The Anvil, Ste. Genevieve, MO – Best Onion Rings Ever?

On average I trek down I-55 / Highway 67 to visit family in Farmington twice a month.  On those trips I’m not above eating fast food, but prefer supporting family establishments whenever possible.  Every once in a while, I get this craving that only The Anvil Saloon & Restaurant can satisfy.   It stretches out the trip slightly, but it provides me some quality onion rings.

The Anvil Saloon & Restaurant has a cool history.  The building was built in 1850 and started as a hardware store. In 1855 it was purchased by a family that turned it into a saloon.  The bar was actually removed from a steamboat to lighten it’s load when it became stuck on a sandbar. It was transported by oxcart; I bet that drew a crowd as well as some thirsty individuals.  When I go, I always prefer sitting downstairs and looking at the old pictures and enjoying all the exposed brick.  However, if you are afraid of clowns, you may be creeped out.  There are tons of clown pictures and art adorning the walls.

Why go out of my way to stop at the Anvil?  The onion rings of course!  The have light breading and are just fantastic.  Beware, the small order is enough to fill up several bellies.  I don’t even attempt to order a large unless my party size is 6 or more.  I have found they are also a great snack to enjoy at the bar while enjoying some unpretentious cold beer.

onion rings

On more recent visits, I have found that I keep ordering the French onion soup.  I didn’t even realize it until I was reviewing pictures for this post.  It has sneaked up on me that I really enjoy the dish.  It’s rich and very flavorful.  Notice that layer of cheese!

French Onion SoupFor my entrée, I almost always order some version of their fried chicken.  The half allows you to sample both light and dark meat.  It is also easily split if you didn’t take my advice and ordered too many onion rings.  It’s moist and the skin is very crispy.  It’s not over thought at all; just a solid rendition of a family favorite.  Be warned, it’s served piping hot.

Half fried chicken

Last but not least, let me share with you one of their more “unique” side dishes:  liver dumplins.  Huh?  liver dumplins, why would anyone do that?  This was a dish that my dad always liked and came from the German influence on the town.  To be honest, if you are a liver lover you will likely be disappointed by this dish.  The dumplins have very little flavor so you mainly taste the brown gravy.  I called them just dumplins and even my four-year old tried them.  Is it bad to lie to kids to get them to try new things? 🙂

Liver Dumplins

The Anvil Saloon & Restaurant is Ste. Genevieve to me and is one of my family favorites.  I can still picture my dad saying he wasn’t hungry and munching on onion rings non-stop while enjoying cheap beer.  It has a special place in my heart and I hope to be enjoying it for years to come.  You can’t go wrong with the onion rings and fried chicken.  I wish just once, I would be hungry enough to try their homemade pies.  The onion rings wipe me out every time.

Dive 2 Five Scale: 3.  It’s an old building and that really adds to the charm.  I love to notice the small details that show it’s age and think about all the history. There is still a spittoon by the front door and you can see how the front step has worn from traffic over the years.   It’s very family friendly and a fun experience.

 

 

Olive + Oak, Webster Groves, MO – Gnocchi Doke

The St. Louis restaurant scene was pretty impressive in 2015.  If you can believe it, the city will crush 2015 with and even more impressive 2016.  One of my new favorite places to spend the evening is Olive + Oak.

Olive + Oak is a neighborhood restaurant in Webster Groves but should be a destination if you love food and drinks.  They focus heavily on locally sourced ingredients and change a large portion of their menu regularly.  DISCLAIMER:  If I talk about a dish you really want, it may not be there the night you go.

When I first arrived, I saw that my prayers had been answered and they serve fried cheese curds.  Ever since I lived in Oregon for work, I have been obsessed with them.  No trip to the coast was complete without a visit to the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  Fresh ones are also fun since they squeak on your teeth when you bite them.  Olive + Oak’s are lightly fried and served with a charred scallion and chile aioli.   Just the right amount of salt in this dish and they are the perfect snack.

Cheese Curds

For those that are following me on Instagram (shame on you if you don’t), you know I love cocktails.  If you haven’t heard of Chelsea Little, this is another great reason to get your butt over to Olive + Oak.  Chelsea has been one of my trusted “spirit guide’s” ever since her days at Libertine.   I would be hard pressed to know how many drinks she has crafted for me since I met her.  I’ll admit I’m a “Little” biased (get it 🙂 ), but I feel like I have watched her grow up as a mixologist.  For old times sake, I started off with a bartender’s choice:

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As always, it was a hit.  I also sampled something from the menu: the #69.  Chelsea was never one to name her drinks so I find it humorous they are now just numbers.  The torched rosemary adds so much to the nose of this cocktail.  I can see why it made the cut to be featured on the menu.

