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O'Fallon Illinois 2024 Search
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    Post #1 - June 11th, 2024, 11:29 am
    Post #1 - June 11th, 2024, 11:29 am Post #1 - June 11th, 2024, 11:29 am
    I know absolutely nothing of this area. When I tell you I'm ignorant of something, believe me.

    Apparently, O'Fallon, Illinois is 20 or 30 minutes SE of St Louis. I know nothing of St Louis, except there's sposed to be some decent bbq, and weird pizza. We'll be in O'Fallon, Illinois for a weekend very soon for a kids' sport tourney. I try my damnedest to find good food when we travel, and we know another family that will happily join us when we find better than standard joints. I've seen a few old St Louis threads that reference a few spots, and I'll read up some more. Just checking for any newer updates or recs for the O'Fallon area. I doubt we'll be spending any time in Da Lou, as the tourney will take up a lot, so focusing on O'Fallon, and very close-by. Sport tournament, Hotel pool, decent food, and proper sleep will be the theme of the wknd.
    We eat EVERYTHING, but we'll have some teen kids that won't wanna get too dressed up. We'll also probably have some times where the parents can leave and go find a hopefully killer lunch (but casual) while the kids stay at the field for their next game.

    Any neat nearby interesting foodcentric shops? I think I saw a tea purveyor which will warrant a visit.

    Any neat nearby small business breakfast/lunch that takes real pride in their food?

    Easily the best bbq in the immediate area is...?

    Dare we try the St Louis style "pizza?" - This makes me laugh, because last year, we hit Detroit, and had Buddy's for the first time. Total trash, imo. Great, well run restaurant, awesome staff, but the pizza was old school Little Cesar's square pan pizza, but 3x as expensive. We all literally laughed at Buddy's trashy pizza.

    ANYTHING else that is excellent? We eat everything. I can't stress enough that we have no limits, other than we're not gonna get dressed outside of jeans or shorts, and we'll wanna stay local to O'Fallon (Illinois side.)
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
    Pronoun: That fool over there
    Identifies as: A human that doesn't need to "identify as" something to try to somehow be interesting.
  • Post #2 - June 11th, 2024, 12:24 pm
    Post #2 - June 11th, 2024, 12:24 pm Post #2 - June 11th, 2024, 12:24 pm
    I spent two weeks working at Scott AFB about a year ago. Most of the meals were mundane, was partnered with a very non adventurous eater.

    A few stood out.

    Shooters - cheap beer, BBQ and friendly staff.

    Boarding House Bistro - A little more upscale that most in the area, nice Charcuterie Bar

    Dewey's Pizza - some very well executed pizzas, not StL style
  • Post #3 - June 11th, 2024, 12:58 pm
    Post #3 - June 11th, 2024, 12:58 pm Post #3 - June 11th, 2024, 12:58 pm
    If you do have any desire to go into St. Louis be aware that, depending on the time of day, there can be quite a traffic backup crossing the Mississippi river bridge.
  • Post #4 - June 11th, 2024, 1:10 pm
    Post #4 - June 11th, 2024, 1:10 pm Post #4 - June 11th, 2024, 1:10 pm
    Can't help much with O'Fallon, but if you'll be spending much time in StL, I can provide a detailed list of excellent choices.

    I led a three day Roadfood Crawl there in 2022 with significant help from George Mahe, dining editor at St. Louis Magazine. The list includes great pizzas, burgers, eastern European,and some excellent Italian spots on, or near, The Hill.

    If you're interested, send me a PM with your email address and I'll send the full itinerary as a Word attachment.

    Outside of StL, and very close to O'Fallon, Beast Craft BBQ, in Belleville, IL has been getting a lot of internet love. We went to their location in St. Louis and thought it was pretty good, but not great. OTOH, It was probably our fourth stop of the day, so might not have been in the right frame of mind (or belly) to judge.

