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Iron Barley

Not Rated.
Iron BarleyIron Barley
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

25 Ratings
Ratings: 25
Reviews: 21
rAvg: 4.16
pDev: 11.78%
Taps: 18
Bottles: 20
Cask: Y
Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

5510 Virginia Ave
Saint Louis, Missouri, 63111-1939
United States
phone: (314) 351-4500

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Notes:
None, yet.

(Place added by: stevef on 07-18-2005)
Place: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 25 | Reviews: 21 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ASTMONATE
4/5  rDev -3.8%

Photo of jschonert
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of c-rum
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%

Photo of evilcatfish
2.5/5  rDev -39.9%

Photo of ThreeBeers
4.58/5  rDev +10.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Great find. Looks a bit shady up front. Go in because the place smells of awesome oak smoked steaks! Great local draught and bottle selections. Good import selections too. Excellent food! You gotta try the barley risotto-what a great idea! They had more off menu specials than on menu so make sure to ask. Kid friendly too. Service was fantastic. I was offered free samples when just asking about various beers. Great beer prices. They helped our 3 yr old feel welcome too. Thanks Beer Advocate for helping me find it. Only negative (minor) was extra charring on prime rib. Looked well done on outside but was med-rare on inside as asked for. Too good to send back!

Photo of rschne13
4.7/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

One of my favorite places in St. Louis to eat.

Located in South City, be sure you are looking because its easy to pass by. Hard to describe the inside as it tends to fall into several different categories. The feeling I got the first time I went in was more of a neighborhood bar/restaurant. The staff here are all extremely friendly and quite know the food forwards and backwards. They always have an extensive list of specials. The beer selection here is always just as impressive. Always have a large selection of bottles, a few drafts, and a cask ale.

This place has some of the best Schnitzel in STL!

Photo of phaleslu
4.1/5  rDev -1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 5

Went here for dinner on my brother’s birthday. Grabbed a pint in the bar area and headed out to the back patio, where a band started playing. Great summer patio. The inside isn’t big but has a lot of character, a great old south city bar. Nice selection of locals (Schlafly, O’Fallon, Six Row, etc.), regionals, and other micros. Most of Boulevard’s Smokestack series available, though pricy. The food is amazing, huge portions, hearty, just perfect. The service is good- friendly and attentive enough, and plenty of staff on hand. If you’re a meat eater and beer drinker, this place is a must visit when in St. Louis.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.56/5  rDev -14.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5

Stopped here after reading an interview with Adam Richman in Draft magazine where he mentioned it. It is located on Virginia Ave right off I-55. Street parking appears to be the only option in the vicinity.

The inside is rather rustic looking with table seating on the left and the short bar on the right. The decor is kind of like an old five and dime, with antique-looking knickknacks tacked up all over.

Iron Barley's beer selection is on the small side but has some decent selections. There are 10 taps with offerings from Six Row, Left Hand, O'Fallon, Cathedral, Goose Island, Boulevard, and New Belgium to name a few. As for bottles there are 10-12 with a few of the same brewers plus some of the standard stuff you see everywhere.

Service on a weekday early afternoon was decent. The place was slow and I didn't get the sense that there was a lot of beer knowledge, but then again that is not the focus here.

I did not try any of their famous food but the menu was definitely unique enough that I want to go back sometime.

Overall this place is a little out of the way from downtown but the eclectic decor and local brews should be enough to warrant a visit for someone visiting the city.

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.18/5  rDev +0.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 5

Went here with a couple of buddies on a saturday night. Got there around 7 pm. Should've gotten there earlier. This place gets crowded! but one look at the small wood bar with the cozy dinning room area and you'll understand why. Just on atmosphere alone this place fly's high. The decor is very cozy almost like an old hunting cabin. They had live music with a guy on sax and another on vocals and guitar. Very nice background for the noisy bar area and dinning room. They seemed to blend in so well that you would never know it was a live performance. Very nice.

I ordered the lamb chops, cus-cus with spinach and onions. The chops were done perfect and the grilled spinach and onions was a great surprise. Service was excellent with servers knowing everything about their specials.

I tried the Boulevard Nutcracker Ale which turns out to be one of my favorites from Blvd. They also had Left Hand Milk Stout, GI Honkers Ale, Blvd. Wheat and some other taps that I didn't recognize.

Price is reasonable for what you are getting. Some might consider it a bit pricey though.

Overall great little cozy place. Very unassuming but hiding some great food and beer inside.

