Where to Eat During the Pandemic
When Cyndy and I lunch out nowadays, the restaurant must meet our Covid criteria. First, they must be open for lunch—many have gone to serving just in the evening. We also require a patio—spacious and airy—and preferably one with an outside entrance. And we want evidence of their commitment to sanitation. (Appropriately masked servers, available hand sanitizer, well-spaced tables, and a a policy of calling customers, if anyone at the restaurant tests positive.)
We made a list of patioed restaurants that immediately came to mind: Olio, Vicia, Cafe Natacha, Bricktop’s, Brio, Herbies, Cafe Napoli, Akar, Brasserie, McGurks, Molly’s, Bishop’s Post, Annie Gunn, Mai-Lee, 5-Star Burger, Broadway Oyster Bar, and Cafe Provencal. (Some of those turned out to be open only for dinner.)
Needing Some Comforting N’awlens Grub
As it happened, both of us had a hankering for some authentic N’awlens grub: gumbo, jambalaya, étouffée. But NOLA, the mecca of Creole/Cajun cooking, was 700 miles away. Fortunately, there’s a good alternative within blocks of the Arch: BOB—the abbreviated nickname for Broadway Oyster Bar.
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.
Off to BOB
The Perfect Pandemic 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.
Have Some History with Your Gumbo
For those who want a bit of history with their meal, it’s good to know the 1840’s landmark 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.
For a laugh, be sure to visit the restrooms decorated in Cajun Renaissance. 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.
A Ted Drewes’ Midafternoon Stop
In times past, we’ve split BOB’s iconic Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce. But this day we decided to make the 15-minute drive to Ted Drewes’ for my summertime favorite: a small Peach Concrete.
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.