Mike and I spent a week eating, drinking, and sight-seeing our way through St. Louis. It was my first time in the wonderful city, and Mike hadn’t been for years. I am still glowing from the trip – the weather was wonderful for almost the entire time and the city had so many awesome free activities. As always, though, food was my focus. Here’s a rundown of where and what we ate. As a bonus, you get some lovely iPhone photos as well (sorry, I wasn’t about to schlep my DSLR around with me everywhere!)
This restaurant seems to be a large tourist trap. And we fell for it. Hard. Sure, the restaurant was filled with memorabilia, but it was our least favorite meal of the week.
What we ordered:
- Buffalo Fries: “A bit spicy”
- Reuben: “One of the best in St. Louis. Now larger! Corned beef on grilled marble rye with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and 1000 Island dressing”
- Chili Mac: “Hearty portion of macaroni topped with our award-winning spicy chili”
The fries were pretty standard and nothing special. They had a little spice to them, but calling them “a bit spicy” is a stretch. I’m not sure why they claim to have one of the best Reuben’s in St. Louis. The corned beef looked like it was from a package and the sauerkraut was flavorless. I am a little blown away that there are so many reviews that claim the Reuben is the best. The chili mac was the best of the three. The chili was mildly spiced and pretty tasty, but the mac that was served with it was overcooked. At least the beer was good! Rating: C.
Mike and I spent the morning at the Soulard Farmer’s Market and walked passed Bogarts on the way to our car. We remembered that our AirBnB host had mentioned it as a popular BBQ spot, so we decided to go in and catch an early lunch (brunch?). We had a short wait with about 5 people in front of us; this gave us the opportunity to decide what we wanted to order. The food came out minutes after we sat down and… damn. There’s a reason the line was out the door and around the corner when we left!
What we ordered:
- Burnt Ends Sandwich with Pit Baked Beans and BBQ Pork Skins
- Beef Brisket Sandwich with Deviled Egg Potato Salad and Fire & Ice Pickles
This meal was phenomenal. The burnt ends and brisket were both wonderful and really well cooked. We tried all four of the sauces they had on the table:
- Sweet Maegan Ann: “Sweet and Smokey KC Style”
- VooDoo Sauce: “On a heat scale of 1 to 10, it’s an 8!”
- Pineapple Express: “Made with pineapple juice, so a sweet start and a tangy finish”
- Mad Maddie’s Vinegar: “North Carolina style vinegar sauce”
VooDoo was our fave. I would rate it maybe a 3 or 4 on the heat scale, but it was definitely tasty. The Sweet Maegan Ann and Pineapple Express were overly sweet for me, and Mad Maddie’s Vinegar was just not my style. I love vinegar, but not on my BBQ! I loved the beans and the potato salad sides. I gave Mike the evil eye whenever he took a bite because I wanted it all to myself (I need to learn to share). They also passed out some chicken wings while we were eating and that was pretty darn tasty as well. I don’t think they have wings on the menu, but they should be! As a bonus, they also had an allergen menu posted on the wall. Rating: A.
Square One Brewery & Distillery
We did our fair share of brewery and winery tours during our time in STL, but we decided to dine at Square One because its menu looked pretty darn good.
What we ordered:
- Rain Crow Farm Stout-Braised Pot Roast: “Local grass-fed beef, slow-roasted beef in a rich stout demi-glace, served with garlic mashed potatoes & fresh vegetables”
- Sunday Fried Chicken Platter Special: this delicious chicken came with vegetables, mac & cheese, and a biscuit
- Chocolate Stout Brownie with Caramel Sauce and Ice Cream
- Whiskey flight & a cocktail
Mike’s fried chicken was the better of the two entrees. The fried chicken was perfectly crispy and succulent. I’m not a huge fan of fried chicken, but I definitely took a few bites of Mike’s dinner! My pot roast was hearty, but what I really wanted was a huge bowl of their mac & cheese with a piece of fried chicken. If you ever have a chance to eat at Square One on a Sunday, get there early and order the fried chicken! The dessert was phenomenal. I cried sweet tears of joy as I took my first bite of dairy-loaded dessert since November. Pure bliss. The whiskeys were good according to Mike, but he only had one favorite. My cocktail was decent, but nothing special. Rating: A-.
