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 Cookin' Up Creole in Rockhill
By: Darin "Sid" Cameron, CRS
Mon, Oct 3rd, 2005 11:58 pm

In a previous career I traveled downriver twice a month to the Crescent City of New Orleans. Being an Iowa farm boy where most meals started and ended with a slab of gravy covered meat, I became quite enamored with the very different local cuisine. I would even go so far as to say it was a life changing experience.

One of my most memorable trips was when a local took me to a little out of the way diner named Russell’s Marina Grill in the New Orleans West End, known to most as a 3am pancake house. His mission was to introduce me to Red Beans and Rice. I’ve been in love with them ever since. (Heck, I even have a Popeye’s Chicken on speed dial.)

Earlier today it occurred to me it was Monday- Red Beans and Rice day- at one of my favorite little local joints in Rockhill, called The Gumbo Shop.  Because I love it so much, I thought I would share it with all of you who love Creole cooking.

The Gumbo Shop is at the corner of Manchester Road and Rockhill/McKnight. It sets in a run down little building on a run down little corner that gives all appearances that the landlord is waiting for the “civic minded” folks to roll in a wrecking ball for another QuikTrip/Walgreens/Starbucks/Applebee’s mega store.

As such, it truly gets an A for atmosphere because the homely little dining room with 6-8 mismatched tables and the self serve soda cooler with a TV on top reminds me of so many great little diners I enjoyed wonderful meals in while traveling down south.

If you’re looking to impress a date, forget it.  The food is served on paper plates with plastic silverware.

But if you like good red beans and rice, you’re going to be in love with the Gumbo Shop on Mondays and Thursdays. The order is always overflowing from the plate which has plenty of tasty sausage and properly cooked red beans. I’ve traveled throughout St Louis sampling Red Beans and Rice, and to date this is my favorite place in town to get it.

I have to admit, I’m so enamored with their Red Beans and Rice that I’ve seldom tried anything else on the menu. I have it on good authority, however, that their Po’ Boy Sandwiches are pretty darn good.

I have sampled their Gumbo, and to be honest I’d only rate it as average. Also, for a while Kimberly would stop there at closing and bring home diner, but we noticed that since much of their food is cooked in slow cookers by 8pm a few of her meals were scraping the pan and not very good. (Jambalaya mostly).

But overall, it’s a great little joint. There is a daily specials menu, so some items aren't available everyday. Also, for a true taste of the south, they do serve up a lot of catfish, blackened catfish, and frog legs. About the only thing missing from their menu would have to be freshly shucked oysters on the half-shell, Turtle Soup and a frozen daiquiri in a to-go cup.

Since the Meramec River doesn’t produce the outstanding oysters that the Gulf does and Missouri doesn’t allow for the drive-up daiquiri to-go stores (which I might add is a crying shame), I can forgive them for two of the three. (and if anyone can point me to some good Turtle Soup in this town I would be much obliged.)

Notes:
Meals generally are between $7-10. I’m not 100% positive they take credit cards. Also, on the side of the building they have peppers growing (which is a cute touch). Visit it often, too many Cajun/Creole places don’t survive in St. Louis County (which is a shame).

Gumbo Shop
9501 Manchester Road
Rock Hill, Missouri
Phone- 314-918-8747
Hours: Mon. to Sat.
11 a.m. to 8 p.m

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Darin "Sid" Cameron spent 15 years working in the technology industry which in 1998 relocated him to St. Louis. In 2004 he took over web development tasks for Kimberly's real estate team and later became the full-time Marketing and Operations Director in 2005. In 2011 Sid launched two brokerages, The Realty Store, Inc. and Realty Referral Partners, Inc, while continuing to perform marketing and operations for Kimberly's team. Sid holds a real estate broker's license in Missouri, CRS certification and was the first CyberStar in the St. Louis area.
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