Photo of woodychandler
4.22/5  rDev +1.4%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

A small, intimate setting with an unobtrusive front. Entering, the bar area was along the right wall. The restaurant area was to the left and featured standard restaurant tables and chairs. Kind of an eclectic décor. Outstanding food, all prepared on premises and much of it smoked. O'Fallon Smoked Porter on tap (one of the few draft accounts) as well as O'F 5-Day IPA on cask. Hill Pig Sammiche (note spelling and pronunciation) with peppers, ham sauce. Wow!

Beers: Seven (7) draft plus one (1) cask. Fifteen (15) BTs plus the usual domestic suspects.

Photo of rwdkosak
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

So this place rocks. Started off with the Saison from the Boulevard Smokestack series to go with our amazing appetizer of cheese, pepper, garlic, vinegar, tortilla orgasm. Our waitress sees the fluevogs, we all have a moment, she lays out the specials and I hear, "beef medallions" and "slinger style" in the same sentence and immediately I can't go any further. Beef medallions cooked perfectly on potato pancakes with flash fried spinach and carmelized onions topped with a fried egg. take a moment....I inhaled this meal!
My wife had a fantastic seafood risotto and my madre had the Schnitzel & Spaetzle...so good.
Had a cask pour of O'fallon's 5-day IPA that was great and finished the evening with dessert of a peanut butter blaster...basically frozen peanut butter cheesecake with jalapeno whipped cream covered in chipotle chocolate sauce served on top of habanero strawberry sauce...AMAZING.

Service could not have been better. My wife and I had our 16 month old son and they were extrememly accommodating. Our waitress knew the menu and made us feel right at home.

Overall, it's quite expensive but reading, "prices vs. what you got"...I would have paid more. We will return soon.

Photo of Tone
4.43/5  rDev +6.5%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

A little hole in the wall brick building in a residential neighborhood. They have live music a couple night a week. Not as classy as I was worried it would be (casual reigns supreme). The bar is pretty big but it is more relaxing to dine in the adjoining room. The selection isn't real large, but they are top notch and taste great (Bell's Two Hearted Ale e.g.). Service was friendly and made the restaurant have a more homely feel. The food was great! I had the most tender, largest, juiciest, amazing pork chops of my life. A roasted bacon-stuffed mushroom appetizer that was delicious. Overall, the food was so great I can't wait to return. The beer is secondary, but of such a high quality they nicely complement the food. Heck, I even bought a t-shirt I was so impressed with the place. Definitely worth the drive to go again.

Photo of 86sportster883
3.75/5  rDev -9.9%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

The Iron Barley is a cozy, small neighborhood bar/restaurant in St. Louis with a character all its own. It's a simple two room place with one room serving as the bar area and the other as the dining area. The bar area was mostly full on a mid week evening when I stopped in, so I seated myself at a small table in the dining room. There was a sole guitar player strumming an acoustic guitar and drawing applause from the patrons.

On tap (3.50 + tax):
O'Fallon Smoked Porter, New Belgium's 1554 Black Ale & Blue Paddle Pilsner, AB's Bare Knuckle Stout, Schlafly's Hefe, Goose Island's Honkers Ale, and Griesedieck's Golden Pilsner.

In bottles:
Tucher Hefe Weiss, Coopers Sparkling Ale, Hoegaarden, Bell's Two Hearted, SN Pale Ale, Ayinger Celebrator, O'Dell 90 Shillings & Cutthroat Porter, Sam Smith's Nut Brown, Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen, Guinness Draft bottles, Huyghe's Floris Apple, New Belgian Abbey, Monchshot Kellerbrau and your usual domestic macros from AB.

The barley salad ($8.95) was very good and was just what I needed to take the edge off my hunger as I waited for my entrée, the seafood risotto special ($22.95). The main menu offered Soup, Salad, Dogs, "Sammiches" (to include the Ballistic Elvis) and Entrées that included chicken, pasta, roasted pork, schnitzel & spaetzle, NY strip, prime rib (oak roasted), barley paella, salmon and trout.

The O'Fallon 5 day IPA on cask went very well w/the barley salad and I had a pint of Blue Paddle with the seafood risotto (scallops, mussels, little neck clams, shrimp and calamari w/sun dried tomatoes in a red cream sauce).

The food was excellent, the service was friendly and the beer list offered a wide range of choices. The Iron Barley is definitely one of the better places for food and beer in St. Louis.

Photo of brewintheLou
4.2/5  rDev +1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Stopped by on a Friday evening around 7:45/8:00. Place was packed so I just stood next to the bar and had a couple of 5 day on cask (yummy) at only $3.50 a pint. I took a look at the beer list and they had some very nice beers, not alot, but very nice selection.