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Now back to the food!  When I visited, I narrowed my entree choices down to two items.  The scallops or the gnocchi.  Seafood was calling me that night so I went with the scallops.  The scallops were cooked perfectly, but they were served on a bean puree.  Although flavorful, it wasn’t something my palette was wow’d by.

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When dining with others, you can politely ask to sample their dish as well and try even more of the menu. The tenderloin was much more up my alley.  It was also cooked perfectly but in this case the meat was allowed to be the star of the dish.    IMG_1011

One of the biggest surprises from Olive + Oak  was their kids menu.  There were so many more choices than most places.  As I looked around, there were several families enjoying meals together.  So parents, it’s clear that this is a place to treat the whole family.  As you can see by the picture, the noodles are superhero approved!  Also the milk glasses were super cute!

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Normally this would be the part of the post where I ride off into the sunset and wrap things up.   Not this time!  Two decisions from my first visit still haunted me.  One, I think I should have picked the gnocchi. Two, I passed on dessert.  So stick with me for a slightly longer post, It gave me a chance to correct those sins and I promise you there is valuable information to follow.

This time I visited with no child in tow so I took my more natural seat at the bar.  The bar is nice and a focal point of the small space.  Of course more “bartender’s choice” cocktails were consumed:

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Chelsea’s concoctions continued to be on point and just what I needed.  Then something magical happened!  I ordered the gnocchi and it was even better than expected.  Feast your eyes on this:

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This my friends is their gnocchi.  The texture was light and fluffy.  Almost like individually wrapped gifts of potato awesomeness that you don’t want to ever end.  This dish is killer and I want more!  A version of it seems to be on the menu each night so I’m looking forward to trying future flavorful pairings.

I also ordered a dessert that brought hope back to the world: the butterscotch pot de creme.

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You know the stereotypical depressed human gorging themselves on ice cream? They only choose that because they have not had this dessert.  It will make you certain the sun will rise again tomorrow and things will be OK.

There you have it.  Clearly, Olive + Oak is an A in my book.  I look forward to more gnocchi, butterscotch pot de creme, and Chelsea cocktails.  If you see someone sitting at the bar with all three, it might just be me.

Dive 2 Five Scale – 3.  As I have stated it’s a great neighborhood hot spot and also very family friendly.  The sound level is elevated so fussy kids won’t be noticed but not so loud that you can’t hold a conversation.  There are a couple TV’s where the bar tables can see but they are placed so great if you are at the bar.  It’s OK, you have better things to focus on while you are there: your date (if you have one), the drinks (you better have one), and the food (you better order some).

Gordon’s Stoplight Drive-In – Crystal City, MO – Quadzilla, King of the Burgers!

The word is out about this place and it’s one of my favorite stops heading south on I-55.  Of course I’m talking about the one and only, Gordon’s Stoplight Drive-In in Festus!  Yes, I’m on a burger binge – this is my third burger related review in a row!

For those that love Carl’s Drive In, these burgers are pretty similar.  They are small balls of ground beef that are smashed onto the grill.  They are very thin patties so you will need multiple to make a reasonable size burger.  The double seems to be the standard, but I always like to take things up a notch. For that reason, I went for the…Quadzilla!

Quadzilla with fries

Quadzilla with fries

As you might expect, the Quadzilla is a meal that has a burger with four patties.  It also comes with fries and a drink for $8.88.  Not a bad price and it does fill you up.  You have options for all the standard ingredients for burgers, but they also offer mayo.  I have had it with and without, and actually prefer it with mayo.  Insert Canadian joke here…

Quadzilla with onion rings

Quadzilla with onion rings

These burgers come out piping hot.  You must resist the urge to take a bite immediately.  I have tried both the onion rings (for an upcharge) and the fries, but I would suggest sticking to the fries.  I think the fries need more salt, but that is obviously something you can correct.

