Spring Breakin’

As always, Spring Break was sorely needed for this overworked principal.  (I know, I know, cry me a river.)


It was an odd but overall delightful time.    The Hubs went to Dallas to work for the week before Spring Break and then drove on to Houston to see his parents.   As he was traveling back on Saturday, I was heading out to southern Missouri to see my dad and my sister’s family who were traveling to a warmer climate from Iowa.   Aha, but what happened on Sunday in Branson, Missouri—it snowed.   It snowed all day.   What a way to start Spring Break, aye?

I am not a big fan of Branson.   I really love the beauty of the area and we have stayed at Big Cedar Lodge numerous times (but honestly, there you have no idea you are near Branson).    I remember about twenty years ago, my dad called Branson the “poor man’s Vegas.”   Who would have thought he would ever move there?

The house he bought there has a beautiful countryside view and his back yard slopes down into a tree covered small creek.   (The nephews had fun exploring that.)

Branson is not known as a culinary city and it is mostly full of chain restaurants or restaurants that proudly promote “taters and dumplins.”

(Funny story—when a friend found out I would be starting my Spring Break travels in Branson, she said she would never return there because of a “tater” incident.  She was waiting in line in what I imagine was Silver Dollar City when it came her turn to order.   She asked for the potatoes.   The clerk would not take her order until she said “taters.”   She refused.   I think she was finally persuaded by the angry hungry mob forming behind her to finally lower her grammatical standards and order “taters.” )


But, I wanted to see my dad’s new digs and I wanted to visit with my sister, BiL, and perfect nephews.   (One of the nephews is thirteen and is of the age to realize what is a tourist trap.  He had some interesting and insightful comments.)

So rather than a lot of family weird dynamics that I will not bore you with here,  I will get back the the culinary part of this first leg of my Spring Break journey.   There are only two places I can recommend in  Branson.   One is Black Oak Grill.    I had a delicious Smoked Chicken Spinach Salad that featured Pinot-infused cranberries (must try this at home), goat cheese, and pepitas with a warm bacon-onion vinaigrette (must try to replicate this dressing as well).   In fact, I am going to try to replicate this entire salad.   From previous visits to the aforementioned Big Cedar Lodge, I would highly recommend Devil’s Pool Restaurant.

Another place I was dying to visit was The Keeter Center Restaurant (College of the Ozarks).   I read some great reviews of this place.   I would love to stay in their Lodge as well.   I guess I have that to look forward to on the next trip.  🙂

So, I apologize to anyone who loves to visit Branson.   It is just not my thing, but that my be heavily due to the weird family dynamics mentioned above.

Stay tuned for a much more culinary visit to NOLA!!!!!!!!

14 comments to Spring Breakin’

  • I’ve been once, which was enough! But a great post!

  • Hi Debra,

    Happy Spring Break!!!!

    I too have been to Branson just once and although I didn’t have any “tater” incidents, it is not one of the places I “dream” of returning to. (such as New Mexico or New Orleans:) Have fun visiting with your family. I look forward to hearing of your culinary adventures in NOLA. I, on the other hand, will still be trying to figure out how to transfer files, lol…Thanks for sharing, Debra…

  • Taking On Magazines

    Poor man’s Vegas … what an absolutely appropriate description. I’ve only been there once also. I think the most memorable experience was an evening of riverboat gambling, my first time (and probably my last) doing so. I lost a little money but had fun so it turned out ok. Isn’t it near Paducah?

    • No gambling in Branson. I know that he was just referring to all the shows and glitz. Maybe I would have had more fun gambling. 🙂

  • kitchenriffs

    Branson is gorgeous, but you’re right that it’s no food mecca. Way back in another life I sold college texts. Lake of the Ozarks was never a great account, because it was so small. But I always used to visit it at least once a year, simply because it was so pretty. It was always fun to see what the students were building, too. We’re talking back in the early 80s, and students were still helping build the campus — it’s probably all built by now. Anyway, fun read — thanks.

    • I had a work acquaintance that went there back in the day and worked on the college farm. I kind of like the premise of the place.

  • Have a wonderful spring break!!! You and your husband sound like us. Next month as he’s driving back from Houston, I’ll be heading to Shreveport.:) My mother loves Branson (but she 89 years old :)). After listening to her talk about I knew that it was a place I had no interest in going. Enjoy your visit with your family!

  • Have a beautful spring break Debra!

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