Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the Society.

Photo

St. Louis Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations


  • Please log in to reply
188 replies to this topic

#1 joiei

joiei
  • participating member
  • 1,817 posts
  • Location:midtown - Indian Territory

Posted 13 November 2002 - 07:00 AM

I am going to St Louis because I have never been there. Where should
plan on eating? Fancy is nice, but I like local neighborhood bistro
type restaurants also. Where to go for the best desserts. Thanks
for your help.
It is good to be a BBQ Judge.

#2 Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson
  • legacy participant
  • 1,530 posts

Posted 13 November 2002 - 07:14 AM

I eat in St. Louis a lot. It is a great food city. Here are my favorites.

Chez Leon: Great provincial French, $30 3 course prix fixe. I love this place.

Cafe Provencal: Former partner of Chez Leon's owner. Same concept, also great food and wine list. Not expensive either.

Remy's Wine Bar: In Clayton, mid-priced. Different wine flights offered.

Barcelona: Tapas in Clayton. Inexpensive, but does not take reservations.

Gian-Tony's: On "The Hill" the Italian neighborhood of St. Louis.

Giovanni's: Same thing

Annie Gunn's: Located in far west county, but worth the drive.

I Fratellini: Tuscan casual joint in Clayton.

For Thai or Vietnamese, go to any of the joints on South Grand.

I would avoid Harvest and The Crossing, both get lots of media exposure but are very pricey and have lots of attitude and mediocre food in my opinion.

Click here for reviews of these restaurants and others in St. Louis.

Have fun. I recommend Central West End, South Grand, the Hill, and Clayton, as places to hang out and eat.

#3 joiei

joiei
  • participating member
  • 1,817 posts
  • Location:midtown - Indian Territory

Posted 16 November 2002 - 07:29 AM

Thank you for the list, I am looking forward to my trip and will work
from these recommendations.
It is good to be a BBQ Judge.

#4 =Mark

=Mark
  • participating member
  • 2,742 posts

Posted 16 November 2002 - 09:08 AM

St. Louis is a surprisingly good foodie town! Check out Riddles Penultimate Cafe & Wine Bar, Duffs, Big Sky Cafe, and Arcelias.

Also, Blue Water Grill, Mai Lee Vietnamese Restaurant, House of India (across the street from Mai Lee), Babalu's, King & I Thai and Balaban's Bistro 201.

Is Bar Italia still open? I understand they moved then were bought by another establishment...
=Mark

Give a man a fish, he eats for a Day.
Teach a man to fish, he eats for Life.
Teach a man to sell fish, he eats Steak

#5 Stone

Stone
  • participating member
  • 3,626 posts
  • Location:New York

Posted 16 November 2002 - 01:32 PM

Steak 'N Shake.

Love it. Every visit my father insists we stop by on our way in from the airport.

#6 Holly Moore

Holly Moore
  • eGullet Society staff emeritus
  • 4,572 posts
  • Location:Philadelphia, PA

Posted 16 November 2002 - 09:23 PM

Ditto Dstone001's recommend, plus a few of my own:

Crown Candy Kitchen, the real thing, a genuine soda fountain dating back to 1913. Worth seeking out for a St. Louis style chili dog washed down by their specialty, a chocolate malted with a banana thrown in. Drink 5 in a half hour and they're free.

Ted Drewe's - on Route 66. Frozen custard and their specialty a Concrete. Sort of a shake, but so thick that the spoon stands straight up, hence the name.

and for dinner, Hodak's - some of the best fried chicken you'll ever had and homemade pies to boot.

For more info: The Midwest @ HolyEats.Com
Holly Moore
"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com
Twitter

#7 Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson
  • legacy participant
  • 1,530 posts

Posted 19 November 2002 - 06:36 AM

Holly and Mark mentioned some real gems.
Crown Candy has great chilli dogs and shakes and malts.
Ted Drewes is the best frozen custard in the country.
Riddles has an amazing wine list, a great bar, and good live music. The food can be inconsistent.
Arcelias is the real deal mexican, located down in Lafayette Square.
Bar Italia has moved and is not quite as impressive as it was in its heyday.

I would also say that Duffs, Big Sky, Blue Water, and Balabans, while good, are entering their twilight years. I still go to Duffs for lunch when I am in town, but the other three have been surpassed. Big Sky and Blue Water are owned by the same people, who also own Remys and Ellie Forcellas.

#8 Casey

Casey
  • participating member
  • 131 posts

Posted 21 March 2003 - 06:27 AM

Can you recommend restaurants near the Convention Center and/or the new Renaissance Grand Hotel? I'm leaving for a conference there tomorrow but won't have access to a car while there.

