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THE BEST OF SHOWME EATS 2015: Picks, tips, and quips from CoMo's fave food writer

Your guide to a delicious Holiday Season    

COLUMBIA, Mo 12/16/15 (Beat Byte) -- There are few better ways to ring in the Holidays than with good food, and few better -- or better-known -- food writers in Columbia than Scott Rowson

Throughout the year in his ShowMe Eats blog and Twitter feed, Rowson searches city and state for all things new and exciting on the culinary scene. 

The Heart Beat has published a few dozen restaurant reviews over the last decade, but rather than re-invent the wheel, we thought bringing our readers the Best of ShowMe Eats might make holiday planning easier -- and tastier.  

It includes a reader fave:  seven dining establishments, new to the scene in 2015.   

If you're a professional chef, the family cook, or a die-hard foodie like Rowson or Bourdain, ShowMe Eats Christmas Wish List is a good place to point Saint Nick.   

Put an "offset spoon set," "perforated egg spoon," and kitchen tool bundle from food writer Michael Ruhlman on Rowson's wish list

He's also listed nine must-have food books, from the casual to the advanced, including recipes from the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian.

If you answered "turkey" in the "ham, turkey, duck, or..." main course for holiday dinner, Rowson recommends buying your bird from Columbia fave The Root Cellar or Country Neighbors Farm at (660) 248-2730.   He adds some turkey prep tips, including the all-important "brine, brine, brine" and a suggestion to spice up the meat this year.  

"Just because the Pilgrims and their native counterparts didn’t have paprika, cumin and cayenne doesn’t mean you don’t," he quips.

Speaking of spice:  Where can you get the best garlic in mid-Mo?   Rowson recommends World Harvest's selection of a dozen varieties from Chert Hollow Farm.  

ShowMeEats also devotes plenty of pixels to a reader favorite, 2015's best new places to eat.   Here are Rowson's picks and thoughts. 

44 Canteen.   "The sister restaurant to one of Columbia’s best – 44 Stone Public House -- focuses on snacks and small plates," Rowson explains.   "Our first visit yielded almost universally excellent grub, an unsurprisingly ambitious beer list and a rockin’ cocktail for Mrs. ShowMeEats.   The open kitchen and tasteful renovation will be familiar and fresh at the same time."   

Wolf’s Head Tavern.   "A stunning renovation of the sad, drop-ceilinged interior Chim’s Thai operated in.  Trey Quinlan and Co. labored long and hard to create something warm and inviting.   The menu changes daily and is posted on a chalkboard on the east wall."

Miami Bites.   "Brings a little Cuban flair to Columbia.   It’s the latest entry in an ever-expanding roster of food trucks in town, focusing on a small menu Cuban sandwiches and sides.  Yay!"

Ye Olde Lady and Pint.  " Soccer bar.   Owner Doug Marsden and his family are soccer fans (Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City, variously).   Style:  English food with 10-12 taps." 

FlyOver.   "Featuring Adam Wells-Morgan and something called 'Midwest regional cuisine'.  Guy can cook, so there is definitely hope here."      

Broil.   "Sister restaurant to CC’s City Broiler.   Scott Cleeton and company have spent a small fortune repurposing the former Smokin’ Chicks.   Comfortably dark, with a combination of kitsch and class.  Mini-cabbages were deep fried, tossed with garlic salt and completely addictive.   So too the bacon-wrapped chicken livers.  Does a wedge salad right, topping a crisp half-head of lettuce with a light bleu cheese dressing and slices of grilled pork belly.   Heavenly.   On the flip side the fries – overlarge and underfried if you ask me – were average and mushrooms desperately needed seasoning.    Then came the porterhouse steak, as good a value at $22 for 20 oz. as you’re likely to find.  Our was grilled over the open fire, cut off the bone and then presented whole.  It was wonderful – smokey, salty and perfect for sharing."

Pepperjax Grill  "Get a cheesesteak, add jalapeños and have them douse the finished product with jalapeño juice (Fireball).   It’s a delish-a-gross guilty pleasure on par with El Rancho’s enchiladas.   The fun, historical photos of Columbia and Boone County make for an entertaining wait in line (pro tip: check out the ladies basketball teams from the 1910s)."

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays -- and Good Eating!  

Click to check out ShowMeEats.


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