June 29, 2017
Photo Credit: Sheara Jennings
By: Rachel Whalen and Ella Snelson
This week, we traveled to Macon to try another amazingly delicious Missouri restaurant that offers many great beef dishes. We decided to travel to this new spot to enlighten our taste buds at a restaurant called AJ’s.
AJ’s is owned by Al Abbadessa, who has had a lot of experience in the food industry. Abbadessa started his first restaurant in 1962, and wanted to create an environment for New York City style formal dining. The Macon Gaslight Room, Abadessa’s first restaurant, did just that and was open until 1983. He pursued other restaurant endeavors until he decided to open another restaurant in 1986. The new restaurant, called The Pear Tree, had 300-350 people dine in it every week in Bevier, Missouri. The Pear Tree began to grow even more, and became a destination restaurant, which had up to 50,000 people eat in it every year!
After having many years of success, Abbadessa and his son Michael, decided to create another restaurant in Macon, called AJ’s Eat and Drink. Unfortunately, the local favorite Pear Tree restaurant burned down in a fire, which occurred in November of 2012. Eventually, AJ’s Eat and Drink, was renamed to AJ’s Eat and Drink…The Steakhouse. To continue the traditions of the spectacular Pear Tree, AJ’s incorporated some of their favorite dishes in its new menu.
With its rich history, comes a menu with even richer tastes. AJ’s incorporates a lot of beef in the menu, including KC Strips and Prime Rib. One of their main focuses is to love beef and to know where it comes from. After the success of his two restaurants, Abbadessa helped create another restaurant called the Twisted Tree, which is located in St. Louis. Twisted Tree was put together by all of the AJ’s staff. Stay tuned, we may take a visit to the Twisted Tree to feature on our blog!!
In 2007, Abbadessa started aging his own beef that he purchased from Creekstone Farms, in Arkansas City, Kansas. He stated that there is no way that they can raise enough of their own beef to fill the demand in his restaurant. He decided to buy their own bulls to breed to raise heifers to sell to Creekstone Farms. AJ’s has a combination of wet and dry aged beef, and they eventually hope to have a viewing room to watch the meat aging process. This adds a visual element to the taste that you already love!
While we were there, we were able to enjoy the KC Strip and the Black and Bleu. As excellent as their beef was, their salad and other dishes were delicious as well. Not only does AJ’s have mouth-watering food, but they also have staff that are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that the customers are satisfied. We got the opportunity to talk to the Chef, Brenda, and get a view of the behind the scenes and where the beef is prepared! I highly suggest making the drive to Macon to eat at AJ’s. You will not be disappointed in their food!