by Robin Utz
Its bike-and-entertainment theme precedes Mile 277 Tap & Grill (10701 Watson Road, Sunset Hills; 314-645-3277) -- you begin to become aware of it even before you enter the parking lot. Motorcycles are everywhere; their owners, friends and families relax outside on the restaurant's large patio. The waitresses' attire gives Hooters a run for its money, but Mile 277's foyer feels more like a club, what with the dim lighting and the music stage.
We opted for the patio -- the weather was gorgeous, and the band (the Edge) playing inside was loud. Between sets the sound system provided a steady supply of KSHE-appropriate tunes -- in keeping with the Edge's setlist, which ran toward covers of everything from Lynyrd Skynyrd to John Mayer.
The menu carries on the motorcycle theme. Appetizers are listed under the heading "Kick Starters," while the meatier stuff is classified as "Dude Food." At the suggestion of our server, we began with "Rock and Ride Nachos": housemade potato chips topped with grilled steak, melted blue cheese, tomatoes, green onion and bacon -- lots of bacon. The chips held their crunch under the toppings far longer than nachos usually do. Our only complaint was that the blue cheese lacked its usual sharpness and instead was quite mild -- which could be a pro for those not fond of blue cheese's bite.
Both the "Hog Heaven" pulled-pork sandwich and the honey-bourbon chicken breast (which were also recommended) were fairly standard. The pulled pork was tender and covered in a sweet and tangy sauce that complimented the fried onions and slaw toppings. The honey bourbon glaze on the chicken breast tasted quite a bit like standard BBQ sauce, and the accompanying garlic mashers and fresh zucchini were average -- both were a little bland, but it was nice to have the zucchini served in long slender strips instead of the usual round slices.
The patio was full for the extent of our visit to Mile 277, and we saw very few people leave while we were there. Everyone appeared to be basking in the beautiful weather and enjoying the large variety of drinks, such as Mototinis. Overall, the fare is what you'd expect, and the atmosphere is perfect for a hog enthusiast wanting to sit back, have a drink and hear some familiar tunes mixed with the occasional growl of a motorcycle.