b

brownhound's Profile

Title Last Reply

St. Louis Restaurant with Private room?

Are you making two different requests -- "chef driven, trendy" and "private room" -- or do you need both in each place? Seems like folks are trying to come up with a chef driven and trendy private room, which is a tall order.

Chef driven, trendy: Basso, Libertine, Blood and Sand (weekday only, if they'll let you in), Elaia (as per Lemons), Farmhaus, Bridge Tap Room, one of the favored BBQ places, i.e., Shaved Duck, Bogarts, Pappy's, Sugarfire.

Small plate/bars: Taste by Niche, Olio, Sanctuaria.

I can see mixing lunches at places like Bogarts with good dinners at Basso etc. or drinks/snacks at Olio etc.

Also, you might look into these newer places in St. Louis that seem to fit the bill: Element, Juniper, Small Batch. I'd be pretty comfortable with a guys weekend in St. Louis at those, although they haven't the track record the above list do.

Private room: I think this was also raised a couple of years ago on Chowhound, so you might do a search. I think there weren't too many, as would be expected, but I think I suggested Home Wine Kitchen, as I believe they are fun, food centric and have an upstairs that is generally closed (i.e., private room). Others had some good suggestions too.

Mar 26, 2014
brownhound in Great Plains

St. Louis Restaurant with Private room?

Are you sure Elaia doesn't have a semi-private room?

I have only eaten at Olio, but am when they opened they gave me a tour of the whole place. I seem to recall that the top floor of the house is the "dining room," although quite intimate, and that on the bottom floor there was a seperate table space that they told me could be reserved for larger parties. I think that's sort of what the poster might be looking for.

Olio is, arguably, a wine bar, however, though one that has lots of meat to eat.

Mar 26, 2014
brownhound in Great Plains

Two Great Burgers in StL -- O'Connell's and Fatted Calf

Fatted Calf is closed, by the way.

May 16, 2013
brownhound in Great Plains

Saturday Night in St. Louis

I concur on the Bogart's or Pappy's recommendations. Both are within two miles of the Arch (south and west respectively). St. Louis doesn't have the same BBQ pedigree as Kansas City, but these two spots are among the finest of their kind in the country. Horrendous lines at Pappy's, but somewhat less at Bogart's. Great food.

Shaved Duck isn't quite as great, but has waiter service and a full bar; it's on Pestalozzi and Virginia about 3 miles southwest of the Arch. If you wnat BBQ and want a drink, Shaved Duck is a good option.

Iron Barley would be kind of an Austin-y experience actually: meat heavy, extremely casual atmosphere with a tradition for live music. Iron Barley is about 4 - 5 miles south in a real StL neighborhood. That's another good tip.

North of downtown is a fragment of the past: Crown Candy Kitchen. It's a kind of a handmade candy store mixed with a fantatsic diner and ice cream parlor. Lines are very long on weekends, but is great fun. It's sort of a preserved survivor in North St. Louis, a neighborhood that's undergone staggering decline over the decades. About 2 miles north of the Arch, but very long lines on warm weekends.

Sweetie Pie's is a good tip, if you like soul/southern food. It's also the subject of a reality show on O Network. Long lines at peaks, but you can easily sneak in with no line if you're off-peak.

St. Louis also prides itself on frozen custard, especially as sold by Ted Drewe's. It's like a richer version of soft serve ice cream. The main store is about 5 miles west of downtown on S. Hampton.

Some things you can get better versions of in Austin: Local Harvest, Niche/Pastaria, Elaia/Olio. Just being frank -- they are fine additions to StL, but not better than what you'd get at home.

Apr 11, 2013
brownhound in Great Plains

St. Louis vegan friendly breakfast and lunch spots

Pura Vegan, of course. In the DeBalaviere section of the City just west of the Central West End.

http://www.puravegan.com/

Apr 01, 2013
brownhound in Great Plains

STL - downtown (pre Blues game)

You might try some downtown searches. Some quick suggestions:

Bailey's Range -- wide range of gourmet-ish burgers, fries, large beer selection -- is in close walking distance (Olive and Ninth)

Pi Pizza -- newest part of StL chain of higher end pizza with very decent beer selection -- longer walk (Washington and Sixth)

The Bridge -- nicer but fun place with large beer selection and owned by Bailey's Range people -- also close (Locust and Tenth)

Sen Thai Bistro -- fair and nicer Thai place with small beer selection -- fairly close (Locust and 13th)

There are also old standbys like Joe Bucks (BBQ) at Clark and Tenth, Broadway Oyster and Mike Shannon's (steak).

