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St. Louis Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

189 posts in this topic

Sorry if there are posts already.. Going to St. Louis tomorrow after spending the day in Kansas City.. Would love some suggestions for the best bbq in town..

Thanks.

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Haven't been there personally, but I understand one of the specialties is 'snoot' - that is pig snout.

Smoki O's had them on offer at the Big Apple Block Party 2004...if you dig up that thread there is some commentary there, I believe. Don't know if they serve them in the restaurant or not.

I recall from the PBS 'Sandwiches That You Will Like' special that

C & K BBQ Restaurant #3 features snoots on the menu.

Also featured in that special was a bit on the 'St Paul Sandwich' served in several St Louis Chinese restaurants (Kim Van was the restaurant featured) . It's a egg foo yung patty served on bread slathered w/ mayo and topped with tomato, lettuce - sometimes pickle.


...I thought I had an appetite for destruction but all I wanted was a club sandwich.

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Sorry if there are posts already.. Going to St. Louis tomorrow after spending the day in Kansas City.. Would love some suggestions for the best bbq in town..

What did you find?

I had dined at Phil's Bar-B-Que @ 9205 Gravois Rd. in south St. Louis. 314-631-7725. Place I understand has been going for 40 years now, too bad IMO they don't understand BBQ, not memorable.


"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"

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Also curious to know what you found, seeing as I'll be in the neighborhood shortly.

This comes way too late, but it looks like you should have gone here:

Lampert's Plush Pig


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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My son used to live in St. Louis. He's a BBQ aficionado, like the rest of his family. He often remarked on the puzzling lack of good 'cue there.

As he put it...

When the world was created, the gods sent the Great BBQ Barge down the Mississipi. It stopped at Kansas City and Memphis and quite a few other river towns, but it seems to have sailed right by St. Louis.


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I work in St. Louis but live in o'fallon illinois. I wish I could say I have had great bbq but aside from super smokers right on the corner from where I live, I havn't found a whole lot in St. Louis but that does not mean they do not exist. I also don't try to run out and eat BBQ here, I will ask around work tomarow and see what people suggest.

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well if anyone is in St.Louis this weekend they are having a bbq bash on the landing. Should be some competition style bbq goiing on all weekend long. I think I will try to check it out on sunday personally.

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Bumping this thread up for a question. It has been nearly a decade since I left my hometown of St. Louis. My mom is still there and is looking for suggestions of a place that is "Something new and different" to buy a gift certificate for a friend's birthday.

My caveats - "different" doesn't necessarily mean really funky or "too" ethnic. We're talking about two women in their 60's here. They both live in West County, but anything not too far north or south (in between 70 and 44) is a good guideline.

Thanks for the help in advance.


Bill Russell

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Just visited STL (my hometown, though I've been away for almost two decades...). I'm living in Spain now, so I went mostly for the food that I can't get here and my old childhood favorites.

I was dying for Vietnamese food. I had a great meal at Truc Lam (Vietnamese). Excellent grilled/barbecued pork. Some of the best pho broth I've ever tasted with a nice array of extras. Not much on ambiance, but I highly, highly recommend the place for the food. If you are coming down Grand from 44, you make a right on Gravois and go a few blocks or so and it is on the corner right.

For STL pizza and comfort food, I still like Talayna's (now on Debaliviere, unfortunately not nearly as atmospheric as their old spot on Skinker). They now offer other kinds of crust, so be sure to get the STL style. You can get it with provel or mozzarella or a combination (which I prefer). Their caesar salad is an abomination to any purist--huge, cheesy, salty, and chock full of anchovies--but I love it. Also, of course, toasted ravioli.

O'Connell's roast beef sandwiches are still a delicious mess. It's nice to see that they haven't given into the fear of rare beef.

Sadly, as all of my family has lamented, I found that Pratzel's bagels have changed. They are lighter and have lost their chewiness. They still have a nice flavor, but they aren't what they once were. But what a transformation has taken place on this stretch of Olive (from the inner belt to U City)--an explosion of Chinese grocers and restaurants.

About fried brain sandwiches... When I was a kid, you could always find them in South St. Louis in all of the taverns up and down Gravois. This leads me to think that they were a German thing, though my family loved them, as well.

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This weekend marked my first attempt to return to my hometown, and in addition to visiting my mother and catching my last game at Busch Stadium, to seek out good restaurants rather than the old favorites in my West County neighborhood. I made a list of ten or twelve places culled from here, www.mouthfulsfood.com, www.saucecafe.com, the Riverfront Times and the Post Dispatch.

We ended up at 1111 Mississippi in the Lafayette Square Park neighborhood and Modesto, a tapas place on the Hill. And I had a few surprises.

My first suprise was finding the vibrant Lafayette neighborhood in an area that for all my memories was a little too close to the now demolished Darst-Webbe hi-rise housing projects on the Near South Side. 1111 Mississippi is a small renovated warehouse with a small bar, open kitchen and two levels of tables - a more casual area by the bar and a slightly more formal feel in the upper level. The food, especially the fish entrees we had - potato crusted grouper with feek fondue and flash fried trout with chile soy vinaigrette - were excellent. This kitchen appears to have a way with fish. I also especially liked the surprisingly zippy kick at the end from the fresh tasting heirloom tomato gazpacho. A bread pudding that ended up like an overdressed TGI Friday's brownie and a white chocolate torte with the texture and taste of cheesecake (are you sure that isn't actually cheesecake?) were disappointing. I wish I would have gone with my gut and ordered the very St. Louis slice of Gooey Butter Cake with a glass of milk that was on the menu. This is the type of neighborhood restaurant that every neighborhhod wants but most can't quite pull off.

