Monday, December 3, 2012


10857 Business 21
Hillsboro, Mo

We wanted a good, solid meal. We chose Munzert’s.
The Place:
Awful tea.
Across Highway B from the Hillsboro Mall (Dollar General). The parking lot was filling in, but not quite full. We stepped in and noticed something odd. Munzert’s has a bar area to the left and a dining area to the right. The dining area was empty and blocked by an impenetrable barrier consisting of two high chairs. Apparently someone had rented out the entire main dining room.We were led to the left, around a pool table, several large video game, a crowded bar and to a booth in the back. The place was packed. It was also stuffy, and very loud. This is also Munzert’s smoking allowed section, and it reeked. A half dozen ceiling fans were spinning at full speed, to no avail, the foul air just moved in swirls from one place to another. We decided to tough it out anyhow. For all those that claim ambiance doesn’t really matter that much I’d love to have had you along for this fiasco.
“I prefer the other side.” Posited Adam in a very rare display of unsolicited commentary.
After we were seated and handed our menus by the hostess, another lady took our drink orders. I regretted my decision almost immediately, un-sweet tea with lemon. Angel asked for a Diet Coke and Adam a regular Coke. I recalled that Munzert’s tea was not very good in the past and had no reason to expect it to be any better this time.
The Food:
Dinner Salad
Angel announced earlier that she was after the fried chicken. I was unsure at first. I looked over the steaks, I always get steaks at this place, they’re very good. I also looked at the burgers but they all seemed too big. I then noticed that below Angel’s favorite half-chicken plate they offered a two-piece chicken plate with two sides, so I decided on that. I knew I wanted the German fried potatoes, I also opted for a dinner salad. German fried potatoes are thick potato slices fried with lots and lots of onions. In the fried potato war, I choose German over French without hesitation.
As expected, Angel ordered the half-chicken saying she'd happily be taking half of it home in a box. She really likes the chicken. She added a Caesar salad and German fries.
Half Chicken + German fries
Adam surprised me by choosing a chicken and penne pasta plate, mashed potatoes on the side, with gravy. Yeah, pasta with a side of mashed potatoes.
The salads were somewhat slow to arrive, but they were quite good; fresh and crisp and not too large. Adam stole his mom’s crackers and maybe a crouton or two. In the meantime the noise grew louder and the stench stronger. Adam was covering his face.
The wait for the main course was even longer. The wait staff seemed disorganized and off-kilter. Drinks were refilled in a timely manner, for what it was worth, the tea was simply awful. Water next time.
2 piece Chicken + German fries
By the time the plates arrived we were ready, ready to leave. The noise and the smell were getting to us. I’d like to say the food made up for it all, but it didn’t. By the time the meals arrived our senses were clogged, saturated. The food was good as long as I concentrated on tasting it. The potatoes were crisp and onion-y, the chicken, lightly breaded, crispy and moist. The chicken was also very, very hot, I had to cut it open and let it cool off before I could start tearing away at it.  When the plates were delivered we were told that the rolls would be there soon, they’d had to make some. That was the last we heard of the rolls, we never saw any.
Chicken/bacon penne
We asked how Adam liked his pasta. Actually we shouted the question. “It has bacon!” he smiled. No wonder he ordered that particular dish. Sure enough mixed in to the creamy sauce and penne noodles were luscious bacon bits.
If you can’t say something nice, at least keep it short and to the point. Is my philosophy. Well, for the sake of this review anyhow.
I usually like Munzert’s I really do, but if this had been my first experience I would almost certainly never have gone back.
The waitress seemed to sense our discomfort and displeasure and offered an apology about the service. By then of course, it was too late. I rushed her through the process of payment by asking for the check then having my card ready when she brought it. Another lady brought us two take-out boxes. Angel and Adam spared no time scraping their extra food into them. We got out of there as soon as we could, relishing in the quiet and fresh air outside.
I had a headache from the noise. Angel and Adam were suffering for air.
We have decided that if this is the only option on subsequent visits to this or any other bar/grill then we will just go elsewhere. Not that we believe our health was in immediate danger, the jury’s still out on that for non-asthmatic folks, but because the smell permeated everything, including our taste buds.
    The price was very reasonable. A steak, which I usually get  is kind of pricy here, but with two chicken dinners and a pasta dish the bill came in at a very reasonable $33. I didn't tip very much though. On this night the service was far less than ideal and there were no rolls. To fail to deliver a twice-promised component of the meal, even something as simple as bread, is a serious error.

Soapbox Time:
There have been many communities in the area, as well as all over the country, passing ordinances to ban smoking in restaurants and in some cases, bars. I’ve never really supported that. I always thought that owners should be able to make the smoking/non-smoking choice for themselves, customers could vote with their feet and purses. I still feel that way. I could have easily turned around and left and dined somewhere else.
As for the employees, well, my thought on that is this. I don’t like watercraft and I am at best, a lousy swimmer, therefore I have never sought out a job on a cruise ship or merchant vessel. I don’t like confined spaces, especially underground, so I am not a miner.  There are many restaurants, even in our little area, that do not allow smoking indoors. If you want to, or have to wait tables, you still have options. If you are bothered by smoke, you may seriously want to reconsider seeking employment in a sports bar in rural Missouri.

Bobby Munzert's on Urbanspoon

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