    Buddy

    Beast Craft BBQ
    20 S Belt W
    Belleville, IL 62220
    (618) 257-9000
    https://www.beastcraftbbq.com/
  • Post #5 - June 11th, 2024, 4:02 pm
    Post #5 - June 11th, 2024, 4:02 pm Post #5 - June 11th, 2024, 4:02 pm
    Stopped at an excellent frozen custard stand on a road trip a few years ago driving back from St. Louis. It's a little north of O'Fallon though in Maryville, looks to be a 25-minute drive or so.

    Bobby's Frozen Custard
    2525 North Center Street
    IL-159, Maryville, IL 62062
  • Post #6 - June 11th, 2024, 4:22 pm
    Post #6 - June 11th, 2024, 4:22 pm Post #6 - June 11th, 2024, 4:22 pm
    Also about 20 minutes away from O'Fallon towards St. Louis but on the IL side of the river is Mi Tierra Bonita in Fairmont City, strong taco game but I recommend for carne en su jugo. Very informal, integrated in a grocery store. It's actually quite near Cahokia Mounds (my reason for travel to the area over the years), also worth a visit. There are several other interrelated Mexican places around and it is hard to get a bad CESJ in that area.
  • Post #7 - June 11th, 2024, 5:13 pm
    Post #7 - June 11th, 2024, 5:13 pm Post #7 - June 11th, 2024, 5:13 pm
    Bobby's looks great! Building looks like a streamlined cross between Leon's in Milwaukee, and Ted Drewe's in St. Louis. Custard looks like they're using Kopp's quality mix-ins. The best of all possible Frozen Custard Worlds.

    Looking at Google maps, it's about a 30 minute drive from Beast Block BBQ to Bobby's with O'Fallon in the middle. Also, zooming in on Bobby's, looks like there's another option; a potentially family friendly sports bar called Boogie's II.

    Buddy

    Boogie's II
    2082 Vandalabene Dr.
    Maryville, IL 62062
    (618) 205-3545
    https://www.boogiesrestaurant.com/
  • Post #8 - June 11th, 2024, 6:07 pm
    Post #8 - June 11th, 2024, 6:07 pm Post #8 - June 11th, 2024, 6:07 pm
    There's a Dairy King 20 minutes west in Trenton and Wally's Drive In is 30 minutes west in Breese. I haven't been to either but they're both on my list to try.
  • Post #9 - June 11th, 2024, 10:03 pm
    Post #9 - June 11th, 2024, 10:03 pm Post #9 - June 11th, 2024, 10:03 pm
    Hi,

    I did a talk in O'Fallon about two years ago, then left for St. Louis. It is so close, why not?

    I just did a search to find there is a Lion's Choice in O'Fallon. Think of it as Arby's roast beef sandwiches from the late 1960s. They have a great horsey sauce. They also have a beef broth to dip your sandwich, though I usually drink it.

    Lion's Choice,
    450 Regency Park,
    O'Fallon, IL 62269

    Depending on your route, you are 15-20 minutes away from a Waffle House in Collinsville, IL, which my Mom and I ate there about two weeks ago. There was some tension between the staff that day. A newbie cook who kept overfilling the waffle makers, creating messy drips and then doing it again. Entertaining as long as you are not involved.

    Waffle House
    505 N Bluff Rd
    Collinsville, IL 62234

    Driving down I55, Wally's in Pontiac has become one of our favored stops. My Dad goes for the popcorn. My sister likes the BBQ brisket sandwich. I have not yet found my niche. There is beef jerky stall, which I am told gives samples.

    Wally's
    1 Holiday Road
    Pontiac, IL 61764

    Staunton, IL is a place I like to stop along I55, if I can, that is north of where you are going. There is a bakery called Blackbird Bakery and Cafe, which has pastries that would be noteworthy in Chicago. It is run by people who grew up in Staunton, moved to Chicago, then returned home during the pandemic and started this bakery.

