RFT's Best of Food & Drink in St. Louis 2022 [PHOTOS]

Mask mandates may be a thing of the past, dining rooms are at full capacity and diners have come back out in…

By Riverfront Times

Best Burger
Jack Nolen's
Jack Nolen’s (2501 South Ninth Street) owner Jim Grindstaff doesn’t have a phone in his Soulard establishment. What he does have is the city’s most quintessential smashburger, a stunning specimen created after he traveled the country on a quest to discover what makes for a delicious burger patty. He paid attention to the key details — the ideal blend of beef, the perfect melty cheese, the right type of bun — and the culmination of that effort is Jack Nolen’s double cheeseburger, a magical smashburger that is a perfection of the form. The key is the beef mix, a blend of brisket, chuck and short rib that is so well marbled it remains buttery and tender throughout when smashed on the flattop, save for the crispy edges that are like a beefy lace. Gooey American cheese seeps into every crevice, and a simple garnish of lettuce, tomato, onion and dill pickle slices crown the beauty before it’s tucked into a soft potato bun. That you can enjoy such a classic while bellied up to the bar at such a quintessential watering hole only adds to the mystique. It’s a good thing he doesn’t have a phone; it would be ringing off the hook. —Cheryl Baehr
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