This is my go to “fast food” restaurant when heading down I-55 to see family.  It’s not a huge detour off of I-55 and it’s worth the extra few minutes.  The people are friendly and the food remains unchanged for years.  My only regret is that I still have never tried one of their shakes.  Be on the lookout for an update on Twitter or Facebook because I will complete that task soon!

There isn't a lot of info online about this place.  Here is the lunch / dinner menu.

There isn’t a lot of info online about this place. Here is the lunch / dinner menu.

Dive 2 Five Scale – 3.  This is a family friendly restaurant.  There are only bar stools for seating, or you can place a carry out order at the window.  It is cash only but there is an ATM in the corner in case you forget.

Home Wine Kitchen – Maplewood, MO – Burger Night!

I have been receiving emails showing Home Wine Kitchen’s weekly menus ever since my first trip to Table.  While there have been many that have intrigued me, I never found myself taking that extra step and trying the place out.  In one of the more recent emails, something caught my eye: Burger Night.    For $15 you get a burger, one side, and local craft beer.  Sign…me..up!

Let me first give you some details about Burger Night.  It runs every Sunday from 3 – 9 P.M.  During that time you can get the burger special with either their famous house burger or the ever changing market burger.  Each burger has a specific side that it comes with and they select one beer for the night.  Sounds pretty simple right?

Instead of making the potentially tough decision, I gave both burgers a try.  First up, the award winning house burger. The house burger was topped with bacon, cheese, garlic aioli and an egg.

house burger

All burgers are prepared medium rare unless you specify differently.   The burger was very soft and juicy.  There was no chance this was over cooked.  The egg was just the way I like it, very runny.  I’m in love with this burger.  For this reason alone, I already know I will make a return trip.  I did feel bad for the house made chips.  Even though they were a great side, nothing stands a chance on a plate next to this burger.  

The market special was the Texas burger.  It was topped with BBQ sauce, onion rings, and blue cheese.

Texas Burger

This one was also cooked as expected. I had tried the house burger first so this one was not as exciting for me.  It was heavy on the blue cheese so most of the other flavors were lost.  I did enjoy the polenta fries and want to try to make my own at home.

My first visit to Home Wine Kitchen’s Burger Night was a great success.  This will not be the last time I will have their house burger.  This burger would be in my top 5 for St. Louis.  What would be in your top 5 list?

Dive 2 Five Scale:  3.  I hit burger night early and it was easy to get in. The burgers take 15 minutes to prepare, but it’s worth every second.  I was impressed with the service as the server was very attentive.  He also asked about my thoughts on both burgers.

One thing to note, I bet I have walked past Home Wine Kitchen several times.   It’s in a great location on Manchester in Maplewood, but the exterior isn’t overly flashy.  You have to pay attention or you may miss it.  The inside is rustic with a lot of wood.  It’s warm and inviting.  

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White Cottage – Belleville, Il – Get Ready for the Summer Heat

After spending the early evening perusing the wares at Art on the Square in Belleview, Illinois, I was in desperate need of some nourishment.  As with most towns in the St. Louis area, I had a couple of places on my list in case I happened to pass through or nearby any unfamiliar towns.  During this initial visit, I chose to check out the White Cottage.

I arrived just before dusk on an unseasonably cold night.  I was impressed to see people lined up for ice cream outside while wearing hoodies and light jackets.  I chose to dine inside so I could have more than just ice cream. One thing you notice right away is the smell from the ice cream and the cones.  It was clear that this was not a place to stop if you are on a diet, even the air was rich with calories.

Surprise, surprise….the double cottage burger was calling to me.  The burger was very standard: two quarter pound patties, Swiss cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onions.  You can have pickles and they provide mustard, ketchup, and mayo by request.  The patties are not packed tightly.  This helps keep them juicy even when cooked to a medium well all the way through.  Although this burger was standard, it was far from ordinary.

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Now that I had my dinner, it was time for dessert.  White Cottage carries several different flavors of ice cream and they don’t have the same choices each day.  To be honest, I was overwhelmed with the thought of only trying one flavor so I did what any smart person would do.  I opted for two small orders:  strawberry cheesecake and chocolate raspberry truffle.

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Both were phenomenal.  PHENOMENAL!  The chocolate raspberry truffle was rich and the strawberry cheesecake had actual strawberries in it!  I can only dream of working my way through the rest of the ice cream menu.

