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Springfield Food Leader

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Takeout food is a large part of our everyday lives. Being on the move for most of us means either McDonald’s , Wendy’s, or another large fast food chain. With a simple call ahead most restaurants will put together a carry out, or to go order, which could be a much healthier option other than the fast food restaurants on every corner. The Springfield Food Leader reviewed Yum Yum Bowl, Hinode, City Butcher, and Houlihan’s. We ordered two meals from each of the restaurants. The majority of these restaurants prioritize sit down customers, but we ordered all our food for carry out, but made sure to take note of freshness, taste, and customer service. Yum Yum Bowl was the first restaurant we reviewed, they are located at 4808, 706 Battlefield Rd, Springfield, MO 65807, or you can reach them at 417-882-3644. We ordered Yum Yum bowl over the phone and then went to pick it up. When we showed up at the restaurant about 15 minutes later, the food was almost ready for us. The girl who was working at the front counter was very nice and treated us with kindness and professionalisim. The two meals we ordered from Yum Yum Bowl were the orange chicken with fried rice and the bourbon chicken with steamed rice. The so called “bourbon” chicken had good texture and was not dry at all, but the flavor was not there. The bourbon flavor that was supposed to be infused in the meat was basically non existent. Everyone who sampled the chicken said that it was very bland, and the chicken almost tasted like it had the aroma of carrots and other assorted vegetables with it. The steamed rice that came with the bourbon chicken was actually pretty decent, a tad over cooked, but as a side dish it did its job. The orange chicken was cooked similar to the bourbon, very moist and tender. The orange chicken was very flavorful unlike the bourbon, which in our opinion wasn’t a good thing. The chicken was drowned in a processed orange flavored sauce which almost gave a similar flavor of orange fruit snacks. The sauce; very candy tasting, really did not have much of a bite to it, as orange chicken generally does. Fried rice was the side that came with the the orange chicken. The fried rice really lacked the typical fried rice flavor, it tasted more like the steamed rice they serve, but doused in soy sauce. Fried rice traditionally is served with vegetables and egg mixed in which really is what gives it the distinct flavor, the fried rice at Yum Yum bowl on the other hand did not. Hinode The second restaurant we reviewed was Hinode which is located at 4301 S National Ave, Springfield, MO 65810 and can be reached at 417-877-1777. The two meals ordered at Hinode where the Chicken and the Sirloin steak lunch specials. When we showed up at Hinode, we had already called in and we ended up waiting for a while. We walked in and we talked to the hostess who barely smiled at us. We thought she was a little rude, and did not want to take care of us. Once we paid and we were waiting she did not say anything else to us, and then we got our food and left. The chicken in the chicken special was somewhat dry. The sauce that it was in was a very good teriyaki, so it leveled out the score for the dry chicken. The chicken portion was also very small, so there was not as much food given compared to Yum Yum Bowl. The sirloin steak in the other special we ordered was cooked to a perfect medium. Whatever sauce the steak was marinated in was phenomenal, we practically drank the juice to figure out what was in it, we could only detect garlic and teriyaki. The sirloin steak well exceeded expectations. The food at Hinode did come with more sides, both the chicken and the steak came with real fried rice, noodles, and vegetables. The fried rice was delicious and was completely a breath of fresh air compared to Yum Yum Bowl. The noodles were also delicious, they were cooked with butter, garlic, salt, and pepper. They were a great side for this dish. The vegetables were crunchy and were in the same sauce as the chicken which tied the whole meal together. When comparing these two meals which are in the same category of food, Hinode definitely won the prize. The food was great and even though the service did not match the food quality, the food made up for it. We’ve been to Asia with hinode and Yum Yum bowl, now we are headed over to Italy by visiting Bambinos Cafe located at 2810 Battlefield Rd Suite D, Springfield, MO 65804, or reachable at 417-881-4442. Bambinos At Bambinos we ordered two dishes as well, the toasted ravioli (a midwestern delicacy) and “The Bambino”, and every order at Bambinos is served with a side of sliced bread.
Starting off with the Toasted ravioli, and I’ll have to admit I was slightly disappointed with what I had received. The ravioli is one of the meat filled variety. I was slightly disappointed by that fact. The breading on the ravioli was nothing special, for a restaurant that claims to be the best italian in Springfield, they could step up their toasted rav game. To top it off, the ravioli was overcooked and even burnt on the bottom. The marinara sauce served with it was really watery and did not have many different elements of taste. My ravioli experience at Bambinos was sub par to say the least. The second dish was a pasta called “The bambino”, a Cavatelli pasta cooked in a stellar meat and tomato sauce with and endless depth of flavor, the dish was even topped off with melted provel cheese, which added to the flavor. The sauce was seasoned well with hints of garlic and chopped onion. The meat sauce didn’t skimp out on the meat portion of the sauce either, making this meal extremely hearty. The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente to add to how amazing this dish was. The addition of the melted cheese and toasted provel cheese on the top really made this the type of food that will stick to your ribs and remind you of grandmas cooking. HEAVY STATEMENT ALERT, this was the best pasta dish I have ever eaten. To finish out my review of Bambinos, I have got to say the toasted rav was below expectations, the pasta was amazing in every sense of the word and the service was decent at best. After being to Asia twice with a journey to Yum Yum bowl and Hinode, then heading over to Italy with a visit to Bambinos Cafe, we are finally taking a trip back to American with some good old fashioned BBQ from City Butcher and Barbeque. They are located at 3650 S Campbell Ave, Springfield, MO 65807 and can be reached at 417-720-1113. City Butcher At City butcher you can only make call in orders before 10:30 AM, so unless you call in before, then hopefully it is your lucky day and they still have meat whenever you come in. We actually ordered three items here because the sandwiches did not come with sides so we got a medium container of coleslaw along with a brisket sandwich and a burnt ends sandwich. Getting things rolling let’s start off with the coleslaw. Just like most coleslaws it was made with cabbage, vinegar, mustard, mayo and some spices. I thought personally that there wasn’t enough flavor and the cabbage really overpowered the sauce and traditional flavor of coleslaw. Even though the coleslaw was not very flavorful, the lettuce was crunchy and wasn’t impossible to eat. The brisket and the burnt ends where very similar, the only difference being that the burnt ends are a typically fatter chunk of meat adding to the flavor, and the charred crust around the meat. On the burnt ends there was also a lot of added seasoning which made for a bolder taste. Both the brisket and burnt ends where smoked to perfection and where as tender as could be, you could even see the smoke ring around the exterior of the meat proving it’s been cooked low and slow for hours. The seasoning is obviously a black pepper base and gave the meat another great spicy flavor. The bun both sandwiches were served on was a buttery flavored bun, I mean its a bun, it did its job, held the meat. Since the meat was so delicious, I think that the bun should have been higher quality. It was just a regular hamburger bun. The flavor all in all was so amazing, barbeque sauce was not even needed, all though the sauce they served had a nice mild spicy to it and was extremely good. The downside to this sauce (besides the fact it was not needed) was it had all most a jelly like consistency. All in all City butcher did not disappoint and holds true to what I’ve been told, the best barbeque in Springfield. Not to mention as soon as I walked into the door I was greeted with a smile. Overall, we were able to eat some very good food and the restaurants overall did a very good job. They all gave us the right food, it had somewhat of a decent flavor, and all of the workers were very kind to us. Even though we did not enjoy some dishes, the overall experience was very pleasant and positive, and I would definitely try all of these restaurants again.
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