Part 7 of the Continuing Series: St. Louis’s Perfect Slinger, The Buttery Restaurant

Posted: November 1, 2009 in diner, slinger, STL: Gravois Park
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So, this morning, my faithful diner companion and I went off on our next adventure. I, searching for the next great slinger, and he, enjoying my company. We decided to head deep into the the heart of South St. Louis today at The Buttery Restaurant. Located on Grand Blvd in the neighborhood of Gravois Park, the Buttery has been located there next to the Blockbuster Video for as long as I can remember.

This place is very quaint, and very much like a diner of old.  I was expecting Mel and Flo to be working there, except we were there during the day.  I hadn’t been there in quite a few years.  I remember my mother, her then fiance and I made a trip to the Buttery once very, very late at  night.  I do not recommend this, unless things have changed since 1993.

Now, when I say this place is quaint, I am partly saying it’s a bit of a hole. Now, we’re pretty much ok with this, and well that’s what we are looking for. I don’t really remember how we got going on this outings, but we do and now you get to read about them, as he put it, in my Quest for the Holy Slinger. This vent here was actually the cleanest in the whole place.

The Buttery certainly didn’t disappoint as a diner.  I had forgotten that it was an honest to god, true diner.  The kitchen can bee seen here…

This is exactly the kind of place we look for. This also gives us good guy time. As his daughter (my fiancee) and his wife, do not like going to these places. Last time when we ended up a nicer establishment, they came with. This time, it was back to our roots with a dirty, greasy diner, full of questionable characters and wondering if the health inspector’s been paid off.

If you enlarge this last photo, you can see some of the questionable stuff that’s there. There is much more to show beyond that, but look at the ceiling of the place. It doesn’t look like that tile’s been changed since Jimmy Carter was in office. The only real update to the place that I saw were energy efficient light bulbs, but you have to keep costs low somewhere I suppose.

Remember when I was talking about the ceiling? Here’s a great shot of some of some read gunk that’s caking up top. I have no idea what that stuff is. I know it’s a greasy spoon, but typically grease doesn’t leave red streaks up top on the ceiling. It looks like somebody smeared some Georgia clay up there! How did they even get the clay up there? Oh well, at least the tables were nice and clean. Take a look at these banisters…

Now we are through the looking glass in terms of a greasy spoon. Look at that. There’s grease caked onto the banisters that separated us from the grill. This is a concept, that I, your friend and humble narrator cannot wrap his head around. Grease on the walls??? Well, I mean, essentially they’re walls right? Those are the barricade to keep us from running over there and doing god knows what to the grills. We looked at those and realized we were not going to touch them. I mean, that would just be gross, gross, gross.

So I suppose that was perhaps a tactical decision meant to keep interlopers and thieves away from the precious, precious frozen meat patties.

Of course, no one really cares about the decor and the grease on the walls right?  I mean the health department’s not reading this series.  It’s about the slingers!

So let’s get it on!!

Yes my friends, I did get my slinger.  If you look closely at the menu picture on the right, you’ll see that they didn’t have anything terribly interesting going on in their version of the slinger.  Really standard fare, but everybody loved the Beatles and they just played standard three chord songs, so we’ll continue.

I noticed that there wasn’t a single mention of onions on the menu.  This concerned me.  A slinger without onions is like a slinger without beans.  It could only described as without, or like shooting blanks.  It looks and feels the same, but in the end, it’s not the same.  They also serve ramen noodles???

So, our waitress comes out and takes our order.  I said slinger, scrambled eggs.  Now, as you can see on the menu, it said meat topper.  Well the Eat Rite‘s slinger said the same thing.  Meat.  Didn’t say what kind.  So I expected sausage, as the folks at the City Diner once told me, it’s far cheaper.  So she says hamburger or sausage?  Hamburger.  Do you want onions and cheese?  Oh yes please.  So we are now in like flynn on this bad boy.  Onions, burger, cheese, etc.  We’re ready to rock and I’m not even hungry, but ready to eat.

So here it is, the slinger in question. I have to say, it doeesn’t look like much does it? I mean, it looks, well tiny. What I realized however, as I started mashing it up, to get all the flavors mingling and kissing, I realized it was really a lot bigger than it looked. The I remembered how they make their hashbrowns. The cooks use a circle and fill it up with forzen hashbrowns.  They’re about the size a really wide hockey puck, and there were two of those, then break it up, and you’re looking at quite a lot.

The onions were very thin, and I didn’t taste them at all. When I ask for onions on my slinger, I expect the size you’d make when you make spaghetti or nachos at your house, not these little shaving things. I couldn’t find the cheese, it turned out, after I began digging around in there, it was actually under the chili and on the burger patty.  It had already melted by the time I got my slinger, and as I mooshed it all together, it created a nice cheesey flavor all throughout.    I don’t know what this hot sauce was, but I’m guessing Frank’s Red Hot…which is GREAT on a slinger!

The chili was lackluster at first, but I seemed to warm up to the taste as time wore on.  Now the burger patty is what confuses me the most.  I sat right by the grill and saw what ingredients they used.  They were using frozen burger patties.  They had the little indentations on them like those old Holten Burger patties I used to eat when I was little and didn’t know any better.  Somehow, and I don’t know what witchcraft they used there, but that burger was phenomenal.  I tasted so good.

I don’t know what to really say about what I expected form the place, but what I got I was very happy with.  All in all, a very good destination for a late night or early, hungover morning for a nice warm slinger.

I do feel like I have to say this though…this was the first time in my life that I felt really bothered by the smoke.  Keeping in mind, that there weren’t that many cigarettes lit but it really bugged me.  So, if you have an aversion to cigarette smoke, you probably won’t enjoy your time here.  I do think it was also the smoke coming off of the grill, as the pictures clearly show, there’s some definite blow back of the grill and some pretty bad ventillation.  So right now, my sweet Team USA hockey hoodie smells like the Buttery.  Smokes, grease, and potatoes.  That’s what you’re going to smell like at the end.

It’s a nice little place.  Go visit them!

As always, if you enjoyed this, please share it with others.  Comments and emails the13blog@gmail.com are always appreciated!

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Comments
  1. […] we have the slinger served at The Buttery Restaurant, a St. Louis institution.  They have what are the best potatoes I have come across on a slinger […]

  2. […] very greasy, the ingredients are well prepared and seasoned.  It’s not the scary slinger of The Buttery Restaurant or Eat Right, but a nicely done slinger that I’m pretty sure my wife would even eat.  […]

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