jberendzen's Profile

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Seeing St. Louis through the eyes of a visitor

Sasha's on Shaw. Eat outside.

Jul 22, 2014
jberendzen in Great Plains

Saturday Night in St. Louis

All the recommendations below are great. Can't go wrong with any of them. But, if I had friends coming in from Austin for an afternoon and an evening and the weather was nice, I would go to Milo's, sit outside, get a pizza and beer and play/watch a round or two of bocce (open courts for lunch but you can watch the leagues at night). Is it the best pizza in the world - not even close. But it's fun and it's very St. Louis. And their toasted ravioli is as good as you will get anywhere.

Apr 14, 2013
jberendzen in Great Plains

Downtown St. Louis near the Hilton on a SUNDAY evening??...help?

Also, Mosaic on Wash Ave
The Schlafly Tap Room (will need a cab but not far) 21st and Locust

Pi is a good choice

Aug 28, 2012
jberendzen in Great Plains

Great Vietnamese in Omaha

I recently spent a couple of days in Omaha and had dinner at one of the best Vietnamese restaurant's ever. The place is named "Saigon Surface". In the downtown area near the Old Market. Not really sure what's up the the name - what "surface" means. Upscale compared with the Vietnamese places I visit in St. Louis. We let the waiter recommend 4 different meals - had the pineapple fried rice (served in a hollowed out pineapple, but not overly sweet), woked crispy noodle, shaken beef and crispy prawns. Not as light as the meals I get in St. Louis, but all incredibly good. Dessert of mango sweet rice was excellent. Very nice interior design - wouldn't typically see that in St. Louis. Strangely, almost empty for a Saturday night with the College World Series in town. Wonderful experience. This place should be packed. Don't miss if you visit Omaha.

Jul 01, 2012
jberendzen in Great Plains

valentine's day dinner in st louis near wash U

Good Valentine's day picks:

Expensive: Remy's
Moderate: Sasha's
Value: Bobo Noodle House

Feb 12, 2012
jberendzen in Great Plains

Best BBQ in St. Louis ????

Ropers: best BBQ in town

Oct 17, 2010
jberendzen in Great Plains

Goin' to St. Louis!! Staying at the Hyatt on Chestnut!

I think you have several good options if you can walk 6 or seven blocks from your hotel. Just down the street (Fourth Street) is a nice steakhouse, Carmine's. It's part of the Drury Hotel. Opposite Carmines on Broadway (next street west) is a really swank place to eat, "Anthonys". Decor straight out of 1973 - but in a really good way. The food comes from Tony's next door. I like it a lot. Would be quick only if you aren't there at noon.

If you can walk a few blocks west of the Convention Center on Washington you will have several good options - mostly casual places - Over/Under Bar, Kitchen K - The Dubliner -Wasabi - Lucas Park Grill and my favorite - Mosaic. Love Mosaic. These places might not be the very best St. Louis has to offer, but they are all quite good. I think these could offer some quick bites.

An American Place is across the street from the Convention Center. I haven't eaten there but I've heard it's excellent. Maybe others can comment here. I probably wouldn't think this would be a quick place though.

I'd also try and visit Sen (Thai), but it's maybe further than you want to walk. I love Sen. They can be pretty fast if you let them know.

About 8 blocks northeast of your hotel is Laclede's Landing. There are some decent places down there - I like Morgan Street Brewery. It's fun but not exactly quick.

I also like Tigin's on Washington and Fourth Street. Good for lunch with quick service and on our way to the convention center.

Bring a warm coat!

Dec 09, 2009
jberendzen in Great Plains

Espresso and coffee in Makati? Philippines

The coffee in the lobby of the Peninsula Hotel is some of the best I've ever had.

Nov 25, 2009
jberendzen in China & Southeast Asia

Any good spots near the Peninsula Hotel, Makati?

Need some help. Some friends and I are staying a week at the Peninsula Hotel in Makati, starting next week. I'd like to find some spots nearby - something uniquely Philippine if possible. My friends and I are willing to hit the neighborhoods around the hotel - we are adventuresome. We were there a month ago and hit a place called "Top Meal Food Haus" It was pretty good - we also hit a place called "Handle Bar" - an expat biker bar. That was good also. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

thanks!

Nov 13, 2009
jberendzen in China & Southeast Asia

STL - looking for a tongue sandwich

You can get tongue on a torta (sandwich) at La Vallasanna, Cherokee at California. Probably not the sandwich you want, but pretty good nonetheless.

Sep 24, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

One Week at the Marriott Union Station in St. Louis - need a couple of recommendations..

