Todd Traylor encourages everyone to look for his establishment, Turtle Creek Pub & Grub, located off Mexico Road at Triad Center West between Hwy. K and Bryan Road. Not just because it might be easy to overlook the eatery when traveling down the busy thoroughfare, but also because it’s a great place to find even better food.
“Mexico Road is a common road in St Charles County and we’re pretty far out – but not that far,” Traylor said, admitting that Turtle Creek is off the beaten path. “To find us, take the extra 5-minute drive down the road.”
Turtle Creek is worth the drive – yielding good food, cold drinks and some of the area’s best local entertainers. A surprising mix of musicians – including Theo Peoples, who rose to fame as a singer with the Four Tops and the Temptations; and former Byrds band members Terry Rogers and Scott Nienhaus – have played the Turtle Creek stage. To catch the sounds, stop by Thursday through Saturday nights. You can bet the music will be rocking along with Turtle Creek’s menu, which continually earns rave reviews from customers.
“We’ve become known for our menu,” said Traylor, crediting his Executive Chef Mark Rushing for creating Turtle Creek’s eclectic menu. “Mark is classically trained and is always coming up with something new and tasty.”
Some of those tasty items, which began as “occasional off-the-menu specials,” such as Rushing’s Chicken Potpie, have found a place on Turtle Creek’s new menu. Rushing also plans to raid the roost for other new additions, such as crispy fried chicken, another special that is making the jump to the regular menu.
Another fine-feathered customer favorite are the Buffalo Chicken Balls, which are chicken and cheese mixed, shaped, breaded and fried. They’re just one of several Buffalo-style items on the menu. In fact, Turtle Creek could be considered the home of all things Buffalo, offering Cheese Garlic Buffalo Bread, Buffalo Chicken Nachos and Smothered Chips, Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches and Wraps, and, of course, wings.
“You can get wings as hot as you want or you can order one of our specialty wing styles,” Traylor explained, adding that the restaurant boasts a “tangy aloha sauce wing and a Guinness wing” in addition to classic Buffalo.
Beyond the bird, customers will want to try the ultimate pub specialty – burgers, which also are given the Turtle Creek treatment – such as TC’s Trio of Sliders [the Black Bleu, BBQ Bacon & Cheddar and the avocado-topped Californian. The “Not Your Mamma’s Patty Melt” is a decadent and hefty version of the grilled classic, but with bacon slipped into the mix. Every Turtle Creek burger is hand-pattied and custom seasoned.
While pub fans can get their favorite fare, Traylor is quick to distinguish Turtle Creek Pub & Grill from other bar and grill concepts.
“We’re more than just deep fried food,” Traylor said. “We have grills, ovens and the talent in the kitchen.”
Stepping away from the fryer, Rushing has created homemade soups, fresh garden salads dressed with house made dressings, and pizzas that sport Turtle Creek’s secret sauce. Gourmet pastas and entrées also offer affordable fine dining selections, such as the 12-ounce Strip Steak and Blackened Mahi Mahi.
“Our food makes us stand out and its what brings people out,” Traylor said. “Drive a few more minutes and come on in and give us a try. You’ll come back for more!”
Turtle Creek Pub & Grill
128 Traid Center West • O’Fallon • www.turtlecreekpub.com
Hours: 11 a.m.-1:20 a.m., Monday-Saturday; 11 a.m.-midnight, Sunday