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  • Article

    Buffet - Old Country Buffet

    It's just like Mom used to make (or like she used to make in that picture-perfect, June Cleaver world). Only difference? No one at Old Country Buffet gives you dirty looks when you take another piece of fried chicken. No one slaps your hand when you ...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Hotel Dining - Ritz-Carlton

    Once upon a time, when hotels were the height of elegance, when men dared not descend into the lobby without their jackets and ties, a hotel's restaurant, often proved to be a drawing card for visitors and locals alike. Today, with an exponentially h...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Outdoor Dining - Bar Italia

    If you think about it, a restaurant needs to fulfill three prerequisites to qualify for a perfect outdoor dining destination: (1) The setting: either beautiful or interesting; (2) The pace: slow and laid back; and (3) The food: creative. It's funny, ...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Vegetarian Cuisine - Tangerine

    Recovering from their brief stint with prime rib months back, Tangerine is a go to for the city's hungry vegetarians who long for more than overboiled pasta with dreary vegetables. Their chicken-fried portabella is a constant on a menu that varies w...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Low-Fat Menu - Crazy Bowls & Wraps

    Just when you thought you were sticking to your diet, another magazine article or TV news segment comes along. It informs you that the chef salads you've dieted with, every day for a week, added about a zillion grams of fat to your daily intake. So y...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Pasta - The Pasta House

    By and large, restaurant-goers are a fickle lot. They may flock to a certain establishment one month, then turn tail when another opens the next. So it really says something when a place like The Pasta House not only survives, but thrives -- even whe...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Steaks - Tucker's Place

    St. Louis is a meat-and-potatoes kind of place at heart, which is good news for the folks at Tucker's. When it comes to steak -- which is why you've come to this section of our poll -- Tucker's is not only the place to be, but it offers a great value...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Fried Chicken - Hodak's

    The folks at Hodak's must have known what Springfield, Mo. band the Morells were talking about when they were singing (about another eatery), "the only thing French on the menu is fried." Whether you order oysters, catfish, frog legs or shrimp, Hodak...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Barbecue - Bandana's Bar-B-Q

    Taking top honors in this category is no mean feat in a city that is known to prize fine 'cue. At Bandana's, their winning ways are a matter of meat and sauce selection, certainly, but the family-owned chain (which boasts 11 locations in the St. Loui...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Seafood - Red Lobster

    Landlocked as we are here in the Show-Me State, the experience of eating seafood with an ocean breeze in our face and the smell of the salty brine in our nostrils is not to be, alas. But that doesn't mean we don't know mahi-mahi from farm-raised catf...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Sushi - I Love Mr. Sushi

    It takes more than a name to keep customers coming back again and again. It has to be the freshness of the ingredients. And the creativity of Mr. Sushi himself. Not just with his flashing knife, but with his songs and his jokes and his truly heartfel...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Red Beans and Rice - Popeye's

    Although a common comfort food, red beans and rice can take hours of prep time -- soaking, simmering, spicing. Popeye's is a blessing for those who long for this Cajun standard now. Thirty years of refining their recipe has made their version flavor...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Hot-and-Spicy Food - King and I

    If you think about it, this South Grand institution had a whole lot going against it when it first opened. It was so long ago that most people, on hearing the term Thai food, probably thought it an asinine command to fashion a bow from a piece of coo...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Service - Pho Grand

    How do you measure restaurant service? By the frequency waiters refill your water glass? By the speed with which you get your food? Sure, but it's also about going to Pho Grand, forgetting to order a vegetarian variation of their cucumber salad and m...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Value - Pho Grand

    Value doesn't necessarily mean cheap. You could spend $10,000 per person on a luxury cruise of the Greek Isles and still consider it a value. In this category, though, bottom-line price does play a large role. According to your votes, Pho Grand is th...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Largest Portions - Hodak's

    We know one local gourmand who, when asked if he'd like to try an unfamiliar restaurant, asks, "It's not a count-your-peas place, is it?" What he means is that, even if the food is excellent, it's so often the case these days that there's not enough ...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Catering - Patty Long

    It might get boring, featuring the same name in the top spot of this category year after year. That is, it might if their food weren't so exciting, if their presentation weren't so impressive and if their service weren't so attentive. But it is, no m...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Private Parties - Blueberry Hill

    Offering rooms to suit almost any occasion, Blueberry Hill provides food, alcohol and ambience. Do you want a buffet to make Elvis proud? How about a blues jukebox? Or maybe a cigar dinner with friends? Blueberry Hill can adapt rooms to your part...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Thin-Crust Pizza - Imo's

    Do we need to say anything here? If you've lived in St. Louis for three seconds you should know about Imo's thin crust -- The Square Beyond Compare, where toppings speak louder than crust. Sure, even diamonds have their critics. But most people with ...

    on April 17, 2002
  • Article

    Thick-Crust Pizza - Pizza Hut

    Well, just as the Mac/PC war rages eternal in the computer world, so it has always been with pizza preferences. Families have been divided, marriages sundered over the matter of thin crust or thick. St. Louis' devotion to thin, cracker-crust pizza is...

    on April 17, 2002
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