‘Home of the Big Bologna’ began as a food truck

Jeff Wade, the owner and cook at Mobile Dogs Cafe, hard at work at the grill. Bill Lackey/Staff
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Jeff Wade, the owner and cook at Mobile Dogs Cafe, hard at work at the grill. Bill Lackey/Staff

Restaurant: Mobile Dogs Cafe

Location: 10 W. Main St., Springfield

Telephone: (937) 325-2727

Background/overview

Jeff Wade was born in Springfield, and graduated from Shawnee High School. In 2008, he owned and operated a mobile food truck. He chose to park his truck near the construction site of the current Springfield Regional Medical Center and had built up a loyal customer base in just four months. During those same months, his food vending gained respect from visitors at local fairs, where he worked the truck.

In February 2009 Jeff decided to move his mobile food business indoors to its present location. His mother, Becky, was most helpful in many of the food’s creations. She was known for making all the tasty side salads and delicious desserts. She died in July 2012. Today, Jeff uses his mother’s recipes to the pleasure of his customers. Also, the owner boasts that Mobile Dogs Cafe is known as the “Home of the Big Bologna,” a hand-cut, 1-inch thick slab of fried bologna.

About five years ago, Jeff became engaged to Sierra Maloney. She’s also from Springfield and graduated from Catholic Central High School. She’s the manager of the cafe. It’s a true family business. Jeff’s 14-year-old son, Trevor Wade, helps by working the eatery on Saturdays, and Jeff’s 7-year-old daughter, Hailey Wade, helps by keeping the patrons entertained.

Mobile Dogs Cafe attracts many customers that enjoy meeting regularly. The Romeo Club (“Retired Old Men Eating Out”) frequents the cafe, where the food is cooked to order for breakfast and lunch.

The menu

Beverages: Bottled Water-$1; Coke products (cans)-$1; Maxwell House Coffee-$1.25; Milk (choc., or white), Orange Juice, or Sweet/Unsweet Tea-$1.50; Pepsi products (fountain)-$2.

Breakfast: Hash Browns-$1.25; Cream of Wheat, or Oatmeal-$2.75; Fried Potatoes (w/green peppers & onions)-$3; Breakfast Sandwich-$4; One Egg, Meat, Toast-$4.25; Three Pancakes w/Toast-$5; Sausage Gravy & Biscuits-$5; Everything Omelet-$7.75; "Buckeye Breakfast" (two pancakes, two eggs, hash browns, meat, & sausage gravy w/biscuit)-$9.

Lunch: Hot Dog-$1.75; Coney Dog w/Works-$3, or 2for $5; Grilled Cheese-$3; Chef Salad w/Meat-$4/$6; BLT, Chicken Patty Sandwich, or Loaded Cheeseburger-$4.50; Italian Sausage w/Peppers & Onions-$5; Pork Tenderloin Sandwich-$5.25; Fried Bologna (hand-cut, one inch thick slab)-$6; Chicken Finger Basket-$6.50; Bison Burger, or Philly Cheesesteak-$7.

Sides: Chips-50 cents; Fries-$2; (Becky's) Macaroni Salad, or (Becky's) Pasta Salad-$2.

Desserts (could be): Coconut Cream Pie, German Chocolate Cake, or "Watergate Cake" (has pistachio pudding)-$2.50 a slice.

Hours

8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

More information

Mobile Dogs Cafe is on the first floor of the Hull Plaza Building in downtown Springfield. Free, off-street parking is the only option.

The cafe seats 57 customers. Parties of 15 guests or more are asked to call 24 hours ahead to reserve seating.

Look for local restaurant profiles by Glenn and Kim Creyts every other week. For inquiries regarding this column and ideas for other restaurant profiles and suggestions for future columns, contact Glenn and Kim via e-mail at glenncreyts@att.net.

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