When You’re Needing Some Comforting N’awlens Grub
If you have a hankerin’ for some authentic gumbo, jambalaya, or étouffée, where do you go? NOLA is the mecca of Creole/Cajun cooking, but it’s 700 miles away. Fortunately, there’s a good alternative within blocks of the Arch. The food and atmosphere at Broadway Oyster Bar (aka BOB) is bold, authentic, and memorable.
The funky seafood dive has won a number of readers’ poll and accolades over the years. In the past, I’ve nibbled on gumbo, oysters, and crab legs from nearby plate. All were in the best Cajun tradition.
Be sure to treat your table to the savory Alligator Sausage and Shrimp Cheesecake. This is not a dessert, folks. It’s an appetizer best shared with your dinner companions. If you like your alligator straight up, go with the Louisiana Fried Alligator.
(Be Aware: Parking places and tables are hard to find during a home baseball game.)
Off to BOB
Ignore the Sounds; Enjoy the Vibe
For lunch, I most often sit on the patio next to one of the grilled-covered windows, that open onto the noisy mid-day traffic. I’ve grown accustom to the screeching cars, passing trains. and jackhammers outside the patio.
I tell myself, that’s all part of the ambiance of downtown dining, easily ignored when the food arrives.
In the evening, at BOB there’s often a band. But the night we were there it didn’t get cranked up until we were heading out.
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.
Reincarnated as a restaurant in 1973, BOB has been serving up some of the best Creole/Cajun and seafood around.
Petite Bar; Spacious Patio
The sprawling patio is far larger than the restaurant’s interior. 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 bathrooms on a 747 airliner!
Even so, BOB has been considered one of “St. Louis’ most beloved party palaces” for over 30 years. We didn’t party, but we did enjoy a great dinner.
BOB is 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. Then it’s open till 1p.
Fri-Sat kitchen serves till 11p. Bar open: Every day 11a-3a. Menu.