Unfortunately there is not much history on this little dive near College and Kansas. The building and business has changed hands too many times to have any real history. It really is kind of sad. It’s a step back in time with the diner counter, the small booths and the bar stools. But unfortunately I am not sure time has aged this place well especially when it comes to quality of food. If someone knows history on this place please EMAIL me and share the details.
Poppy’s Street Cafe
1622 W. College Street
Springfield, MO 65806
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Food-3 stars: I had the basic double cheeseburger with fries. It came in a basket and right off I thought I ordered the kids meal. Old fashioned smaller size burger and honestly little more than a dozen fries. The flavor was good, but not knock your socks off good, and the price of $4.30 was pleasing. I had room for more, so I ordered the $1.75 apple cobbler for dessert. It was home-made ( I asked the cook), and based on comparable dessert prices, it was worth twice the cost. But I needed it to feel full.
Service-3 stars: It was Kims first day there. She is an old hand in the business so she was fine, but again nothing that stood out like other servers we have had.
Atmosphere-3 stars: I sound like a stuck record here, but it was just plain. Seats 36 people total and booths are SMALL. There are five booths, three small tables for two, and ten stools around the counter. I know because there wasn’t anything else to do but count things. Only things I remember are the three album covers sitting behind the counter, and one was Kitty Wells.
Overview: So much potential on old route 66 just going to waste. There is no “neat” factor to come back for or recommend. But people in the neighborhood will surely walk there for a cheap decent meal.
Food 1 Star: First, it’s probably not fair that one of my favorite meals is breakfast so I tend to eat alot of it. The cook was nice enough to fix me a breakfast meal so I asked what was the best on the menu. I was directed towards the Western Omlet. It was served with bisquits and gravy and a side of hash browns. The hash browns tasted like instant potatoes sort of fried. The bisquits and gravy had absolutely NO flavor and required a tremendous amount of pepper to at least tease the taste buds. The omlet was edible but again no flavor and very bland. My meal was around the $7.00 mark but only worth $3.00. For dessert, I was steered towards the pumpkin pie by my waitress but when I asked for some whip topping, I barely got a squirt. You could tell it was a frozen pie special and not even a good frozen pie.
Service 2 Stars : Kim was nice but new and for a person who claimed to be in the business for quite some time, she really acted like she would have rather been somewhere else. I don’t blame her.
Atmosphere 2.5 Stars: It has all the potential in the world. Get rid of the mildew smell, the cheap decor that attempts to mimic Route 66 and add some charisma and this place could really be the type of place seen on TV. But as it stands, it will be just a “cheap” place to eat.
Overview 2 Stars: I was very disappointed with College Street Cafe. Sitting in this throwback diner, one can only begin to imagine the conversations and history that has taken place in this older style cafe. But a building is just not enough. It takes service, food and the “IT” factor to make a true diner and dive. I think the goal of this place is to serve food as cheap as possible. To accomplish this, quality is not even an option. Therefore me going back is not even an option unless something changes.
Overview: College Street Café was a tough one for me. You guys know how much we love our dive and especially our local joints here at Sgf Diners and Dives but with that being said, CSC left me flat. When we entered we were greeted by Kim who was enjoying her first day on the job, hence her menu knowledge was weak. That being said the service was 3.5 Stars.
The menu is cheap which, as far as I can tell is the draw. The joint smelled musty which could be mold or just because it is very old! The place is TINY and the booths are better suited for turn of the century ladies with size 4 feet than 21st century men! Jeff had to sit side saddle on the end of the table so Chris and I could stagger our feet underneath it, not comfortable. Atmosphere 2 Stars.
The Cheap translated to and coincided with the quality of the fare. I had the special Open faced Turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy for $3.75 which on the surface sounded like a deal. After getting the plate the truth came through with Instant mashed potatoes and “canned” white gravy. It took a lot of salt and pepper to give the gravy life and the potatoes were inedible. It should have been labeled Turkey S.O.S. (I love SOS) and the cook needs to learn to use a few basic spices. My food ranked a weak 2 Stars.
The bath room was through the kitchen and per Jeff was a mess so I will defer to his synopsis and give it 1.5 Ray Kroc Points.
CSC has a TON OF POTENTIAL but unless they really kick it up several notches, it will never compete with any of the other great local dives in the Queen City: Sorry, I won’t rush back anytime soon,