Located in the same building as Mabee Lodge, Dobyns Dining Room is staffed by students, part of the College of the Ozarks‘ policy that students work instead of pay tuition. In keeping with the Ozarks tradition, the dining room features bark-covered wood chairs, a copper-stamped ceiling and copper-covered menus. There’s also a verandah overlooking the hills. Much of the food served is grown locally, including tomatoes and green beans grown right on campus by students. The pasta is all handmade. and the homemade ice cream stems from the campus’ dairy.
The menu is as fine as you’d find in any good-quality restaurant, prepared by chefs and students and well presented. For lunch you might opt for the pulled pork barbecue cornbread sandwich, catfish and chips, a hearty salad, or the restaurant’s signature bacon-wrapped meatloaf.
Dinners range from Kansas City strip and and Tuscan-stuffed chicken to blackened salmon. There’s also a Sunday brunch buffet. An added bonus is the live entertainment by talented students during Sunday brunch and in the evenings Thursday through Saturday. And by the way, there’s a gift shop in the lodge with products made by students. My father absolutely loves the fruit cake. Just saying.