Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 23
by Paul Newton | firstname.lastname@example.org
little more than one year ago, Natalie Crane
was selling her condo in Naples, Florida,
taking classes to teach English as a second
language and planning a move abroad. A
2017 holiday trip back home to northeast Missouri
threw a wrench in the plan.
"My dad mentioned something about a restaurant being for sale in Shelbyville," she says. "We
had discussed opening a restaurant for many years,
something our family wanted to do. So I came by to
check it out."
Crane's Farmhouse was born.
Shelby County may not have a stoplight, but
since opening Natalie and her staff have been giving locals and visitors a tasty reason to stop at the
Shelbyville town square. Crane's sources their food
from as close as a nearby Monticello farm to as far
away as Argentina, ensuring their customers go
Natalie went to Mizzou after high school and never envisioned moving back to where she grew up as
a farmer's daughter.
"I really missed the small-town community
and just seeing my family every day," she says. "I
thought this would be a great place to bring something different. I've traveled all over the world and
wanted to bring a high-quality food experience to
the area and incorporate ﬁner wines and craft
Natalie incorporated her travels when creating a menu that both pays homage to the
typical rural Missouri fare and invites guests to
take a step outside of their comfort zone. From
smoked pulled pork to grass-fed steaks to seafood platters, Crane's menu has plenty
There are numerous of pre-meal
options from which to choose at
Crane's, with the most popular
being the queso pulled pork.
House-smoked pork is pulled and
placed on top of queso blanco
and served with housemade
chips. Another local favorite is the
toasted ravioli which are sourced from The Hill in
St. Louis. The bite-size Missouri staples are served
with housemade marinara sauce.
If you're looking for something a little more
unique, Natalie has a burger which she ﬁrst sampled in Naples. "There's a restaurant in Florida
we used to go to quite a bit that was known for its
doughnut burger," she says. "It had a really sweet
and salty ﬂavor."
An Angus patty is grilled to order and two strips
of bacon are fried on the ﬂattop. The burger is
topped with the bacon and American or cheddar
cheese before ﬁnding a home between a split glazed
"It's something that a lot of people haven't tried
or even thought of," says Natalie, a Macon Electric Cooperative member. "It's kind of one of those
things you just have to try. People come here just
Another customer favorite is the shrimp po'boy.
Think less bayou and more Caribbean. Jumbo
Argentinian wild-caught shrimp are hand breaded
and fried. The cooked crustaceans are placed on a
crusty hoagie which has been heated on the ﬂattop
and topped with a vinegar-based homemade coleslaw and sweet chile sauce. "It's beautiful to look
at and tastes even better," Natalie says. "It's got a
sweet and tangy ﬂavor and is crunchy."
While the sandwiches are undoubtedly delicious,
the entrees steal the show at Crane's. There's delicious options such as a large Heritage Berkshire
pork chop or the Grilled Apple Bacon BBQ Chicken,
but two of the biggest sellers are steaks.
A hefty bone-in rib-eye is dry aged for a minimum
of 30 days before being available at Crane's. The
18-ounce steak is grilled to perfection and served
with your choice of two sides, including the sweet
and sour green beans which are cooked with apple
cider vinegar, brown sugar and bacon.
"It's a juicy, ﬂavorful steak," Natalie says. "We
don't try to add too much extras to our steaks. I
think all of them stand on their own."
A recent addition to the steak menu is the grassfed, 7-ounce ﬁlet mignon. Natalie says while the
grass-fed meat may cost a little more, the difference
is in the ﬂavor.
"The cows are getting nutrients from the grass
and then they're passed down to you when you eat
it," she says. "It's going to have a beeﬁer ﬂavor and
be really juicy."
The dinner options don't end with what's on the
menu at Crane's. Natalie uses her specials board to
try out new and different dishes. It's not unusual
to ﬁnd items such as elk burgers, smoked lobster
tails or oysters on the half shell being served in the
restaurant, which was originally built in the 1800s
as the ﬁrst Shelby County Jail.
Come in for Sunday brunch and you can try
Crane's smoked meatloaf. Angus beef is mixed with
a variety of vegetables and topped with a housemade barbecue sauce that has a kick of cumin to
create a medley of ﬂavors.
Natalie says seeing customers visiting downtown Shlebyville is what reinforces that her
decision to move home was the correct one.
"I love seeing the streets packed on the
weekends. I love seeing my family and customers come through the doors," she says.
"It's hard to own a business in a small town.
You're taking a chance. That's what this has
been for me, a leap of faith. Something just told
me this is what I should be doing. I haven't had
Left: Natalie Crane serves steaks, sandwiches and surprising specials in downtown Shelbyville.
Above: The 7-ounce, grass-fed ﬁlet mignon has become a customer favorite at Crane's. Top:
The doughnut burger offers an interesting mix of sweet and salty.
Specialties: Shared plates include spicy pickle fries, onion rings, toasted ravioli and queso pulled pork. Sandwiches include the shrimp po'boy,
fried catﬁsh and doughnut burger. Entrees include rib-eye steaks, pork chops and smoked meat and ﬁsh platters.
Price: Shared plates from $6.99 to $8.99. Sandwiches from $9.99 to $11.99. Entrees from $10.99 to $32.99.
Details: Open Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 5 to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Closed Monday
Directions: Located at 101 E. Main St. in Shelbyville.
Contact: 573-633-3012 and on Facebook.
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JANUARY 2019 | RURALMISSOURI.COOP
Rural Missouri - January 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - January 2019
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Intro
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 4
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 5
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 6
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 7
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 8
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 9
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - 10
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Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover3
Rural Missouri - January 2019 - Cover4