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.
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!
For 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.
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? 🙂
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.