This week I am all about glorious messes. Gastrointestinal challenges delivered to you, the diner, upon a plate.
My first run-in with the concept was a “garbage plate” – a plate of home fries and mac salad, topped with two hamburger patties, mustard and chopped white onion – from Nick Tahou Hots, the greasiest of greasy spoons in Rochester, N.Y. Then, there is the Canadian masterpiece known as poutine: French fries, cheese curds and gravy. Cincinnati serves up plates of spaghetti covered in chili. Here in St. Louis, we obviously celebrate The Slinger, and up the road in Imperial, Mo., they celebrate a lesser known mess on a plate: the Dublin Waffle from Scottie’s Pub House.
The Dublin Waffle essentially takes the idea of a New England boiled dinner – corned beef, cabbage and potatoes – and turns it inside out and then on its head. First, potatoes are transformed into waffle batter and ironed to a crisp, caramelized brown. The flavor is intensely savory and delicious, reminding me of potato pancakes made with last night’s mashed potatoes. This crispness is soon rendered soggy by layers of corned beef and cabbage, drowning in a mustard sauce that claims a heritage of Dijon but is spooned atop the pile like a thinned-out béchamel. The best part? The sauce settles in the waffle’s deep pockets, forming a symmetrical pattern of pools, each begging for a slice of corned beef to be dipped into.
The plate bested me before the waffle was half gone, but the reality is the dish is best when the waffle is still crisp. My advice: don’t be afraid of the occasional mess. You need to try this dish, but please, bring three friends, and share it if you have any desire to return to work once lunch comes to a close.
Scottie's Pub House, 1235 Main St., Imperial, 636.461.0850, scottiespubhouse.com
Tired of reheating last night's dinner for lunch? Every Monday, food writer Andrew Mark Veety guides you to some of the best midday meals in the St. Louis region, with great places to bring clients or enjoy an outing with your co-workers. Missed one of his columns? Check them out here.
Catch Andrew on the air every Tuesday at 1:25pm on the Big 550 KTRS' Martin Kilcoyne Show, where he continues the conversation on his weekly lunch picks.
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