According to the calendar, summer is coming to an end. But one of the best parts of the season can be enjoyed all year long at The Original Lemonade House Grille in Poplar Bluff. It starts with one of the 30 fresh-made lemonades offered in flavors such as Blueberry Pomegranate, Current River Floater, Cherry Bomb, Prickly Pear and more. The drinks are so popular people buy a lemonade flight so they can try four of the flavors before ordering a gallon to go.
“The Original Lemonade House Grille began in 2015 at the farmers market as a lemonade stand,” says co-owner Mike Cook, noting he and partner Curtis Hunter purchased the current building in 2020 and they’ve made fresh-squeezed lemonade ever since. “We’re pretty sure we have the world’s largest restaurant lemonade menu,” he adds. The thousands of lemons the staff freshly squeezes each week is a testament to how refreshing the beverage option is. They opened a second location in Doniphan where hungry Current River floaters can enjoy nearly the same menu.
This farmhouse-style eatery offers something for everyone, starting with a great selection of appetizers. Favorites include the Tower of Onion Rings, Green Bean Fries, Fried Green Tomatoes or chicken wings served with buffalo, BBQ, honey Sriracha, garlic Parmesan or sweet chili sauce.
You can also opt for Trash Can Fries, a basket of skin-on fries served five ways. These include the delicious Beale Street version with pork, slaw, cheddar and BBQ sauce, or Big Papi with sirloin, grilled bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, cheddar and jalapenos with a spicy mayo sauce. One of Mike’s favorites is the Big Barnyard Fries, with chicken breast, bacon, cheddar, BBQ sauce and ranch (spicy or regular) made in-house.
Another menu favorite craved by many are the Urban Tacos — any taco besides a traditional Mexican taco is an Urban Taco. The 12 taco options include the Maui Taco, flour taco shells filled with teriyaki chicken and mango pico de gallo; Charleston Carolina, filled with slow-cooked pulled pork topped with tangy slaw and Carolina mustard BBQ sauce; and LHG Fish Taco filled with flounder, red cabbage slaw and a sweet heat sauce so good Chef Larenzo Cornell won’t divulge the recipe.
Salad fans will love the numerous options which include the LHG Garden, Chicken Caesar, Cobb, Siesta Key House, Greek and more. All salads come in half or full size and with 11 delicious dressing flavors. Mike says the healthiest salad choice by far is the Shrimp Healthy Living Salad, a spinach salad served with grilled shrimp, diced Roma tomato, fresh avocado and toasted almonds tossed with olive oil and fresh-squeezed lemon.
Burger lovers will love the 20 hand-pattied options. The popular Dumas Walker Burger is topped with bacon, provolone, BBQ sauce and homemade slaw. One of Mike’s faves is the El Paso Burger, a beef burger with jalapenos, cheddar, pico de gallo and a spicy hot sauce.
If you like things spicy, you’re going to love the hot sauce bar where you can choose your level of heat and spice the meal up any way you prefer. “I like the heat,” Mike says. “I kinda tease with the chefs to see if they can make it hot enough.”
Other popular patty options are the Vegas All-Nighter — a beef burger, fried egg cooked to your liking, bacon and tomato. For $1 more you can add a piece of fried bologna to the mix. You might also want to try the 3-Cheese Mac-N-Cheeseburger, a bacon cheeseburger smothered with LHG’s creamy mac and cheese.
Sandwiches and wraps include the Nashville Hot ’ Wich with a breaded fried chicken breast coated in hot sauce served with pickles, lettuce and mayonnaise; a Philly Cheese Grinder with sirloin, grilled bell peppers and onions served with provolone on a fresh hoagie; or the popular Steak and Potato Wrap, a tortilla stuffed with sirloin, fries, grilled onions and mushrooms, topped with cheddar and spicy ranch sauce.
You’ll wish you were rooting on your favorite team as you order one of the Urban Dogs from the menu. Give the Austin Texas Urban Dog a try: a Nathan’s hot dog topped with melted cheddar, jalapenos, chopped onions and bacon with a drizzle of hot sauce. Another favorite is the Bronx Bomber, topped with mustard, cooked sauerkraut and caramelized onions.
Recently the LHG began serving dinner specials which are available after 4 p.m. Specials include items such as chicken-fried steak, fettuccini Alfredo, thick-cut pork chops and grilled salmon.
If you have a sweet tooth, save room for the lemon pie or the LHG dessert flight, where you can choose four different flavors of cheesecake to try. “It’s a neat little dessert item that people can share,” says Mike.
“There’s nothing like this restaurant in this area,” Chef Larenzo adds, “So it makes people want to keep coming back.”
The Original Lemonade House Grille
Specialties: Thirty flavors of fresh-squeezed lemonade. Urban Tacos, Trash Can Fries and handcrafted burgers.
Price: Appetizers $6.99 to $8.99; sandwiches and salads from $6.99 to $10.99; desserts $3.99 to $5.99.
Details: Open Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cash and credit cards accepted. Free Wi-Fi. Online ordering accepted. Located at 2789 Tucker Road in Poplar Bluff; www.lemonadehousegrille.com/poplar-bluff; 573-776-8053. New location now open at 115 State Street in Doniphan; 573-996-5302.
To have The Original Lemonade House Grille food truck at your event, submit the online form at lemonadehousegrille.com/festival-contact/ or call 727-278-2783.