White Cottage is the kind of place that every small town in America needs. Even though it was clear I was the only person who was not a regular, I didn’t feel out of place. I would recommend this place to anyone that finds themselves in Belleview.  Heck, I would recommend taking a break when traveling along I-64 just for the ice cream.  With the summer coming up and the thermometers starting to rise, make sure you stop by to cool off.

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Dive 2 Five Scale:  3.  Great family spot shared by generations.  If you read about the place, it’s closed a few times but seems to be back on track. The inside is very simple, there are several booths and a couple tables, and menus are provided at either.  You can seat yourself and you pay at the counter before you leave.

SoHa Bar and Grill, St. Louis, MO – Great Beer Selection but the Burger Needs Some Work

Admittedly, I have not spent a lot of time near the Hill.  I found myself near there and stopped in at SoHa for a quick dinner.  My first impression of SoHa was very positive.  I love a place that features bar seating.  I found a great spot at the bar right next to the fireplace.  With as ridiculous as this winter has been, it seems like I’m always on the search for a place to warm up.

As I was admiring the draft beer selection, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation between the bartender and another patron.  To make a long story short, one of the wings he ordered was not cooked.  I was a little bummed because they did smell good and who doesn’t appreciate wings at a bar?  They were now off my list for the night.  On a side note, they did make good on the mistake by bringing him out additional properly cooked wings.

I was starving so I went with a pretty big meal.  I decided to start with the fried goat cheese medallions and finish with “the Lipithor”.   The burger actually arrived first, but the fried goat cheese arrived 30 seconds later.

Fried goat cheese medallions:

soha fried goat cheeseNot a bad way to start.  They aren’t too breaded; they melt in your mouth.  They are very rich and pair well with the provided sweet onion dressing.  I definitely recommend these.

Next up, the Lipithor:

soha burgerLook at that 15 oz beast!  There were several people commenting as they saw this burger being delivered.  There’s bacon, pulled pork, cole slaw, cheddar cheese, and Swiss cheese.  It looked amazing, but unfortunately fell short of expectations.  First off, I ordered it medium and it was overcooked.  There was no pink at all in the burger patties and they were just plain dry.  That’s rough for such a large burger.  The pulled pork really didn’t have flavor.  The bacon was the only highlight here.  Maybe I should have ordered the Notorious BLT.

If you look to the left of the burger, you will see my side: mac n cheese.  What can be said about it?  It looked a little soupy and was topped with Doritos.  Surprisingly it was great.  Even after struggling through eating the entire burger, I didn’t waste any of the macaroni.  Now I understand why some people just come there and order this side at the bar.

SoHa is different breed.  My excitement level was all over the map during my experience.  I would recommend the goat cheese medallions and the mac n cheese but stay away from the burgers.  The beer selection is great and I seriously considered getting a growler to go.

Dive 2 Five Scale – 3.   Good selection of beer and good placement of TV screens.  Not a bad place to watch a game.  It’s a pretty small space and the parking is even smaller.  On a Monday evening it was just above 50% capacity and there were no parking spots to be found.  I’m sure if I lived closer I would enjoy the draft beer selection on a regular basis but likely would be limited on what food items I ordered.

SOHA Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Element – Was I in My Element?

You have all heard about my “list” of places to try.  Well Element has been on there for a long time.  It was time to cross this one off.

My visit was a Friday so of course, a drink was in order.  At the time, they were redoing the cocktail menu so I can’t say if they have any custom creations.  I stuck with a Cabernet so I could keep things simple and focus on the food.  The server shared that the menu does change based on what’s fresh and they stick with as many local ingredients as possible.  Since I had already reviewed the menu before going, I had a few things that I knew I wanted to try.

For appetizers, I went with the country fried foie gras and the Pork Belly.  I’m sure the pork belly isn’t a surprise to anyone at this point.  In case you didn’t know, foie gras is a must order for me as well.  I love the decadence and texture.  I’m sure that PETA won’t be showing me any love after that confession…

This is my first time having country fried foie gras so I was a little unsure of what to expect.  It was paired with greens and green tomato chow chow.  The dish had a very southern feel and frying the foie gras made me think of fried chicken liver.  It’s a completely different take on this delicacy.