    Blackbird Bakery and Cafe
    123 E Main St, Staunton, IL 62088
    Tuesday - Friday: 8 AM–4 PM
    Saturday: 8 AM–1 PM
    Sunday-Monday: Closed

    Also in Staunton is a Super 8 that is especially well run with very comfortable beds. It is also the only place that asks to see your AAA card to affirm your discount. It is so favored by me, I try to stay there if I am within an hour distance of where I need to go.

    You are so close to St. Louis, I really cannot imagine your not going there. At least get cheaper gas than Illinois. Costco is usually the best deal.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways,
  • Post #10 - June 12th, 2024, 9:38 am
    Post #10 - June 12th, 2024, 9:38 am Post #10 - June 12th, 2024, 9:38 am
    Bobbie's website: https://www.bobbysfrozencustard.com/menu/

    Looks like the real setup would be to order a custom quart. I wonder what flavored bases they have available for custom mixes? It doesn't appear that they do a flavor of the day, but there are orange, strawberry and espresso for takehome. Wonder if an espresso cone is available?

    And besides Provel, is there something else weird about St. Louis pizza?
    seebee wrote:Great, well run restaurant, awesome staff, but the pizza was old school Little Cesar's square pan pizza, but 3x as expensive.
    Surprised you didn't say Jet's...probably only 2x as expensive as that.
  • Post #11 - June 12th, 2024, 2:17 pm
    Post #11 - June 12th, 2024, 2:17 pm Post #11 - June 12th, 2024, 2:17 pm
    I'll second Cathy's motion for Lion's Choice, especially if you're feeding a bunch of kids.

    As I've mentioned in other related posts, Mrs. Roadhouse and I have been making regular driving trips to Kansas City for 40+ years now; 90% of the time going through St. Louis. We have seen--and mocked-- the many Lion's Choice billboards lining the road along I-70/I-270, swearing we would rather starve than eat at a chain roast beef place.

    That is until a discriminating friend of ours, whose opinion I respect very much, told us we were way off base, and that Lion's Choice served a quality product. So, a couple of years ago we gave them a shot, and were amazed at how good this reasonably priced fast food store was. They're serving real roast beef, not a processed loaf, and you can get it served anywhere from a true rare to a still palatable well done. The condiment table includes all the usual sauces, plus hot au jus for dipping, fresh sliced onions, pickles, and jalapenos.

    Making it even more tempting, there's a Lion's Choice location walking distance from the original Ted Drewes.

    We certainly don't go every time we pass through StL, but if we're short on time, Lion's Choice is a solid pick.

    Buddy
  • Post #12 - June 13th, 2024, 10:29 am
    Post #12 - June 13th, 2024, 10:29 am Post #12 - June 13th, 2024, 10:29 am
    O'Fallon is about 10 miles south of Collinsville, home of the World's Largest Catsup Bottle (on the National Register of Historic Places). I'd say it's worth at least a small detour, but you might well drive past without even planning to. It's on Route 159 between I-55 and I-64.

    Have you checked snoots off your barbecue list? Most snoot specialists that I'm aware of are on the Missouri side, and I've tried them at least twice without loving them (StL's joke on the BBQ world?). Big Mama's BBQ Express, on the west side of East St Louis, isn't far from O'Fallon and seems well regarded among snoot enthusiasts (they claim to sell a remarkable 90,000 pounds a year). I had pretty much taken snoots off my to-do list, but a few years ago noticed a warning on Big Mama's menu: "Sauce on the side [of snoots] is NOT recommended." I had unknowingly committed that faux pas twice in St Louis, so decided I'd be willing to give snoots one more try. Unfortunately I didn't get to eat at Big Mama's when last in the area.
  • Post #13 - June 13th, 2024, 3:07 pm
    Post #13 - June 13th, 2024, 3:07 pm Post #13 - June 13th, 2024, 3:07 pm
    Cathy2 -
    We LOOOOVE Waffle House. That might be one of the winning stops for us. Actually had Easter Brunch 2024 at Waffle House in North Port, Fla, and we had a blast listening to the waitstaff give relationship advice to each other.