Casey

#9 Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson
  • legacy participant
  • 1,530 posts

Posted 24 March 2003 - 11:33 AM

Kemoll's in Met Square is nice but pricey. Tony's is the the top-rated restaurant in St. Louis. Not my favorite, but good.

Mike Shannons is more casual type food.

#10 Jaymes

Jaymes
  • participating member
  • 7,339 posts
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 24 March 2003 - 12:22 PM

For the quintessential St. Louis experience, you MUST go to one of the city's diners and order a "St. Louis Slinger."

This breakfast is best taken at 2 or 3am, when one is still a little loopy, not yet into full-blown hangover mode.

Go to Courtesy Diner, or Goody Goody Diner. Or to OT Hodge's Chili Parlor.

For Italian, I really like Rigazzi's. On "the Hill." Sports oriented, family-owned place. Lots of St. Louis Blues players eat here, along with members of various other teams in this sports-mad city.

The St. Louis Chapter of the Italian American Club meets here, as well. So you'd think they'd know something.

Edited by Jaymes, 24 March 2003 - 06:40 PM.


#11 Wilfrid

Wilfrid
  • legacy participant
  • 6,208 posts

Posted 24 March 2003 - 12:37 PM

I remember once reading about an eccentric local fast food specialty, which sounded like several junkitems combined into one: it was along the lines of a pizza with a hamburger thrown on top. Or was it a hot dog inside a cheese and bacon melt? As you can see, I can't recall the details - I think it was something Michael and Jane Stern had an orgasm over.

Has anyone got the faintest idea what I'm talking about?

#12 bilrus

bilrus
  • participating member
  • 2,257 posts
  • Location:Northern Virginia / DC

Posted 24 March 2003 - 12:49 PM

Wilfrid,

I grew up in St. Louis and am not sure what that concoction is.

St. Louis does have it's own stye of pizza though - very thin, crisp crust - provel cheese (a relative of provelone, but creamier) - cut into squares. My favorites are at a small bar in the Brentwood area called OB Clarks (not much on the atmosphere, although bar/restaurants are another St. Louis tradition) or the ubiquitous chain Imo's.
Bill Russell

#13 Ron Johnson

Ron Johnson
  • legacy participant
  • 1,530 posts

Posted 24 March 2003 - 12:58 PM

Jaymes, those are good recommendations. I was just trying to limit my suggestions to places within walking distance of the convention center. Interestingly, Rigazzi's burned down a few years back and they rebuilt it very differently. Its now over-priced and has the appearance of a fern-bar. Hell, you could be in an Applebee's by the way it looks now.


Wilfrid,
You might be thinking of the "slinger" that Jaymes mentioned. Other than that, all I can think of is the customary St. Louis style pizza which is usually served with strips of bacon and onion on it. The cheese is provel, which is a process cheese with a very very low melting point thaty kind of becomes one with the sauce. It is an acquired taste. or perhaps toasted ravioli, which is actually deep fried and ravioli.

#14 Wilfrid

Wilfrid
  • legacy participant
  • 6,208 posts

Posted 24 March 2003 - 01:09 PM

Yes, investigation suggests that I was thinking about the "slinger", which appears to be some sort of cooked breakfast with an order of chilli dumped on top. I can't find a very precise description. Can anyone be more specific?

Not idle curiosity: I have long wanted to make a trip to the birthplace of T.S. Eliot and William Burroughs and consume this delicacy in their honor.

#15 sladeums

sladeums
  • participating member
  • 411 posts

Posted 24 March 2003 - 01:31 PM

Yes, investigation suggests that I was thinking about the "slinger", which appears to be some sort of cooked breakfast with an order of chilli dumped on top.  I can't find a very precise description.  Can anyone be more specific?


M Stern:

"...The ultimate kill-or-cure chile meal (which, in our opinion, only tastes right after midnight), is known as a slinger. That is two bunless cheeseburgers crowded onto a plate with fried potatoes, topped with a fried egg, then blanketed with chile. The chile is garnished with grated cheese and chopped raw onions... "


See Roadfood link below:

click here for O.T. Hodge review
...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

#16 Wilfrid

Wilfrid
  • legacy participant
  • 6,208 posts

Posted 24 March 2003 - 02:02 PM

Thanks. That's exactly the passage which had bewitched me, and I'd just lost track of it.

#17 Jaymes

Jaymes
  • participating member
  • 7,339 posts
  • Location:Houston, Texas

Posted 24 March 2003 - 06:45 PM

Yes, investigation suggests that I was thinking about the "slinger", which appears to be some sort of cooked breakfast with an order of chilli dumped on top.  I can't find a very precise description.  Can anyone be more specific?

