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.
Classic barbecue flavors abound at Randy’s House of Bar-B-Que, where cooks rub pork shoulders and brisket with a special seasoning blend before sending them into the smoker. They also smoke chicken and racks of ribs, adjusting cooking temperatures to unlock the meat's flavors while retaining natural juices. Sides of slaw and baked beans round out meals, which are served picnic-style, while afterward guests can enjoy desserts such as Who Dat's famous gooey butter cake. Visitors can also enjoy a full bar and live music every Wednesday and Sunday afternoon.
Kurt Enger developed all of the dry rubs and sauces used at Stumpy's House of Bar-B-Que, the eatery he operates with the help of his family. Those sauces and rubs enhance the hickory-smoked flavors of pork, trout, St. Louis–style ribs, and other meats. Framed sports photographs line the walls of their St. Peter's location, where patrons can sip cold beer at tables with red-checkered tablecloths.
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.