Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

Our ‘Just Up The Road’ series features nearby businesses and attractions that we love. We’ll try to show a unique side of these places that aren’t necessarily highlighted on websites or in brochures. I hope you enjoy these peeks into our neighborhood, and can plan to visit one of these spots in addition to your visit to the winery!

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant


Hungry travelers in our area will definitely want to check out the newest restaurant in Cuba, Missouri called The Fourway Restaurant. It’s conveniently located at the intersection of Highway 19 and Old Route. Anyone who is headed back to I-44 after visiting the winery will be passing right by it.

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

The Fourway is owned by Joanie Weir, a restaurant veteran who has worked administration for restaurants in St. Louis like Michael’s Bar & Grill and Molly’s.  I stopped in to chat with Joanie this past Wednesday, just as she was getting the restaurant ready for service.

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

Joanie and her family have been visiting her grandparents farm in Steelville for years during vacations and weekends. Two years ago Joanie got serious about making her dream of owning a restaurant a reality.  She worked with the Wallis family to lease and fix up the historic gas station located at the intersection.  Visitors can enjoy a colorful mural on the outside of the building painted by artist Ray Harvey, and an eclectic collection of art & antiques on the inside that Joanie has amassed over the years.

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

Of course, visitors will also enjoy the delicious American/Mediterranean fare that The Fourway serves.  Joanie’s son Samuel joins her as the chef for The Fourway after working the kitchen for The Block in Webster Groves.  Joanie’s daughter Haley is training to be the floor manager, so this is a true family endevor!

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant
I tried the chicken kabobs, served with tzatziki sauce and am happy to recommend that item from the menu!  In fact, everything at The Fourway that I tried was made from fresh, healthy ingredients and cooked to order.  They also carry a small selection of Peaceful Bend wines that I highly recommend sipping on while you enjoy your meal! 😀

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

Joanie hopes to expand the parking area next to the restaurant, but for now, those who are looking for parking, turn in to the side street on the far side of the grass lot and park on the gravel.  It’s a short walk over to the front door, and you can enjoy a bit of the Route 66 scenery!

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant

There’s a cute little garden spot the Viva Cuba maintains located just across the street from the restaurant. I couldn’t resist checking out the painted utility box and flowers while I was checking out the restaurant.

Just Up The Road: The Fourway Restaurant
Well, that testimonial might just be enough said about why you need to visit The Fourway! 🙂 They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am to 9pm. Plus, they will be open for Memorial Day tomorrow, so stop on in if you are in the area. You can learn more about The Fourway on their facebook page here. Cheers!

Just Up The Road: Creekside Fudge & Gifts

Fudge shop owner measures fudge

Our ‘Just Up The Road’ series features nearby businesses and attractions that we love. We’ll try to show a unique side of these places that aren’t necessarily highlighted on websites or in brochures. I hope you enjoy these peeks into our neighborhood, and can plan to visit one of these spots in addition to your visit to the winery!

List of fudge at Creekside Fudge & Gifts in Steelville, MO

For those of you who love sweet treats, this month’s featured Steelville-area business will be right up your alley!  Creekside Fudge & Gifts opened in August last year after owner Marilyn Lakaner purchased Elsie’s Fudge Shop, located on Main Street.

Fudge shop owner measures fudge

Marilyn has been a full-time insurance agent since 1993, but has always wanted to build a fun retirement career so the fudge shop seemed like the perfect solution.  After purchasing the business, Marilyn renamed it to Creekside Fudge & Gifts in honor of the creeks in our area.  She kept the same fudge recipes, but has been hard at work updating the decor & gift offerings in the store.  These days you’ll find her in the fudge shop on Wednesdays and Saturdays, while friends help out on Thursdays & Fridays.

Sidewalk view of Creekside Fudge & Gifts in Steelville, MO

I stopped in the other day and was allowed to watch while Marilyn made up a new batch of vanilla fudge.  I even got to help out a bit (oh yeah, and sample a little bit too). Of course, I had to take several photos of the process to share with you all.

collage of fudge making photos

To start the fudge-making process, Marilyn mixes up her proprietary ingredients in a commercial mixing pot, which constantly mixes and heats the ingredients.  After about 14 minutes, she adds flavoring to the fudge (vanilla extract for this batch) and allows that to mix in thoroughly.

Pouring Fudge into molds at Creekside Fudge & Gifts

Finally she prepares to pour the fudge into molds.  First she pours the fudge out of the commercial mixer and into a handy bowl with a pouring spout.  Then she pours the fudge into the fudge mold of choice and evens out the top with a spatula.  The fudge takes about 2-3 hours to set up, then it’s ready to go.

Pouring Easter Bunny shaped fudge

These Easter bunnies have been very popular this week, so Marilyn was making up a batch to make sure she had enough for the upcoming holiday. First she pours the fudge into the bunny shaped container, then adds the eye, marshmallow tail, and a happy Easter greeting (the bunnies are also available in chocolate, just in case you aren’t a vanilla fudge fan).

