Chowing in St. Louis and Springfield, Ill
Toasted ravioli are a bust @ Ragazzi's (the only good thing is the size of a beer), Hodak's fried chicken was thickly breaded w/blandness, tried the St. Paul Sandwich @ Kim Van (closed possibly for good as of today--shrimp, chicken and pork. Pork was the best. This is definitely a regional idiocincracy to enjoy. But the banana chocolate malted milk shake @ Crown Candy IS the reason to eat in St. Louis. I didn't get to Ferguson's or some of the other places mentioned. Next trip
Springfield for the "Horseshoe". At D'arcy's Pint. We shared the horseshoe deluxe (ground beef), ham, and corned beef. STAY AWAY FROM THE CORNED BEEF. Midwesterners do a lot of things well, but not corned beef. As for the horseshoe, it's a sandwich I appreciate, but find overbearing. I'd rather have the fries on the side--or better yet, freshly cut and fried potatoes instead of the frozen flash @ D'arcy's. Cheese sauce is good.
My Springfield pick is COZY DRIVE-IN. There's is the best example of a corn dog--but the place is RT 66 History that has stayed pure. I'm coming back to Springfield to get the whole deal at the Cozy.
Tried to find a Mel-O-Cream Donut that was open past 12 noon. All closed.
I could have told you to stay away from Rigazzi's and Hodak's. Yuck to both.
The best Italian is Trattoria Marcella on Watson at Pernod but no toasted ravioli here. On The Hill, try Lorenzo's Trattoria.
Next time, try Iron Barley on Virginia at Bates [peppered pork sandwich or strip steak sandwich or schnitzel and spatzle] or The Pitted Olive on Hampton between Eichelberger and Holly Hills [chicken and goat cheese sandwich, eggplant canneloni app]. Great soup at both.
In the ten years I lived in St. Louis, I was taken to Hodak's twice as it was one of the closest restaurants to my house. It was very greasy and fairly bland chicken served on toast to absorb the grease. It was really pretty bad.
I am convinced that toasted raviols is an acquired taste. If prepared fresh and served with great red sauce, it can be pretty good. But if it sits more than a couple of minutes, it is pretty bad.
If you're around Springfield it is worth trucking down the road a few more miles to Jacksonville for the fried chicken at the Kottage Kafe. Plus you can look at the Ferris wheels.
And I am wondering if MacCreary's BBQ is still around in St. Louis? I can still smell the hickory from the pit.
Not really the homey classics listed here, but saw the post and had to reply with Modesto, the Spanish spot in the Hill (on the Hill?). Been awhile since I've been, my parents live in St. Louis, I'm in Philly. I still remember these almond fritters that were basically crushed almonds with orange rind and cinnamon fried up. YUMMY! Also, great tapas including homemade sausages, boquerones, etc.