On August 26, Gateway Grill (11188 Old St. Charles Rock Road; 314-209-0400) opened its doors in St. Ann, serving up casual diner-themed cuisine in a space completely outfitted with retro 1950s-style decor. Black-and-white checkered floors, red-and-chrome seats and formica tabletops make up the dining room, which seats around 40. The kitchen rolls out traditional American grub with one small caveat that effectively takes the grease out of the greasy spoon: The kitchen doesn't fry a single thing.
So you don't make the same mistake our GPS did, make sure you look for Gateway Grill on Old St. Charles Rock Road, not just the regular old Rock Road. To get to the restaurant, you'll find yourself circling some partially demolished guts of what used to be Northwest Plaza, currently in redevelopment (the Tilt Arcade-going kid in us wept a little for the loss).
Fortunately, one step into Gateway Grill's quiet, polished dining room provided a respite from the slight chaos outside. Couples wander in throughout the morning of our visit, grabbing a low-key bite to eat. A singular friendly waitress attends to each table, and before too long, homemade food comes out to each patron, fresh and hot from the kitchen.