Seemed to have several locals to the area that knew each other and the staff, nice vibe. There was a guy sitting on a bar stool with a guitar playing some tunes which really set the mood. Most people at the bar were just waiting to be seated so they could eat. It is a really tiny place, so if you don't get there early you will have to wait a while.

Photo of mizzoueng
4.25/5  rDev +2.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 3 | selection: 5 | food: 4.5

Atmo - Very neat and has a "Cheers" feel to it. People were walking in and the bartender would know them and their favorite drink. The whole place is decorated in kind of a mish-mash. Old beer bottles are scattered throughout the bar along with random trophies, pictures, glasses, etc. The cabinetry reminded me of an old western saloon, just had a neat aged look to it all.

Quality - Top notch, everything was fresh, along with the beer.

Service - I give it an average only because it did take about 3 hours for us to sit, order, drink and finally eat. I hear service like this is typical, but it was okay as we had plenty of time to sit and talk and take in the beer selection.

Selection - Beer wise I believe there was about 20 on the menu, ranging from Schlafly Pale Ale to Goose Island Bourbon County Stout. There is a beer pump, O'Fallon usually provides 5 Day IPA, which is totally different on cask than out of the bottle. There is a beer on the menu for everyone.

Food - Wow, I had the Delmonaco Oak Smoked Prime Rib with Barley Rissoto. I can't say anything bad about this dish. I've had steak at Annie Gunns (one of the best steakhouses in STL) and this was better (and cheaper). The PB&J blaster pie for dessert is a must, trust me, it will blow your mind!

Value - Beer wise you really can't find anything wrong with the menu, it changes periodically to ensure proper seasonal brews and proper food pairings. Food wise it really wasn't too bad, average dinner was 10-16 per plate (depending of course). I say reasonable as you get what you pay for.

Overall I am going back. The food was great, the beer was great. Our waiter actually knew what everything was and was able to rattle off the ingredients to about every dish, he even offered suggestions of beer pairings. At the end of the night he broke out the bill, for alcohol and food. Apparently alcohol and food have different tax rates and he was kind enough to show us this.

They have glasses for just about all the common breweries, Goose Island, Sclafly, etc, and then one especially for the Floris Apple. Neat!

Photo of orbitalr0x
4/5  rDev -3.8%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Stopped by here last time I was in St. Louis after searching Beerfly here for good places to check out. Farily unassuming place off the highway that's easy enough to find if you keep your eyes open. Looks like a classic old time roadhouse restaurant once you enter. Lots of old wood and memorabilia on the walls. Long bar on the right with seating on the left and a window to the kitchen straight ahead. Nice and homey...everyone was very friendly the minute I walked in!

The brew selection wasn't huge but it was a nice variety of locals including Schlafly, O'Fallon Smoked Porter on tap and 5 Day IPA on cask (which was unfortunately out when I went), along with some New Belgium taps as well. Our server was very nice and quick to refill drinks and place our order. My girlfriend attempted to order the crazy Elvis sandwich with bacon, peanut butter, bananas and more...but they were out of something and had to 86 it. She ended up going with a reuben and I went with the veggie reuben.

The Smoked Porter went well with my meal and I enjoyed the food. Good roadside grub that satisfied both of us before our journey back to IL. Overall, I enjoyed this place. There was fun live music as well. If you're in St. Louis it's worth making a stop here and enjoying some good local brew and grub!

Photo of Vancer
3.9/5  rDev -6.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3

Not a bad place, hit it on a Friday nite around 6pm – plenty of space and the service was exceptional, almost to a fault. Our waitress was very pleasant, and not only did she know the menu, she rattled on for 5 minutes with all the specials. Sheesh, I needed to take notes, no way could I remember everything she said.

As the previous reviewers mentioned, only 7 brews on tap, but good locals. Pretty good bottled beers to back up the taps. 5 Day IPA on cask was excellent.

The roasted ½ chicken was my entrée, and it failed BBQing 101. They left the skin on, so all the smoke and rub was wasted when I peeled the nasty skin off, leaving the plain jane chicken underneath. I’ll give this place another chance down the road, but I’m in no hurry to return.

Photo of ryanismean
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I never give fives, but this place is just too good not to. Iron Barley is a small, completely unassuming, non-pretentious little place. You'd never guess that the beer selection would be so excellent or that the food would be so good. Tom and his wife may be the friendliest folks I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. Went in for dinner after meeting Tom at the Microfest, and from the moment we stepped in the door they treated us like old friends. The conversation (and beer) flowed effortlessly.

This is, they say, the only place you can get O'Fallon's 5-day IPA on cask, so naturally we had that. Fantastic.

