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A Taste of the Region: Mary Jane Bourbon + Smokehouse

In this week’s Taste of the Region, we take a look at a newer restaurant in Cape Girardeau. 

Mary Jane Bourbon + Smokehouse is owned by Carisa Stark and opened this June. 

It’s located on Broadway street right across from South East Missouri State University leading into downtown. 

When walking into the establishment, the bar is likely the first thing to catch the visitor’s eye. 

Stark says Mary Jane’s holds around 400 different types of Bourbon and Whiskeys and strives to offer the largest selection in the area. 

"We wanted a statement piece to showcase everything that we have here," Stark explains. "The idea was to have this massive back bar, so we could display all the amazing Bourbon and Whiskey we carry here."

The restaurant also uses those spirits to make craft cocktails like the Louisville Smoked Old Fashioned, which is recommended by Stark. 

It’s a twist on the class Old Fashioned, but with this version the glass is smoked with a Cedar plank to order. 

 The menu is the creation of Executive Chef Matt Ruesler, who uses puts a fresh spin on classics he grew up with. 

New 3’s Brooke Schlyer tried the Reuben sandwich on a pretzel bun with a cucumber salad on the side. 

The pastrami on the Reuben is cured in house for two weeks and is topped with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and a homemade Russian dressing.

The side is take on the cucumber salad Ruseler’s grandma used to make for him, but he added tomatoes and swapped out distilled vinegar for white wine vinegar. 

Brooke also got a taste of the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich that is tossed in a honey Sriracha sauce on top of a cheddar chive biscuit with house made zucchini pickles. 

The sandwich comes with a potato salad that is tossed with honey mustard, red onion and chives. 

Brooke’s pick: 

It’s a tie between the Reuben sandwich and the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich, so I pick BOTH. The Reuben sandwich on the pretzel bun is a game changer and the creamy, homemade Russian dressing definitely stood out. While, the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich had a nice kick to it but was not overwhelming. Plus, those zucchini pickles, are in my opinion, better than the butter pickles. 

The Reuben sandwich is only on the lunch menu and the Nashville Hot Chicken is only available during dinner, so what you end up trying really depends on when you decide to visit the restaurant. 

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