12 St. Louis servers share their to-go dishes

Editor's note: The Dubliner, Home Wine KitchenThree Flags Tavern, Winslow’s Home and Quincy Street Bistro have closed.

Ever wonder what servers order for themselves at their places of employment? While customers tend to make selections with the aid of menu descriptions, restaurant reviews and friend recommendations, the server is equipped with first-hand tastes from the kitchen and insider intel on the chef’s specialties. Here, some of St. Louis restaurants’ biggest fans – the servers – divulge their favorite dishes.

“Without a doubt the pastrami ‘gone-a-rye.’ They take briskets brine them for 10 days, and smoke them for 14 hours. Then they slice it and top it with Gruyere, bread-and-butter cabbage and house-made Thousand Island dressing on toasted rye. It is so yummy.” – Elisa Lewis, bartender, Quincy Street Bistro

“The Old Standard fried chicken dinner is amazing. It tastes like home.” – Devin Hilton, server and barista, United Provisions

“Slow-cooked corned beef and cabbage with roasted red potatoes. The sauce the beef is cooked in is delicious!” – Hillary Reed, manager and bartender, The Dubliner

the lamb rack from café provencal // photo by mike frank

“The lamb rack – (It) comes in a black peppercorn reduction sauce that is phenomenal; I could drink that stuff.” – Mike Frank, manager, Café Provencal

“Our grilled cheese is the love of my life. Get it ‘chef style;’ it will change your life.” – Chris Anne Hoertel, server, Home Wine Kitchen

“The shrimp and grits. It’s got so much flavor – it’s rich; it’s spicy; it’s savory. And at the end of the day, it’s fire!” – Wayne Cretter, server and bartender, Herbie’s Vintage 72

the mini monte cristo sandwich from three flags tavern // photo by crystal schilling

“The mini Monte Cristo sandwich. The red currant and jalapeno jam makes it super addictive. tastes like breakfast, but for dinner.” – Crystal Schilling, server, Three Flags Tavern

“The Pogue Mahone is everything you could want in a burger.” – Jay Grant, server, Three Kings Public House

“The mussels and fries. A classic dish with a local twist: sliced smoked bratwurst. I love to soak up the white wine sauce with a piece of our epi bread.”– Jeff Henry, server, SqWires Restaurant

"chicken and dumplings" from wild flower restaurant & catering // photo by william "fat wil"l simon

“The organic free-range chicken and dumplings … with our fresh and fluffy house-made potato gnocchi (and) a trifecta of farm-fresh vegetables. The gravy that marries all the ingredients together – it is here that this dish really excels.” – William “Fat Will” Simon, server and bartender, Wild Flower Restaurant & Catering

“The ChoriHuevo torta is a hidden gem of Mission Taco Joint’s menu. Its main ingredient is house-made chorizo that packs a spicy BITE.” – James Stephens, server, Mission Taco Joint

“Our Rain Crow Ranch burger is the unsung hero of the menu. I like it rare with bacon, a fat slice of a Winslow’s Farm tomato and our hand-cut fries.” – Justin Mitchusson, shift manager, Winslow’s Home