We started off with the mussels in cream sauce, which really set the tone for the night. I've never had mussels that good before, completely fresh and so perfectly cooked, not at all fishy, nor overdone and rubbery. The sauce was so good we ended up drinking it after we ran out of crostinis and crackers to soak up the goodness.

I ordered the oak roasted prime rib, and it was just ridiculous. I've never been served a piece of meat that large; I couldn't even eat half of it. But I wish I could have, because it was the most flawless medium rare all the way through, fork-tender and juicy, completely permeated with smoke flavor. The smashed potatoes on the side were good, but I regret that I mostly ignored them in favor of the massive slab of beef.

My friend had the seafood risotto, which is a barley "risotto" (naturally) made creamy with cream rather than starch. Loaded with sundried tomatoes, squid, giant sea scallops, and various other bits of sea creatures, it was also excellent. Creamy and tangy and perfect, although the squid was (in my opinion) a tiny bit rubbery. My friend disagreed and said it was fine, but then I don't really like squid anyway.

Photo of Jason
4.05/5  rDev -2.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

This bar made me feel at home right from the start. Or was it the prime rib the size of my head that seduced me to think that way? Little road house, a little beer bar and a lot of American bar comes from here. Seven beers on, all craft at the time and they even had some O'Fallons BA Smoked Porter in the bottle ... oh yeah and a cask ale on as well. The staff treated us like family in a way, very casual and friendly. Come here with an appetite and thirsty or don't come at all. Beef and beer, what else do I really need?

Photo of udubdawg
4.83/5  rDev +16.1%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 5

I am eternally thankful for BeerFly or I'd never have heard of this place.

Visited on Feb 28th. Unfamiliar with the town/streets, so I went early while it was still light out. No trouble finding the place and early in the evening parking on the street was a breeze.

I could wax poetic about how good the food was - my Oak Roasted Pork was cooked to perfection, and one of the most delicious meals I've ever had. Love the side of barley - would you call that a barley risotto I guess?
I could rave about how well the O'Fallon smoked porter went with my meal, and how much I enjoyed their IPA too.
I could show how little I paid for a magnificent meal.
I could talk about the live music, the friendly staff, the homey feel...

...but wouldn't you rather just go try it for yourself?

Among the ONLY disappointments I experienced was that sitting at the bar I got a blast of cold February air every time someone opened the door - obviously if I'd sat elsewhere this wouldn't have been a problem. And unfortunately, whatever beer they had on cask that night was out. Between the lack of cask beer and being too full for dessert, it sounds like I shall have to go back.

Photo of lightbulb
4.15/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

ATMOSPHERE- bar side entrance, left side dining. Bar area is how I like it- small, cozy, and a picture of "the soup nazi". Cask and drafts at the bar, folk band up front, and a straight shot into the kitchen. The dining area is separated and is plainly seated.
QUALITY- All beers enjoyed were in good condition and the food was excellent. Beers were served at a warmer temp than nearly all other establishments would dare. Regards.
SERVICE- our server knew the menu up and down, including an array of specials. She also knew the beer very well and was very friendly.
SELECTION- A very tight beer list, that is outshined by the food menu. I appreciate the inclusion of cask beer and a couple of local breweries, but considering the great food of the kitchen I would like the chance to pair with a few more beers. Schlafly, OFallon, Griesedieck, New Belgium and some AB products are present.
FOOD- I will go back for the food. The chef and owner at Iron Barley under-promises and over-delivers. The written menu is plain to the point you must ask what particular dishes are, but once informed they sound exciting and the items we selected were all excellent and daring. The menu offers something between Homestyle and fusion and the restaurant smells great. I can recommend the oak smoked chicken.
VALUE- Iron Barley is worth the visit and then some.

Photo of nogoodreason
4.28/5  rDev +2.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

A great place in South St. Louis. Great food, great service and a small but very tight beer list.

Small place, with maybe ten tables and room for maybe 20-25 at the bar. Service is quick and friendly. Probably ten taps and a handpump (Schlafly). The beer is in great condition and pairs nicely with the remarkably good food. They have numerous specials each time I've been, all of them delicious.

It's hard to know what else to say other than that this place gets a big recommendation from me. IMO, one of the hidden gems here in St. Louis.

Photo of fizzyfred
4.7/5  rDev +13%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

This place is a classic neighborhood restaurant in South St Louis City. The usually have low-key live music on the weekends and its totally packed. They have maybe 10 tables and a few 2-person tables by the bar. The whole concept of the place is good food with local craft brews.

