Photo by Ian Froeb, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Diner's Delight

Tuesday means oxtails at Diner’s Delight, so Tuesday is when you’re likely to find me there, fishing tender, sweet morsels of meat out of those great fists of fat and bone and swiping the meat through the luscious gravy. Not an oxtail fan? There’s also fried chicken on Tuesday; in fact, there’s fried chicken every day, crisp and juicy and wonderfully free of any modern-day gimmicks, and there’s probably the creamy mac and cheese and, if you’re lucky, there are mixed greens cooked down into a verdant tangle. And be sure to get the signature pancake-shaped cornbread. (It’s perfect for sopping up the oxtail gravy.) As with the barbecue boom, the current rage in St. Louis (and elsewhere) for Southern cuisine threatens to obscure what’s come before. There’s no better soul food in St. Louis than what Jo Houston has been serving for 47 years now at her Gate District restaurant. You need to eat here. Preferably on Tuesday. Preferably the oxtail.

Last year's ranking: New

Opened: 1969

Must order: Oxtail plate ($13.50)