Q • My husband and I often go to the Concord Grill in Affton, fantastic burgers! The pickled cucumbers are amazing, I would love the recipe. — Karen Schlosser, Arnold
A • Twenty-five years ago, Debbye Greer “fell” into the restaurant business when she and husband Steve married one day and opened the Concord Grill the next. The restaurant’s big break came when KMOX radio personality Jim “The Big Bumper” White raved about the restaurant’s burgers on the air.
Greer says that great burgers start with great meat. Every day, Kenrick’s Meats & Catering grinds fresh chuck and hand-forms patties for the South County restaurant. Each burger is char-grilled, not fried, to order then spends a few moments in the oven to sear in the juices. “Our burger is never frozen. My goal is to cook every last patty by the end of the night,” Greer says. On the rare occasion Greer buys meat elsewhere, the kitchen, she says, can tell. “Other meat shrinks, even burns a little. It’s just not the same as Kenrick’s.”
The Concord Grill doesn’t stop at one burger: Instead it pitches 50 burgers on the menu plus specials plus the creations customers dream up. “When someone asks for something special, if we have the ingredients on hand, we’ll try to do it,” Greer says. This month, the burger special is a “fajita burger” — fajita seasoning, grilled peppers and provel. The Jim White Burger is the longtime best seller — sautéed mushrooms with bacon and Swiss cheese.
The Concord Grill earns its burger-joint reputation, but the menu doesn’t end with burgers. There’s homemade chicken and dumplings and on Sundays, fried chicken. The fried cod, catfish and ravioli are all hand-breaded. Dinner platters are popular; think homemade meatloaf, open-faced roast beef, chicken-fried steak and breaded pork tenderloin.
The simplest of the Concord Grill’s homemade sides, Pickled Cucumbers, is made in big batches two or three times a week. “The recipe is so simple,” Greer says. “But they’re good. Sweet and sour, crisp and refreshing. The longer the cucumbers sit, the better they get.”
The Concord Grill
11427 Concord Village Avenue, Affton
Special Request is written by Town and Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.