Dressel's (419 North Euclid Avenue; 314-361-1060) is 30 years old. I filed a review of the Central West End institution only three years ago. Why am I returning this week? Page through for a sneak preview of my review.
In May, Gut Check, the RFT food blog (www.rftfood.com), asked readers to vote for the most underrated burger in St. Louis. Our respondents chose wisely. Central West End mainstay Dressel's makes a terrific burger: a juicy, perfectly seasoned patty topped with aged cheddar and tomato-onion jam. Several recent visits there have inspired me to make an even bolder declaration. At the moment Dressel's is St. Louis' most underrated restaurant.
Of course you know Dressel's, since 1980 the city's Platonic ideal of a Welsh pub. A thumbnail sketch would dwell on its main room: the gorgeous, weathered bar; the tables crammed around it; the portraits of great writers and composers that share space on the walls with posters for Welsh operas and poems by founder John Dressel. And yes, this room still looks much as it always has, save for the back wall, much of which has been opened into the kitchen. But since Benjamin Dressel bought the pub from his parents in 2004, he has transformed it into something larger in scope -- literally so (a larger dining space is now adjacent to the main room), but also conceptually.
Visit Gut Check tomorrow to read my review.