    Excerpt, and not paraphrasing at ALL: "Girl, if he don't put flowers on your car in the morning, he is NOT the one for you!"
    Also - sure, a trip into St Louis would be great, but we'll be outdoors for 8 hrs on both Sat/Sun and I believe the forecast is up to like 278 - 346 degrees now? Not my first rodeo with one of these tourneys, I know that nobody will want to go for a drive of any distance anywhere - it's gonna be field > Food> Pool> Bed.

    All -
    Lion's Choice sounds like a "possible," as well.

    I kinda have my eye on "Edley's BBQ" but Shooter's and Beast Craft are in the mix.

    The whole pizza thing might be worth a try. That Provel cheese substance sounds absolutely awful, so - I'll try it!
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
    Pronoun: That fool over there
    Identifies as: A human that doesn't need to "identify as" something to try to somehow be interesting.
  • Post #14 - June 13th, 2024, 3:42 pm
    Post #14 - June 13th, 2024, 3:42 pm Post #14 - June 13th, 2024, 3:42 pm
    If you're hellbent on trying a pizza with Provel Cheese (frankly, I kinda like it), St. Louis' premier Provel Pizza chain, Imo's, has locations all around O'Fallon.

    There's a pick-up only location in O'Fallon. Dining room locations can be found in nearby Fairview Heights, Collinsville, and two in Belleville.

    If you change your mind about driving, Monte Bello Pizzeria is on the south end of StL, about 30 minutes from O'Fallon. We had some of the best pizzas ever there! Only drawback is their four cheese mix does not include Provel, so if you're fixated on that aspect, Monte Bello might not be for you.

    If you can get past the Provel problem, Monte Bello is worth the effort. They've been around since 1950, located in the basement of a home in a residential neighborhood. Super cool joint, serving up spectacular thin crust pies, similar to the ones found at Maria's in Milwaukee, if you're familiar. Wait times can be long, so you might try calling and ordering ahead.

    It's worth checking out their Yelp page for photos.

    Buddy

    Imo's Homepage:
    https://www.imospizza.com/

    Imo's Locator:
    https://www.imospizza.com/locations/?location=O%27Fallon,%20IL,%20USA&radius=10

    Monte Bello Pizzeria
    3662 Weber Rd, St. Louis, MO
    (314) 638-8861
    https://montebellostl.wordpress.com/
    https://www.yelp.com/biz/monte-bello-pizzeria-saint-louis
  • Post #15 - June 13th, 2024, 4:01 pm
    Post #15 - June 13th, 2024, 4:01 pm Post #15 - June 13th, 2024, 4:01 pm
    Hi,

    You can buy Provel at the grocery store. I did but ordered it at the deli section, and later found it much cheaper in the refrigerated cheese area.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways,
  • Post #16 - June 15th, 2024, 7:38 pm
    Post #16 - June 15th, 2024, 7:38 pm Post #16 - June 15th, 2024, 7:38 pm
    Lion's Choice-
    Totally as advertised. REAL, shaved roast beef, in a fast food looking place that you would assume is slinging as much ground up, and processed / reformed mystery meat as possible. Just simple, real roast beef on a bun. WINNER.

    Beast Craft BBQ. Another winner, imo. Sides were a mixed bag. Mac & cheese was white cheddar, ultra creamy, but just a tiny bit lacking in cheese flavor. I wouldn't call it bad. Noods were cooked very well, it wasn't bland as far as seasoning, it was just a tad undercheesed.

    Tater salad was fantastic. Not sweet, potatoes had tooth. We'll seasoned.

    Fries were better than plain ol foodservice. I'd assume they were coated, but a tad undercooked, so not as crunchy as they could've been.

    Sweet tater fries were well undercooked, so they were just trash. Waste of time, money and effort. They would have been great if the kitchen just had patience. Sad.

    Brussels Sprouts with pork belly were competent. A special sauce on them would have made them standouts. Like a balsamic reduction, or just...something.

    Pulled pork was an A.

    Brisket, solid B-. The good slices were great, but there were a few drier C- slices.

