story got me wanting to go there bad:
I ask about the pie. Why is it so much better than the cake? I discover Simpson’s mother made it. Yup, motherly love, that will do it.
As you come into Crossroads, there is a bulletin board. I tell people that’s a good sign for any roadside diner. If you can’t sell a load of wood or a tractor there, then there is probably a reason. Either it isn’t part of the community or it’s not good enough to keep regular diners.
Simpson has that figured out. They aim to build something that will serve the community and reach a wider audience.
“The old Route 66 sold me on wanting this place,” Simpson says. “I want to theme the restaurant around that eventually. Right now, we’ve got people that eat here three times a day. All the law enforcement eat here. This has come a long way since we got it.”
The bulletin board indeed is a good sign. And William Least Heat-Moon noted in his classic road book, “Blue Highways,” that the quality of a restaurant also can be measured by the number of calendars on the walls.