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Dining with Nancy: Ecco

I don’t consider myself particularly old. Though, as another birthday passed recently and legislators whom are much younger than me continue to be elected, I’m beginning to realize that I’m no longer a member of the younger sect within the Capitol halls. And, that’s okay. One great side effect of aging is you know what you like. I like that only a few weeks remain in session. I like that my legislative days are never predictable. I like that young legislators bring a fresh and enthusiastic presence to the building. I like…well…you know if I like you or not. Oh, and I also like the prime rib sandwich and Michelob Light beer at the Ecco Lounge. IMG_7386

This week I fused the old with the new and introduced newly elected Representatives Robert Cornejo and Elijah Haahr to the Ecco. Where better to celebrate Robert’s 30th birthday than Jefferson City’s oldest restaurant and lounge?  Cornejo didn’t hesitate with his cocktail order and well represented his district by ordering the O’Fallon 5-day IPA. Once our cocktails, soft pretzel sticks, a steak for Elijah and prime rib sandwiches for Robert and me were ordered, we began contrasting the women’s and men’s restrooms. I’m averse to public restrooms but not this one with its leopard-painted ceiling, fresh scent and amazingly efficient hand dryer. Though, I’m a bit envious of what I understand to be “interesting” cartoons found hanging on the men’s restroom walls. Upon my constant inquisitions, Elijah finally succumbed to the pressure and brought out a handful for me to experience. I would have hated to embarrass my company by retrieving them myself!

The Place 

The Ecco Lounge is located at 703 Jefferson Street. From the brick walls, tin ceiling and neon beer signs, one easily can tell that the Ecco is an institution. Despite prohibition, a bank foreclosure and several ownership changes, the Ecco stands today as a reminder of Jefferson City history. Serving as a hub for locals and the political sect, the Ecco is open from 11:00 – 9:00 on weekdays and 11:00 – 10:00 on Fridays and Saturdays. IMG_3909

The People

Sally Powell, one of the owners, is fantastic. She greets her guests with a smile and always has questions to ask about business, family members, and other topics of interest to her patrons. She knows how to make her guests feel welcome and she executes the feeling well. Thanks Sally for checking on us!

The Product

Renowned for its cheeseburger, the Ecco boasts a menu full of salads, sandwiches, steak, seafood and chicken entrees. I have navigated my way through much of the menu and my favorite remains the same. May I have a prime rib sandwich please? It is fantastic. I do recommend a side of waffle fries with the pretzel cheese sauce. I forced my order on Robert and he wasn’t disappointed…even though I did catch him looking longingly at Elijah’s steak!

The Price

Starters, salads and sandwiches range in price from $6.00 – $10.00. Steaks and seafood run from $15.00 – $25.00 and chicken entrees fall in the middle with options from $10.00 – $14.00. Dessert and kid’s menus are available as well with $3.00 – $5.00 prices.

The Pizzazz

Holy cheese sauce. I have Jessica Land to blame for this discovery. It isn’t enough to have a great meal, with great company and celebrate a new friend’s birthday. Oh no, I have to smother all of that with Ecco’s special cheese sauce. I don’t know what is in it. I don’t care. I simply know that it is fantastic and should be consumed when one has the chance. I might as well enjoy it. I’m not getting any younger.