Shallow Grove

St. Louis legend Busch's Grove doesn't deserve its exalted status

Dessert at Busch's Grove was no improvement over the other courses. Our waiter explained that all desserts except the coconut cream pie are purchased from Sysco, a leading commercial food-service distributor to restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes (not surprisingly, Sysco also supplies the melba toast). Some of the tackier confections, such as the Snickers cheesecake and the chocolate obsession cake, would have been at home on the dessert bar at the Old Country Buffet. Others might have stepped up to Ponderosa. The Sysco apple pie, for example, consisted of flabby fruit enveloped in a pulpy crust.

Next we ordered the coconut cream, hoping that the house-made pie would be better quality. No dice. A bit of shredded coconut had been dusted over the whipped topping, and the thin layer of plain custard below tasted like Sara Lee.

That helpful waiter, who had given us exemplary service throughout the meal, abruptly stopped answering our questions when my dining companion requested a copy of the menu. "You're not going to write about me, are you?" he snapped.

Busch's Grove: The food's better next door.
Jennifer Silverberg
Busch's Grove: The food's better next door.

Location Info


The Market at Busch's Grove-CLOSED

9160 Clayton Road
Ladue, MO 63124

Category: Grocery Stores

Region: Ladue


9202 Clayton Road
Ladue, MO 63124

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: Ladue


Vichyssoise $4.25
Shrimp cocktail $8.50
Grouper with lime sauce - Market price
Gulf shrimp $19.95
Surf 'n' turf $32

314-993-0011. Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tue.-Thu.; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.

9160 Clayton Rd.

My guest shrugged off this intrusive, appallingly unprofessional question with a joke, but the waiter persisted. "You didn't answer my question," he snarled menacingly. Then he recounted in detail how the restaurant had been "ripped" by the Post-Dispatch the week before (just after we had made our first visit to Busch's Grove, coincidentally). The server insisted, rather illogically, that the restaurant should have been notified before the review was published. It was unfair, he whined, for the Post's reviewer to complain that his musty baked potato had been whisked away but never replaced. I'll bet that if the waiter had paid $16.95 for a steak dinner, he'd want his baked potato back, too.

A couple of older staff members stood by silently during our server's tirade, finding nothing unseemly about his whaling on customers who had just coughed up $130 for dinner. The restaurant, it seems, wants to claim victim status along with women who slosh scalding coffee on their laps and men who blame their accusers when they can't keep their own trousers zipped. A nefarious right-wing conspiracy against waiters and restaurateurs is undoubtedly at work here. Isn't it funny, though, that the chefs and servers who bust their asses to put out good meals every night don't mind being reviewed?

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