BLT, hot wings and a chef salad from Los Boys Hideaway
Submitted by Rebecca LaClair
Egypt Mills is a small community tucked back in the rolling river hills of Southeast Missouri. Just a short drive from either Jackson or Cape Girardeau, to get there you must drive on some of the most winding and drop-off-skirting roads in the county. The drive is beautiful (and fun) any time of year, and I’d recommend taking it especially when food lies at the end of the road. Opened by Mark and Becky Schwartz, Los Boys Hideaway has been here just over a year and has quickly become a center of the small population.
I arrived at Los Boys around 4 p.m. and there was the requisite group of locals sitting at the bar, chatting with each other easily. There was a TV behind the bar, but that didn’t stop them from talking to each other. On the left upon entering the door was a good-sized area full of snacks and sodas. We chose an open table and sat down. The server was a lovely lady, all smiles and patience as we took our time looking at the menu.
Now let me stop a moment and talk about something that I couldn’t help but notice. Though this tavern was decorated as many are, with little oddities behind the bar, metal signs on the wall and crossed fishing poles near the ceiling, this place was incredibly unique. It was spotless. And when I say spotless, I mean spotless. No dust on hanging decorations, no food particles ground between the windowsill and the wall, not a crumb on the floor. Looking at the patrons sitting at the bar, I saw the telltale signs of mud-coated farmers’ boots, and yet the floor was pristine.
Los Boys Hideaway’s menu is small and tight, laden with the kinds of items you would expect to find and a couple you wouldn’t — burgers, sandwiches, wings, and salads. The menu is one page but covers a lot of tasty ground.
There were a couple of specials available, and those change daily. Our server said their burgers were the most popular, including a hefty pork burger. I ordered a lighter supper — a chef salad, which is usually a mistake in a tavern. Let’s be honest, you don’t go to a tavern for a salad, and sometimes the lettuce is a little sad and neglected, but I ordered one anyway. I got a side of cottage cheese, which I was absolutely delighted to find on the menu. My husband ordered wings and a BLT.
The food arrived in no time, and let me say right away my salad was perfect. Not a wilty piece of lettuce in sight, all green and pretty. But the wings! Since I’ve been writing these articles, I have tried wings at a lot of different places. The wings at Los Boys were the largest, juiciest wings I’ve seen. I mean, these monsters looked like they came off of a turkey! (OK, maybe not that big, but they were huge.) They were coated in a house-made hot sauce that was spicy but not so hot they killed your taste buds. For me, the wings were definitely the star of the show.
After eating, my father-in-law started chatting with the good ol’ boys at the bar. He was born in the area, and he was laughing and reminiscing with total strangers in no time. I wandered over to the right side of the building where there sat a pool table and electronic dartboard. This area was just as clean as the rest of the joint. We played a game of darts, because I stink at pool, and then LO! Nestled around the bend, sitting demurely in a corner (nobody puts Baby in the corner!) was a pinball machine. And not just any pinball machine, but a “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” machine straight outta 1991! Arnold’s flashing red eye beckoned me over and I had to give it my money.
Los Boys Hideaway also has bands visit on some weekends, and there was a place in the corner where it looked like they set up. All in all, this place surprised me — clean and friendly — with fresh food and loads of entertainment value. Take the drive. Spring is coming up, the scenery will be beautiful, and play a game of pinball for me.