foie gras

My quest to eat pork belly more than any human should continues!  This pork belly was served with prunes, pear, walnuts, and blue cheese.  I love dishes like this.  Each bite gives you the opportunity to mix-and-match different flavors and textures.  My personal favorite was the belly, walnut, and blue cheese.  I loved the pairing of the pear, walnut, and blue cheese. Be careful; the blue cheese is strong, so a little goes a long way.

pork belly 1

The first large plate was the lamb pot roast.  I needed a dish to redeem lamb after my experience at RJ’s.  This was not your mom’s pot roast, unless hers is also tender and rich.

lamb pot roast

The second large plate was the duck breast with scrapple, brussels sprouts and apple butter.  I haven’t had a vegetable surprise me in a while, but I really liked the brussels sprouts.  Wait, did I say I liked brussels sprouts?!?!?  They weren’t over cooked so they stayed crunchy.   The apple butter was a solid accompaniment to the duck breast.  I always love fruit pairings with duck.

duckAfter all that food I was going to stop, but thank God I didn’t.  Dessert was the payday and I felt like I hit the jackpot.  The peanut butter cake and caramel was fantastic.  If you don’t like things that stick to your teeth, you may not like this dish.  Personally I was happy to be able to save that flavor for later. This made the struggle to drive down I-64 through the traffic and construction completely worth it.  I would go back just to eat this and hope it stays on the menu.
payday

Element has an adventurous menu that changes frequently so each visit will be unique.  It’s clear they like to have fun and like to experiment.  The highlight of my meal was the dessert.  Hopefully the Payday is frequently part of the regular menu.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  4.  This place is hard to find in the dark if it’s your first time.  Look for the rock climbing gym.  It’s very contemporary inside and has a lively atmosphere.  They have small and large plates to fit all appetites and dining preferences.

Element on Urbanspoon

Melt – St. Louis, MO – Waffles Aren’t Just for Breakfast Anymore

Looking for something completely different?  Melt on Cherokee street could be just what you are looking for.  Melt specializes in waffles, but not your frozen Eggo waffles.  They serve both sweet and savory types of waffles.

From my preliminary research, I was set on getting the Wake ‘N Bake.  The Wake ‘N Bake has bacon or sausage cooked into the waffle.  It’s topped with cheese and an egg, cooked to order.  The server stated that it was a “safe choice” for a first visit.  She also shared that repeat customers quickly start to trust them and move on to something more adventurous.  DAMN…I think she was trying to pull my man-card.  I quickly changed my order to the Little Piggy.  Not only that, but I had her throw an egg on top!  The challenge was on!

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The Little Piggy is a waffle topped with pulled pork, homemade coleslaw, and cheddar cheese.   While the BBQ sauce was sweet, the green onion really shined on the dish.  One piece of advice; just because there is syrup on the table it doesn’t belong on all waffles!  Luckily that was only a one bite mistake so it didn’t ruin my meal.

Melt has an exciting selection of waffles.  The combinations range from fruit or chocolate on some of the sweet waffles to chicken, pork, or brisket on some of the savory varieties.  I look forward to exploring the menu more on future visits.  How brave will you be?

Dive 2 Five Scale: 2.  Time for me to step on my soapbox.  Cherokee Street is a great area in St. Louis.  I recently was discussing this restaurant and I instantly received an eye-roll when I mentioned its’ location.  I don’t understand people who limit their options by singling out an area for one reason or another.  What a waste!  Stepping off soapbox…

When I walked in, I can honestly say the eclectic atmosphere and mismatched furniture was overwhelming. There was a lot to take in, including pinball and shuffleboard! However, once I was settled at the table, the atmosphere was very laid back with a knowledgeable and helpful staff. If this is your first visit to Cherokee Street, take some time and explore! STL Style  and Firecracker Press are just two of the fun stores that have a lot of St. Louis pride.

Melt on Urbanspoon

The Libertine, Clayton, MO – The Return of Chef Josh Galliano

The Libertine in Clayton is a collaboration between husband and wife team Nick and Audra Leudde with James Beard semi-finalist Chef Josh Galliano.  Chef Josh Galliano caught my attention after I moved to St. Louis and started to explore the culinary scene.  I stumbled across his Twitter account and quickly became one of his followers.  Not only did his Tweets about food grab my attention, but his mentions of music seemed to be as if he had access to my iTunes library.  But I digress…

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The Libertine opened back in mid-May and I have visited twice.  I already have some favorite dishes.  This post will focus on my most recent visit.

