It’s been more than six months since I’ve had some honest-to-goodness Creole/Cajun cooking. I was in NOLA at the time. But what do you do when you have a hankering for some authentic N’awlens grub: gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée and it’s 700 miles away?
Last week when we met for lunch, Cyndy suggested BOB: the abbreviated name for Broadway Oyster Bar, downtown, within blocks of the Arch. Perfect! Off we headed to the funky, seafood dive, that’s won a number of readers’ polls and accolades. In 2015, BOB was named the “Restaurant of the Year,” by the St Louis Chapter of the Missouri Restaurant Association.
Have Some History with Your Gumbo
For those who want a bit of history with their cuisine, it’s good to know the 1840’s place has been a family home, boardinghouse, Chinese laundry, a record shop and a bordello. But since 1973, BOB has been serving up some of the best Creole/Cajun and seafood around. Guests can eat in the cozy interior or on one of their two covered and heated patios. As an added bonus, each evening local or traveling groups fill the air with music.
The Fun Patio
We took a seat on the patio next to one of the grilled-covered windows, that opened onto the noisy mid-day traffic, a row of construction cones, and a passing train. But all that becomes part of the ambiance of downtown dining, easily ignored when the food arrives.
Cyndy got the Oyster Po’Boy, a NOLA specialty, and declared it as good as any she’s had in Louisiana. My craw fish enchilada was splendid. The portions were ample enough to box the remains to take home. Besides, we needed to leave room for BOB’S pièce de résistance: Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce.
Bread Pudding, a Signature Dish
Now I have a special affection for bread pudding. I’ve found that no two are alike. A lot depends on the bread you use. Some puddings are dense and heavy, while others are light and moist. I prefer the latter.
Cyndy and I split a portion and agreed the dessert lived up to its reputation. When I inquired about the bread used, our server said it was the same as the baguettes used for sandwiches. Most often I use biscuits in my Bread Pudding, a Southern practice, that came from cooks sometimes having leftover breakfast biscuits.
I was glad we made the trip downtown. The day was ideal for eating outdoors, the services was friendly and timely, and the menu laced with flavors you’d find on Bourbon Street.
For a laugh, be sure to visit the restrooms whether you need to or not. I’m not sure you can unfold a yardstick in there. I’ve seen bigger on a 747 airliner! An all-around amazing place. Good vibes and vittles. Put this on your bucket list.
Broadway Oyster Bar. 736 S. Broadway. Hours: Kitchen opens every day at 11a. Kitchen closes Sun-Thu at 10p unless there’s a Cardinal home game that night and then open till 1p. Fri-Sat kitchen serves till 11p. Bar open: Every day 11a-3a. Menu.