I read recently that sales of traditional business clothing are on the rise for the first time in many years, a surefire sign not only of an economy on the mend, but also an indication that, as more of our friends and neighbors return to the workforce, they are eschewing the trappings of business casual for the uniforms of doing business.
Although I may lament this change in style - if only for the increased dry-cleaning bill - I find myself celebrating the anticipated return of the sit-down business lunch, like the kind that can be found at The Tavern Kitchen & Bar in Valley Park – yes, Valley Park.
Fear not, St. Louisans; the location may seem off the beaten path, even for West County office-workers, but the reality is that the Tavern can quickly be reached within a few minutes after exiting Interstate 270. You will be rewarded for the extra effort with a menu of classic boardroom sandwiches, anchored by the Beef & Brick, an amped-up French dip of tender rib-eye steak shaved wafer thin, Swiss cheese and fiery horseradish that makes for a standout lunch, elevated with each dunk into a sweet onion jus.
For a vegetarian option, make for The Veg, piled high with spinach, tomato, mushroom, avocado and cheddar cheese between slices of crisp grilled bread. The sandwich is hearty - so much more than just being the menu’s “light option" - and stands tall against a roster of burgers and clubs.
As St. Louis gets back to business, its workers should make The Tavern their go-to business lunch spot.
The Tavern Kitchen & Bar, 2961 Dougherty Ferry Road, Suite 101, Valley Park, tavernstl.com