2855 Seckman Rd
A little tricky to get to from our house, Angel’s beloved TomTom led us by it’s estimation of best route, though there must be a less complicated way to get there.
Detour is locally owned and operated by three guys that grew up in the vicinity. This is their first establishment together and one of the area’s newer grills.
It’s located in a new strip mall amidst a few thousand suburbanites. Imperial covers a lot of territory, this particular piece is on the edge of reasonable commutability. Parts of Imperial are rather remote, rural. This chunk is just a little closer to Metro St. Louis and popular amongst commuters. Houses are newer and pricier here.
There were several cars in the lot. None of the neighboring units of the shopping center had occupants yet, so the cars were for patrons of Detour.
Definitely a newer place, everything was clean, modern and relatively unscuffed. The bar was crowded and noisy. There was sports on the various TV screens and 80’s and 90’s music pouring from the sound system. The group at the bar was raucous, some had apparently been quaffing for most of the afternoon. Unlike the jeans and overalls that populated Hillbilly’s last week, the patrons here were more upscale, and older. Not OLD, just more mature, retirees and near retirees, dressed in suburban casual khakis and polo shirts.
The dedicated dining area was to one side, barely isolated form the imbibers. This area too was new, modern, sleek. The carpet was dark though colorless, the walls pale, lined at the bottom half by rather cheap looking wood paneling and at the ceiling an orange* and black diagonal stripe theme representing the colors of warning signs at road construction areas… Detour, get it?
We were seated at one of the booths, black on black. We were handed menus and left alone for a few minutes. The menu was smaller and less populated than at Hillbilly’s but there was still quite a variety. We were waited upon, asked for our drinks, tea, tea and Pepsi, and at the same time asked if we knew what we wanted to eat. We said yes and gave the order. The young lady just looked at us and nodded, not writing a bit of it down. This made me nervous since I know how lousy my memory handles short term lists…meaning not well at all. She seemed confident though, and to her credit got it all correct.
Angel and I ordered the 12 oz. NY Strip Steak, salad and baked potato. I ordered my steak a bit pinker than Angel’s because I’m a man. Adam asked for the nine inch meat lover’s pizza. Nothing but meat, four or five kinds from at least two or three different kinds of animal. So there vegans, vegetarians, wiccans, etc. We eat meat and we are not at all ashamed of it. Go ahead and suck on your tasteless, vile soggy piles of kale and tofu… we’ll take the dead animals and plenty of them thank you!
The tea was tasteless, which is one step below unremarkable. No effort at all.
Our salads were delivered along with a hot roll and a small condiment packet of ‘whipped spread’; it didn’t even pretend to be butter. The rolls were very good, the whipped spread melted right into it. Angel didn’t partake of the spread, Adam sat and played with the spare condiment packet as we dug into our salads.
The salads were pretty good. There were olives, tomato chunks, shredded white cheese, iceberg lettuce (some too-large chunks) and red onions. The dressing was tossed in for us rather than sitting on top in a glob. It wasn’t too big so there was plenty of room for the meat.
The main courses arrived in good time, post-salad and pre-boredom. The 12 ouncers’ looked bigger, the foil-wrapped potatoes were huge. There was enough butter and sour cream in them to cause a dozen or two cardiac events. I unwrapped mine completely, Angel left hers in the foil. I like potato skin and this was almost crisp. Delightful. The skin is were all the vitamins are.
The steaks were broiled perfectly, though Angel said she didn’t care for sear marks. But added “as you can see I was really disappointed”, what she was pointing to was the area of the plate that used to host the steak, now completely barren. I like sear marks on steaks since that is about the only evidence that there was any cooking involved at all the way I order them.
Adam’s pizza was well populated, bacon, pepperoni, burger, Canadian bacon, sausage. There may have been baby seal meat and spotted owl drumsticks on it as well. There were no peppers, pineapple, tomatoes, onions or anything timid like that, they meant it when they called it a meat-lover’s. Adam said the pizza was not as rich as other St. Louis style pizzas, but did not mean that as a condemnation. We like a little STL style, but the sweetness of the sauce and the richness of the cheese can weigh us down pretty quick.
I couldn’t quite finish my steak or potato. I’d lunched heavier than I should have, on chili, but the meal was very satisfying.
The tab came in at forty five dollars and change. Quite comparable to Hillbilly’s, more than a diner, less than a chain. The quality and quantity of the food was excellent though.
The service was lackluster, but not terrible. We were impressed with the lady’s ability to memorize a modestly complex order, but there was not a casual or familial feel. Sure, she kept referring to Adam as ‘Honey’, which is quaint from a forty+ish gum smacking diner waitress, but this lady appeared to be in her mid twenties and much less rural.
The wait for the check was longer than it needed to be, by a few minutes. We did our best to look impatient and in a hurry, but our attempts went unnoticed.
As we waited for the check and the box for the remainder of Adam’s pizza, he sat and twiddled that whipped spread packet some more. Fortunately, for the sake of comedy, the packet did finally explode like a massive grade-A pimple spraying the chemical spread all over his shirt and pants. We knew he was embarrassed, so we laughed our fool heads off. We’re Bentley’s, it’s what we do.
Other than the less than excellent service, the noise was the only other concern. There were rebel yells, enormous laughter, and a constant loud din. I suppose if you enjoy people around you enjoying themselves openly this would not be a problem. It’s just not us though. Maybe more wall separating the bar from the dining area would help, maybe just not allowing loudness would work as well. Or, we could just not go back and the Noisy McNoisy’s can have the place to themselves.
* Orange paint: You don’t see this color used for houses and businesses very much. I first learned about its properties back in the dark ages when I served in the Air Force. A wise senior NCO gave me a tip. He told me that he, upon hearing that the Inspector General was coming around, had his crew paint the entire department, floor to ceiling, in what was referred to officially as ‘Alert Orange’, readily available through normal supply channels. “The thing about it is that it overpowers the eyes. It’s dead center of the visible spectrum and can cause nausea and headaches if looked at too long or too much. People will generally, without realizing exactly why, spend very little time in a place painted that color.” I did indeed use that color to paint one wall behind my desk. Not just for the IG though. I have no scientific proof, but I can say that no one spent much time visiting.