Jan 18, 2013
brownhound in Great Plains

Dinner for 30 in St Louis

It occurred to me that Niche has a room in the back that suits 30 easily. Supposedly they aren't moving until November, so are available until that time. More creative eats and in a genuine neighborhood.

Aug 08, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Two Great Burgers in StL -- O'Connell's and Fatted Calf

Your review inspired me to get a late Friday night meal at Fatted Calf, my second or third visit. I'll leave aside talk about decor and service since it's really just a burger place.

Plusses: the burger was properly made to order, the onion rings on the side were well prepared too. The shake I got was too sweet, but I think that was the hard ice cream they used. Overall, it was a very competent burger made quickly and well, if a thousand calories more than I needed.

Minuses: there's really nothing special about the food. The burger reminds me of every "chargrilled" burger I had growing up.

Bottom line: I like it more than, say, Five Guys or that ilk. But I'm sure it's nibbled at the margins by places that are chepaer and flashier and places that are more gourmet and creative. I wouldn't make an effort to get there, but it's decent fast food near my home.

Aug 06, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Dinner for 30 in St Louis

The "private room" idea seems like the best way to go, but that's up to you of course.

If so, you might try Home Wine Kitchen in downtown Maplewood -- very close to Clayton and Brentwood area -- which has an upstairs that's typically not open, except when very busy. If you want to be closer to downtown, you might look into Cafe Eau in Chase Park Plaza, which likely has some room to accommodate that many.

Aug 01, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Trip Report [STL] – Bogart’s Smokehouse, Rue Lafayette, Half and Half, Niche, Rooster, Bailey’s Range

As long as I am tilting against beloved local institutions...

"I've been to Blues City once and need to go again, I don't think I ordered one of their better offerings."

This was my experience too, except I went probably five times. I like the location, the style, and the look, but everytime I eat one of their sandwiches I think "It's okay, but I'll get something else next time." That's not a good sign for a sandwich shop -- I should be saying "I cannot wait to get back and try that again!"

Jul 31, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

STL trip report (Pi, Salt, Bixby's, Sasha's)

A thread revival for a mini-review of Salt, which I finally made it to...

I only ate in the bar, so my only experience of the dining room was looking in. Both the bar (dark) and the dining room (light) are a nice sight, and I wouldn't hesitate to say it'd be a wonderful date place: think anniversary or adult's dinner party, etc.

I ordered a glass of pinot grigio and pork cheeks (braised, served with celery, peach and arugula) at the bartender's suggestion. The pinot was nice, but somewhat lost with the very flavorful pork; it was a balanced wine with bready tones that stood up, but it still lost. Not great matching on this one, and I should've trusted my instincts and ordered a chardonnay or red wine.

The pork was dry and chewy. That happened to work well with celery and rather coarse arugula; the peaches were indetectable. In the end, the term I arrived at for the dish was "grindy" and my jaw was tired by the end and it wasn't a large dish. I haven't eaten a lot of pork cheeks, so perhaps that's what one usually gets, but it all seemed somewhat tough to me.

Salt is nice looking, and I can tell it takes great pride in its food, despite my mixed results. I'll give it another go at some point, but I was not wowed. I think Riverfront Times had it listed as the "Best New Restaurant" in 2011, with Bogart's being a runner-up. It isn't better than Bogart's.

Jul 31, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Kids in Downtown St. Louis

1. I wouldn't travel to the Loop for what you're thinking of: Fitz's is cute but the food is very standard family stuff; Blueberry Hill is a bar-grill. Both are kid-friendly, Fitz's moreso, but neither worth the trip. If you want the Loop, Pi is better food and kid-friendly.

2. If downtown, there's a new Pi pizza outlet there (on Washington) and there's Bailey's Range, which is good for both kids (burgers, fries, ice cream) and adults (beer, creative toppings). I recommend those over anything else you suggested. It's filled with families at kid-friendly hours (e.g., before 6).

3. I find the food at the Schlafly outlets to be pretty mediocre: I've been about ten times and each time said "well I'll never eat THAT again." Fine if you want their beer, but that's about it. Frankly, the beer selection and food is better at Bailey's Range.

4. Down the street from Washington is Tavolina Gelateria, which kids need on days like we've been having.

Jul 30, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

St. Louis Restaurants 2012

Well you're not likely to find anything the level of Keller, Boulud, etc. in St. Louis, but that sort of goes without saying.

