Food is a great representation of culture and history. Sit-down restaurants that serve traditional foods can tell you a lot about which crops are most popularly grown, and which ingredients are most commonly used to perfect dishes of various ethnicities that originated in your region. If anything, traditional restaurants can be used to associate each state with specific cuisine. For example, the South has always been known for soul food plates, while the Northeast is famous for seafood dishes.
Here is what Reader's Digest had to say about the food served at Ernie's:
"In the small town of Columbia, which three colleges call home, university students and alumni join locals in the ritual of grabbing breakfast at Ernie’s. Ernie Lewis opened the place in 1938. Back then, you and your sweetie could order a “date steak” and still have money left for a show at the Missouri Theatre nearby. While some things have changed over the restaurant’s 84 years, some have stayed the same, like the original artwork, which was created by Chester Gould, creator of Dick Tracy. Gould’s daughter attended Stephen’s College in the 1940s, and Gould enjoyed Ernie’s Chopped Cow while in town. "