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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

LET'S EAT--Bandana's--St. Louis, MO.

We drive up to Bandana’s in St. Louis, MO—you know, The Show Me State—and the air is rich with a smoky barbecue smell! Show me the barbecue!

It had been a long, late-night weekend, wedding reveling, catching up with long-lived friends and meeting new ones. The rainy, chilly day has been spent talking, and we arrive at the restaurant ready for dinner. Our friends take us to Bandana’s, a bit sorry for us after we whine that we just don’t get good barbecue up north (actually Missourians refer to our part of the world as up east).

Bandana’s is a neat-looking place—lots of wood and with that great, friendly atmosphere we always experience in the Midwest.

As an aside – In the ladies’ room, a woman commented on the weather. I said that I found St. Louis almost balmy as we were initially delayed at Newark Airport by an iced jetway. That led to a discussion of September 11th. How far, she wanted to know, did I live from NYC? Was I impacted by 9/11? When I acknowledged that our town lost eight people, she squeezed my hand in commiseration. “If only we could get Bin Laden,” she said.

We walked out of the restroom together, and as we passed her table, she held out her hand to shake mine, and she introduced herself; I did the same, and I walked back to my table with a smile on my face. This was a really nice moment.

Anyway, back to Bandana’s. Bandana’s Barbecue’s registered slogan is “Smell that Smoke.” You can because they use a real wood pit smoker. Some of their meats cook for five hours, and some cook for fourteen hours. The meat emerges with a reddish color—and a magnificent taste. For you barbecue lovers, Bandana’s uses a “dry rub.” You can add your own special Bandana’s sauces ranging from their original to a spicy.

Much as we would have enjoyed combination platters so we could sample several meats, that was an impossibility. The platters were huge. Rob and I ordered different luncheon platters and then split the meats.

I ordered the Bar-B-Q rib plate: four hefty ribs, succulent and meaty. My two sides were a sweetish BBQ beans with pieces of pork and a great sauce, and something I’ve never had before—fried corn on the cob served with skewers so I didn’t get any of the buttery covering on my fingers. Also included were two huge slabs of delicious, buttery garlic toast. The price-$7.29.

Rob ordered the Bar-B-Q pork plate with the same sides. Two ribs to him; some pork for me.

Our friends went their own ways with chicken, but Robyn ordered a dinner platter, Bar-B-Q white meat chicken that came with that mouth-watering garlic bread, fries, and cole slaw. It was humongous! She packed half home to bring to hubby, Eric. Great gal! He loves this restaurant too, but he just couldn’t join us.

According to their take-out menu, you can Smell the Smoke in fifteen different locations! Love that mid-western air!
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