Pio’s Restaurant St. Charles Missouri

The Pine Room or Pio’s

The lovely Rebecca and I set off to have dinner at The Pine Room. It was about 4:30 p.m. and we figured we could get right in. Wrong. When we got there people were waiting outside to be seated. So we shifted gears and headed to Pio’s.

Pio’s has been a popular restaurant in St. Charles even since 1955. In the 1980’s I ate lunch there quite often. Because of a previous post on Facebook I was aware the Pio’s offered a pork tenderloin sandwich. That’s what I was going to order.

When we arrived there were four other parties waiting to be seated. The hostess efficiently moved the crowd to various table and got us the booth we requested.

Good Service

A young man showed up immediately with water, some crackers and butter. Not long after that our server came and took our drink order.

One of my favorite dishes at Pio’s is the chicken livers. As I looked at the menu the Fried Chicken Dinner caught my eye. I did not find any evidence that there was a pork tenderloin sandwich to be had. I knew from experience that the chicken liver dinner was going to be more than I wanted. It is huge … good but huge.

Rebecca and I both ordered the friend chicken dinner. It is an entire half of a chicken and come with a choice of sides. I picked a salad and broccoli. I figured if I could not eat all the chicken I could take what I couldn’t finish home.

Where’s the Pork?

While placing my order I asked about a pork tenderloin sandwich, and she said that it was on a different menu. Who knew? I guess she did. I didn’t. But at that time I was committed to the fried chicken.

The salad appeared quickly. It was “okay.” I’m not sure what I was expecting but it was basically some iceberg lettuce and a couple of cherry tomatoes. There may have been some other greens in it but not enough to register on my radar. The French dressing I ordered to go on the salad was very good. The server told me they make it themselves. I liked it a lot.

Enter the Entrée

When we finished our salads the entrée arrived. Now fried chicken is a very personal thing. It has been one of my favorites since I was a kid. I remember going to restaurants on Sunday with my parents and my grandmother and aunt to what was then a very popular fried chicken restaurant. I do not remember the name. But I know it served cold beer in pitchers because my grandmother and aunt loved their beer.

The lovely Rebecca makes what I feel is the best fried chicken on earth. But everybody has a different standard. To me, the crust on Pio’s fried chicken is too thick. I don’t know how to describe it any better than that. It also seemed over cook. Rather than being crispy it was crunchy. Again, that is my personal taste. I am sure there are people who love Pio’s fried chicken. The broccoli was a bit al dente. I prefer mine done a little more.

I’m Full, Thank You

The serving was more than I could finish so dessert was out of the question. The bill for the two dinners with an ice tea and no alcohol came to about $42.00 and change. I asked the server for a box and we took a couple of pieces of chicken home. I had them for lunch the next day.

Will I go back to Pio’s? Yes, I will. One disappointing menu choice isn’t going to stop me from going back and getting that pork tenderloin sandwich.