Not idle curiosity: I have long wanted to make a trip to the birthplace of T.S. Eliot and William Burroughs and consume this delicacy in their honor.

I suspect you're having a hard time finding an exact definition because what you do is just sorta order whatever you like on the platter.

I usually get a couple eggs, sausage, toast (my typical breakfast order).

Then you dump chili overall. Garnish with cheese & onions.

Ergo, the only "exact definition" part is that you dump chili over.

#18 foodie52

foodie52
  • participating member
  • 1,498 posts
  • Location:Austin, Texas

Posted 13 June 2003 - 08:14 PM

We'll be in St Louis this coming week and are searching for ultimate St Louis style BBQ !! Now, it will have to be exceptional to beat what we are used to on a daily basis here in Austin, but I bet there is someplace of note

Any ideas?

#19 razer

razer
  • participating member
  • 18 posts

Posted 27 April 2004 - 10:44 PM

Ah the slinger.......reportedly named at O.T. Hodge's Chili parlor because it was a favorite of the (forgettable) St. Louis Football Cardinals one-time (and even more forgettable) quarterback Tim Van Galder, or was it VanGelder?

Not mentioned above, but a must stop place in St. Louis is Carl's Drive In in Brentwood. 16 stools, cold draft root beer, cheeseburgers and chilidogs. Oh so fine!

#20 Sweet Willie

Sweet Willie
  • participating member
  • 866 posts
  • Location:ORD

Posted 29 April 2004 - 07:57 PM

I’ve read about fried brain sandwiches in St. Louis.
The opening paragraph to Lycos.com Travel on St. Louis is the following:
When they're not boasting about their city and chiding tourists who call it "St. Louie," locals at the pubs along Route 66 merrily toast the Cardinals over tasty fried-brain sandwiches. It's a St. Louis thing.

See: http://forums.egulle...=0
"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"

#21 Sweet Willie

Sweet Willie
  • participating member
  • 866 posts
  • Location:ORD

Posted 29 April 2004 - 07:58 PM

We'll be in St Louis this coming week and are searching for ultimate St Louis style BBQ !! Now, it will have to be exceptional to beat what we are used to on a daily basis here in Austin, but I bet there is someplace of note

did you find any great BBQ?
"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"

#22 LaurieB

LaurieB
  • participating member
  • 320 posts
  • Location:Cleveland, Ohio

Posted 01 May 2004 - 05:22 PM

My DH and I will be spending a weekend in St. Louis in mid-July, following our son's graduation from Boot Camp in Fort Leonard Wood. I'm looking for suggestions on restaurants -- upscale, hidden gems, you name it, so your suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!
Laurie

#23 DaleJ

DaleJ
  • participating member
  • 324 posts

Posted 03 May 2004 - 06:33 AM

Spent a few days in St. Louis a year ago while my wife attended a conference of some sort. Far and away the best restaurant is Tony's right downtown. Men must wear jackets.

#24 razer

razer
  • participating member
  • 18 posts

Posted 03 May 2004 - 07:47 AM

Phils Bar-B-QUe on Gravois just outside the City limits is great.

If you are really daring, try Roscoe McCrary's on the North Side of town....not a place I would go after sundown but it's pretty safe in the daytime.

DD

#25 kurl

kurl
  • participating member
  • 258 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn

Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:28 AM

Tony's is stuffy and not-great, IMHO.

St. Louis is not a great food town by any stretch.

The best pricey-ish restaurant, in my book, is King Louie's -- great ingredients, sometimes-inventive preparations, capable service, and a nice, unstuffy atmosphere.

Trattoria Marcella is a fantastic upscale Italian place, particularly good if you stay away from the boring menu items and if you order whatever weird fresh-ravioli items they have on their menu. Their lobster risotto special is ridiculously rich and pretty freakin' good.

In Soo is one of the quirkiest restaurants I've ever been to. I discovered it in Feburary, and have probably been 25 times since then. They are essentially a highly competent Chinese and Korean restaurant with bizarre service provided by In Soo Jung (I think that's her name) who has her own unique approach to hospitality that's vaguely creepy though not ineffective. The menu has several clunkers (stay away from sesame chicken/beef, orange chicken/beef, or anything that has the potential to be cloyingly sweet), but the Korean items (in the "Chef's Specialties" section of the menu) are fantastic, their hot and sour soup is one of the greatest food items served in St. Louis, and several of their Chinese items are brilliant if inauthentic (pork moo shu, crispy beef, house special beef, and mongolian beef, in particular).

