The Cardinals are back in the World Series, so let’s be honest. You don’t care about a restaurant review this week. I don’t care about a restaurant review this week. Instead, for those of you without tickets who still want to watch the game with fellow fans, I present some of my favorite area sports bars (both in name and in spirit) and what I’d order there.
The Post Sports Bar & Grill
Where 7372 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 763 Old Ballas Road, Creve Coeur • More info 314-645-1109 (Maplewood); 314-736-1205 (Creve Coeur); thepostsportsbar.com • Hours Lunch and dinner daily
Tasty grub, a good beer selection and a devotion to fantasy sports have made Maplewood’s the Post a favorite among area sports fans. (It now boasts a second location in Creve Coeur.) Try: The Oshie burger ($8.99) tops a plump, juicy patty with cheddar cheese, guacamole and chipotle-spiced onions. The Post touts its baked hot wings ($9.49 for 10), though I prefer the more conventional fried variety ($8.99 for 10). The Blazin’ Chicken Dip ($8.99) is a fun blend of chicken, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing and cheese, with tortilla chips for dipping.
Schottzie’s Bar and Grill
Where 11428 Concord Village Avenue • More info 314-842-1728; schottzies.com • Hours Lunch and dinner daily
This South County institution might be most famous as one of the last spots you can order a fried brain sandwich. But you needn’t make like a zombie to enjoy the game at this cozy tavern. Try: Schottzie’s buffalo chicken sandwich ($6.50) might be the epitome of the form: crunchy, piquant and (yes) smothered in slices of Provel. Be sure to order a side (or starter) of the housemade potato chips.
The Over/Under Bar & Grill
Where 911 Washington Avenue • More info 314-621-8881; overunderstl.com • Hours Lunch and dinner daily
Root for clement weather so you can watch the Cards on the Over/Under’s patio, with its giant projection TV. The sleek interior isn’t so bad, either. Try: The Over/Under offers somewhat more upscale fare than the typical sports bar. The tri-tip sandwich ($10) tops the eponymous flavorful steak cut with caramelized onion, sauteed mushroom and a kicky blue cheese-horseradish sauce. For a starter, the housemade hummus ($7) is a nice change of pace.
Deaver’s Restaurant & Sports Bar
Where 2109 Charbonier Avenue, Florissant • More info 314-838-0002; deaversrestaurant.com • Hours Lunch and dinner daily
The first restaurant from the team that opened the wildly popular Three Kings Public House in the Delmar Loop, Deaver’s doesn’t venture far from the sports bar template. It just does it better than most. Try: Deaver’s burger is a dark-horse candidate for the area’s best. Try the bacon cheeseburger ($8.49). Whichever you order, the kitchen understands what “medium-rare” truly means. The wings ($8.99) are crisp, meaty and spicy.
Sportsman’s Park Restaurant
Where 9901 Clayton Road, Ladue • More info 314-991-3381; sportsmanparkladue.com • Hours Lunch and dinner daily
For almost 40 years now, members of the Probstein family have made Sportsman’s Park (née Jackie’s Place, after co-founder and St. Louis football Cardinals great Jackie Smith) one of the area’s best-known and friendliest spots. Try: The thick, meaty Famous Turkey Chili (cup $3.75, bowl $5.25) packs a sneaky heat. The smoked beef brisket sandwich ($10.50) is nothing but meat and bread, and you don’t need much else when the thin-sliced meat is this tasty. If you must, though, there is jus on the side.
The Shack Pub Grub
Where 3818 Laclede Avenue • More info 314-533-7000; shackstl.com • Hours Lunch and dinner daily
Though located by St. Louis University, the Shack should appeal to anyone who likes top-notch bar food. Not sold? Consider the pedigree: The Shack’s owners also operate the (deservedly) acclaimed Tavern Kitchen & Bar in Valley Park. Try: The Shack’s signature dish is the overstuffed Shack-Wich ($8), which tops the meat of your choice with cheese, lettuce, tomato and french fries. (The fries are excellent by themselves.) You can over-overstuff the Shack-Wich by adding pork belly, bacon, an egg and/or double the meat.
Mike Shannon’s Grill
Where 871 South Arbor Vitae, Edwardsville • More info 618-655-9911; mikeshannonsgrill.com • Hours Lunch and dinner daily
I haven’t forgotten you, Metro East Cardinals fans. Mike Shannon’s Grill captures the baseball-loving spirit of the legendary broadcaster’s downtown steakhouse, but it offers a more casual menu. Try: The Shannon’s burger ($10) brings no bells and whistles, just a juicy patty properly dressed. The hand-cut fries are stellar. For a splurge, order a strip steak ($31), which comes with mashed potatoes and, as a garnish, a fat fried onion ring.