Rural Missouri - December 2012 - (Page 16)

O U T O F T H E W A Y E A T S Steakhouse Where restaurant and rodeo collide “It’s a very local, family-friendly atmosphere. I’d say on any given night, we probably know half or more of the people in here.” utside of Carthage, just Start your meal with the Lucky J’s a stone’s throw from most popular appetizer — fried pickInterstate 44 and less les. “That’s something my fatherthan five miles from in-law started,” Matt says. “They’re the famous Joplin Regional Stockpopular among the locals. We sell a yards, sits a dining destination lot of them.” where the sizzle of The pickle slices are steak mixes with the dredged in a seasoned jangle of spurs. breading, deep-fried For the past 11 Join editor Jason Jenkins until golden brown years, the Lucky J on his visit to the Lucky J and served with ranch Steakhouse & Arena in the online edition at dressing. If the tang of has offered one of dill pickles isn’t your this region’s most pleasure, try the heat unique dining experiof the Texas toothpicks — slices of ences, combining two things that onion and jalapeño coated with the folks around here love: great food same breading — or the homemade and rodeo action. onion rings, sliced thin and coated “There’s a lot of cowboys and photo by Kyle Spradley with seasoned flour and cracker meal. horse people in southwest MisAs its name would suggest, the souri,” says owner Matt Freeman, The Freeman family — Matt, Jessie, Cooper and Colbi — works hard to provide a Lucky J emphasizes the classic Ameri- family-friendly atmosphere at the Lucky J Steakhouse & Arena outside of Carthage. who started the business with his can beefsteak on its menu. All steaks father-in-law before taking over steak cooked to medium. “You are hand cut daily and are graded sole ownership in 2002 with his — the shoulder tender — we think is don’t want to cook all the flavor USDA choice or better. Served with wife, Jessie. “It’s kind of two sepamuch better than a sirloin,” Matt says. out of it,” he says with a smile. your choice of two side dishes and a rate businesses, but they comple“Some places market it as a flat iron If a steak dinner doesn’t trip dinner roll, choose among classic cuts ment each other quite well.” steak, but we just prepare it a little bit your trigger, try a Lucky J halfsuch as the K.C. strip, rib-eye, baconThe Lucky J is open for dinner different. It’s a very lean cut of meat.” pound specialty burger. Choose wrapped filet mignon or the most six nights a week. When you visit, All Lucky J steaks are chargrilled among The Cutter, topped with popular — the Lucky J House Steak. you’ll find your meal is served to order, receiving just a splash of shaved ham, cheddar cheese “At most places, the house steak is with a variety of events inside the Worcestershire sauce and a dash of and barbecue sauce; The Roper, a sirloin, but we have a cut of meat attached 250-by-100-foot arena. house seasoning. Matt prefers his smothered with barbecue sauce, From team roping and barrel raccheddar cheese and bacon; or the ing to cowboy mounted shootStampede Burger, covered with ing and all types of horse shows, Lucky J Steakhouse & Arena A.1. steak sauce, cheddar cheese, you’re guaranteed some form of bacon and the Lucky J’s homeequine entertainment. “We’ll even Specialties: Hand-cut steaks and pork made onion rings. have an agility trial dog show chops, specialty burgers, homemade Other house favorites include once or twice a year,” adds Matt. onion rings and fried pickles. the hand-cut boneless pork chops, With Western décor reminis• Carthage the house-smoked pulled pork and cent of a frontier saloon, complete Price: Appetizers from $3.99 to $7.59; the Southwest Barbecue Chicken, a with a wagon wheel chandelier, burgers and sandwiches from $5.99 to grilled chicken breast topped with you can’t help but feel transported . $8.99; steaks from $14.99 to $23.49. Cash, Mastercard, barbecue sauce and Monterey Jack to the Wild West as soon as you Visa and Discover accepted. cheese and garnished with diced step inside the Lucky J. The red tomatoes and shredded cheese. cedar and wrought iron furnishWhile the cowboys and cowings give the restaurant a warm, Details: Open Monday through Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m., with girls competing in the arena may inviting feel. extended restaurant hours during event weekends. Seats 70 in only have seconds to rope a steer Perhaps the most coveted seats the dining room and 70 in the bar. Smoking permitted in the bar or race around the barrels, patrons in the house, however, are along only. Reservations accepted. in the restaurant are welcome to the row of bar stools that look drag their feet and enjoy their out on the arena floor through a Directions: From Interstate 44, take Exit 18B and travel about time at the Lucky J. 50-foot-wide window that pro4.5 miles north on Highway 71 to the Fir Road exit. Turn right “We don’t rush anybody off,” vides unobstructed views of the and go east about 3 miles. The restaurant is on the right. says Matt, “and we don’t charge rodeo action. to watch any of the events in the “When we have an equine Contact: 417-358-2370 or arena. You just pay for the meal. event, the people like to bring The show’s free.” their kids to watch,” Matt says. Lucky J by Jason Jenkins O 16 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - December 2012

Rural Missouri - December 2012
Table of Contents
Faith in fruitcakes
Best of rural Missouri
Pursuing dreams
Out of the Way Eats
Beauty from math and metal
Spreading the Masonic message
Hearth and Home
Rooted in Missouri
Around Missouri

Rural Missouri - December 2012