Their menu is divided into vegetables, meat, and seafood.  At the top of each category are smaller items that could be ordered as an appetizer.  The lower part has items that are more the size of entrees.

The cocktail, beer, and wine selection provides plenty of choices.  I have been on a bourbon kick lately and would like to introduce you to Monseigneur Bocephus.  Bocephus and I quickly became friends.

Bochephus

Let’s jump right into the meal with my favorite appetizer, the crispy pig tails.

crispy pig tails

By now you shouldn’t be surprised that I ordered a pork dish.  The pig tails have just the right amount of crunch and are served over polenta.

During my most recent visit I ventured out of my typical carnivore ways and ordered something from the “vegetable” section: the scorched twisted peppers.

twisted peppers

Ok, maybe there is some bacon in the dish 🙂  The first thing you notice is the smokey smell when they arrive.  It had a very earthy flavor.  Enjoyable even for a meat eater like me.

Both times my entree has been the three little birds.  The entree has been slightly different each time, but both were excellent.  From the first visit during their first week of business:

three little birds orginal

 

From early July:

three little birds

The basis of the dish is the same.  It’s a trio of roasted game hen, quail, and chicken.  Some of the vegetables change but it’s always a masterful accompaniment.

For dessert, I left it up to the waiter for a recommendation.  His choice was the “Little Boy Blue Cheese Plate”.

blue cheese

I’ll admit that I wasn’t overly excited at the thought of cheese as a dessert.  I’m a self-proclaimed chocoholic.  This dish was surprising, the jam and cheese were a great combination.

The Libertine has vaulted itself on my “must-do” list.  I’m pretty sure Chef Josh could find a way to serve me cardboard and I would like it.  You can sense the excitement from talking with the staff.  I look forward to working my way through the rest of his menu soon.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  4.  Libertine is a new gem in Clayton.  The service pace is leisurely.  I wouldn’t consider it “a dinner and movie” place but more of focal point for your evening.  You want to go there when you have time to enjoy the unique menu.  The atmosphere is lively but you can enjoy a conversation over dinner.  There is a complementary valet available.

Based on Chef Josh’s musical tastes, will I hear any Propaghandi in the restaurant anytime soon?  What about listening to Ska’s the Limit on Saturday night?

The Libertine on Urbanspoon

Abigail’s, Rocheport, MO – My Little Secret…

I hate to do it, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret.  I’m going to share one of my favorite places to stop along that boring stretch of I-70 between St. Louis and Kansas City.  Abigail’s in Rocheport is truly a hidden gem.

Rocheport is 2 miles off of I-70 just west of Columbia.  It’s population is just over 200.  Abigail’s is located in the center of the town next to an antique store.  You have to pay attention or you could drive right past it.

This place is filled with mismatched tables and chairs.  One of the tables even has a couch for seating.  The decorations are very eclectic. When you walk in, you will see the open kitchen on the left and one person manning the entire operation.  Once you have found a seat they will bring a dry erase board on an easel over to your table that has the day’s menu.

For my most recent visit I tried the lobster ravioli (again).

lobster ravioli

As you can see there are only a few ravioli but they are stuffed.  They did not skimp on the filling like other places.  I like that the sauce and cheese on top were different than I had on a previous visit.  I have enjoyed this dish twice now, and I know I will order it again.

My favorite thing about Abigail’s is the desserts.  In particular their gooey butter cake is to die for.  Not just my favorite dessert there, but my favorite gooey butter cake I have tried.  If you are on your way to visit friends and family, take a slice to go.  I guarantee they will appreciate it.

gooey butter cake

Abigail’s is a place that I don’t have the opportunity to frequent often.  However each time I have been seems to be better than the last.  It is hands down my favorite place to stop on a road trip across Missouri.  Do yourself a favor and drive the 2 miles off the interstate into Rocheport to enjoy Abigail’s.

Dive 2 Five Scale – 4.  In St. Louis, I would probably rate it a 3.  However, in a small town like Rocheport this is an unexpected find.  It’s just a neat place to experience.  If you are in a rush, this is not the place to stop.  This is a place to take some time and enjoy.  Also the servers also get tied up talking to some of the regular customers.  It’s all part of the experience.  I have only eaten there for brunch / lunch.  I hear that it is very hard to get a table during dinner.  Plan ahead!

Abigail's on Urbanspoon