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I was thinking about really good restaurants in unusual places. You expect New York and Chicago to have great places, but what about the unsung little places where you can sometimes get great food? For example, a couple hours from here is the Elk Creek Steakhouse, where they butcher, age, and yes, I think slaughter their own beef. Don't expect side dishes (maybe a potato) and the atmosphere is dreadful (hospital cafeteria crossed with Aunt Goldie's house) but the steaks are outstanding.

Another example is down by my parent's house in Shell Knob, MO, (official population: 42). There used to be a really innovative 4* chef at a restuarant called Tuckers. It was definitely not the kind of place you expected to find in the Ozarks.
 

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In southern Illinois ( I can't quite remeber exactly where) there is a little French resaurant run by a lovely french couple who wanted to move to the USA and also wanted to run a resaurant. It shares the space with, of all things, a bowling alley. But, the are happy as larry to be there doing what they love.

Svadhisthana
 

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Try Duck City in Davenport, Iowa. The chef is well-trained and inventive. I admit I haven't eaten there in a few years, but other who've eaten there recently say it's still very good.
 
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