Rather than a totally new report on the same places, and because I don't remember the name of PP's new girl friend, Here is an 'abridged version' of a quickie roadtrip to St Louis.
Friday started , as most of the BB/TTM trips do, with a trip to the airport. However our trip was to 'Louisville International' to put Janet on an American Airlines flight to DFW then on to Ontario,CA for a weekend with her mother. I remind you of this because it became the basis for our receiving a gift of GOOEY COOKIES later in the day. I then returned home to pick up PP who had spent the night before making sure we would not return home to 'old beer'. The Amber Boch in my refrigerator had been there since the Memorial Day Party featured in an earlier report.
Then we kissed the pups goodbye and headed west. Lots of rain as we entered metro-St Louis, but not too bad, so we set up the route to retrace BB and TTM's major stops for a one-day ride around town. We decided to start with O'Connells Tavern, then do our Motel check-in, then head up to Ropers to get our BBQ to take-out and do a Ted Drews dessert stop on the way back to the motel with the Ribs-etc. We did not plan on additional stops, as we don't make any claims at being the 'multiple-stop competitors' on this site...and frankly what we did turned out to be worth every mile of rainy driving.
We arrived at O'Connell's just as they opened up. In fact PP's brew was unloaded from a distributor's truck and pumped directly into his 'Pitcher'...sort of reminded me of "so fresh it was still 'mooing'
when it hit the table" !!
O'Connells is a landmark in SW St Louis and now we know why! We sat at a table next to the Kitchen with the servers chatting with us as they picked-up and delivered the food from the easily visible kitchen. Here is the menu board posted in the tavern side of the place, there is also a fairly large dining room as well as the 'Bar-room'.
Since The other guys had ordered that great looking Beef Sandwich and a Burger, we did the same. O'Connells calls their Burgers Chopped Sirloin, and I am sure it qualifies...It is a very good Burger! Steve got the Beef, minus the 'au-jus' asking for some horseradish for a condiment. I got Swiss as my cheese topping and they did a great job on the carmelized onions. The onions still had some of the 'Vidalia-style' sweetness mixed in with the meat flavor bits from the grilling almost black on that burger filled grill! PP's Beef tasted great. It was a bit chewy, but that comes with a rare-thick-sliced roast I believe. One of the advantages to being an early-bird and sitting near the kitchen was that we watched the cook pull a whole roast beef out of the oven, cut it in half, then slice those center-cut rare slices to put on the fresh roll right in front of us.
BB/TTM didn't show you their beverages, probably because they didn't want to be seen drinking diet sodas in a Tavern (That's not an acceptable regional specialty!) but we ain't afraid of you critics... Here is my Iced Tea and PP's Fresh Amber Boch awaiting their demise.
Here's where the airport story enters the scene. We had chatted a bit with our server and the Bartender a bit about following BB/TTM's suggestions for food, and mentioned this report, which I will email to them with a connecting link shortly. Anyway the story unfolded calmly until I got to the point of telling them that we dropped my wife off at the Louisville Airport, telling her that PP and I were going out for Lunch while she was away , but not telling her that Lunch was to be in St Louis !! Well, those folks thought that was hysterical and spread the story thru the Bar to customers and servers alike. Everyone thought it was very funny, and opened several conversations about the Roadfood Site and how good O'Connells was etc etc.
Then the Manager came over with a plate of "GOOEY COOKIES" for us for dessert "On The House" ! That obviously made our day. Sorry no photos of the cookies, but they were about 3 inches in diameter and soft and creamy like a sweet cream-cheese filling should be. I have never enjoyed Gooey Cake that BB mentions often, but I would drive many miles over broken-glass, on bald tires to get some more of those cookies !!!
Sorry but due to poor planning the rest of this report will be photo-less.
We left O'Connells a bit after noon with a line wating for tables (about 30 people in line when we left). We headed over to the Day's Inn on Lindburgh Blvd just south of I-44. Selected beacause it was 'cheap' and in the same basic neighborhood (S W Side) as two of our planned stops. Well the motel was what it is, a cheap clean, but well-used motel. However the front desk staffer was a very attractive Russian girl who was as polite and helpful as she could be. The motel is attached to a LARGE Sports-Bar restaurant...Not next door--attached. The place was empty when we looked in, but by late afternoon it was jumping with the 20's generation 'meat-market' crowd. While I stayed in my room to do my Bible-Study and call my beach-enjoying wife (She and her mother are at Carlsbad-by-the-Sea enjoying the $250 a day spa weekend treatments with Raul-the Pool-Boy)
Anyway, PP decided to check out the 'food' in the Sports Bar...When he returned he brought a menu with him. He said the stuff looked really good (I think he meant the Onion Rings, but I am not really sure about that) but that even as thick-skinned as he is, he felt a bit out of place in his boonie-boots, cargo shorts and tee shirt in a bar FULL of people 30 years younger than him engaged in 'temporary mating rituals'. Even baby-faced BB would have looked like a senior-citizen in that crowd.
So we loaded up and headed north, across town to Roper's BBQ to pick up 'Dinner' then return to our new home away from home. Mr Roper, as described by Cliff and Steve was a really pleasant gentleman to talk with. It was pretty busy (friday afternoon about 4 PM) so he didn't have a lot of chat-time, but he talked to us about posing for BB's Photo etc. We got a full Rack of St Louis Style Ribs, a full Rack of Baby-Backs, and an order of BEEF Rib Tips, with assorted beans slaw and potato salad in containers with the meat. The we headed across town (non-freeway) to Ted Drewes to check out the Custard before returning to the motel.
Here's where PP goofed and I didn't ! At Drewes the sun had come out and the day was finally brightening up a bit. Pete got the Sundae that had a Brownie at the bottom, Then custard then carmel and hot fudge. It was too much for him and he overdosed on the sweets, which took him out of the action when we got back to the motel !!!
I got a Cardinal Sundae. Custard with Hot Fudge and Tart Pie Cherries in juice over the top. Even getting a 'Large' I managed to finish it up easily. The cream, fudge and tart cherry flavors really mixed well. I would order that one again when wwe stop there on the next trip west.
Now, rather than stretch this report out with details not really relevant to RoadFOOD, we will end this on a good note. We headed east early Saturday morning using two-laners across Illinois and finishing our Gooey Cookies for a snack on the road. We stopped in Evansville IN at the pizza and beer hall that PP loves so much. I did a Hot Beef sandwich there that made me long for another O'Connells stop, and PP did a small HOT PEPPER Pizza that hurt parts of my anatomy to look at. We got a meat-covered pizza to eat at home and returned to Lanesville before sundown last night.
The dogs were happy to see us. Janet is having fun out West. PP should be in Nashville by now, but on the other hand I saw him thumbing thru my Russian Vocabulary book last night...He may be back in St Louis by now !!
Thanks to BB and TTM for tipping us off to O'Connells. It is a real Gem and we will return there when in the area. Ropers BBQ was good. The meat was outstanding, but neither PP nor I thought much of the sauce. Nextime I would get sauce-less BBQ and probably be a lot happier with our meal. Ted Drewes is Ted Drewes. Worth an dessert stop anytime !!