Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Bandana's

1220 Big Bill Road
Arnold, Mo.

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This choice was planned well in advance. We were celebrating Adam's new life. Bandana's is his favorite smoky meat place, so we took him there. Actually, we met him there. He's now independent, on his own. He moved out of our compound this week and into a nice little apartment in south St. Louis County, near Jefferson Barracks.
We're proud of him, of course, even though the compound is just a little bit quieter.
There was no argument, Bandana's was the only logical choice.
The Place:
In Arnold, a town I don't particularly care for. It's too much like a really busy subdivision to me. Too many cars and roads and stop lights. However, I wasn't driving. Angel doesn't seem to mind it so much. There used to be a much closer Bandana's in Festus, but it burned down  a few years back, the lot remains vacant.
Inside it is smoky smelling and quite comfortable. Plenty of tables and booths, Plenty of staff as well.
We were taken to a booth in the back, sandwiched between two very large and muted, wall mounted TV's . Basketball, (yawn). The same game on both. UK vs. Indiana, some sort of finale or championship or something at stake if I read the jittery captioning right. The screen also showed they were in the 2nd . . . something, the score flip-flopping back and forth around forty something scores apiece. I knew however that my mom would be watching. She's suddenly a UK basketball fan. When I talked to her earlier in the week she went on and on about SEC's or something. At the time I thought we were discussing the Securities and Exchange Commission, but my younger brother cleared that up in a subsequent call from him. Her SEC was a 'conference' involving college athletics. Who knew? Mom, or as I call her, 'The Reverend Doctor Hilda Bentley' has lots of degrees. Two from Murray State, another from Vanderbilt, and her Doctorate in Divinity, I believe, from a leg of UK. Why the latter deserves her sports devotion, I'm not sure. She didn't always follow sports so much, this anomaly occurred long after I was gone from the home.
We sat down and scanned the menu. There's not a mountain of choices. Smoky meat, that's what they do.
I decided to do it a little different this time. Apparently so did Angel.
The Food:
When our orders were taken.
Me: Loaded BBQ Baked potato and BBQ beans + tea.
Angel: Brunswick Stew and BBQ Nachos + tea.
Adam: Take two, turkey and beef, baked beans + Pepsi.
One nice thing about Bandana's is that everything is pretty much already prepared, so order to table time is relatively quick. Another great thing about the place is that most meals come with complimentary Texas Toast, some of the best I've ever come across, thick, crisp, buttery.
The tea wasn't bad, not great, but not as old or bitter as most places serve up.
Sure enough, the food came pretty quick.
Angel's eyes went wide when she realized she hadn't specified 'small' to that nacho order. It was a big platter full of cheese and barbecue meat. She had intended to have a small platter to go with her stew. The three of us could never finish off that many nachos. There would be boxes later.
My baked potato was almost completely covered by melty, gooey cheese. I carved into it and found that it was stuffed with sweet, moist barbecue. There was hardly any potato in comparison to the cheese and meat. There was no real use for the sour cream and butter that were provided. Then there were the two slices of toast, Yummy! The beans were, as always, quite good. Not too fussy or polluted with other things.
Angel let me taste her stew. It was thick with lima beans, tomato, corn, onion, barbecued meat and probably a bunch of other things. In the southern tradition, Brunswick stew is made with squirrel meat. I don't think Bandana's version did, but I could be wrong. It was quite good though, savory, smoky, not too strong or overly
spiced. The ingredients blended to make a comfy, satisfying taste profile. Brunswick stew usually includes okra, which would be a deal killer for me, even more than squirrel. Okra is not food. It is the plant version of a slug. It is slimy, bitter and I'm pretty sure it causes people to hate each other and to behave badly in social settings. It should not only be banned as a food, it should be destroyed as a form of life.
Not much to say about Adam's. He usually orders the same thing, and it's a simple plate of turkey and beef, smothered in one of the many sauces Bandana's offers on the tables. I've had that combination before. Simple, tasty and as Adam said "Good."
Summary:
I could have written most of this review ahead of time. We knew it would be good, we knew the staff would treat us professionally and courteously. Bandana's is very consistent.
There are many locations in the area, if you have not already, you should certainly give them a try.
The bill came in at around fifty bucks, not fast food pricing to be sure, but very well worth every dime. There's something for everyone, as long as they enjoy meat.
Congratulations and good luck in your new life Adam! Remember to drop by sometime! Call or write, or something. . . We already miss you.




Bandana's Bar-B-Q Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



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