STL - Balaban - 1st impression
If you sign up for their newsletter you get an e-mail coupon for a free lunch sandwich. I did, I got, I went. OK -- I like free. (FWIW, I tip very well..) They were out of my first choice (an eggplant pannini) so I got a fried oyster sandwich.
Eh. Corn meal batter was pretty good but the oysters were small, giving a very high batter to oyster ratio. Not many oysters either. I don't expect great oysters in St. Louis but I've had much better in our city -- and cheaper too. Thin schmear of remoulade, which I prefer to having to scrape off the excess. Bun was very mediocre. Greens on the sandwich were fine. The sandwich normally comes with bacon; I ordered it without and was glad I did -- bacon would have overwhelmed it.
The dessert, while expensive, was much better -- chocolate fritters. Four very rich chunks o' semi-sweet chocolate in a thin batter and deep fried. Easily splittable, but I ate 'em all.... Big caveat -- big ooze of melted chocolate when biting; I wasn't warned and got a big sploosh on my pants. A warning would have been very nice.
Otherwise service was very good. Handicap access limited -- to the front tables is good but they have to put up a portable ramp to get deeper inside, including to the bathroom. I can't imagine how hard this would be on a crowded night.
This was not the meal to bring me back. I'd like to try the eggplant pannini, but first I'd like other opinions. (I've read several of the other threads.)