Monday, May 21, 2007

Good Eating in Sunset Hills, MO

Well, I must admit, I've found two shining oases in the desperately bland suburban landscape I've been cast out to. Growler's Pub, and O'Leary's are both within a mile or two of my office, and they both have some unique culinary delights that should not be missed.

O'Leary's is the first place I learned about. On the outside, it's a completely uninspired strip mall occupant on Lindbergh Blvd, about 1000 yards south of the Comp USA that is shutting down. On the inside, it's a nicely decorated Irish-themed sports bar with good lighting. They have the best hamburgers in town! The beef is fresh and juicy, and the buns are thick, soft, chewy, and delicious. My favorite burger is the fried jalapeƱo burger. Glory be, it's absolutely brilliant! The fries are very good too, and are served with a tasty dip, like ranch dressing mixed with a hint of ketchup. I guess it's kind of an Americanized version of Mary Rose. It works. This is my kind of soul food.

Now on to Growlers... This place is one of the quirkiest little buildings you'll find. I think it's like a Tudor-style cottage, with multiple gabled roofs, dark exterior wood trim. And it's sitting on the side of a 4 lane highway. Inside, they've done some truly whimsical decorating, with what appears to be authentic old Victorian wood trim on the windows, probably salvaged from an old St. Louis mansion. It is not really installed correctly, and it's much too big for the windows it surrounds, but I can't tell if that was intended or not.

Anyway, it's interesting to look at, but the important thing is that they have a sandwich called the Banana Cured Pork Sandwich. It's a succulent, juicy pulled pork sandwich topped with swiss cheese, and this stuff called banana ketchup. I had never heard of the stuff, but there is actually a Wikipedia article for it. To me it tastes kind of like a strongly flavored, thick apple butter. The bun is just outstanding, and the much better than average sliced pickles and unlimited fries served with it combine to make this a memorable sandwich.

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