    Rib Tips - D. Too many dried, crunchy parts with no fat rendering. Like too high of a heat.

    Whatever their sausage was, it was an easy A++. Obviously homemade, it reminded me of something you'd get at Carnivore. Not too salty, not greasy, very meaty.

    One tablemate got the spares and loved them. Another had the turkey. It looked real. I had too much on my plate to try it, but they joined the clean plate club.

    Not sure if we'll get a proper meal anywhere tomorrow. I'm kinda hoping to see the inside of that Wally's on the way home for a brisket sammich.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
    Pronoun: That fool over there
    Identifies as: A human that doesn't need to "identify as" something to try to somehow be interesting.
  • Post #17 - June 15th, 2024, 11:26 pm
    Post #17 - June 15th, 2024, 11:26 pm Post #17 - June 15th, 2024, 11:26 pm
    seebee wrote:...I'm kinda hoping to see the inside of that Wally's on the way home for a brisket sammich.

    Hah, Wally's. Got a great story about a pit stop at Wally's. Not gonna tell it here, but if you're a fan of Family Guy, or just have a passing familiarity, imagine a naked Peter Griffin (not an unusual sight for anyone who's watched the show, even semi-regularly).

    Chew on that until the next time you see me at an LTH event, and I'll tell the full gruesome tale.

    As for Wally's Brisket Sandwiches, they do look oddly tempting, until you start thinking about how long they've been sitting around, untended, waiting for someone hungry enough, or unfamiliar enough with good 'Que, to come along and grab one.

    Hoping you'll take one for the team and telling me I'm wrong.

    Keep your eyes open in the Wally's mens' room. you never know what'll turn up.

    Buddy
  • Post #18 - June 16th, 2024, 5:37 am
    Post #18 - June 16th, 2024, 5:37 am Post #18 - June 16th, 2024, 5:37 am
    I forgot to mention that I did indeed try a single "Snoot" at Beast Craft. A nod of thanks to Rene G for the heads up on that one, never heard of a snoot before. I asked the friendly counter lady what a snoot was, and was told it's a "face part. Roasted, but crunchy on the outside." They offered single snoot as an option for 6 bux or so, and she said, you mite wanna try it, it's a local specialty, and I'm a glutton for trying new stuff. I expected a little cheek meat, and some fatty skin bits, but basically, it was a salad plate sized chunk of thick, crunchy, chicharron, smothered in bq sauce, on a piece of white bread. A+ on the ghettofabulous scale, but a solid D- for everything else about snoot. As my son put it in a totally deadpan way after he crunched off a bite, "That's just terrible." Two other tablemates tried it and were truly, equally as unimpressed. Two more tablemates had no interest whatsoever after hearing the the 4 guinea pigs' verdicts on how awful it was. I have no need to try any other versions of "snoot" in this lifetime.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
    Pronoun: That fool over there
    Identifies as: A human that doesn't need to "identify as" something to try to somehow be interesting.
  • Post #19 - June 16th, 2024, 1:29 pm
    Post #19 - June 16th, 2024, 1:29 pm Post #19 - June 16th, 2024, 1:29 pm
    We tried the snoot at Beast Craft's now closed St. Louis location, Beast, Butcher & Block. Our Roadfood group is fairly adventurous, but snoot was a step too far for more than a few of them. After ordering a sampler of all the usual 'Que suspects; Brisket, Pulled Pork, Sausage, etc., I decided to get a 1/2 pound of snoots, thinking that would give all interested parties a nibble, just so they could say they tried it.

    seebee, I think whoever told you it was roasted was either a liar, or sorely misinformed. BB&B's snoots had to have been flash fried, because a 1/2 pound of raw snoot, once cooked, exploded into a cafeteria tray sized portion, piled high from edge to edge. Your description is mostly apt; it's kinda sorta like a chicharron, but so much more. You're right, it's a thick, crunchy slab of cheek meat, but the texture is a bit odd.