The place that at least tries at that level is Niche, which is close to downtown (about 30 - 40 minute drive away). It's the most innovative or creative higher end place in town, but I'm on the record as having been disappointed by its final execution. If you want to spend some $ on creativity, I'd suggest it, however. Other fine dining establishments are a little more safe (Sydney Street, Five) or simple (Farmhaus, Home Wine Kitchen). None of these places are bad and you just might prefer the end product, but don't try to be as creative as Niche, I have found.

In general, I find St. Louis to be a very decent middle to lower-middle kind of town. That's why you see a lot of support for its bbq places, which are a little cleaner and nicer than some towns' bbq: Pappy's and Bogart's Smokehouse are the two most discussed, and I like Shaved Duck. You'll also do well with higher end pizza here, such as The Good Pie, Pi, Dewey's, Kate's, etc.; low end St. Louis style pizza is not something I'd recommend, but is certainly a local specialty.

At a slightly higher level, you can find a lot of local favorites referenced in threads here. None of them are particularly innovative or all that different from what you're likely to find in your home town. But if you want to eat, you're likely to be satisfied.

Jun 21, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Foodie from Chicago Coming To STL....need restaurant recommendations ?

A quick search says it was sold by Gerard Craft in 2010 but then the new owner became partner of Craft.

Jun 14, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Foodie from Chicago Coming To STL....need restaurant recommendations ?

1. Didn't the Niche group sell Taste to someone else?

2. If you want evening BBQ and don't want to cope with Pappy's absurd line, not far from Bogart's is Shaved Duck, which is a slightly nicer setting and also quite good. Instead of a "stand-in-line" place like Bogart's or Pappy's, it has a waitstaff.

Jun 14, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Foodie from Chicago Coming To STL....need restaurant recommendations ?

If here on a weekend, I'd choose either Osage Cafe or Home Wine Kitchen's brunch over Rooster. They are both a steady cut above, although neither is downtown.

Jun 14, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

St Louis - Blood and Sand

I finally had a chance to try Blood and Sand, and thought I'd share my thoughts.

As described, B&S is a private eating club that accepts non-members on weeknights. I made a reservation for a weeknight, as a non-member, and showed up on-time. Familiar with other cities' speakeasy culture, I wanted to iron out difficulties in advance. But B&S did not seem very restrictive, though, as some folks just wandered right in and there were many open tables.

The restaurant itself is one large room with a bar on one side and the dining room on the back. Flanking one side is a bank of windows looking out on an urban tableau of downtown, which I found very pleasant. The other side is the open kitchen, including a small chef's seating. One of the best bathrooms in STL, too, for what that's worth. Glassed-in wine cellar was cool, although the wine list was amazingly small for such a cellar to choose from. Overall, the decor is dark grays and browns counterpoised with creams. I found it to be very pleasant, and felt I could've been in West Loop or Brooklyn. Despite a few design quibbles, I found it to be a mature yet cool setting, mostly playing progressive rock music. Grade: A-.

Given the restaurant's cocktail pedigree, I started with one in the bar. My first selection was terrible, and the tattooed bartendress was nice enough to make me something else. There was no small talk, which I can't tell is appropriate given that I was a non-member, but was dining solo, and barkeeps tend to make a little chitchat with those alone. Be that as it may, Grade: gentleman's B.

I started dinner with a deconstructed "pork bun." Unlike the standard moist and warm pork bun I was familiar with, this was a dry monstrosity. First was a large piece of dry, rice bread, topped with a huge amount of salt pork (called ham, but very dry), sliced Grannie Smith apples and cabbage that lent no flavor, and a sauce that lent a modicum of moisture. I parceled out a glass of Prum Mosel Rieseling to help choke it down. My reactoin when I finished: "Whew, I made it." I found this to be anything like a standard pork bun - not moist, warm or with that sweetness found in Hoisin-tinged pork. It reminded me of something from Denny's. Grade: F

For my entree, I had panfried quail served with two veggie sides. The quail were large and domestic coated with a nice Moroccan spice rub; the legs were moist and the breasts were a little overcooked and dry. One side was described as a "ratatouille" of sour carrots and pickled grapes, and the other was a bitter Chinese broccoli/onion concoction. I enjoyed both, although I couldn't figure out how these veggie sides were designed to complement the spicy quail. In any event, I found the dish to be very decent and somewhat interesting. It was paired with a Cab/Grenache/Syrah blend that was nice, but not nearly spicy enough for the quail. Grade: B + (with some grade inflation for the interesting combination and not playing it safe).