I was immediately drawn to the huge table in the middle of this restaurant. It was packed when we went on Monday night. We got a table on the second level and were able to watch the cooks do their thing in the kitchen down below. This burger-centric restaurant was pretty cool. I wish I had gotten a little more adventurous and gotten a burger with cheese because their menu is fantastic. I was reeling a bit from my last cheesy meals, though, so I thought I would dial it back.
What we ordered:
- Basic Burger: beef patty, catsup, mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles
- American Burger: “beef patty, fried mac’n’cheese patty, bacon, house sauce, sriracha mayo”
- Fries with horsey mayo and sriracha catsup
I loved their homemade ketchup. Mike’s American Burger was perfect: cooked to order and topped with a mess of mac & cheese. Even my Basic Burger was good – it was cooked well and the beer bun and homemade ketchup made it not-so-boring. That said, I still regret not getting a more interesting burger. The dipping sauces totally outshone the fries, though. Step up your fry game, Bailey’s Range. Rating: B.
The restaurant claims to be the most photographed restaurant in St. Louis, so I had to check it out. I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised at how good the food and drinks were.
What we ordered:
- Pesto Chicken: “Grilled chicken smothered in melted mozzarella cheese with our house-made pesto sauce on a light and delicious deep focaccia crust, with side of St. Louis City Salad”
- Blackhawk: “Sliced Certified Angus Beef, roasted red pepper and a delicious goat cheese, olive oil, garlic and fresh basil spread, w/ lettuce and tomato on Vienna rolls w/ side”
- Signature Polish Dill Pickle Soup: “From a secret family recipe, an elegant potato based soup with crushed dill pickles”
- Sprocket: “Start your engine with Fireball Whiskey, Ginger Ale and Hard Apple Cider”
- Buck Wilde: “Whiskey lovers, tehre’s a celebrity in the house! Rye Whiskey, Dry Vermouth, Chartreuse, fresh squeezed lemon juice and a dash of Bitters – just like Buck himself”
The dill pickle soup was one of my favorite dishes of this entire trip. I’ve never had anything quite like it before and I had to stop myself from licking the bowl clean. I’m hoping to recreate this at home sometime soon, because I need a steady supply of this soup in my life. It reminded me of dill pickle potato chips but in soup form and 1000x tastier. Both entrees were above average and the portions were big. We were both insanely happy with our cocktails as well. I wish we had saved room for one of their adult milkshakes 🙂 We almost went back for another meal, but ultimately decided that we shouldn’t repeat restaurants during our trip. For the quality of the food and the price, you really can’t be beat! Rating: A.
This restaurant was packed on Thursday night. We managed to snag a table in the front room with a great view of the live music. Neither of us were really hungry because we had gotten beer and apps at the hotel a few hours prior. I’m kicking myself for wasting stomach space on that because the food here was way tastier than the hotel stuff. I wish we had been able to stay longer for the band that started at 8:30, but a tornado siren and some pretty intense thunderstorms drove us back into our hotel room. Sad face.
What we ordered:
- Mussels: “Steamed in a tomato garlic white wine broth”
- Sampler Platter: “For the undecided, includes Gumbo Ya Ya, Jambalaya, Red Beans & Rice & Crawfish Étouffée”
- Gumbo Ya Ya: “Our version of this classic Cajun soup. The best in town!”
- Jambalaya: “A traditional Creole rice dish containing shrimp, chicken, andouille & ham”
- Red Beans & Rice: “A rich bean stew containing our special recipe andouille sausage & house smoked tasso”
- Crawfish Étouffée: “A classic Cajun dish featuring lots of sautéed crawfish tail meat
The mussels were great and we couldn’t get enough of the broth that it came in. We were sopping it up with our bread, and when we ran out of bread, we started slurping it with a spoon. Classy. I thought that the crawfish étouffée was the best dish in the sampler platter, followed by the jambalaya and red beans & rice. The gumbo wasn’t my favorite; it had a strange coffee-like taste to me. I didn’t find any of the food to be spicy enough, but they had a nice assortment of hot sauce at the table that I could use to my heart’s content. Rating: B+.
The Aftermath: I’m compensating for my last week of overindulgence with salads for (almost) every meal. (And yes, I did tried toasted ravioli. It didn’t impress me all that much 😉 )