Chefs at Jonny's Pizza and Pasta slather sweet red sauce onto homemade dough, creating a brightly colored canvas for fresh Italian sausage, pepperoni and 18 other customer-chosen toppings. After a spell in the oven, these custom pies arrive at tables sizzling and, at the Fairview Heights location, can be devoured in the glow of big-screen TVs. Along with specialty pizzas, which can showcase other sauces such as alfredo, barbecue, or garlic-butter, chefs also layer lasagna, bake mostaccioli, toss freshly-cut mixed salads, and stuff footlong sub sandwiches with hearty fillings.
Gallagher’s Restaurant is awash in Waterloo and St. Louis history from its foundation on up. Situated in a building built in 1870 with its original bar intact, the eatery is full of artifacts collected by owners John and Susie Gallagher over two decades. The balcony and bar feature original railings from the 1908 McKinley Bridge, the booths are made out of pocket doors from the Chase Park-Plaza Hotel, and the tables are repurposed bowling lanes from the old Bee Hive Bowl. To construct their masterpiece, the Gallagher family poured their own efforts into the building, doing almost all the physical labor themselves with help from their nephews, five sons, and other family members.
Inside that history-laden interior, servers bustle around with plates of hearty American fare and juicy eight-ounce burgers. Smoke-cured pork chops claim myriad state fair accolades for their glaze of sweet and sour peach sauce, and the chefs carefully stacks burgers with shiitake mushroom sauce and brie or an enchanting combo of cayenne candied bacon with cheddar or blue cheese. Every Sunday, the restaurant serves fried chicken dinners that were judged the best in the area by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which noted the flavorful blend of spices in the batter.
When Chris and Micki first met, they quickly bonded over their shared love of food. Chris reminisced about the spicy jambalaya, the creamy crayfish étouffée, and the rice and beans of his native New Orleans, and Micki shared stories about growing up in her parent’s restaurant. Like shrimp and grits or onions and tears, the two were a natural pair. They got married and officially combined their culinary passions, forming their own restaurant, Who Dat’s Southern Food.
Guests are drawn into the shop by the wafting smells of spicily seasoned seafood, andouille sausage, and pulled pork that’s been slow-cooked with a dry rub for 10 hours. One weekend a month, they set up shop outside to have a southern boil, letting guests experience the sociability and great tastes of the south without meeting, befriending, and subsequently boiling Mr. Peanut.