I skipped dessert, which looked a little dull, and they had no espresso, so I took my leave. The waitress was pleasant and just chatty enough to remind me she was there. Total was around $85 for one with tax & tip.

In sum, I would happily go back, but would temper my expectations. I think the room is great and a lovely setting in downtown STL. It's a good addition to a dining scene and sorely needed to contrast with hotel restaurants and touristed eateries on Wash Ave. Fortunately, the chef was trying to be innovative and take chances, with results ranging from pretty good to awful, which is a lot given the tab can run high per person. Personally, I'd like places like this to survive and thrive, and I hope it matures into its space. I think this fills an eating niche pretty well, especially downtown.

Jun 07, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

We will be in STL April 27-29 and need suggestions for food

If you're staying at Moonrise, Selam Ethiopian is around the corner on Rosedale. Exit the hotel, turn left and then take your first right onto Rosedale. Ate there about a month ago, and enjoyed it -- mostly other Ethiopians in the restaurant. (There's a handful around town, but the gringos tend to know about Selam or Meskerem on South Grand, from what I can tell.) For whatever reason, Selam offers relatively few "sampler" plates and more main courses, which tends to run against type for most Ethiopian places I've been to.

Last weekend I took a Metrolink tour going from Skinker (near the Loop) to downtown. It's an easy way to see downtown, but not as efficient as car, unless going for a game or concert or other parking-challenged event. Metro is pretty decent for a mid-sized city, and better than some larger cities.

If you're headed to the Missouri Botanical Garden, then World's Fair Donuts is a nice stop, since you'll end up parking right by it. But this isn't a good donut town, for some reason, and World's Fair isn't worth seeking out, IMO.

Pi pizza is where I ate when I stayed at Moonrise when investigating St. Louis. It's a nice place and has a student-y feeling, being so close to Wash U. (and the home where I settled, in fact). It's not St. Louis style pizza, which is mostly terrible, but a good representative of what St. Louis does decently -- neither true junk food nor higher end fare.

Five is a very fine option, and will take you to a different part of town. You can pair it with some of the other neighborhood attractions such as Italian groceries, Missouri Baking Co., a smattering of bars, etc.

I moved here about a year ago, and spent a lot of time exploring city neighborhoods while looking for housing and learnign about the town -- i.e., generally did not want to live in the suburbs. If you have questions, feel free to reach out individually and I'll add my two cents. The town is trickier than locals think, I feel, and it's worth entering with open eyes.

Apr 11, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Couple of quick Qs about St. Louis - hotel location, etc

Hmm, lots of questions there.

1. Pappy's will be packed; perhaps an hour wait to get in. Just so you know in case you're trying to make a concert time. Bogart's is basically the same food and never as long a wait, but may not be open as late. It's also about 2 miles from Pappy's. If Pappy's doesn't work, The Good Pie (wood oven pizza) is across the street and never an hour to get into.

2. Hotel right next to your venue is Hotel Ignacio (http://www.hotelignaciostl.com/). I've never stayed, but you might investigate.

3. Deciding between the Loop and Central West End: I think the Loop is a little livelier for walking around, but more student-y, whereas the Central West End is a little more grown up with nicer walking neighborhoods. (And I say that living next to the Loop.) That's my take, fwiw. For staying in the City, I think those are your best choices.

4. I've stayed at the Moonrise, and liked it. If you prefer the Central West End, you might try Chase Park Plaza (http://www.chaseparkplaza.com/), which is about as well located as you could get, or the Parkway (http://www.theparkwayhotel.com/). There's also a Comfort Inn in the Central West End; my in-laws stayed there and liked it.

5. For brunch, the standard fancy brunch place is the Piper Palm House in Tower Grove Park, and you might have trouble getting in (http://palmhousestl.org/). Home Wine Kitchen has a decent brunch, as does Brasserie. You might try Cafe Osage, which is in the Central West End too. I don't think you'll have reservation troubles at any of those spots. Local Harvest Cafe also does a good brunch, but is busy on any typical Sunday.

Mar 27, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Home Wine Kitchen - no menu Monday Review

Of course everyone tastes things differently, but you're undercutting the purpose of boards like these. If the reply to every food-wine discussion is "everyone tastes things differently" then what does one discuss here, decor?

