Nachos at John P. Field’s in Clayton, Mo.

A guest post by Ms. Cary Randolph Fuller

In the words of the poet Murphy Lee, “the Lou is more than the Rams, Cards, and little Arch.” It’s also a city full of great American bars. No frills, just baseball on the flat-screen, girls in jeans, and extensive, exhaustive menus. As a rule, if Mike Shannon can fry it, you can eat it, and you’ll pair it with a big cold pint of Bud Select.

John P. Fields is one such bar. Tucked away in the yuppie enclave of Clayton, it prides itself on an atmosphere “accented by close ties to NHL hockey.” And the atmosphere is ideal…if your name is Dave or Norm and your palate comfortably unsophisticated. These nachos looked terrific: bright colors and a perfect distribution of cheese, chili, and jalapeno peppers. Great nachos to eat on a date: pick up a chip and nothing falls off. They are neat, tidy, aesthetically pleasing. But something was amiss. They lacked any kind of kick. Flavor? Stale chips? A second trip is unlikely so I may never find out. But one thing is certain: when three grown women split an order of nachos and don’t even touch half the plate…something ain’t right.
Because like Nelly I am “representin’ Saint Louis every time I breathe,” these nachos get a 5/10 rating. Without my loyalty, they really merit just a 2 – for presentation and portion size.