Rural Missouri - November 2011 - (Page 18)

O U T hen your destination is a little out of the way, getting there is part of the fun — as long as you have good directions. Thanks to modern technology, that’s usually not a problem, unless you’re trying to find the Gobblers Roost. There’s really nothing tricky about the drive to Kathy and Kent Abele’s restaurant in rural Vernon County. It’s located down a stretch of gravel road just off the beaten path between Nevada and El Dorado Springs. But for some reason, its location is a mystery to GPS units and mapping websites. “Google Maps wants to put us right in the middle of downtown Nevada, and we get calls all the time from people who come within a mile or two and lose their way,” says Kathy, who has Join editor Jason Jenkins become on his visit to the Gobblers adept at Roost in the online edition at guiding lost guests. “When they do finally get here, we give them a reason to forget all that.” Open for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings by reservation only, the Gobblers Roost combines the refinement of an elegant five-course uptown dining experience with the wholesome, down-home goodness of Sunday supper at your grandmother’s. After building a successful catering business, the Sac Osage Electric Cooperative members decided it was time to take their show off the road and open the restaurant Kathy had dreamed of photo by Kyle Spradley for years. They opened the Gobblers Roost about three years ago. After creating a successful catering business, Kathy and Kent Abele decided the With the look of a rustic cabin, the time was right to let customers come to them. In 2009, they opened the GobGobblers Roost features an inviting blers Roost on their Vernon County farm, about a 10-mile drive from Nevada. front porch that spans its entire length. Inside, the dining room conjures feelings of an old barn Gobblers Roost with its distressed wood and rusty tin roof motif. A rock fountain Specialties: Complete five-course dining anchors the center of the room experience. Entrées change monthly, but, the where a gobbling turkey sits atop menu always features a 14-ounce, fork-tender • Nevada a stump; his tracks can be found prime beef fillet and 16-ounce K.C. strip. imprinted in the floor. Out back, there’s a treehouse where the Price: $29.95 to $39.95. Cash, checks and kids can play and a walking trail through the woods where you can credit cards accepted. build up an appetite or work off part of your dinner afterward. Details: Open Friday and Saturday only, 5 to 10 p.m. Reservations For some, a five-course presenare required. Seats 35-45 inside, some seasonal outdoor seating. tation may sound intimidating, Smoking permitted in designated areas. Restaurant also is available but the Abeles have a “come as through the week for private parties of 10 or more. you are” policy. “There are no rules here in the country,” jokes Directions: From the intersection of Highways 54 and 71 in Kathy, who describes her food as Nevada, take Highway 54 east about 8 miles to 2400 Road. Turn “what country folks are used to right and travel 2 miles south to Old Town Road. Turn left and travel eating, but with a little flair.” east 0.3 miles. The lane to the restaurant is on the left. The menu is simple. Patrons choose from five to six entrées, which are paired with a pre-selected Contact: 417-448-4853 or appetizer, soup, salad and dessert. W by Jason Jenkins Gobblers roost Where uptown meets down home O F T H E W A Y E A T S While the Abeles may be restaurateurs, they’re also cattle producers, so beef is always for dinner at the Gobblers Roost. “It’s hard to find a good steak nowadays,” Kent says. “We want folks to realize what good beef is.” A 14-ounce fillet and a 16-ounce K.C. strip, both of which are USDA certified as prime or top choice, are always on the menu. Beautifully marbled and wet-aged for 21 days, these beefsteaks are tender enough to cut with a fork and packed with flavor. Kent takes the beef a step further with his signature glaze. A little sweet and a little tart, the glaze’s ingredients are a closely held secret, though a splash of Wild Turkey bourbon is rumored to be among them. Aside from the steaks, the rest of the entrées change monthly to reflect the season and the availability of fresh, local produce. In the summer, Kathy tends a garden behind the restaurant, and fresh herbs grow in the flower boxes. Produce from local farmers markets supplements the homegrown ingredients. Depending on when you visit, you may experience Kathy’s grilled salmon with a teriyaki glaze, Cajuninfused or pecan-crusted baked chicken breast, pork roast with apricot sauce or crab-stuffed prawns. Occasionally, Kent will add grilled beef tips or prime rib. The Gobblers Roost’s appetizers include favorites such as spinach and artichoke dip presented in a hot cross bun or crab-stuffed mushrooms. Homemade soups such as tortellini and tomato or sweet corn chowder set the stage for a salad of tossed Romaine lettuce and greens dressed with Kathy’s own sweet vinaigrette. Like Kent’s steak glaze, Kathy’s dressing recipe is a secret. Each meal comes with fresh baked bread, a potato dish and a seasonal vegetable. End your evening with one of Kathy’s homemade desserts, such as German chocolate pie, a carrot cake roulade with cinnamon cream cheese filling or a fresh fruit cobbler or pie. A meal at the Gobblers Roost lasts about two hours. Because of the laid-back atmosphere, Kathy says they don’t attempt to “turn” tables. “It’s not fast food,” she explains. “We want people to come, bring their friends and just relax. There is nobody standing over your shoulder waiting for the table.” Kathy says her favorite aspect of the business is knowing she provides a place where diners can relax and enjoy a meal that more than meets expectations. “When I watch the plates return to the kitchen, normally there is not much left,” she says. “So I’d say that means we’re doing a good job.” 18 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - November 2011

Rural Missouri - November 2011
Table of Contents
In search of Missouri mills
Co-ops take action
Best of rural Missouri
Out of the Way Eats
Second chance ranch
Grant takes command
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
The hillbilly approach to the Woodstock nation
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - November 2011