ANDREW JANSEN/ JOURNAL The Gyro Sliders at the Three Kings Public House in University City.

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned pub, a neighborhood watering hole with a big beer list and a menu full of stick-to-your ribs favorites. Three Kings Public House definitely has all this going for it and more.

Three Kings is housed in the former Riddle’s Penultimate Cafe & Wine Bar, and takes full advantage of the expansive space. With a mix of high tops, booths and tables, there was more than enough seating to go around. The decor was classic pub—long bar, exposed brick and dark wood. The painted visages of Three Kings (King Kong, King Henry VIII and Elvis) overlooking the bar was the crowning touch.

The beer selection at Three Kings was almost overwhelming, with some 28 choices just under the bottled-beer category, but we finally decided to try something new (to us anyway), a Myrcenary ($6), a hoppy double IPA; and something tried and true, one of our favorite hot weather beers: Schlafly Summer Lager ($5).

Sometimes just the name of the dish is enough to entice us to order it. Such was the case with the Captain Crunch Shrimp ($9) under Starters. Yes, the six jumbo shrimp were breaded with a mix that included that favorite breakfast cereal, but this creation wasn’t just some sort of a goofy one-off kitchen stunt. The Cap’n added a nice sweetness to the juicy shrimp and played off the spicy Thai dipping sauce, as well as the really flavorful Asian slaw that came with the dish.

We had the opportunity to try Three King’s Gyro Sliders ($9) at a recent local event and were suitably impressed, so we had to get a full order. As the name implies, these little guys were basically traditional gyros on a bun instead of a pita—tender strips of lamb topped with feta cheese, lettuce and tomato and tzatziki sauce. Really simple and really good.

From the burger selections we decided on the Flamethrower ($9), paired up with a regular House Salad ($4). The burger was plenty spicy, but not as hot as the name implies. It had green onion, cilantro, sweet chili sauce, pepper jack cheese and fried jalapenos, topped with sriracha mayo. It was substantial enough to give us a challenge, but not so hefty that we had to resort to the dreaded knife and fork. The salad was a standard mix of greens, grape tomatoes, red onions, cucumbers and croutons, elevated by a subtle raspberry vinaigrette that brought the ingredients together but didn’t overwhelm.

For dessert, we had the Key Lime Cheesecake ($5), a pretty standard slice that did the job but was fairly unremarkable.

The menu also included plenty of pub favorites like fish & chips and wings, as well as sandwich classics like the muffuletta and the reuben. We plan on heading back soon to give some of these a go, as well as indulge in one of the Irish whiskey flights we spied on the menu. Three Kings featured the best parts of the public house experience with enough culinary creativity to make things interesting without going the fullblown gastro-pub route.

Three Kings Public House, 6307 Delmar Blvd., 721-3355, threekingspub.com