Springfield Goes Veg: The Grotto

My sister and I want to do a series of articles on restaurants here in the Springfield, Missouri area. I will write from the herbivore’s perspective, she from the omnivore’s. She writes the blog Radio Has No Future and you can find her post about the Grotto here.

Sometimes this omnivore’s perspective will not be available as most of the restaurants with the best vegetarian food tend to be ones she has no interest in visiting, such as Indian, Peruvian, Lebanese, Thai and Chinese. But hey, that probably means the vast majority of the meat loving folks won’t really want to eat there either.

Just because most people don’t love vegetables or even meat dishes from other cultures doesn’t mean their perspective isn’t equally valuable. Some might even say it is a more valuable insight into our culture because it is, after all, the norm. Just because we are different, does not mean we cannot find a common ground.

Dietarily speaking, I think the common ground where meaty folks and veggie folks can meet in the middle is probably bread. Fresh bread. Like the pizza crust wrapping my sammie. And probably chocolate and coffee. Legal addictive stimulants abound!

Note about me: Many may say I’m closer to an omnivore because I eat dairy and milk has been referred to as “liquid meat”. You’re welcome to think what you want because in the strictest way of seeing it, you’re probably right about that. 

If you have to call it “Lacto-Ovo” Vegetarian then it doesn’t sound very vegetarian at all. However, I am trying my hardest to go vegetarian again, which means I have to start somewhere. Veganism may be somewhere in my future, but here in Springfield, MO, land of some pretty beefy meateaters, that will mean not eating out much at all. #sadface

The Grotto is NOT a chain,  but rather a locally owned restaurant. Here’s a picture of what the inside looked like. I enjoyed the mix of seafoam blue, brown and tan in the decor. Very relaxing.


The menu was surprisingly diverse, although as usual, not a lot of stuff without meat in it. However, they do have a vegetarian menu with about 3-4 items on it. I ordered the Veggie melt which was basically a folded veggie pizza. It had yellow squash, zucchini, onions, portobello mushrooms, red bell peppers, and feta all folded into a fresh baked pizza crust that tasted like really amazing Naan. Here is my veggie masterpiece.


They also had a portobello mushroom on a bun with sauteed onions that the girl confused for what I really wanted. So when my meal came out and it was a mushroom on a bun I was like “Uh, hey, that’s… not quite right. I do remember it saying there were mushrooms, but lots of other stuff too.” So I had to send it back. I heard one of the male chefs say “Veggie melt on the fly!” as she brought it back and explained the mix up. I had always wanted to hear the phrase “on the fly” used by a real person in a situation that clearly demanded it. Unexpected thing I can check off my weird bucket list due to a confused order.

My sister raved about the sweet tea, I only tasted it because of my #nocaffeine2017 goals. It was pretty good I guess. I miss sweet tea.


My check for the Veggie Melt and side salad was around $8.50. Note: This may be a little different but not much seeing as how she charged me for the portobello burger on a bun instead when she rang me up. If you get a drink, you’re looking at about $10-$11. One of the perks of going caffeine free has been cheaper meals due to the lack of beverage charge. 

By the way, the side salad was small but good. Very good ranch dressing. It is pictured here, separate from the portobello on a bun it came out with.


This was a really good place for vegetarians. It had a vegetarian menu and you probably could easily have modified any of those options to make them vegan. Maybe. I didn’t even look at the salads, but judging from the quality and diversity of produce on my sandwich, I’d say they are probably pretty good too. Thanks for reading. ๐Ÿ™‚ Subscribe for more posts like this.

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