Review: Morning Glory Diner on Cherokee Street
The Morning Glory Diner at 2609 Cherokee St., is the kind of back-to-basics, hash-slinging joint reminiscent of a time before upscale comfort food became an overhyped, overpriced commodity. The straightforward menu board, which hangs over the open kitchen and long wooden luncheonette counter of the former Vista Ramen, touts classic lunch items that are as casual and simple as the space itself. Here are some of the standouts.
This understated smash burger is nostalgia on a bun. It should be a requisite order for first-time diners at Morning Glory. Don’t settle for a single patty – order the double. A higher-than-typical fat-to-lean beef ratio yields a juicy patty perfectly seared on a raging hot, butter-laden flattop. Topped with American cheese, red onion, dill pickle and tomato, the crispy, 5-ounce patty is tucked in a toasted bun.
Fried Chicken Sandwich
Brined in a bath of buttermilk and Cajun spices, chicken thigh meat is breaded in cornmeal before being deep-fried to order. The end product: a piping hot, delightfully crispy, succulent fried chicken sandwich.
There are no surprises with this by-the-book execution of the old-school classic. Thick-cut, smoke-laden bacon is seared to order for each sandwich and piled on buttery, crispy slices of white toast with a rich layer of mayonnaise that oozes into every bite. Finishing it off are juicy hothouse tomatoes sprinkled with salt and spring lettuce mix.
Three types of beans – white, black and seasoned chili – fortify the satisfying signature vegetarian chili. Thick and substantial, but not overly spicy, the chili benefits from a warm, earthy base of house-made vegetable stock. When ladled on top of a generous pile of crispy shoestring fries, cheddar and diced red onion, the chili becomes an utter knockout.
Tender bits of thigh meat are also employed in the Waldorf-style chicken salad sandwich. A creamy mayonnaise base is complemented by a firm crunch of chopped celery, sliced almonds and sweet bits of Granny Smith apple and grapes. This light and gratifying sandwich is served on a thick toasted bun with red onion and a sprinkle of mixed greens.
While walk-in customers are welcome to place to-go orders, the diner doesn’t accept any orders over the phone.
Matt Berkley is a longtime contributor and critic for Sauce Magazine.
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