Try out the new Terrace View Cafe at City Garden. You can walk there - it's about 10 blocks east of your hotel. Trust me, St. Louis is pretty safe at night along the major downtown streets.

I think you will like the cafe. It's new and the kitchen has more than a few kinks to work out, but the venue is spectacular and the food is good if a bit expensive for what's offered. The CityGarden looks great at night.

Aug 31, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

KC - Where to find sfogliatelle?

What is sfogliatelle?

Jul 20, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

St. Louis bakery

I would agree with McArthur's - very good. You might also try Straub's bakery.

Jul 16, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

is there a brick and mortar ot hodge chili parlor in st louis anymore?

several years ago the place that was O. T. Hodges became "St. Louis Chili Parlor". Guess the person who owned the name wanted out or something. Anyway, this is the same place as O. T. - same wait staff, same menu everything. It's right next to Jimmie John's - can't remember the street name.

Jul 02, 2009
jberendzen in Great Plains

St. Louis - Need great place to take important client for lunch.

Alice: close by is 1111 Mississippi. Not crazy expensive but sophisticated for a client lunch. I take clients here often. It's a really nice place.

Also not too far is Triumph - also very nice. Took one of my best clients here, and he loved it.

May 06, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Reynold's Bar-B-Q St. Louis

Has anyone eaten at Reynold's BBQ, Natural Bridge Road? It's kind of up the street from Goody Goody. The building is awesome, wondering if the food is worth the trip?
thanks

May 01, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Women's Final 4 - Looking for 4 days of great food in St Louis

I don't disagree with the posts about the quality of the food at Uncle Bills (Kingshighway, not Grand, sorry). It's just that if I were in from out of town and wanted to soak up some local flavor, Uncle Bill's has that certain something - I guess I'm reacting to the cheesy architecture more than the food. Chris's is better, but if it's just about grabbing some pancakes, you might just want to consider eating at the hotel.

Also, 410 Olive mentioned above is a really nice experience. I like the renovation of the old space and the food's pretty good.

One more "local flavor" place - Blueberry Hill for dinner, drinks, maybe some darts: check out the memorabilia all over the bar. The food's not bad either. I like the vibe on Delmar too.

Mar 30, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Women's Final 4 - Looking for 4 days of great food in St Louis

Fritanga is a couple of blocks south of Highway 44 on Jefferson, on the east side of the street. Parking on the street in front of the place. Only seats about 25 people - very small.

Mar 30, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Women's Final 4 - Looking for 4 days of great food in St Louis

4 days in St. Louis . You can find these places on the web. I'm assuming you are staying downtown or Clayton.

For breakfast:

Kaldi's Coffehouse in Clayton.
Hyatt Hotel, Union Station (go for the architecture: breakfast in grand style)
Uncle Bills Pancake House (the South Grand location)
Mokabee's, Grand and Arsenal or South City Diner (South Grand Area)
(me, I would grab a coffee and bagel and save up for lunch)

For lunch:
Pappy's Smokehouse
Rooster
Anthony's Bar (I like the hip early 70's ambience and the food is quite good - get there at 11:30 or you won't find a seat)
La Vallessana, Cherokee at California (the place is a humble taqueria. Go if it's nice weather, this is outdoor dining - get their Torta's: I just love this place)

For dinner:
Niche (celebrate here if your team wins!)
Fritanga (simple Nicaraguan place, a personal favorite of mine)
Iron Barley
Trattoria Marcella ( some of the best Italian anywhere)

Also, consider these places for local flavor:
Ted Drewes for desert (get the concretes - it's not a real visit to St. Louis unless you stop here at least once)
Carondelet Bakery for some gooey butter cake
Milo's on the hill for some toasted ravioli
Any Chinese carry out place for a St. Paul (haven't had one in years, not since college, so I'm out of luck recommending somewhere but maybe someone else can)
Eat Rite Diner for greasy diner burgers (I love this place because I love the building)
Bahn Mi So for Vietnamese
Tony's for uber-rich Italian (THE place St. Louisan's have dined for very special occasions since forever)
Annie Gunn's in Chesterfield for steaks (so good but a bit of a drive)
Crown Candy Kitchen for a malt (tastey!!! a good lunch place also)

When you are done eating at these places, know that there's an awesome jogging trail circling Forest Park (such a beautiful place). You will need the work out to burn off the calories. Have fun!

Mar 28, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Visiting St. Louis area

It's certainly worth it to drive the 1 1/2 hours to visit St. Louis if you have the time. As you probably already know, other than your relatives there's not much out in Wright City, especially since Big Boy's closed.

