While we spent our week in Branson, we wanted to eat out at a variety of local spots. If you look on other travel recommendation sites, 3/4 of these come up.
Billy Gail’s Restaurant
Overall Rating 10/10
If you are driving through or only have the opportunity to go to one spot, it should be here. Billy Gail’s was so incredible that I am still thinking about it and I wish I could go again. We ordered their famous French Cakes, Billion Dollar Bacon, and hash browns. Their portions are massive. We were able to eat our leftovers for two meals which means this order lasted us 6 meals.
The French cakes are a mix between French Toast and Pancakes. I texted my family saying, “Have you ever imagined what the baby of a pancake and French toast would taste like? bc I ate it this morning and wow it was the best thing I’ve ever had”. My review still holds today.
The bacon was seasoned and covered in maple syrup and the hash browns were perfectly crispy. Not only was the food divine, the atmosphere was buzzing. There were cool signs all over the walls up to their tall ceilings. There was a boat hanging in the middle of the air. At Billy Gail’s, there was no shortage of effort at Billy Gail’s. Everything was well thought out.
As delicious and incredible as this meal was, it was the only meal we ate on Saturday. We felt full for several hours afterwards.
McFarlain’s Family Restaurant
Overall Rating 7/10
We intended to stop by to pick up pie to go. Once we arrived, we made a last minute decision to stop in for dinner. In hindsight, I’m not sure it was the right decision. We ordered McFarlain’s Legendary Fried Chicken and the Ozark Melt with French fries, sweet potato fries, and coleslaw. The meal also came with a side of their famous honey cornbread.
One thing I have noticed throughout our trip so far is the difference in food culture in the US by region. The chicken was delicious and flavorful. The cornbread was the best I’ve ever had.
Unfortunately, their food was way too rich for us. We barely ate any of the meal before we felt full. Also, we’ve been eating a lot of fried chicken this year and we felt it couldn’t compare. At the end of the meal, we ordered our pie to go as originally intended.
We felt so full that we could not eat the pie until the next night. I ordered the chocolate cream and Sam ordered the Cherry. The chocolate cream was good, but did not compare to my father’s chocolate pudding pie. Also, Sam was stuffed the whole week and never got to try his.
The decor in McFarlain’s Family Restaurant is very cute. Even though it is located within an IMAX theater complex, when you step in, you are transported to an outdoor lodge. Each booth felt private and they sold some of their key ingredients at the front.
Overall Rating 6/10
It was hard to rate this one. We ordered the Vindaloo sauce and it tasted completely different than it normally does. If we pretended it wasn’t our Vindaloo and was a new dish, it was delicious. Unfortunately, a lot of points were lost because there were only 4 small pieces of chicken in the order.
Overall Rating 8/10
I’m starting to think we have high expectations for our BBQ. We ordered the St. Louis Ribs and Brisket with sides of baked beans, coleslaw, Mac and cheese, and poblano corn brûlée to share.
I felt like the brisket tasted like meat and I like meat, but there was no added flavor. The ribs were good when you had a bite with sauce and okay when you had bites without.
Sam thought the baked beans were the best he’s ever had. He also liked that the cole slaw did not have heavy mayonnaise. I was disappointed in the Mac and cheese, but really enjoyed the poblano corn brûlée.
There were a lot of items on the menu that would not be found at a traditional BBQ joint. I have a feeling those are what this spot is known for. I’d recommend going, but don’t order a “plate”.
Try a few different types of cuisines in each location.