With the Cards and Rams in town this weekend, we asked ourselves: "Who in our fabulous city is from St. Louis and could shed a little light on the food scene up there?"
Perhaps, we thought, our most esteemed transplant from that so-called Gateway to the West, Hall of Famer Brett Hull, who played 11 seasons for the Blues but helped bring the Cup to Dallas. Now a local restaurant owner himself (Hully and Mo's), he tells us about his dad's business, which is not what you think, as well as his favorite restaurants in St. Louis, Dallas and a few other cities.
When you think about your childhood, what food comes to mind? What did mom keep around the house? Meat! My dad was a cattle rancher ...
Wait. Bobby Hull was a cattle rancher? Well, you know, he played hockey too, but on the side he had a farm and he's actually still in the cattle business. There were four of us boys growing up, and we ate a lot of meat and potatoes. My dad loved his steaks rare, so that was the only way they were cooked. I got so tired of eating rare red meat when I was a kid that now I only eat medium or medium plus.
Are there any restaurants you miss in St. Louis? St. Louis is famous for The Hill, a section just outside of downtown where there's a different Italian restaurant on every block. They're all unheard of places and can either be like a five-star place or just a t-shirt and shorts place, but they're all great. Tommy Lasorda's favorite restaurant is down there. And, so I'd have to say I miss the Italian restaurants on the Hill.
What are some of your favorite places here in Dallas? I'll have to do that in categories. For sushi, we love Tei-An and Sushi Axiom. For Mexican, we love Chuy's and Javier's. For upscale, I think Fearing's is one of the best restaurants ever. Nick and Sam's for steak. And we use to like Hunan Express for take out, but it closed down and we don't know where it went.
Do you have a favorite off-the-beaten-path place? We go to a little spot in Snider Plaza called Bandito's and once in a while we go to Louie's. But, we're mostly pretty mainstream because there are just so many great spots we can't get to them all.
You obviously traveled quite a bit during your NHL days. What was your favorite restaurant? That's a HARD question. I've been to a million places that are so good. When I came here to Dallas, Guy Carbonneau and I would try to find what each city considered to be its best restaurant. You know a lot of guys had their own places they'd like to go, some would go to Hooters or an Italian place. But, Guy and I would go to the absolute best restaurant we could find. And we did that in almost every city.
So, then, what city has the best restaurants? Vancouver has unbelievable seafood, but then New York has got it all. From Peter Luger's Steak House to a little place we go to for Italian called Il Vagabondo. And Toronto has the best Asian food. It's unbelievably good.
What food is your favorite guilty pleasure? I love Mexican food in Dallas. For me the cabrito at Javier's is awesome.