By: Amy Howe
Most of us can be found driving on Interstate 49 between Neosho and Joplin, Missouri, but if you venture off onto the road less traveled and take Old Highway 71, you’re in for a treat. As you wind around Shoal Creek, you’ll arrive at Undercliff Grill & Bar where the restaurant is quite literally built into the side of a rock ledge.
Once I parked and walked into this cozy restaurant, I was drawn into the back, where you can find the rock exposed, making up the back wall of the establishment. It’s a great place to hang out with your family and friends, all year round. With places to sit inside the dining area and gaze upon the exposed rock ledge, wood columns and rustic tin roof, Undercliff Grill & Bar also offers an enclosed heated front porch and a sleek bar area. If you choose to dine inside, ask to sit at the restaurant’s “original” table. It’s the only table in the dining area that’s been there since the opening of the restaurant years ago and will make for a great conversation with your waiter.
Known for their Boomtown Fried Chicken with gravy and mashed potatoes, Undercliff offers an extensive menu of mouthwatering entrees, including burgers, salads and sandwiches. They also have two steak options that will be on the menu through February. Whether you want to grab the loaded beef nachos and a pint of beer with a friend or bring the family in for a Friday night dinner of burgers and gourmet sandwiches with hand-breaded onion rings, you’re sure to find what you came for on their menu. And don’t worry if meat isn’t a part of your diet. Undercliff Grill & Bar also offers a variety of menu items for the veggie lover, including a black been burger and many salad options. Undercliff Grill & Bar also proudly serves beer on tap from Indian Springs Brewing Company, a local Neosho brewery, among many other beers and spirits. Come out on a Thursday, and if you hear the train engines roar as it cruises by the restaurant, you get to be part of the Conductor’s Call where the bartender will ring the bell and all guests get a half-price beer. I’d say your chances are high because the train runs on those tracks pretty often.
But let’s be honest, I really stopped by for the homemade cheesecake with strawberry orange drizzle; an old family recipe Chef Sylvia makes from scratch for anyone who orders. It is the absolute creamiest cheesecake with the perfect amount of drizzle on top that you’ll want to grab a to-go container for the rest of your entrée just to leave room for dessert. Trust me, it’s worth it! I hope I’ve made you hungry. Next time you’re cruising down the main highway, it’s worth veering off the interstate onto the back roads for this one. Undercliff Grill & Bar is open Wednesday through Friday 11 am-9 pm, Saturday 9 am-9 pm, and Sunday 9 am-3 pm and is located at 6385 Old Hwy 71 in Joplin.