Mar 23, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

St. Louis Downtown Dining Alone Options

I recommend Bridge Wine Bar and Tap Room, which is on Locust between 10th and 11th, a short walk away. Obviously, it's a bar and the eating isn't too bad. For casual, you might also try Bailey's Range, which is a more "creative" hamburger bar, also a short walk away at Olive and 9th. These two establishments have the same owner. I have dined alone and you won't feel out of place.

For higher end, I recommend Prime 1000 on Washington, which is one of the city's better steak places that also has a bar. Finally, I have not been (though have wanted to), but you might also contact Blood and Sand, which is also a short walk: it's a members only speakeasy and restaurant that claims to have creative and top food, and accepts non members on Monday through Thursday. You'll find some mixed reviews here, but it might be a more interesting option.

For snacks, you might try Tavolina Gelateria on Washington and Park Avenue Coffee on 10th Street, which sells St. Louis's own gooey butter cake (better than it sounds).

Otherwise, as already noted, you have many options on Washington of variable quality.

Mar 23, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Home Wine Kitchen - no menu Monday Review

It's not precisely a tasting menu, but a set three-course menu that changes based on chef's choices and dining preferences.

I don't concur with your conclusions about wine pairing. It's not easy, but it's solved by a good sommelier. Tastes may vary, but boards like this are also testament to the fact that there can be objectivity as well.

Mar 22, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Home Wine Kitchen - no menu Monday Review

I recently had the opportunity to dine with Home in Maplewood on a Monday, when they have no menu and dinner is chef's choice.

If you haven't been to Home, I find it to be a cozy and rustic room with a long bar down one end and banquets down the other. The color palette is earth tones and the walls are clad in raw lumber. For being a Monday, the place was pretty much full of diners, which was a good sign. In fact, they had to squeeze people in at the bar.

Reservations and check-in were both pretty smooth, including a call from the restaurant in advance. I settled in and ordered a glass of rose, given the unseasonable warmth. The wine itself was light, perhaps too light, but it was my choice for Spring.

"No Menu" at Home is slightly tailored -- you can tell the waitstaff what you can't or won't eat and that is relayed to the kitchen. I have few illusions that you're getting a true tasting menu, as I saw others eating what I ate, but I trust that the kitchen would've accommodated any requests that I made. Cost is $30 and $12 for a matching wine flight. Given that "Wine Kitchen" is two thirds of the name, I got the wine flight, thinking that I might find a kindred soul who'd do well in matching wines with food.

The first course was a simple arugula and walnut salad served with two chevre-date croquettes, which came with a Cotes du Rhone. The salad itself was simple but effective: the argula was tough, probably reflecting the early season, and walnuts nice. The croquettes, however, were overpowering. Nothing wrong with strong flavors, but one bite and I couldn't taste the salad or even the wine. They were sweeter than dessert, in fact, and I could still taste the croquettes about 3 or 4 bites into my main course. I like all parts of this dish (the salad, the croquettes and the wine), but they simply failed together to create a unified whole. Grade: C+

The second course was a really large plate of rainbow trout and, IIRC, green beans. No skimping here, as the chef really laid out a lot of meat and vegetables, especially for a set menu. The fish was simply prepared, but there was not much ambitious about it either. It was paired with a Pays d'Oc French Chardonnay. Although not as outmatched as the previous course, this wine also had a difficult time being noticed over the fish; after about five bites, the wine tasted like water, frankly, and it was kind of a loss. The ingredients and preparation were good, but the dish overall lacked much ambition, perhaps expected on a Monday, and the wine pairing did not succeed. Grade: B-

Dessert was a pannacotta served with honey and berries, paired with a Sauterne. Although I'm not a pannacotta fan, this dish finally was well paired: the honey on the dessert and the honey tones in the Sauterne worked very nicely together. It was the combination that I had been searching for all night. Pannacotta is a pretty simple dish to pull off, but it worked with the wine and was well done. Grade: B+

As said, the room is comfortable and the staff seemed to work pretty hard to make sure everything went well. I noticed that somewhere in the middle, I went from being helped by a young man to a young woman. The latter seemed to know her stuff and was talkative about the food and experience. Grade: B+

Overall, I did not agree with the pounding this place sometimes takes on these boards. It's a fine addition to St. Louis, and better than some beloved warhorses. It's more "neighborhood gem" rather than "fine dining" -- think "dinner with friends" rather than "10 year anniversary." It uses nice ingredients and tries to put together a fine meal with an occasional interesting twist or two. I would happily go back to No Menu Monday (or another night), and think it's brunch is one of the two best I've had in town, along with Cafe Osage.

