wife and I each chose one place – I picked a BBQ joint to experience some of that famous St. Louis barbeque, and my wife picked an Italian place to experience the distinctive cuisine of The Hill,
St. Louis’ version of Little Italy.First, a reminder of my patented rating system:
5 – I Would Walk 500 Miles (And I Would Walk 500 More) to visit this place
4 – Worth a visit when in town
3 – Meh; I won’t object if a friend suggests it, but I wouldn’t recommend it on my own
2 – Only if nothing else is open
1 – Run, Sriram, Run!
be on your right immediately past Compton. Parking is behind the restaurant.
from the outside. And yes, that is their meat smoker.
minutes. Pappy’s has crowd control down to a science, though. The lines are controlled so that you don’t order your food until a table is available to seat your party, which a
server will quickly direct you to. This gives you an idea of the line and the crowds inside.
So what’s Pappy’s famous for? Ribs, the dry-rubbed variety. This was actually my third time at Pappy’s, and I’ve had the ribs on previous visits. They definitely live up
to the hype. Today, though, my wife and I would try something different – a frito pie, with pulled pork in mine and turkey in hers. I also took a bottle of locally made Fitz’s cream
soda. Why the frito pie instead of ribs? It was already late, and we planned to eat heavy pasta for dinner, and I thought the frito pie was a relatively small portion (plus, being an
East Texas native, I’ve had a thing for frito pies since my days going to high school football games). My recollection was, um, a little off…
thing I like the most about this dish, though, are the sweet BBQ beans. I love sweet beans, and I think they make a perfect foil for the pork and crunchy fritos. My wife, however,
begged to disagree. She found the beans too sweet, and thought that they made the dish way too rich. So beware, mixed reviews.
reasonable. BEWARE: as the hours above suggest, Pappy’s is only open until the meat sells out. On a weekday, the pickins’ start getting slim about 6:00, so if you want
to eat here, I suggest going for lunch. Speaking of which, Saturday was a beating due to the lines, though on weekdays, the crowds usually start thinning out about 1:30. Try a late
lunch on a weekday, or better yet, get your order to go and have a picnic in Forest Park, just a couple of miles down the road. No waiting in line if you do take-out.
poor review (which I kind of felt bad about, since I directed her to the frito pie…)
Zia’s on The Hill
southeast corner of Edwards and Wilson (on the left if heading southbound on Edwards). Parking is on the street wherever you can find a spot. I found more spots available by going
west on Wilson Avenue, for what it’s worth.
Giovanni’s on The Hill. We briefly toyed with trying one of those, but considering that we were planning on being out the entire day and wouldn’t have time to change (not to mention
we’d probably be tired), we decided to go somewhere a little more low-key. Zia’s was our choice based on reviews, and a couple of items on the menu that my wife really wanted.
(slightly sweet, with a good hint of basil and a solid fresh tomato flavor), but I don’t know, the crusty, kind of hard texture just didn’t work for me. I guess ravioli just isn’t meant
to be toasted. I don’t care for seafood stuffed mushrooms, but my wife disliked them so much that she wolfed down all 6 of them in 10 minutes flat.
lettuce. That’s one of my pet peeves these days – how hard is it to put a couple of pieces of tomato and some shredded carrots in a salad anyway? The diced red peppers were a nice
red pepper cream sauce.
by the roasted red peppers, though the overall flavor was perhaps just a tad too sweet. The bigger problem was, after stuffing myself on frito pie for lunch, and eating an appetizer and
salad, this was just too much food. Too bad we were just visiting, or a doggie bag would have been in order.
a “right-sized” piece of cake – something two people can easily finish, even after a heavy meal. That was appreciated. Especially since I was completely stuffed already. The
cake was delicious, by the way. The combination of sea salt and caramel gave the cake a salty-sweet combination that was lovely.
specials, and walked by frequently to top-up sodas and water. We were in and out in just about one hour on the dot, not bad at all for a full-service restaurant where the food is cooked
fresh. Our total bill came to $75 – which seems like a lot on the surface, but this was a LOT of food. If we were at home and boxed things up, we’d each have 1, possibly 2 meals to