The Bruncheonette

A visit to The Bruncheonette brings to mind the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”


Let’s break down this expression in relationship to The Bruncheonette, shall we?


brunch front


First, The Bruncheonette’s “cover,” its small brick facade, is rather nondescript. But don’t judge it just yet.


Second, The Bruncheonette’s “pages,” or its interior, is plain and tiny. But hold off a few more minutes before you form an opinion.


Trust me.


Because there’s one more component of a book to consider: its words. The arrangement of the words used to tell a story is what makes a book truly unique. And the “words” at The Bruncheonette are the delicious and inventive dishes that are served without fanfare.


Here, the “words” speak for themselves.


Sometimes these “words” appear in tantalizing photos on Facebook, which is how I was first introduced to the creations of The Bruncheonette. My curiosity was piqued after seeing several daily specials on my Facebook feed, like The Devil Wears Strata, filled with tart cranberries, white chocolate, cream cheese, cinnamon and topped with a drizzle of Lambrusco reduction; and the Anyung Crepe, which consisted of peanut butter, sriracha, and coconut milk crepes with cream cheese, bacon, cilantro, and green onion, topped with a spicy coconut sauce.


I knew I had to give this place a chance.


Owned by Sean and Chas Flanagan, The Bruncheonette serves breakfast, brunch, and lunch items, and closes its doors in the early afternoon (hours of operation are listed on its website).


brunch counter

Chas Flanagan taking orders at the counter


The menu is written on dry erase boards behind the front counter, which is where you go to place your order. Then you can find yourself a seat inside or outside in the patio, and then salivate while you wait for your meal.


At least that’s what I do.


I recently met my friends here for an early lunch, or in my case, brunch. Being a huge fan of Eggs Benedict, I ordered the Garden Benny, which is made with an English muffin topped with fresh asparagus, tomatoes, avocadoes, local micro greens (from the Webb City Farmers Market), poached eggs, and beet – yes, beet – Hollandaise. Holy yum!


brunch micro greens

Look at those super greens!


The Garden Benny is just one of several variations of Eggs Benedict on the menu at The Bruncheonette. In the past, I’ve ordered the Benny Harper, which comes with bacon, avocado, and tomato, and tastes like a BLT; the other two Bennies are Steak and Salmon.


My friends, Carrie and Donna, were both interested in lunch, so they each ordered the Farmhouse sandwich, which is made with asparagus, roasted red pepper, mushrooms, caramelized onions, and Gruyere on toasted Redings Mill bread (a local baker).


brunch farmhouse

The Farmhouse with cheese and a side of French fries.


All sandwiches come with a side of fries or carrot fries. Carrie, who is vegan, ordered the Farmhouse without cheese and with a side of carrot fries.


brunch carrot

Back off, Bugs Bunny! These are Carrie’s fries.


In addition to focusing on high-quality food, The Bruncheonette is passionate about utilizing local food sources as often as possible, like the micro greens in my dish and the bread in my friends’ sandwiches. There’s even a page on The Bruncheonette’s website labeled “Our Farmers,” which is dedicated to the local vendors that supply the restaurant with their farm-raised, home-grown, and homemade products.


So while the cover of this book may appear to be “Just Another Diner,” the words inside tell a different story: a humble farm-to-table restaurant where the chefs play with flavors and ingredients, creating memorable dishes that dance on your taste buds.


And that’s a book worth reading.


The Bruncheonette is located at 424 N. Main St.


To read more about my adventures in the area, visit


Cupcakes by Liz

(Update 10/30/17: Liz has retired, and Cupcakes by Liz is now closed.)


Cupcakes by Liz reminds me of Candy Land.


Whenever I’m there, walking past the tiered displays and dessert cases filled with larger-than-life confectionery creations, I feel like I’m a gingerbread girl game piece meandering my way past the Peanut Brittle House, through the Gumdrop Mountains, and to the Candy Castle.


With its cupcakes, cookies, and cakes, this dessert boutique is more like Cupcake Land than Candy Land, but the whimsical and indulgent feeling is still the same. Plus, Cupcake Land’s owner and master baker, Liz Easton, is strikingly similar to Candy Land’s Queen Frostine; wherever Queen Frostine goes, her snowflake scepter spins a trail of sparkling sugar snowflakes.


cupcakes by liz queens choice

Queen Frostine’s sugary creations


I’ve had the pleasure of watching Cupcakes by Liz expand over the years; it used to be a weekends-only shop that served gourmet cupcakes, and now it’s open every day except Sunday and its menu has expanded to include other desserts, like Great Gran’s Bread Pudding, cookies, and a variety of sundaes.


cupcakes by liz cookies


Savory breakfast items are now also offered, such as quiche made with bacon, asparagus, and prosciutto, and Twisted Oinkers (bacon wrapped in puff pastry).


If you’ve already written off this place because you avoid gluten, don’t. Cupcakes by Liz offers some gluten-free cupcake flavors so you can indulge along with the rest of us.


Come, join us.


The unique and fanciful nature of this dessert boutique makes it a fun place to socialize and catch up with friends, which is something I did recently.


After exchanging hellos, we took our places in front of the counter in respectful silence as we searched for the perfect treat.
cupcakes by liz strawberry

Tip: Always allow at least ten minutes to let yourself decide what you want. I’m not exaggerating. It’s customary for people to stand in front of the display case, brows furrowed, lost in thought. This is a major decision.


Will it be the Banoffi, a moist banana cupcake filled with caramel and toffee, then topped with cream cheese frosting and toasted walnuts? How about the The Dirt Bomb, a chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate buttercream frosting, then rolled in dark chocolate cookie crumbs, and then topped with a chocolate candy rock?


The cupcake flavors rotate each week, which keeps the options fresh and new. Even so, I found that I had already tried most of the flavors that were in the case that day.


Don’t judge.


After all, I do have several kids and a husband so that means multiple cupcakes per visit, and if you do the math, it really doesn’t take too many visits with my crew to go through most of the flavors, even if they do rotate.


How’s that for rationalizing a sugar addiction?
So being a Cupcake’s by Liz expert already, I decided to taste something new. I tried the individual key lime pie, which was filled with a thick and tangy lime curd (I love me some curd) and topped with fluffy whipped cream.



cupcakes by liz trioKey Lime Pie, Pink Lady, and Butter Bomb


My friends chose a Pink Lady, a strawberry cupcake topped with pink raspberry buttercream frosting, and a Butter Bomb, which is a cupcake that tastes like a snickerdoodle but, instead of being frosted, is bathed in butter. It’s incredible.


What saved me from falling into an immediate sugar coma was my Cafe Breve, an espresso topped with steamed half-and-half (which tasted so creamy, I asked if the barista had used heavy whipping cream by accident, but was told that the process makes the half-and-half tastes as rich as cream).


cupcakes by liz coffee pour


I especially enjoyed the artwork on my drink. Even the drinks are masterpieces here.


cupcakes by liz coffee


The espresso bar serves coffee supplied by Onyx Coffee Lab. People from Joplin used to have to drive to northwest Arkansas to enjoy the coffee from this small batch roaster, but now we have it right here.


Great. Like I need another reason to come to Cupcakes by Liz.


Oh, Queen Frostine, you are very cunning.


Cupcakes by Liz is located at 2310 South Main Street.



To read more about my adventures in the area, visit