Monday, June 30, 2014

Ginny's Kitchen & Custards

7022 Highway 61/67
Barnhart, Mo.
On Facebook

Why this place? This is why:

Yeah Sloppy Joes, at a restaurant. It sounded good. I've never had a Sloppy Joe anywhere but at home and back in grade school, the cafeteria would offer it up as 'Barbecue Beef on Bun'   It might have been a trademark thing.
According to the real world, user-contributed encyclopedia that very closely resembles Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy", Wikipedia:
"Marilyn Brown, Director of the Consumer Test Kitchen at H.K. Heinz in Pittsburgh says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the Sloppy Joe began in a Sioux City, Iowa, cafe as a "loose meat sandwich" in 1930, the creation of a cook named Joe."
Before that time 'Sloppy Joe' was what people called diners that served cheap, low grade food, quickly. You know, like McDonalds.
I wanted to try a Joe that someone, a professional, had made. Would it be just like the canned stuff I'm most familiar with?
The Place:
 On the main drag that runs North/South between I-55 and the river. The address says Barnhart, but there's a bunch of towns on that run, pretty much end to end, all the way from Festus to Arnold. So it's along there. Just drive until you see a big ice cream cone on a pole.
It has a walk-up window, convenient if you are that incredibly lazy, or if you want to dine outside with your pooch. They offer doggy treats as well. Inside it is bright and happy. A very wide menu is overhead, they offer much more than you would think an ice cream parlor would.
We'd had their burgers before, liked them pretty well. We stepped up to the counter and were greeted by a cheery young blonde girl. She wasn't wearing a name tag, which surprised me. I thought there was a state law or something that required minimum wage food service workers to wear name tags. I guess not. Her bright yellow t-shirt did say 'Ginny's' on it, so that might have been her name, I'm not sure.
As Adam and Angel read the overhead, I got Ginny's attention. "Do you serve Sloppy Joes?" I asked, with authority.
"Only on Tuesday." She answered.
"Only on Tuesday. The guy that makes them only works on Tuesday." She added.
This seemed odd to me. Not only did they serve Sloppy Joes, but they were made by a specialist. Obviously an artisan, probably very particular about his craft. Those must be some pretty special Sloppy Joes.
"You can get one on Tuesday." She assured me.
"That is not at all helpful." I scolded. I can't go there on Tuesday. I work during the week and don't get home in time. Barnhart is to the east and north of home, work is well to the north and slightly west. Too far to go after one has already gone so far. . .
So, no Sloppy Joe. Very disappointing.
But the burgers are good.
The Food:
Angel ordered first, a double combo with cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, ketchup and mustard. That sounded pretty good, so I asked for the same thing. The combo comes with fries and a drink, Angel chose orange soda.....  I don't know why....   I asked for unsweetened tea.
Adam stepped up and asked about the Monster Chicken Sandwich, it seemed to satisfy his needs, so he went for that, with a Pepsi.
We slid into a booth near the front. I was still grumbling about the Sloppy Joe. "Why do they only have one guy that can make it?" Adam asked.
"Obviously he has specific, special skills." I rebuffed.
"He can open a can?"
Adam doesn't like Sloppy Joes, he would never understand.
We fiddled with our E-devices while we waited. I was pleased to notice that Ginny's had hassle-free WiFi.
They also had overhead music. Country Music. I then understood why there was a 'No Weapons Allowed' policy. I might have taken all those speakers out if I were armed. At least it wasn't very loud. It still sounded to me like a dozen cats with accordions jumping up and down on a trampoline though.
The place was neat as a pin, it always is. The ample staff took pretty good care of cleanup duties between orders. On the front wall were several trophies and a couple dozen framed certificates. Ginny's gets lots of awards.
It wasn't long before our number, 34, was called. Adam took the walk. What he brought back was exactly as expected. Thin rough spatu-mashed patties, the way I love 'em. Tomato, onion and lettuce portions were fresh, and right-sized. Why they put it all on the bottom, I'm not sure, but they did.
The fries were predictably thin and crispy. And not too salty. Adam said they weren't salty enough, but I'm right on this.
His sandwich, though the word 'monster' might be a stretch, was indeed substantial. Two breasts, not deconstructed and rebuilt like chicken nuggets. Real chicken breast. I always prefer full, all natural breasts to those that have been artificially enhanced, ask anyone, I'm always saying something to that effect. They don't have to be large, but they do have to be the real thing. I won't touch a nugget.
My only problem with breast in general  is that it they can be a bit dry. According to Adam, this may have been the case here. He said they were a little on the bland side. It's why I rarely have a chicken breast sandwich. They tend to be dry or bland.
Our burgers were perfect though. Simple, fresh, tasty.
I like Ginny's very much. But Adam made a good point.  A couple of miles nearer or farther in any direction will get you just as good a burger. The Stoplight in Festus, 5-guys, Steak and Shake, all have as good burgers. But Ginny's is about more than burgers, recall, they do shakes and sundaes and ice-creamy things. I am sure they are quite exceptional. I just can't be the judge of that, a bit out of my field of expertise.
But the tea wasn't too bad.
I bet the Sloppy Joes are awesome as well. I may never know. I can't do Tuesdays.
The bill came to twenty-something, Angel forgot the receipt. It's so hard to find good help.
Adam was not impressed at all, that's why he brought up the other places with equally good burgers. Angel and I thoroughly enjoyed ours, and except for the abysmal soundtrack, and the lack of available Sloppy Joes, we thought very well of the place. For us, it is a bit of a long drive. But if you happen to be cruising down 61/67, go ahead, park it under the big ice cream cone, grab your mutt, and enjoy a perfectly satisfying meal.


You may have noticed that there wasn't a review last week. We were sick, summer colds. Sure, we ate, but everything tasted like phone book pages sauteed in zit-pus. We had burgers, but they may as well have been the Sunday paper for all we could tell. I thought at the time that we should go to White Castle, that taste would have been an improvement for that vile place.

Ginny's Kitchen & Custards on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. You write like you would talk to me 'back in the old day', well put with a dash of sarcasm. Love it.