Ever heard of this place? No! Well I had no clue it existed either. That is until one afternoon lounging around the lodge pool talking to a guest that visits often. The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks!
I feel in love with this campus immediately upon driving up! It is a very beautiful place, perfect for an anniversary trip. Oh and just wait until you hear about this place!
The college is a small, Christian school located in Hollilster, Missouri. Just a few miles outside of Branson. The college has many great study options, beautiful grounds, and student centered. In fact the students do not actually “pay” tuition. Oh no, they work for their tuition. The campus has gardens, cattle, a mill, restaurant, a bakery, lodging, etc. The student’s work 18 hours per week, with one 40 hour work week per semester to cover tuition costs. All graduates receive a degree debt free!!
No if that is not enough to sell you on the place this should. Everything is fresh and local. The students use ingredients in the restaurant, bakery, and canning items that are grown/produced on campus. Even the meats served are raised on site.
Introducing Dobyn’s Dining Room
Whether it’s a casual lunch, intimate dinner for two or an elegant private dinner party for sixty, our culinary staff of students at Dobyns Dining Room offer something for every taste. Also, your Branson dining experience will be enhanced by student entertainment on Thursday through Saturday evenings from the wide range of musical talent on our campus. For the sweet tooth anytime of the day, our bakery will satisfy any desire with pastries, desserts, homemade ice cream, and a variety of coffee and fruit drinks.
Students Work with the Freshest Ingredients
For over 100 years, work and agriculture, as well as education, have been important at College of the Ozarks. From its humble farm beginnings and early canning operations to today’s student-run farms and student-produced smoked hams and other foods, “Hard Work U,” as the College is known, continues to serve the Ozarks in many ways.
Keeping with tradition, Dobyns serves only the finest, freshest ingredients available, many of which are grown locally. Our tomatoes, green beans, and some other vegetables are grown in campus gardens in season, by students.
Every part of your Dobyns dining experience includes work done by students.
This dinner was fabulous, the best dining experience ever! I must say I am totally convinced that it is due to the fact that all things are local and fresh. I mean that makes anything better!!
appetizer: fried green tomatoes drizzled with a little pepper jelly and salsa
Now while I try to pass on the bread basket at most places I couldn’t resist a taste of this one. After all the bread was fresh baked with natural ingredients 🙂 We enjoyed a whole wheat roll (actually I had half) and a little biscuit type bread with cranberries and apple butter. The best apple butter ever!!! It has spiced included in the apple butter such as cloves/nutmeg. I honestly couldn’t tell you exactly what was used, but I totally purchased a jar of the stuff to bring home!
entree: grilled prime rib with au jus and horseradish on the side, baked potato, and fresh from the garden broccoli.
So those of you that know me should know that broccoli is my favorite vegetable so I was so excited when I discovered it was the vegetable of the day. Now this plate was the special for the night, not ordered off of the menu. The menu is phenomenal, you can pull it up online through the link above to see what they offer. Both the hubster and I ordered the special.
Now we weren’t planning on ordering a dessert due to the fact that we had reserved that treat for out anniversary dinner. However, we were so wishing that we had opted to eat here the night before for our actual anniversary, and the dessert display looked to darn good that we declared this our anniversary meal!!
dessert: peaches and cream bread pudding with vanilla bean ice cream, fresh whipped cream, and a little design of chocolate ganache.
To die for!! Now to end our fab meal we were gifted with some lovely hand made mints that were so good. They literally melted in your mouth!
Now of course we were thinking this was the end of our night. We had closed out our bill, filled out the comment card, and were waiting in line to pay for my jar of apple butter when…..
The waiter over heard us talking about our anniversary. He informed us that the restaurant has a special dessert that is gifted to couples celebrating their anniversaries. He insisted that he allow him to gift us with our anniversary dessert. Which was placed in a to go container for us to take with us and enjoy later…
anniversary dessert #3: flourless chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream, a drizzle of raspberry syrup, and a drizzle of white chocolate.
I highly recommend to you all to pay a visit to The Keeter Center if you are ever in the Branson area!