Review: Russell’s on Macklind in St. Louis
The lunch menu at the recently expanded Russell’s on Macklind consists primarily of sandwiches and wraps with a few salads and rotating soup offerings. Sandwiches are the way to go – served with Billy Goat chips, at around $10 each, they can be ordered “half-and-half,” allowing diners to pick two different half sandwiches. And don’t miss the sweets – you couldn't really if you tried, since the order line passes cases of baked goods. Desserts are rich and huge, so plan to share. Here’s what to order:
The Cuban Grill sandwich
I love a Cuban, and this was one of the best I’ve had. The decadent combination of rich ham, pork and melty cheese was cut through by spicy mustard aioli and tart house-made pickles.
The S.S.P. (Smelly, Sticky Pig) sandwich
Holy cow (or is it sow?), is this grilled sandwich good. It takes the saltiness of bacon, adds the funkiness of blue cheese and the mild sweetness of honey, resulting in a delectable whole that far exceeds the sum of its parts. Ordinarily I’m not crazy about sweets with my savories, but the name won me over. Good call, me. This was a gamble that paid off.
The B.L.A.T. sandwich
This bacon, lettuce, avocado and tomato stack is too tall to get your mouth around, but no matter. It’s so fresh, you won’t mind. The tomato tasted straight from a Midwestern garden in August – a near miracle at this time of year.
The Bistro Grill sandwich
With strong competing flavors like pear, goat cheese, orange marmalade and toasted walnuts, this dish could easily become unbalanced, but no one ingredient overwhelms the others.
The chocolate-dipped macaroon
The size and shape of a flying saucer, this moist coconut treat was out-of-this-world: perfectly browned and not too sweet.
The gooey butter cake
The buttery, crumbly shortbread cookie-like crust distinguishes this rendition of the STL classic. Flavor choices rotate regularly; the triple berry is more than worth your while.
Finding parking can be a challenge at this neighborhood spot, and lines can be long, but that may change when table service starts this month. On my visit, the mac-n-cheese, topped with crunchy croutons had mushy noodles and was bland. Stick with those sammies.
Russell's on Macklind
5400 Murdoch Ave, St. Louis, 314.553.9994, russellscafe.com
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