Part 9 of the Continuing Series, St. Louis’s Perfect Slinger: The 12th Street Diner

Posted: December 28, 2009 in slinger, STL: Downtown
Tags: , , , ,

Let me start off this entry with a quick story.  As my local readers know, yesterday was really slick and nasty and snowy in the morning.  So, after I woke up I saw that I had a text from my wife asking if we were still planning on going out.  Well, I really wanted my slinger, so we were.  Well, it was slick, and this morning, we were set up for some serious issues.

I went and picked up Bob at his place.  He hopped into my car and we headed off towards downtown. Today we were headed off to Chili Macs. When we got there however, after slipping and sliding all around, it was closed.  So then we headed out to the Majestic, and it was closed too.  So then off to Uncle Bills, and on our way there, I changed my mind and we headed back downtown to the 12th Street Diner.  Then nearly got into an accident on Washington Ave, so if you’re that fellow in the black sedan from Illinois, I’m sorry!!!

So, we walked into the 12th Street Diner with a bit of trepidation.  I mean, I had nearly gotten into a what would have been a bad car wreck, the diner we wanted to go was closed, our back up was even closed.  I chose this place, because I’d heard so much about it ya know?

I had been told, and I checked even, that they serve bacon on their slingers.  As we all know in American society, bacon makes everything taste better!  Why, there’s even a bacon flavored vodka.

The place was very busy, Bob’s joke was that was because all of the real diners were closed for the Christmas holiday, so here went the overflow.  All in all, upon a first inspection, it was exactly what I was expecting, a place in the style of the City Diner on South Grand.  It was an  upscale and retro restaurant, and not a diner.

One thing I noticed right away was that the bars were not being used.  In the very front of the restaurant, and the back as well, they had counters like in a real diner, and like the City Diner has, but the difference here was that, even though they were fully stocked with condiments, sugar, salt & pepper shakers, napkins, etc, no one was sitting there.   This seemed strange to me, I suppose that at diner after diner, I’ve just grown accustomed to sitting at the counters.

They do have a slightly different take on the decor here than at City Diner.  City Diner uses paintings, photographs, and posters to give the vintage look and feel, where as The 12th Street Diner uses HD flatscreen TVs playing Frank Sinatra movies or I Love Lucy reruns.  The only thing is that there is no sound from the TVs, so it’s just low quality pictures flashing on the screen, and I just don’t see the point of that.  There’s also no music playing, but they do have ceiling fans made out of jukeboxes.  Which I thought was very, very cool.

We got back to where the hostess took us in the back row.  We were seated right next to the other bar in the restaurant.  I’m still confused as to this concept.  Why do you have these counters if you’re not going to sit

anyone at them?

I don’t get it.

Whatever, it’s not my restaurant is it?  It’s theirs, so I move on now.  We sat down at our table, and we get our menus.  Under breakfast, there’s no slinger, but it is under ‘Classics.’  I look at it: Eggs, hashbrowns, chili, bacon, cheese, french fried onions, biscuits, and white gravy.  I looked at Bob and I said to him, I’m a man on a mission, and it’s not always going to be pleasant.

So here it is:

OK.  So, I was really hoping the biscuits and gravy would be on the side.  They were not.  As you can plainly see, they are situated underneath the slinger…as though they should be a part of it.  My loyal readers would surely remember my complaints and calls for onions on my slingers, (Wait, do I do that out loud and not on the blog?), well this one has onions…but they are essentially onion rings on the top of it.  There was bacon involved.  Where are my meat patties?  No sausage?  No hamburger???

So, think about this.  Remove hamburgers (which City Diner won’t use because little sausage discs are really cheap, so said my waiter once), remove hamburger patties, add biscuits and gravy.  60% of my slinger was biscuits and gravy.  This is the cheapest stuff for the restaurant to serve me.  Then add another 20% of the slinger in eggs.  So, about a tablespoon or two of chili about a tablespoon of hashbrowns, and that’s all you had.  Combine that with a nearly $9.00 price tag, making it the most cheaply made, and the most expensive slinger so far in the City, and you don’t have a happy me.

Also, I shouldn’t neglect to mention, I hate biscuits and gravy more than I hate all bread.  (The 13 Blog only eats bread as a part of a sandwich, garlic bread, or when the hypoglycemia gets so bad that I to eat something.)  I mixed it up, ate about 5 bites and just said, I’m done.  I pushed it on the other side of the table.

Now, I’ve given a lot of doom and gloom about the 12th Street Diner, here comes the good.   The hostess came out to check on us, and asked how things were.  Before she could finish her question, she saw that I was done eating their slinger.  This was a great to shock to everybody who worked there.  The fellow who brought out our food, said that was his favorite thing on their menu.  Bob pipes up, and says, oh he’s a slinger connesuir.  She says, Oh?  Who has the best, and at which point, I began rattling off slinger after slinger after slinger, for more info click here.

She then asks me what’s wrong with their slinger.  I explain that it’s just too different.  So much went into reinventing the wheel, and I also left out the cost cutting measures of their dish.  She then asks if there’s anything else she can bring me instead, and when it’s slinger time, I want nothing else.  I’ll cook something at home instead if push comes to shove, so I say no.  She then says she’s comping my meal since I didn’t like it.

For anything aside from the slinger, I would recommend the 12th Street Diner.  The service is great, the waitstaff friendly, the food very quick.  Bob said his eggs were great, but I just cannot recommend the slinger.  So, all in all, the search for the perfect slinger continues!

Our next trip is on January 9th after the 13 Blog and his new bride return from Mexico.  So, expect no tweets, no posts, no nothing until then!  (Here’s to hoping I find a bar worth talking about down there though!)

In the meantime, feel free to send any emails to, visit our facebook fanpage, and as always, if ya enjoyed it, comment and tweet it!

  1. The 13 Blog says:

    […] that there are no tables.  Just a counter.  This is definitely a for really real diner, not like 12th St Diner or City Diner.  I liked that.  So, after we sat down we looked up and saw the menu. Tobey and […]

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