Eating My Way Through University City: Three Kings Public House
Natalie McLaury cooks and writes a food and recipe blog called The Sweets Life.
Stopping in for lunch at Three Kings Public House (6307 Delmar Blvd) recently, my expectations were fairly low. For one, it was a pub and standard pub food usually doesn’t wow me. After all, pubs are usually more about the drinks than the food, right? For another, Three Kings has only been open for a few weeks, meaning they were likely still working out a lot of glitches, training servers, figuring out the kitchen, etc.
It turns out, Three Kings far, far surpassed my expectations. I didn’t just enjoy my Saturday afternoon there—I can’t wait to return! Though we opted to enjoy the nice weather and sit outside, I did sneak inside to check the place out. The restaurant itself was very dark, but everything from the bar to the booths looked great—a much higher caliber than your standard neighborhood pub. Our party of four wanted a table in the shade and were pleasantly surprised when the waitress led us into a narrow courtyard between the restaurant and the next building over. With only space for a few tables (less than 10), it was shady, quiet, and private, perfect for those who want to eat outside, but not amongst the chaos and foot traffic common in the Loop.
Not a beer drinker, I skipped over the drink menu. They did have quite a selection of both wine and beer, including a few beer samplers that others in our party ordered (and enjoyed!). Both the hostess and the waitress were friendly, patiently answering my questions and giving recommendations based on the most popular orders thus far.
The menu was more creative than anticipated. Though your typical pub fare was listed, it all seemed to have a creative twist. Rather than nachos, they had chorizo nachos. Instead of French fries, prosciutto wrapped fries with Parmesan and parsley. The appetizer menu also included house-made pretzel bread that I have every intention of trying next time!
Everything listed on the sandwich and burger menu was equally enticing, from the Cuban burger (with smoked ham, Swiss, pickles, Dijon mustard, and chipotle mayo on sourdough) to the Three Kings Burger (with blue cheese, smoked bacon, and balsamic onion relish, on sourdough) to the Mother’s Roast Beef Po’ Boy (available with cheese only or dressed with lettuce, pickles, and aioli). After suggestions from the hostess and waitress, I couldn’t resist the Muffuletta (salami, spicy Capicola, mortadella, mozzarella, provolone, and olive salad on round Italian bread).
Our food quickly arrived and we hungrily dug in. One bite, and I regretted every time a Muffuletta was on a menu and I didn’t order it! The olive salad was my favorite part—salty, spicy, and a great match for the meats and cheeses. Coming in three sizes, I opted for the smallest (a quarter) and was impressed by the quantity. My selected side—grilled asparagus—was cooked to perfection and made me feel a little healthier with such an indulgent meal! My husbands' Three King’s Burger and our friends’ chorizo nachos and prosciutto wrapped fries were met with equally high reviews.
Though prices are a few dollars higher than what you might normally expect in a pub, the execution of each plate made it well worth it. Though their menu isn’t yet online, I can’t recommend enough stopping by Three Kings Public House for lunch or dinner when you get the chance…it deserves a warm welcome into University City and I anticipate it is here to stay!
(Three Kings Public House is located in the space where Riddles Penultimate Café & Wine Bar was for many years. University City Patch Contributor Rob Levy interviewed restaurant entrepreneur Derek Flieg about the new venture back in February. Here is a link to that article. http://patch.com/A-fzvC)