Tuesday, April 17, 2012


343 North Creek Drive
Festus, Mo.

It had rained earlier, April showers, but the evening opened up to sunshine and damp air. Angel, as is usually the case on Saturday’s, had rushed around all day, classes, dogs in the park, go, go, go. By dinnertime she’d announced she was in the mood for a po’ boy, this time I didn’t assume she meant me. Po’ boys meant Taytro’s .
The Place:
 One of our favorites. Up on the hill above the produce market, around the curve from Ryan’s (yuck) Steakhouse. There were only a few patrons ahead of us, they were at the bar.  The young lady showed us a table right by the door, Angel asked for another. There were plenty available so we got one by the window.
She took our drink orders, recommended the Sam Adams Spring Ale. Sounded good to me, especially since the tea at Taytro’s is not really any better than other places. Angel asked for a Diet Coke, Adam a regular Coke.
Small signs and chalk announced there would be live music later, Patrick Thomson. We were too early once again to check it out.The evening's specials were 'Bourbon Glazed Chicken', or a crab-stuffed portabella, tempting, but we were on a mission.
The Food:
Selection was quick. The only debate was over the appetizer. We, and by that I mean Angel and Adam, agreed on Chicken Tenders. They’re made like buffalo wings, just without the boney bits. I had no preference for appetizers, they all looked okay, nothing to telegraph home about though. We’d already tried the ‘gator bites’ (tastes just like gator) and of course they offered fried ravioli, since we’re near St. Louis. I sipped my beer slowly, it was cold and quite tasty.
For the main course, Angel indeed asked for the shrimp po’ boy and fries, as did I. She didn’t really necessarily want fries she’d said, but the only other choice was in-house chips. Adam asked for a po’ boy as well, chicken, with his fries.
Chicken Tender
I was nearly a third of the way through my beer, and starting to feel it, when the tenders finally arrived. The wait was a bit long considering there was only one other food-ordering table there. Yeah, a bit too long for a simple appetizer.During the wait I watched a local cop down the hill issuing a ticket to a middle aged man (assumed) in a shiny black late-model Camaro. Captivated by the flashing lights and getting impatient over the wait, it was the only thing worth looking at. The TV's were tuned to a sports channel, hockey maybe. After a few minutes the cop returned to his cruiser, the Camaro rabbited away, fancy after-market muffler growling as if the contemporary Camaro was anything like  it's late-sixties' ancestor.
The tenders finally arrived. Angel and Adam fussed over them. I pulled one skinny one into the little plate, tore off a piece and sampled it. After their comments of ‘fresh!’ and ‘just right!’ I declared them to be too spicy. But that’s just me, I’m not a hot wing fan, so if you are, you can just ignore my judgment, Angel and Adam really enjoyed them, even when dipped in (blech) ranch dressing. "The best in the area" was among their accolades.
The appetizers were gone, my delicious beer was half gone and warming. Finally the sandwiches arrived. No surprises, we've had them before.
Shrimp po' boy
Lots of the thick, lightly breaded critters sitting on a spread of citrus-chipotle-mayo under a bed of lettuce and tomato.
The mayo was spiced just about perfectly. I'm usually leary of 'chipotle' but Taytro's reins it in, getting the flavor, the smokiness in with just a tip of the hat to the heat.
Angel's plate was delivered with chips instead of fries. The server noticed this as she sat the plate down and immediately apologized and offered to bring out more fries. Angel tasted one of the chips, and told her not to bother, these would be just fine. They were thick, fresh and crispy, I tried one and thought it to be quite good. As you recall Angel wasn't that passionate about fries anyhow. The fries and the chips were seasoned, once again with a little, but not too much heat.
The sandwiches hit the spot, pretty much exactly what we wanted and expected.
Adam gobbled up his chicken, when I asked if it was good he simply replied 'Yeah'. He's a real Chatty Cathy.
Near the end Angel proclaimed, but only mildly, that the spiciness built up over the course of the meal, I agreed. It was not unpleasant, but it did build. My only other concern with the po' boy was the bread. It was not bad, in fact it was fresh and tasty. It was too thick. This is one of my complaints about a lot of trendy sandwich shops, like Subway. Too much bread. The bread was twice the thickness of the rest of the sandwich ingredients. My jaws popped on the first ravenous bite, and by the end I'd discarded large chunks of it to better enjoy the shrimp.
Taytro's is better than most other places. It's not perfect, but the atmosphere, the food, the service is all pleasantly top-notch. I'd like less wait time, especially for the appetizers and the bread was thicker than I like it, but all told, I was not really disappointed at all.
The bill came in at around forty one dollars, this is not a cheap fast-food joint. Since this included an appetizer, the tab wasn't bad at all.
Angel's already looking forward to a return trip, by then she'll be craving the Etouffee.

Taytro's Bar and Bistro on Urbanspoon

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