Mar 22, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

St. Louis: Graduation Dinner in May - Central West End. Not too $$$$$ and not too loud

No, it's about a two and one-half block walk. The Forest Park station station is at DeBalaviere and Forest Park Parkway: walk a short block up to Pershing and around the corner and two blocks to Atlas, just before the corner of Pershing and Belt.

Whether there are mobility or safety issues depends on the family, of course. It's a well trafficked area and Pershing is very residential. Point being, there's no need for a car rental or a taxi if that's what they're avoiding.

Mar 02, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

St. Louis: Graduation Dinner in May - Central West End. Not too $$$$$ and not too loud

Parkway and Atlas are both near Metrolink (rail) stations. In fact just one stop from each other.

Mar 01, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

St. Louis: Graduation Dinner in May - Central West End. Not too $$$$$ and not too loud

Yeah, that's why I figured the graduating student might walk through and have a sense whether it fits her or her family.

Feb 28, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

St. Louis: Graduation Dinner in May - Central West End. Not too $$$$$ and not too loud

Haven't really been, but I would send the graduate to investigate the restaurants in the Chase Park Hotel: Eau Bistro, Tenderloin Room or Cafe Eau -- http://www.chaseparkplaza.com/fine-di...

They're all within walking distance and graduation dinner calls for flawless execution where grandparents will feel comfortable. I also cosign the Atlas recommendation if the hotel restaurants don't fly.

Feb 28, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

valentine's day dinner in st louis near wash U

Since you have a car, distance isn't as difficult a criterion as "romantic" and "not terribly expensive" since I don't know what qualifies for each. I know as an undergraduate, my standard was somewhat different from what it is now.

Here are some possiblities...

More young and fun feeling:
Taste, which is a small plate place in Central West End, that's got a nice feel and you can control pricing: http://tastebarstl.com/

Brasserie by Niche, next to Taste in Central West End, that's got a lively and bright feeling but the food is a little more substantive: http://www.brasseriebyniche.com/

Sen Thai, downtown and not fancy but a pleasant spot and budget conscious: http://www.senthaibistro.com/

Rasoi, Central West End Indian in a pleasant room and not too expensive (quite near Taste and Brasserie if you go resie-free): http://www.rasoi.com/

More established and likely expensive:
Atlas Restaurant, standard Frenchy Continental and walking distance from Campus, nice room though not spectacularly "romantic": www.atlasrestaurantstl.com

Five Bistro, which is in the Hill, a bit more expensive and creative: http://fivebistro.com/index.html

Truffles, in Ladue and relatively close to campus, but more expensive and older feeling: http://www.trufflesinladue.com/food/

Niche, one of the more expensive places in town but likely to have a nice meal and it's a great room: http://www.nichestlouis.com/home.html

Feb 10, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Philly Chowhound - 2 dinners (and a breakfast?) in St. Louis

Five is a nice suggestion, similar in quality to Sidney Street Cafe or some of the others the OP cites. I wouldn't say it's novel for StL, but a possibility if the OP is looking for dining finer than BBQ or pizza.

Imo's Pizza is definitely StL, but I personally find it pretty terrible. The crust and ingredients are on the cheap side, though no worse than 90% of Philly pizza, and Provel...yes, a topic of great debate. I'd compare it to a white Velveeta that really clings to the palate is an overpowering way.

Feb 10, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains

Philly Chowhound - 2 dinners (and a breakfast?) in St. Louis

I should add that some folks will encourage you to hit one of the two Schlafly places. Schlafly is a local small brewer that has a restaurant next to its brewery called "Bottleworks" in the near suburb of Maplewood and a pub right by your hotel called "Tap Room."

I happen to think the food is rather poor -- I've eaten at their places about ten times and never found something I would order again -- and don't find the beer particularly ambitious (think more "Flying Fish" than "Victory"), but if you like local beers that don't make it to Philly, it's an option. It's got a loud, boisterous feeling to it.

Similarly, the NY Times had an article of newer St. Louis microbreweries recently, so you might hit up some of those: Six Row, Urban Chestnut, Morgan Street, etc. I haven't made it too all of them, but it might be a pleasant tour.

Btw, I have eaten at a little Mexican place on Washington in South Philly that's amazing; can't remember the name. If you like good, casual Mexican, go find it and indulge in lard.

Feb 09, 2012
brownhound in Great Plains