I’m happy to have Tio Wally (long-time Me So Hungry reader) aboard to send in his eating adventures from across America. Here he is in Saint Joseph, Missouri.
Greetings from Saint Joseph, Missouri
N 39° 43.155’ W 094° 52.089’ Elev. 860 ft.
I’ve said this before: Whenever the crew of the SS Me So Hungry wants to know where to go for something good to eat we ask the guys on the (loading) dock. We always end up at a place that couldn’t be found unless someone told us where it was.
This time it wasn’t the guys on the dock but, rather, a lady in the shipping office who recommended we sail just down the street, past the abandoned Livestock Exchange building, to the Hoof & Horn Steak House & Lounge for lunch. “I think they have the best prime rib in town,” she said.
The Hoof & Horn is billed as the oldest restaurant in St. Joseph, the city “Where the Pony Express began and Jesse James ended.” Established in 1896 in the historic Stockyards section of St. Joe, the place has had only four different owners in the last 117 years. And the Wild West-themed restaurant has some pretty darn good food, pardners.
As per my usual modus operandi I ordered off the Specials board. That day they were offering Country Fried Steak, Beef and Noodles, Grilled Tenderlion w/Pepper Jack Cheese, and a 5-Alarm Burger. All of them came with a choice of soup (Tomato Basil) or salad, a vegetable (corn or green beans), and dinner rolls for $8.60.
I had to have the Beef and Noodles and Tomato Basil soup. It spoke to me.
The Tomato Basil soup was absolutely awesome, flawless. It was different from any Tomato Basil soup I’d ever had. Instead of being completely pureed, it contained big chunks of fresh tomato, along with bits of onion and tiny bits of some sort of sausage.
The soup was so fabulous that I sought out the chef — who (I think) turned out to be owner Roy Swope — to tell him how great it was. You really made my day, er, week, er, month … year, I told him. “That’s saying a lot considering today’s the Second (of January),” he said.
The Beef and Noodles likewise were great. It was a huge portion of big, tender chunks of beef with homemade noodles, with a generous mound of homemade mashed potatoes — mashed potatoes and noodles? — in sort of a beef stew-like gravy. I was actually expecting egg noodles like you’d get with sirloin tips or stroganoff or something, but they were the type you’d get in homemade chicken noodle soup. Although I’m not a big fan of that type of noodle per se, these were actually pretty good.
Again, it was a huge portion, enough for a couple of meals. What a deal! This is a place I’ll most certainly be returning to.
Just before leaving I visited the “little boys room.” There on the wall hung a picture of Marion Morrison aka John Wayne. Looking at it I thought that it seemed to be perfectly positioned so that if you sat on the commode Mr. Grossly Overrated Hollywood Cowboy himself would be staring at you as you did your business.
Testing my hypothesis, I sat down and … it was true: The Duke stares directly at you when you take a dookey, or, put more accurately and with much more vulgarly, as you “pinch off a Steve Doocy.”
How ironic can you get? After all, I’ve always considered Icon Marion to be a really crappy actor.
And so we roll.
Hoof & Horn Steak House & Lounge, 429 Illinois Ave., Saint Joseph, Missouri,
located 1/8 mile east of the historic Livestock Exchange building.
Tio Wally pilots the 75-foot, 40-ton(max) land yacht SS Me So Hungry. He reports on road food from around the country whenever parking and InterTube connections permit.