Tuesday, July 31, 2012


10857 Business 21
Hillsboro, Mo.
The Place:
Munzert’s faces the afternoon sun. The door handle was hot to the touch, enough so that I almost let go of it rather than holding it open for my slow moving family. I suffered through it though.
The parking lot was only sparsely populated and as we entered I saw only one other couple in the dining area. To the left was the bar, a few people sitting quietly. Overhead a flat screen was showing an Olympic soccer match. I don’t know if you know about this sport, I thought it was a kids game, or rather an excuse to take your kid somewhere and let him run up and down a field until he tires out so you can then go home and take a quiet nap. Apparently though, some adults play the game as well, mostly overseas. I’m not sure why, the game is as about as interesting as watching kids run up and down a field to tire them out.
The sun would have been baking the interior of the joint had they not had dark Venetian mini-blinds closed tightly above the tables. So even though the sun was bright and hot, the interior of the place was quite dark.
We were seated at one of the windows in a booth. The hostess was sweet and polite, a waitress handed us menus.
I didn’t take long. I’d built up an appetite earlier in the day during a failed quest to find a simple, yet non-existent plumbing fixture, followed by an afternoon of defending an on-line political statement I’d made in frustration.
Angel had a full house of dogs, including three Great Danes and an adorable and lovable new client, Maya, a brindle Bull Terrier. Not a pit bull, Bull Terriers have an egg-shaped head and small triangular eyes. A Pit Bull, with its wide, square head is closer to a Staffordshire Terrier.
Overhead music played, 60’s stuff, Beatles, Motown, etc. I’m not a huge fan of 60’s music, though it is much more tolerable than country or anything contemporary currently playing on radio stations anywhere.
The selection process was quick and by the time the waitress served our drinks, tea, tea and Coke, we were ready to order. I jumped in first.
The Food:
A ten ounce New York strip and German fries for me. As for salad I picked the dinner version, with Thousand Island dressing.
Dinner salad
Angel, was hovering somewhere between a steak and the fried chicken, finally landing on the chicken. She opted for the Caesar salad, mashed potatoes and gravy. She said she’d prefer the German fries, but they didn’t come with gravy.
Adam picked the peppercorn strip steak, mashed potatoes and the Caesar salad.
As we waited for the salads we each played with our phones. Angel and Adam debated the strategies of a connect-the-dot game they’d been playing, I was just trying to get my phone to turn on.
The tea was cloudy and not exactly fresh, but it was wet and cold. The salads arrived in about the right amount of time.
Steak, German fries.
The salads looked fresh and bright, though mine was a bit skimpy on the tomato front. Two small tomato chunks, that’s all. Other than that it was quite good.
A few minutes, but only a few, passed between the salads and the main course. They did not deliver one course on top of the other as did Cracker Barrel a couple of weeks back. Bobby’s been in the restaurant business for several decades and knows better than to rush customers through.
The potatoes were served in small bowls on the larger plates. My steak, sizzling, with deep, dark grill marks was starting to let loose of it’s inner moisture, I didn’t want to waste that luscious stuff so I dumped my bowl of potatoes onto the plate.
German Fries are large chunks of skillet-fried potatoes with lots of onions. I’ve never had them anywhere else, but I absolutely love them. Even with soaking up the steak drippings they did not get mushy.
Chicken, mashed potatoes.
My knife glided trough the grilled pink meat just like a knife is supposed to. Take note Cracker Barrel, steak knives should be able to slice things, like, say for example, a steak. The first bites were heavenly, I had several before I even noticed the rolls.
Long, firm bread, still warm. The butter was in individually foil-wrapped tabs, frozen.
I don’t like frozen butter, warm rolls are never warm enough to melt an iceberg. Fix that will ya’ Bobby?
The family dived in to their meals. Angels’ first three pieces of chicken were quickly converted into a growing pile of bones, Adam’s steak disappeared rather quickly as well. Primal, grunting, animal noises and knives scrapping plates were the only sounds from our table for several minutes.
Peppercorn Steak
Angel stopped before the fourth and final piece of chicken, she surrendered. I  looked at my steak, three quarters gone and decided to stop as well. I had an idea for breakfast, thin slicing the remaining steak along with some fried chopped potatoes and scrambled eggs.
Adam all but finished his, saving the last few bites for the box.
We were stuffed, and we all laughed when the waitress offered us cheesecake or carrot cake.
In the few times we’ve been to Munzert’s we’ve learned this much. Bobby makes an excellent steak as well as some fine fried chicken. We were not disappointed this time either. Except for the cloudy tea, and the too-few tomatoes and the frozen butter, that’s really all the criticism we could muster.
“Yum, good as always!” Angel noted
“Good, I knew it would be, I’ve had it before.” Adam added.
And there you have it, about as good a review as it gets. No surprises, no mysteries, just a fine, well-prepared and satisfying meal.
At just over fifty dollars, this is certainly not the cheapest meal in Hillsboro, but it may be the best.

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