Make the drive, take the tram to the top of the Arch or visit other points of interest. Then grab a great dinner somewhere - grab lunch at Pappy's since they might be out of what you want by dinner. Ted Drewes is really good, especially on a warm spring night after taking in a Cards game.

I would suggest going to City Museum, then dinner at somewhere close to HIghway 70 - your road home since highway 40 is closed between Kingshighway and 170. I suggest Mosaic, Anthony's Bar or Lucas Park Grill because of their proximity to a lot of the downtown things a visitor might enjoy taking in.

Mar 27, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

St Louis best low key great food?

Been to Pi - not impressed. The deep dish was OK, but no great shakes. But mostly I've gotten to the point in my life where incredibly loud places just drive me nuts, and Pi was off the charts (come to think of it Dewey's isn't that quiet either).
Probably should have put Pappy's Smokehouse on the list.

Mar 09, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

St Louis best low key great food?

Selam - Ethiopian
Banh Mi So - Vietnamese
La Vallessana - Mexican
Blues City Deli - Sandwiches
Rooster - Crepes
Milo's - toasted ravioli
Iron Barley - eclectic biker fare
Dewey's - Pizza

Mar 07, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

STL- Tex-Mex to commemorate Texas Independence Day

Nacho Mamma's hands down.

Feb 27, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Dinner at Mosaic [STL]

I've eaten there several times: always had a great experience. You are correct about the plates - its hard to know how much is enough.

I am a big fan of the butternut bisque - I always get it. So good - very rich.

I especially like it when it's warm enough out to eat on the sidewalk. The corner has a nice buzz.

Feb 15, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

St. Louis recommendations?

Definitely stay downtown: lots of nice hotels and it's more interesting than Clayton. I have some associates who come in often and stay at the Crowne Plaza - rates are good. DO NOT stay at the Holiday Inn Convention Center: too far from the parts of downtown you'd want to visit. Try staying along Washington Avenue or 4th Street north of Pine. Even south of Pine the hotels are nice: I just like the north end of downtown better.

Food - try Sen, Rooster, Tiggins (surprisingly good for such a lousy building) Mosaic, Kitchen K, Wasabi, Lucas Park Grille, Antony's Bar and Morgan Street and Jakes Steaks on the Landing. All are within walking distance of your hotel if you are in the CBD. Personal favorites Sen, Rooster and Mosaic. Not sure if Rooster is open for dinner.

There are many other good places - your concierge can help out. Downtown has some fine restaurants. Also, if you are a kid at heart find some time to go over to City Museum and take in the glorious weirdness!

Feb 14, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Best St. Louis Mo. Ribs - Mom & Pop or Hole in the Wall

Best BBQ in town - Ropers on Florissant just at the city limits. Yes, it's a hole in the wall. Its not really an "eat-in" spot. So Good! Go, then continue traveling up the road to Bellfontaine Cemetery. Very unique spot for a picnic.

Feb 01, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

[stl] downtown lunch spots?

Rooster: 1104 Locust - so good! 4 blocks to the west. Quick casual and cost effective, and a break from the norm.

Jan 27, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Selam Ethiopian in the Loop Area, StL

Just got back from having dinner at Selam: my wife and I stumbled upon the place, looking for a parking space and ending up right outside their door (a side street off Delmar, same corner as Miss Saigon) We were going to eat at Pi down the street, but it was so crowded we decided to trust fate and head back to Selam. Good decisive. The food was incredible. We had a stuffed, fried vegetarian pastry for an appetizer called a sambussa - tasty. The main course was the highlight. Food is served on a large (24" diameter) piece of flat, spongy brown bread (injera), with the entrees laid out on it. additional pieces of the bread are used to grab and eat the entrees. We had a chicken dish, some type of vegetable puree and a salad. All 3 were really good - spicy without being overbearing.

The only low point was there's no alcohol served (could have used a stiff drink after this week). The server said you can bring your own. The cost was ridiculously low - dinner for 2 under $25.00 and we were both stuffed.

We were the only people in the place on a Friday night. A place this good should be packed. It's hard to spot in it's present location, but you would do well to seek it out.

Jan 23, 2009
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Cider Donuts in St. Louis?

OK, I'll bite - what is a "Cider Donut"

Oct 16, 2008
jberendzen in General Midwest Archive

Best Pizza in St. Louis – WITHIN Parameters

Dewey's - so what if it's a chain - still the best.

Aug 07, 2008
jberendzen in Great Plains