Scents of pimento, scotch bonnet peppers, and jerk chicken and pork waft through the air at Mi Hungry Jamaican BBQ & Catering's two casual locations. The county location’s menu of barbecue and Jamaican fare “makes it a dining destination,” according to St. Louis Magazine, and the city location serves up a similar multicultural duet of spice and flavor. Barbecue rib tips and crispy snoot coexist with Jamaican beef patties and tender red snapper. Island specialties such as the curried goat and brown stew chicken get a special flair from owner Rueben, who was born in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.
A huge yellow sign in the shape of a two-man log saw hangs above the unpainted clapboard fa?ade of Sawmill BBQ, emblazoned in bold block letters with the straight-forward phrase "BBQ RESTAURANT". Inside, the restaurant hums with the activity of diners chowing down on bratwursts and cheeseburgers as the scent of dry-rubbed spare ribs and tender beef brisket fills the air. Traditional dishes of coleslaw and baked beans sidle up to morsels of turkey beast and pork loin, while homemade hot, sweet, and mustard-based sauces slather pork, beef, and the faces of ravenous diners. The surroundings promote a feel-good vibe of backcountry hospitality, with its big, grassy lawn, huge, screened-in porch, and rustic handcarts, pumps, and farm implements.
The modern flourishes on Copia's menu are globally-inspired but grounded by an American culinary tradition. Brought to you by chef Zach Fiorimondo and property director Derrick Collquett, dishes such as chilies and champagne-goat-cheese cream take off from Midwestern classics, such as slow-roasted rotisserie chicken, house-smoked trout, and pork-rib chops.
Aided by a wine market whose bottles pour into the dining room at retail price, the downtown eatery aims to shuttle city dwellers directly into wine country with 18,000 square feet of exposed brick walls, wood-beam ceilings, and white tablecloths. Elsewhere within the rambling complex, natural light pours into an atrium garden, a glass waterfall neatly partitions off the bar to prevent diners from impulsively ordering every dish and drink they see, and stainless-steel vats age several of Copia's own wines. Much missed after a fire shuttered its initial incarnation, Copia was roundly welcomed back onto the St. Louis scene in 2010: among other praise, St. Louis Magazine called its calamari "as crispy-crunchy delectable as any seafood you?ll find in a New England clam shack" and its smoked ribs "the best upscale version of barbecue in the area."
Friendly's Sports Bar and Grill, voted Best Neighborhood Bar by Riverfront Times in 2007, first opened its doors in 1928 under the moniker Friendly Tavern, and served as a community social club and a meeting place for church groups. Since then, the spot has changed hands and embraced modern technology, but retains its original unpretentious atmosphere. More than 40 flat-screen TVs let patrons watch multiple sports games at the same time by crossing their eyeballs in different directions. A game room houses regulation pool tables, arcade games, and more than 30 other diversions, and a spacious outdoor beer garden with picnic benches lures patrons outside during warm months.
Friendly's Sports Bar and Grill complements cold beers and mixed drinks with a menu that encompasses all types of pub appetizers, sandwiches, and entrees, such as the ever-popular fried chicken. The spot's kitchen can also cater private events with trays of gourmet meats and cheeses, or the Southern Chef Special Buffet, which makes bellies growl with a charming Southern twang.
The short-order cooks at Clayton Diner deliver a slice of Americana with a menu of comfort-food and soul-food classics. No fan of breakfast could ignore the fruits of their labors: towering stacks of hotcakes, buttermilk biscuits, plump sausage patties, and chopped-pork-sausage gravy. Their culinary efforts also spark lunches of breaded-codfish sandwiches, cheese-oozing chopped-steak phillies, burgers made from freshly ground beef, and Chicago-style dogs draped in yellow mustard and pickles. Daily specials, such as the juicy rotisserie chicken, round out the diner's tried-and-true American dishes more effectively than a slice of the Constitution.
Yard-long lineups of glasses overflowing with beers such as Boulevard Wheat, Guinness, and Rolling Rock are a common sight at Maryland Yards. The party-size servings go well with this lively bar and eatery?s 16 TVs, arsenal of pool tables and dartboards, and stream of music and lost web crawlers flowing from an Internet jukebox. More than 20 sandwiches and wraps?such as a fried-pork-loin sandwich or a classic french dip?leave the kitchen alongside bacon-and-cheddar potato skins and spicy or sweet wings, each designated to refuel appetites after a round of trivia, karaoke, or poker.