#52: Schnitzel & Spaetzle at Iron Barley

Schnitzel & spaetzle at Iron Barley - Ian Froeb
Ian Froeb
Schnitzel & spaetzle at Iron Barley
Ian Froeb
Schnitzel & spaetzle at Iron Barley
I rarely have cause to say this: Thank you, Guy Fieri. Specifically, thank you for featuring Iron Barley on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. Though this south city gem doesn't really qualify as a diner, drive-in or dive, it deserves the attention -- not to mention the new business -- that a oft-repeated Food Network profile brings.

Iron Barley is the sort of restaurant where the first dish you eat there will likely become your favorite. You want to cling to that moment when you realize something so straightforward -- so homey -- can hold its own against more highfalutin' fare.

So it is with me and the schnitzel & spaetzle, which I first had several years ago. Nothing fancy here, just pork tenderloin beaten thin, with a crisp bread-crumb coating and the lightly smoky flavor that its cast-iron cooking imbues. The spaetzle are a simple treat; lighter than gnocchi, more substantial than egg noodles, they soak up the pork's juices without yielding their own texture.

As an added bonus, the green beans are perfectly al dente -- rare in this town -- with bits of bacon and onion for added flavor.

Iron Barley
5510 Virginia Avenue

I'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.


#53: Oxtail stew at De Palm Tree
#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