Katie decorates fudge Easter bunnies

I had to get in on that decorating action too!  If your bunny looks a little funny, it’s probably because it’s had a little nip of wine. 😀

Crumbling oreos into fudge

After the rabbits were poured, she mixed up a batch of cookies ‘n cream fudge to pour into a slab mold.  All the additions to the fudge like the cookies, or nuts, etc. are stirred in by hand after the fudge is taken out of the cooking pot.

various cadies offered at Creekside Fudge & Gifts in Steelville, MO

Marilyn has lots of fun ideas for candies too – here you can see the saltwater taffy she sells along with Easter fudge pops complete with a bunny peep inside.  She’s made fudge dipped oreo cookies, peanut clusters, and caramel pecan turtles; all available in the shop or by special order.

Slabs of fudge

Marilyn plans to offer fudge dipped strawberries for mother’s day by special order, so be sure to place your order early if you want to give your mom a special treat this year!  I tried her new ‘birthday cake’ flavored fudge, and yes, it really does taste like cake.  Marilyn will be offering adorable little fudge birthday cakes made out of this flavor by this summer.

Cute clothing and T's offered at Creekside Fudge & Gift Shop

Creekside Fudge & Gifts is open Wednesday-Friday from 10-4 and Saturday from 10-5.  You’ll find the store at 100 west Main Street in Steelville.  They can even ship, so if you would like to get in touch, give them a call at 573-775-2218.  Marilyn also has a booth at the Meramec Music Theater, so if you head to concert, look for her there!

I hope you can give Creekside Fudge a visit next time you are in the area.  If you swing by the winery afterwards, I’ll be happy to recommend a wine to pair up with whatever flavor of fudge you pick out.  Cheers!

Just Up The Road: Westover Farms

Our ‘Just Up The Road’ series features nearby businesses and attractions that we love. We’ll try to show a unique side of these places that aren’t necessarily highlighted on websites or in brochures. I hope you enjoy these peeks into our neighborhood, and can plan to visit one of these spots in addition to your visit to the winery!

Westover Farms

The weather was so lovely yesterday that it inspired Clyde and I to take the afternoon off.  We wanted to see something new, yet still take it pretty easy, so we settled on visiting a nearby privately-owned trout hatchery called Westover Farms.  We didn’t take our fishing poles (oops!), but still had a great time poking around the idyllic property.  This hatchery has a LOT to offer, whether or not you are a fisherman!

Westover Farms

First of all, the scenery was absolutely beautiful!  Spring-fed waters keep the hatchery thriving and the air temperatures cool, even in the full sun.  We spied lots of rainbow trout in the streams, plus a couple of turtles and two muskrat (a first for me!).

Westover Farms
My attempts at photographing fish in the water didn’t come out too successfully, but in real life, the water was so clear that it was easy to see all the trout. There were about three fishermen out while we were hiking around the farm, and we heard about various amounts of success catching the fish!

Westover Farms
The hatchery not only stocks Westover Farms’ streams, but also sells fish to stock private property owners, governmental agencies, and even  restaurants in a 6-state region. That’s a lot of fish! These fingerlings were excited to see us walk up, but alas, we didn’t have any food for them to eat.

Westover Farms
There is a fly shop (pictured above) to supply you with gear, licenses, snacks and souvenirs. You can purchase a pass to fish by the day or half-day, and the farm staff can assist with guided tours for large or small groups, plus lessons and equipment rentals if you need.

Westover Farms
Behind the shop, you’ll find restrooms and this cozy lodge gathering room. There was a water cooler in this room, plus a whole stack of games to keep yourself entertained when you aren’t fishing or hiking.

Westover Farms
You can stay overnight at one of several cabins on the property. This is the aptly named ‘stone house’ which was once a winery building up near Hermann. Clyde and I loved to hear that tidbit! The inside of this house was just as lovely as the outside, with a large fireplace, 2 bedrooms, and all the kitchen equipment you would need to cook up any trout that you catch.

Westover Farms
The farm also boasts a conference center with large TV, wi-fi, and plenty of table space. As you can see, Clyde was checking out the huge fireplace, wondering if he could burn up any paperwork that the conference might force upon him. 🙂  Other activities available on the farm included a shooting range, hiking trails, and a playground for the kids.

Westover Farms
While Clyde was salivating over the large fish in the streams, I have to admit that I was looking at all the wildflowers and landscaping around the farm. Much of the areas around the streams and buildings are well-manicured, but in the woods and the wild areas there were abundant asters, daisies, black-eyed susans, and wingstem. Mounds of the orange jewelweed pictured above lined many of the stream edges.

Westover Farms
We had a great time exploring Westover Farms, and appreciate them letting us poke around for an hour or two.  If you are looking for a luxurious place to stay and/or fish, you can’t go wrong here. The farm is about a 15 minute drive from Peaceful Bend, so once the fish stop biting, you can swing on over for a glass of wine and a few fish tales!  Check them out online here, or visit their facebook page here for more information.

Cheers!