Homeward Bound

Marion says she's got the best ribs in town. She's right.

Like the secret to cooking up a pig's snout until it becomes snoot. The meat and skin have got to be rendered, a cooking term for melting animal flesh over a low flame until the fat melts away and just the connective tissues remain. Snoot, once rendered, is similar to pork rinds or cracklings, but thicker and, at times, tougher. (Also, each hair follicle on the pig's nose is still intact and visible.) Snoot's texture can waver from mouthful to mouthful: bone-hard on one bite, and on the next, crunchy like a wafer cookie from where the fibers have morphed into rows of sinewy striations. (Another reason Marion was a bit out of sorts that night at her restaurant -- she'd chipped a tooth earlier chomping down on a piece of snoot.)

Moving into her new space, larger both in front and in back, gave Marion leeway to up her production of desserts, which are just as incredible and sinful as her ribs. Sweet potato pie, with its rich burnt-orange hue, comes off like pieces of spiced, firm, homemade pumpkin pie, minus all the off-putting pumpkin pulp. Caramel cake boasts icing so sweet that the sugar crystals make a sound when you bite through them. Marion's two puddings bear scant resemblance to Mr. Cosby's Jell-O. Bread pudding is done proper, like a slice of cake, with a gooey interior akin to that of pecan pie. Banana pudding is a firm-yet-gelatinous mound of mashed-banana goo, like a half-baked, milk-drenched pile of banana cake batter, topped with scraps of meringue and cream.

Warm welcome: Marion cooks up some of the best barbecue (and desserts) you'll ever eat.
Jennifer Silverberg
Warm welcome: Marion cooks up some of the best barbecue (and desserts) you'll ever eat.

Details

Snoot and tip plate $7.95
Whole rib $18.95
Half baked chicken $7.95
Banana pudding $1.95

314-361-2727. Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 7 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat.

5860 Delmar Boulevard

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The relocated Marion's sits on the very same block as the original. Yet Marion claims that many of her regulars have had a dickens of a time finding her again. The new signage isn't catching people's eyes, apparently. "I seemed to be lost for a while," she says. "Nobody knew where to find me." But even in a new house, Marion is where she has always been: right at home.

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