Monday, January 25, 2016

The Sammich Shack

10910 Hwy 21
Hillsboro, Mo.

Leon's Prime Cuts/Sammich Shack Facebook page.

I saw this place around the first of the year. A simple roadside sign, red painted on white. Another one, similar, was mounted to the roof of a small camping trailer in a parking lot, just south of the intersection of Highway 21 and Highway B.
I looked it up on the web later, didn't find it. I searched Facebook and found comments referring to it on Leon's Prime Cuts page. Yup, there it was, menu and everything.
So for the next couple of weeks, I tried to find a good time to stop
by. On this Saturday morning I was up and out well before noon, which for me is kind of unusual. I was heading to Desoto to try to grab some photos, for historical purposes, of the Ball Creek Bowling Alley. Or should I say the former bowling alley, it burned down earlier in the week. I'd never actually been to the pin den, but I do pass by it nearly every week.  I knew The Shack didn't open until 11, so I got the pictures, turned around and headed back to Hillsboro, getting there around five minutes past. Good enough. They had just turned on the 'OPEN' light, the window opened as I approached. A cheery young lady, Terra, greeted me. I scanned the white board menu.
The Food:
"Excuse me, what are Party Girl Potatoes?" I asked. I heard potatoes covered in cheese, she may have said something else, but she had me at potatoes covered in cheese.
The menu was pretty simple, I liked that. Pulled pork, brisket, ribs and burgers. Other sides were chips and 'Ho-Made Slaw'. I like slaw but I prefer it to be made by food service professionals, rather than. . . you know. . .
I asked for a burger with cheese, the prostitute potatoes, a bottle of water and a quarter slab of ribs to take home to Angel. She's a better judge of that sort of thing. I will eat ribs, but usually only if that's the only meat choice.
Terra told me that it would take a few minutes and that she'd bring it out to me when it was ready. No problem, I spend a lot of time in my car so I keep it pretty stocked with provisions. By that I mean books. So I sat there in the lot, reading and listening to the Tappet Brothers on St. Louis Public Radio. I also thought about where I would actually eat my lunch. There were no picnic tables, not that it mattered, it was twenty nine degrees outside. I'd eat in the car.
Before long Terra came out of the trailer hauling a plastic bag and came toward me. I lowered the window and thanked her, then drove to my favorite place in town to dine in my car, the Hillsboro Cemetery.
Long time fans will recall that I have hobbies other than griping about restaurant food. I visit cemeteries and photograph them, for the site 'findagrave' for the past six years and for the Jefferson County Historical Society for the past year, since they lowered their admission standards and let me join. I do other things for them as well, like  photographing every church in the county, but my heart always pulls me toward cemeteries.
Cemeteries are a great place for a quick lunch in the car. Quiet, peaceful, most often there is no one else there.  Well, living people anyhow and the dead ones don't seem to mind my frequent visits.
So I opened it all up, and it was good. It was what I call a diner style burger. Thin patty, standard bun, lettuce, pickle and onions off to the side. I also found a little tub of Baby Ray's Barbecue Sauce. I threw all that together and bit in. Yummy! A good, old fashioned, peppery griddle burger.
Most of the upscale burger and steak places feel the need to put a half pound of beef on a burger. I don't care for that. Give me a thin patty and I'm good. If I'm still hungry, I can get another one. I could eat this thing with one hand and get my mouth around it without popping my jaw.
I tested the Party Girl Potatoes. I was not disappointed. Exactly as advertised, cubed potatoes
slathered in melty cheddar cheese. This portion was not huge either. When I was finished, I was satisfied, not bloated. I finished up my meal and another chapter and left for my other errands.
When I got home later I presented the ribs to Angel.
"That's a good sign." she said pulling the meat of the bone. "It fell right off." This was referring to a place we didn't review a couple of weeks ago. The ribs there put up a fight. It took utensils to tear the meat off the bone. Angel likes it to basically fall apart at the touch.
"Quite nice." she said after a mouthful.
All good. Seriously, all good. The food was first rate, not overthought or frilly. A good burger, nice side, all prepared simply and properly. Terra was a delight, funny, helpful and thoughtful. The bill, for the burger and side, the 1/4 slab of ribs and a bottle of water was pocket change over ten dollars. Nothing to complain about there either.
I don't know what the long term plans are for The Sammich Shop, but I sure hope it stays around for a long while. In my opinion, because they kept it simple and light, this is the best burger in Hillsboro.  Certainly better than any of the fast food outlets, but also better than a couple of other places in town that I will not name here. (Locals will figure it out, there's not that many places to get a burger in town.)
They've only been open since the first of the year, I really, really hope they do well. We need decent places to grab a quick meal, especially if we plan to dine in the car in a cemetery with a good book.


  1. Hahhhahha -- we were about three hours behind you! And when it was good (two pulled pork sandwiches ...) I made a mental note to make sure you knew about it. But you’re GOOD -- you were already on it!

  2. Excellent review Dennis! I look forward to trying it out.