Midwest Living Review
The restaurant's menu declares, "Our Specialty: Homemade Pie," and owners Joe and Jack Noonan aren't kidding. Using their mother's recipes, the brothers make pies from scratch every day. Their sweet, richly flavored German chocolate pie is a local favorite; the walnut cream pie is an old-fashioned chess pie packed with walnut chunks; they gather apples from the trees on the town levee for their apple pies; and when Alton Brown blew through Hannibal on his "Feasting on Asphalt" tour, he adored their strawberry pie. Brown even came back twice for the smoked bratwurst and sauerkraut dinner (a local butcher makes the brats especially for Ole Planters). The restaurant is just across from the Mark Twain Boyhood Home, and it's just folksy enough to be a regular stop for politicians on the campaign trail. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and John Kerry have all noshed here. Along with pie, Ole Planters is known for its homemade barbecue. Using a technique they learned from their dad, the Noonan brothers smoke pork and beef for hours over red oak and hickory chips, and they also make their barbecue sauce. We sampled both the German chocolate and walnut cream pies: heavenly. The barbecue sandwich had thick slices of pork in a tasty tomato-based sauce; it was slow-cooked and splendidly satisfying. Like Alton Brown, we'd definitely go back for more.