Blueberry Hill, on the loop, serves highly competent hamburgers and bar food (and is owned by Chuck Berry).

Super Smoker's is a barbecue chain serving St. Louis style barbecue, which is apparently characterized by its inconsistency in all areas outside of pulled pork, which is highly good. May be worth a trip.

Nachomama is a Mexican restaurant that opened in a space formerly occupied by a fast-food restaurant and is probably the only place offering divine drive-thru roast chicken.

House of India serves decent Indian food. India Palace does as well, but may be more worth a trip due to its ridiculous location/ambiance (it's on the 11th floor of an airport hotel and is decorated partially with over-the-top tiki bar decor).

Mai Lee is an obscenely cheap and pretty good Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant on the Loop.

Sidney Street Cafe is supposed to be a nice place, though I haven't tried it yet.

If I had three meals in St. Louis, I'd probably hit up King Louie's, Trattoria Marcella, and In Soo for some moo shu and hot-and-sour soup. Unfortunately, I have far more.

#26 kurl

kurl
  • participating member
  • 258 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn

Posted 03 May 2004 - 11:29 AM

I would also like to point out that the movie from which the title of this thread is taken is poor as well.

#27 LaurieB

LaurieB
  • participating member
  • 320 posts
  • Location:Cleveland, Ohio

Posted 03 May 2004 - 12:43 PM

Okay, sheesh! Sorry about the title. It IS way corny.

I know a fair amount about food, however, St. Louis didn't jump into mind when I found I would be going there. Just wanted to ask folks in the know.


I do agree, the movie, and the play, are nothing to write home about. So, my apologies for the title.

We're going to be spending a couple of nights in Fort Leonard Wood; I'm not thinking of places to eat there, since we'll try to spend as much free time as is allowed with our son, who will get a brief leave.

We will be spending 2 nights in St. Louis, downtown, after that. I'm just looking for a couple of good places (not necessarily high-end, just really good) for lunch or dinner. As mentioned, all suggestions are welcome.

Thanks again,
LB

#28 kurl

kurl
  • participating member
  • 258 posts
  • Location:Brooklyn

Posted 03 May 2004 - 01:54 PM

Hah, no apologies needed, I was just pointing out that the referenced movie was as poor as the food.

As a Wash U student, I don't know all that much about downtown eatieries, but, if you have a car, it often seems like everything from St. Louis is about 10-20 minutes away from everything else... I'm always amused by hotel conciereges that tell my parents that a certain things is "really far away" when it's like 8 miles.

Did any places I mentioned pique your interest? If so, I could recommend more in the same vein.

#29 halland

halland
  • participating member
  • 229 posts
  • Location:Seattle, WA

Posted 03 May 2004 - 04:49 PM

Take a look at the Lowlife Guide to St. Louis. There are a lot of different restaurants there that a food person might love but that a local might not appreciate in the same way.

Likewise, while you are there you might check out some of my favorites from when I visit family.

Kaldi's Coffee (in Clayton) has what I consider to be some of the best coffee I've ever had. They also have nice cookies, etc.

Nearby is Carl's Deli for good pastrami sandwiches at 6401 Clayton Road .

Soulard Market. There is a indoor stall that sells very good loose meat sandwiches.

Go to the Hill and get a cannoli and a ricotta puff (jelly donut pastry with cannoli filling and dusted with cinnamon sugar) from Vitale's Bakery.

There are lots of other good places on the Hill to explore and shop. Volpi Meats is nationally renowned, Viviano's is a nice grocery, Missouri Bakery has good cookies.

Unfortunately I don't know much about the restaurants on the hill.

And lest I forget, go to Ted Drewes.

Hal

Edited by halland, 03 May 2004 - 04:53 PM.


#30 LARRY WIENER

LARRY WIENER
  • participating member
  • 43 posts

Posted 18 May 2004 - 09:27 AM

My wife and I will be in St. Louis for a conference in mid-June--coming in for a couple of days from the Washington D. C. area. We will be staying at the Adam’s Mark Hotel and would appreciate suggestions for places to have dinner and maybe a lunch or two if the conference schedule permits. They can be real good, or maybe OK and above. Our areas of desire are: Italian, French, Steak, Seafood, Oriental, or just fine cooking. We aren't interested in 5* restaurants (mainly on financial grounds), although one 4* would be acceptable. A hidden gem that is a favorite with the eGullett crowd or with St. Louis insiders would be a pleasant surprise. We would like to be able to walk to and from the restaurants, so five or six blocks is an opening bid on the radius from the hotel. Any suggestions that you can provide would be appreciated.
Thanks,

LARRY WIENER
LARRY W