The temptation to select the jerk chicken at De Palm Tree was strong. Complex dry rub, spicy jerk sauce, tender meal: It hits all my pleasure points. I decided against it not because choosing the jerk chicken from a Jamaican restaurant borders on cliché -- it's my party, and I'll be cliché if I want to -- but because as good as the jerk chicken is, the oxtail stew is even better.
If oxtail had a less literal name, it would be far more popular. When braised, the meat is incomparably tender, with a deep flavor that, if the dictionary defined tastes, would be the entry for beef. In De Palm Tree's oxtail stew, that rich flavor is given a peppery accent and rounded out with butter beans as soft as clouds. It's hearty, yes, but thanks to its (gentle) heat, it's as satisfying in summer as in winter.
Still can't choose between the jerk chicken and the oxtail stew? Bring a friend and order both.
De Palm Tree
8631 Olive Boulevard, University City
$12.95I'm counting down -- in no particular order -- 100 of my favorite dishes in St. Louis. Some are well-known, others obscure. Some are expensive, others dirt cheap. All of them, I guarantee, are delicious. Please do not hesitate to share your own favorites via the comments thread.
Previously:#54: Pho at Pho Long#55: Gyro at Anthonino's Taverna#56: The Lemon Drop Cupcake at the Cup#57: Pupusas at Tres Banderas#58: Gumbo at the Gumbo Shop#59: The burger at Newstead Tower Public House#60: Quesadillas tradicionales at Milagro Modern Mexican#61: "7th Street Sicilian" Po' Boy at Blues City Deli#62: Tamales at Taqueria la Pasadita#63: Ćevapi at Bosna Gold#64: Lemon meringue and pine nut torte at BitterSweet Bakery#65: Chile Morita con Puerco at Señor Pique#66: Soda chanh duong (sparkling lemonade) at Lemon Grass#67: Nachos grande at Nachomama's#68: Pizza with pepperoni, sausage and mushroom at Pizza-a-Go-Go#69: Bill's "Burger Meister Burger" at Cardwell's at the Plaza#70: Sake (salmon) nigiri sushi at Nobu's Japanese Restaurant