    We found it nearly impossible to cut through the chunks with a serrated steak knife, so we ended up stabbing it multiple times, breaking it into smaller pieces. What's weird is, for all the difficulty we had cutting it with a knife, we had no problem biting off a crunchy bit from the smaller pieces. Then, once in your mouth they practically melted into nothingness.

    Having read descriptions of this delicacy years ago in Lolis Eric Elie's "Smokestack Lightning", this was not at all what I expected, and I'm sure there are other preparation methods at StL's more "old school" greasehouses.

    And, while St. Louis' version of snoot is indeed cheek meat, they serve a more literal version in Kansas City. They still spell it "snoot", but in fact it is "snout", served nostrils and all. A dear KC friend of mine, Ardie Davis, who has written several books on BBQ (how to make it, where to find it, etc.), has a weekly snoot (snout) meet-up with a group of local 'Que aficionados. I've been invited to join when I'm in town, but so far have been able to make enough excuses to avoid it.

    Buddy
  • Post #20 - June 17th, 2024, 7:54 am
    Post #20 - June 17th, 2024, 7:54 am Post #20 - June 17th, 2024, 7:54 am
    Wally's was a hoot, since I've never stepped foot in a Buc Ees...yet. It was a bit overwhelming, lots of ppl milling around, doe-eyed (like me.) I'd bet if you know what you're there for, and where / how to get it, it can be pretty quick. In looking at the 7 dollar plus sammiches for a min, and the rebranded candies / trail mixes that were mixed bag of overpriced / standard priced, we opted for a bag of wasabi peas that were actually quite good and fresh with a strong kick, and very reasonably priced, and also a lemon blueberry cookie which I mistakenly grabbed assuming it was chocolate chip (polarized sunglasses.) The cookie was decent, a tad cakey, not enough buttery flavor to make me wanna praise it. Wife 1.0 pretended not to eat half of it after telling me not to buy it. Their small bakery counter looked like it had some decent stuff - fresh cinnamon rolls, pecan sticky buns, cupcakes, cookies. I shied away from the sammiches, but if I was a lil hungry, I would have grabbed one out of curiosity. We stopped at the Steak And Shake an hour before Wally's so we had tummies full of stale grease cooked skinny fries and wilted lettuce topped 1/16lb double STEAKburgers.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
    Pronoun: That fool over there
    Identifies as: A human that doesn't need to "identify as" something to try to somehow be interesting.
  • Post #21 - June 18th, 2024, 4:40 pm
    Post #21 - June 18th, 2024, 4:40 pm Post #21 - June 18th, 2024, 4:40 pm
    seebee wrote:I forgot to mention that I did indeed try a single "Snoot" at Beast Craft. A nod of thanks to Rene G for the heads up on that one, never heard of a snoot before. I asked the friendly counter lady what a snoot was, and was told it's a "face part. Roasted, but crunchy on the outside." They offered single snoot as an option for 6 bux or so, and she said, you mite wanna try it, it's a local specialty, and I'm a glutton for trying new stuff. I expected a little cheek meat, and some fatty skin bits, but basically, it was a salad plate sized chunk of thick, crunchy, chicharron, smothered in bq sauce, on a piece of white bread. A+ on the ghettofabulous scale, but a solid D- for everything else about snoot. As my son put it in a totally deadpan way after he crunched off a bite, "That's just terrible." Two other tablemates tried it and were truly, equally as unimpressed. Two more tablemates had no interest whatsoever after hearing the the 4 guinea pigs' verdicts on how awful it was. I have no need to try any other versions of "snoot" in this lifetime.

    "That's just terrible." More and more I'm thinking that might pretty much sum up the whole snoot experience. But there must be some places that prepare them better and enough people who really enjoy them. Remember Big Mama's claims to sell 90,000 pounds a year. Next time I'm in the area I think I might have it in me to visit Big Mama's before I permanently retire from the snoot game. Anyway, I'm happy to hear you were able to check another one off the list and you approached it with the proper attitude.

    Pig Snoots, Parts 1 & 2 / Natural Bridge Bunch (1968)

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