Carondelet Diner: A Greasy Spoon with Old-Fashioned Favorites

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Welcome to Hidden Gem, Gut Check's short love letter to restaurants, coffee shops and bars that lie off the beaten path. These places soldier on in relative anonymity, beloved by their regulars, but largely overlooked by the greater populace. Hidden Gem will attempt to rectify these terrible oversights. Have a Hidden Gem of your own to share? Tell us in the comments.

Never pretty, but always prominent: the "Slinger." | Photos by Mabel Suen
  • Never pretty, but always prominent: the "Slinger." | Photos by Mabel Suen

When Patch neighborhood resident Sue Stewart saw the short-lived original Carondelet Diner (321 East Davis Street) go vacant in 2012, she knew she could make it into a good, old-fashioned greasy spoon of her own. She kept the name, the corresponding signage and even the theme of home-cooked specialties -- albeit using her own recipes. The resulting menu weighs delicately on the wallet and heavily on the gut.

Owner Sue Stewart in the kitchen.
  • Owner Sue Stewart in the kitchen.

"You'll get a good amount of food for a good price," says Stewart, who paid her hospitality dues managing a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant for twelve years. "It's pretty much the food we always cooked at home. I've got kids who are now grown up, and all their friends came over to our house to eat."

The menu, featuring locally butchered Kenrick's meats as well as other local products, contains all the diner favorites: all manner of breakfast dishes, Slingers, cheap burgers and fries. It then ups the ante with daily from-scratch dinner specials and a selection of specialty burgers stuffed with the likes of mac & cheese and Philly cheese steak ingredients.

Located in the Patch neighborhood.
  • Located in the Patch neighborhood.

For daily deals, expect to find dishes such as chicken and dumplings, meatloaf, smothered pork chops and fried chicken. And for something extra special, Carondelet Diner hosts a Lebanese brunch every couple of months -- think cabbage rolls, stuffed grape leaves and baklava. Carondelet Diner's current hours are Monday through Sunday from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit the Carondelet Diner Facebook page.

Click through for more photos.

The "Stuffed Mac'n'Cheese Burger."
  • The "Stuffed Mac'n'Cheese Burger."
It's what's on the inside that counts, of course.
  • It's what's on the inside that counts, of course.
Sue in the dining room.
  • Sue in the dining room.
A close-up of the condiments.
  • A close-up of the condiments.
At the entrance.
  • At the entrance.
From the side of the building.
  • From the side of the building.

Meatloaf special.
  • Meatloaf special.
Vegetable soup.
  • Vegetable soup.
The dining room.
  • The dining room.
The menu.
  • The menu.
Housemade pie for dessert.
  • Housemade pie for dessert.
carondelet_diner4.jpg

Previously on Hidden Gem: - Dojo Pizza: Pizza and Karate in a Century-Old Former Church - Oasis Shisha Lounge: An Obscure Hookah Restaurant with Afghan Family Recipes - Monte Bello: A Basement Pizza Kitchen That's About to Become St. Louis' Worst-Kept Secret