You can smell the smoke as soon as you walk in the door. The food is amazing. Its not just barbeque, but seafood and salads as well as sandwiches. Our server took about 5 minutes to explain the specials on a busy Saturday night and took care of us. The food is amazing. They had a watermelon salad special that had delicious watermelon on a bed of greens and onions with a honey, red-wine vinaigrette. I've never seen it before, and it was great. I had the oak roasted pork that came in a smokey tomato sauce, as thick as gravy, with barley and mushrooms. It was unbelievable. My wife had the Zarzeula, a seafood pot like cioppino that was also great. For desert we had the original blaster, its like cheescake with habanero pepper strawberry sauce. What can I say.

They have numerous micros on draft. O'Fallon IPA was cool to see as well as Schlafly Pale on Cask. New Belgian 1554 and Blue Paddle, Griesedieck Pilsner, Schlafly Hefe among the ones I can remember.

This place is definitely in my top 5 for St Louis.

Photo of Realale
4.08/5  rDev -1.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

Why did it take me so long? With the recent loss of Bastante, I decided it was time to hit some beer-friendly restaurants that I've just not taken the time to visit. Number one on the list was Iron Barley.

The location isn't convenient for my home or office, but honestly, it only took 18 minutes from my office in Clayton. Ditto my house. A bit less coming back. Well worth it.

I've now been for a couple of lunches and a dinner, and this place is firmly in my regular rotation! The space is divided into a restaurant and a bar area, neither of which is large, but both seemed comfy. Let's just say the focus is definitely on what's on the plate and in the glass. Hurray for that, in my book.

The menu was compact, with a selection of salads, sandwiches, and entrees. There were at least four specials each time, all of which sounded delish. The menu was sparse on details, but our waitress was more than happy to fill them in. My sandwiches and entree have been terrific, and the selections made by the others looked damn good, and got excellent reviews.

Beer selection is also compact, but it's quality through and through. Lots of local micro representation in the form of Schlafly, O'Fallon, and Griesedieck pilsner. A couple of New Belgium taps, and a couple more in bottle. A smattering of imports rounds out the interesting selections. Oh, and one of the Schlafly's is CASK!! That's right. True cask beer at a restaurant. Selection today was Schlafly's APA, and it was in fine form. On a steamy St. Louis night, the cask was a little too warm, but I suspect they might have just turned on the A/C. I'll update on a revisit.

Service was excellent. Informative, helpful, and not obtrusive. Well done.

Photo of stevef
4.47/5  rDev +7.5%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5

My wife and I were in St. Louis for the weekend for a couple of ball games (go Cardinals!) And saw an ad for this place in one of the local guides. Their claim that "we pare traditional and innovative American Cuisine with the finest locally hand crafted micro brews" sounded promising and their logo of an iron skillet with barley and hops indicated they may really be serious.
We weren't disappointed. The food was exceptional! We had the nightly special so I can't refer back to the menu for exactly what they called it. There was a southwestern style fried cheese appetizer with a sweet tomato, onion, pepper and spice salsa topping. My wife had a chicken breast dish and I had beef medallions. Each dish was uniquely prepared and incredibly delicious. We had the barley apple pudding for desert (think rice pudding only made with barley) which went perfectly with the Schafly American Ale I was enjoying at that time.
The beer taps were limited but high quality and pints were just $3.50. They had:
New Belgium Blue Paddle Pilsner - never had this one so I thought I'd give it a shot. I was slightly disappointed. I expected a more noticeable hop presence in this style. It was okay but needed more hops (and it was my first beer of the evening).
New Belgium 1554 Brussels Style Black ale
Ofallon Smoked Porter - there were placards on the table for this that noted it was a Gold Medal Winner in the Smoked Beer category at the 2004 Great American Beer Festival. This was my first smoked beer and I found it quiet enjoyable. Lots of roasty smoky malt flavors with a modest hop character. Reminded me of my Grandfather's old smoke house.
Schafly American Pale Ale Expedition Reserve - I have enjoyed this before in bottles but the draft was much better. Much greater hops profile in the smell and taste and a more noticeable caramel sweetness. Enjoy it with the barley apple pudding.
Schafly American Lager
Bare Knuckle Stout - hey it's St. Louis and this is a "local micro brew".
There was a selection of bottled beer too that was predominantly local products that did not greatly interest me.
And did I mention pints are $3.50?
The only thing that detracted slightly from my rating was the fact that the air conditioning was out on the night of our visit. They had the ceiling fans going high speed and everyone was joking and making the best of it but the heat and humidity did take away from the atmosphere.
The location is in south St. Louis and cab fare was $17 one way from downtown. My wife and I both agreed it was worth it. If you are looking for some good food to combine with some good beer, I would highly recommend it.

Iron Barley in Saint Louis, MO
93 out of 100 based on 25 ratings.