Rural Missouri - June 2018 - 15

by Jim McCarty |


here was a time when the Dew Drop Inn
and The Kozy competed for hungry customers. Today you can find the two restaurants
under the same roof. It started as a place
to grind wheat into flour, but now the old mill in
Bloomsdale is a destination to eat, drink and socialize in a comfortable setting where the whole family
is welcome.
"The Kozy we originally bought back in 2013,"
says Cara Naeger, one of four family members who
operate the unique dining destination. "It was an
established breakfast joint for the previous seven
years. The Dew Drop Inn was our rival. When it
came up for sale we thought of a perfect opportunity to make it a better place and bring The Kozy
Cara, along with brothers, Eric and RJ, and
mom, Donna, used the family's experience flipping
real estate and renovating homes to create a dining
experience so amazing that many people come for
breakfast and stay the rest of the day.
Just a short drive off Interstate 55, the mill that
houses these two restaurants is an impressive site.
The family kept it true to its roots. The mill dates
back to 1926, but spent many years as a restaurant
and bar. Wood floors, weathered beams and rusty
tin set the mood. But gone is the dimly lit interior,
replaced by welcoming sunlight pouring in through
the many windows. The campus now is entirely
smoke free.
"The building was a great shell but we basically
took everything out of it," Cara says. "We kept the
character and added a ton more character from the
area. The thought that went into the design was to
create a well-deserved place for the community."
Diners will be torn between the two complete restaurants that share a large kitchen. The Kozy opens
at 6 a.m. and of course features an amazing array of
breakfast foods, which are available any time.
These are comfort foods by design. "We loved the
concept," Cara says of the original Kozy, "but we
wanted to make it better. We switched out a lot of
the premade stuff and started doing all homemade,
from the hand-cut fries to the hand-pattied burgers
to making all of our pies in house."
Breakfast at The Kozy might start with the
famous stuffed French toast. "It's filled with cream
cheese, pecans, pineapple, topped with blueberries,
strawberries or peaches," Cara says. "It's just delicious."
Pancakes here differ from those found elsewhere.
Diners have the choice of adding chocolate chips,
blueberries, strawberries or peaches to the batter,
and the same ingredients can be used as toppings,
along with whipped cream.
Quiches are freshly made every morning. Other
popular choices are the burritos and omelets, which
can be ordered smothered in gravy or cheese.
For the noon meal the menu continues. "We get
raving reviews on our burgers," Cara says. "We've got
a Boss Burger, mushroom and Swiss, your regular
bacon-cheddar burger. Our Texas Burger is topped
with pulled pork. It's a really good hand-pattied

burger and we do
hand-cut fries and
onion rings. If
someone sees our
onion rings go by
they are like, 'oh
my gosh, I've got
to get those onion
rings.' "
Keeping with the
comfort-food theme,
country fried steak
is one of the most
popular items. Others
visit often to order the
daily specials, which might
include meatloaf on
Thursday, fried catfish on Friday and
custom offerings the
rest of the week including chicken and dumplings, ham and beans,
pot pies or a turkey
bacon wrap.
At 11 a.m., diners face another option as the Dew Drop Inn
opens. Here the emphasis is on
barbecue and pizzas.
Whether it is pulled pork,
ribs or brisket, the smoked
meat comes from an Old Hickory smoker made down the road
in Cape Girardeau. The meat is
dry-rubbed with a special mix
and smoked for as long as 13
hours. "We pretty much smoke
daily and we pull to order right
off the pork butt," RJ says.
"That way it stays fresher and
juicier and keeps that flavor. It's
just one of the benefits of how we
do things."
High on the must-try list are the
pulled pork nachos. These begin with housemade tortilla chips, covered with cheese sauce,
barbecue sauce and shredded pulled pork, then
sprinkled with the house rub mix and topped with
chipotle and banana peppers.
"People drive here just for that," Cara says of the
dish that can serve four people. "I've heard people
say they were dreaming about it at night."
Dirty fries are similar treats. They come smothered in red or white chili and are topped with pulled
pork and just a little barbecue sauce.
Yet another to-die-for treat is the Buffalo Shrimp.
These are tempura battered and served with your
choice of mild, sweet Thai, honey hot, hot, sweet
jalapeno or inferno dipping sauces.
The custom pizzas rival pulled pork in popularity
at the Dew Drop. The Chuck Norris is not for the
faint of heart. It features just about every type of
meat topping the owners could find. On the other

Dew Drop's
Chuck Norris pizza
and House Bloody Mary are always
popular with patrons.
end of the spectrum is the Kale's
Veggie. This one starts with a kale
and basil pesto and mozzarella
cheese, topped with spinach,
tomatoes, broccoli, green peppers, mushrooms, banana peppers and basil.
Another signature pie is a nod
to nearby Ste. Genevieve. This
one has locally made goat cheese
from Baetje Farms and sausage
from Oberle Meats.
Other unusual offerings are the Bronco
Buster with smoked gouda, pulled pork
and brisket, Charlie's Taste of Italy, featuring three sauces and Italian sausage and
the Thai Salmon with Thai sauce, smoked salmon,
cranberry goat cheese and feta cheese. The smoked
salmon is also on the menu as an entrée.
The Dew Drop is famous for its libations, including a rotating list of craft beers, many locally
sourced. Besides the 16 beers always on tap, you
will find 70 small-batch whiskeys and a whiskey
club, with prizes for reaching tasting levels.
The former mill also is known for its Bloody
Marys. The House is almost a meal, with a large
chunk of pulled pork, celery and olives.
Whether you join friends for coffee and a cinnamon roll on The Kozy side, belly up to the bar
at the Dew Drop for barbecue or sit outside with a
drink and play games like giant Jenga, bocce ball
or horseshoes, you can't go wrong at this piece of
revived history. There's even a place for large gatherings downstairs in the Mill Room, popular for
reunions, weddings and office parties.

Kozy & Dew Drop Inn
Specialties: Breakfast and comfort foods at the Kozy, including smothered omelets, stuffed French toast and
country fried steak. Barbecue and pizzas at the Dew Drop Inn, featuring Pulled Pork Nachos and Buffalo Shrimp.
Price: Kozy - breakfast $3.29 to $10.29, lunch and supper $7.95 to $12.95. Dew Drop - $7 to $19.
Details: Seats 120 in The Kozy, 100 in the Dew Drop and 400 in the Mill Room. Open every day. Kozy open
6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, Dew Drop 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sundays. Cash, checks and major credit cards accepted. No smoking. Free Wi-Fi.
Directions: 710 U.S. Highway 61, Bloomsdale.
Contact: 573-483-9992, and or on Facebook.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - June 2018

Rural Missouri - June 2018 - Intro
Rural Missouri - June 2018 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - June 2018 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - June 2018 - Contents
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