Hungry Hombre

Step up to the plate at Albert Pujols' new restaurant.

Steaks include a New York strip, tenderloin and bone-in rib eye, but I was more intrigued by the flatiron steak. This is a relatively "new" cut of beef, taken from the shoulder. Much like the hanger steak a few years back, it has gained some cachet among chefs and foodies for its reputed balance of tenderness and beefy flavor. And at $14.95 for a ten-ounce hunk o' meat, the flatiron is almost half the price of the other steaks on the menu. The one I was served wasn't exceptionally tender or flavorful, but it was a decent steak, given the price. It was topped with a dab of garlic-herb butter and sautéed onion slices — the menu had promised caramelized onions, and these were barely translucent — but what it really needed was a little more salt and pepper in its crust, which as it stood provided more texture than flavor, a problem when a steak has this much surface area.

You might say Pujols 5 itself needs more seasoning. The servers were friendly but seemed swamped, even on a relatively slow Sunday afternoon. They have a lot of territory to cover: the main dining room, the "Sports Grill" (the bar, a few dozen tables and numerous flat-screen TVs) and three separate areas for groups and private parties. The metal-accented design looks slick but feels cold, especially when there's no game on. On my first visit, with the TVs by the bar showing a FOX News Channel roundtable discussion (including, oddly, New York Knicks great Walt Frazier), ESPNews and an ESPN program about people who have the same name as famous athletes, it felt like an airport lounge.

The requisite Albert Pujols memorabilia is confined mostly to a glass display case that marks one side of the main dining room. Hanging on walls throughout the restaurant are poster-size photos of Pujols and his teammates, which are swapped out on a regular basis. Over the course of my visits, one spot went from a beautiful shot of Yadier Molina watching his National League Championship Series-winning home run travel through the rain to the Cards celebrating en masse to a shot of Pujols lying flat on his back in the infield dirt, presumably after making a nice defensive play.

Fit for the Prince: Complement the big game with an order of Albert's excellent wings.
Jennifer Silverberg
Fit for the Prince: Complement the big game with an order of Albert's excellent wings.

Location Info

Map

Pujols 5 Westport Grill

342 Westport Plaza
Maryland Heights, MO 63146

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Maryland Heights

Details

Pujols 5 Westport Grill
342 Westport Plaza, Maryland Heights; 314-439-0505.
Hours: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sun.-Thu., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Fri.-Sat.
(Bar open till 1 a.m. Mon.-Sat.)

Chicken wings $7.95
BBQ chicken pizza $9.95
Arroz con pollo $12.50
Flatiron steak $14.95

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These photos are the key to the entire operation, a constant reminder that this is Pujols 5, not one more anonymous bar-and-grill. Really, the most accurate review of the place came from a little boy who wandered past my table one afternoon. He looked around at the posters and the banks of TVs, shook his head and said, simply, "Wow."

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