My second surprise is that a Spanish restaurant could survive and thrive amidst the red sauce, veal and Italian statuary on the Hill and the conservative dining habits of St. Louisans. 10 years ago this place could have never gotten off the ground, but this Saturday, they were full four years after opening. Like most any Tapas place, there were a few dishes that were better than others but only a tasteless trio of housemade sausages in an overpowering mango barbecue style sauce was a real loser. And my first experience with white Sangria was a pleasant one. This was every bit as good as Jaleo here in DC where Jose Andres has a reputation as one of the best, even hosting his own show on Spanish television. Jaleo may have a deeper, more authentic menu, but for the basics Modesto did well.

My third surprise is that I'm already trying to figure out how to get back to try some of the others from my list.


Bill Russell

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Two more St Louis questions:

1. Where can I find the best gooey buttercakes?

2. I remember someone talking about a cheap sandwich that could be gotten in Chinese restaurants throughout St Louis. Whoever mentioned it said it was peculiar to St Louis. does anyone know what this is?

Thanks,


"the only thing we knew for sure about henry porter was that his name wasn't henry porter" : bob

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I've lived in St. Louis for the past 3+ years, and I've recently gotten into the habit of going back to the same handful of my favorite restaurants in the area. Any other suggestions? What are your favorite St. Louis restaurants? I'll list mine by category below....

Favorite Chinese: Royal Chinese BBQ

Favorite Italian: Trattoria Marcella

Favorite Tapas: Modesto Tapas Bar

Favorite Mexican: Arcelia's (I've heard that there are some great restaurants on Cherokee, but don't know which)

Favorite Korean: Seoul Garden in St. Ann

Favorite Vietnamese: Bahn mi so (their special sandwich with pate, along with spring rolls are the best...)

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Duff's!

Not terribly exciting, but good, in my neighborhood, 'cross the street from Left Bank Books and a favorite of long time St. Louis residents who also came from different places. I think it was also a favorite of the locals, the ones who ask what high school you went to after shaking hands.

Also, I remember a very good Chinese restaurant in a small strip mall off a highway where they made an amazing fried rice with shrimp and barbecued pork. (There were quite a few very good Chinese places introduced to me by a Chinese friend who had moved to St. Louis as a child.) I think there was an Indian restaurant in the strip mall on the other side of the street. How's that for precision?

Now, are you counting fresh peach concrete? :biggrin:


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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Thanks for the tip! I've been to Duff's, but I wasn't all that impressed. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing?

Where do you go for a peach concrete? Ted Drewes? That sounds fantastic. Speaking of frozen treats, an official gelateria opened a month or two ago. It's on Manchester off McKnight, called Gelato di Riso. Their gelato machines and flavorings are shipped directly from Italy, so it's the real stuff. The pistachio flavor is out of this world, and if you're more of a fruit fan, their green apple tastes like the real thing.

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Does anyone have any comments on either Arthur Clay's or Cafe de France in St. Louis?

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I've lived in St. Louis for the past 3+ years,

Where can one get a good fried brain sandwich? (supposedly a STL favorite)


"I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be"

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I love Duff's, too. I swear I've had the same waiter there for 20+ years -- I can't think of his name but he looks like a former co-worker of mine so I've always recognized him and he's been there forever.

Also like Riddles Penultimate on the DelMar Loop but haven't been there in a long time. Perhaps a local can tell me if it's still reliable?

Lastly, Zeemanb posted a rave review of Iron Barley a few weeks ago.


Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Duff's is certainly not impressive, just a nice neighborhood place to go to meet friends or dine with colleagues who live nearby after an exhausting day when the prospect of cooking is less than thrilling.

And, yes, thanks, I could not remember Drewes, but during my short time living in St. Louis, I was told that I could not go through a summer in town without a visit. I loved it.

The gelato sounds like the kind we have where I live now (D.C.). While the texture is great and I feel nostalgic eating it, I have to say the fact that all the flavors are imported is a problem rather than an asset.

In Italy, the good gelaterie--whether the neighborhood one or the most famous--all brag that the product is "produzione nostra," i.e., produced in house with the expectation (not always fulfilled) that the peach in July and August is going to taste uniquely different than the peach across town and fresh from the tree versus the bottle, jar or box.

Never did the brains...nor the deep-fried ravioli.


"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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My best friend's husband's and my birthday is St. Patrick's Day (Mar. 17), and we're getting together a big group to spend the weekend in St. Louis. We've got people coming from as close as St. Charles and as far away as Ithaca, NY, and none of us have really spent a lot of time in downtown STL. We're staying at the Pavilion hotel downtown, and plan on spending a lot of time in Laclede's Landing and Soulard or the Hill. We don't have any major plans other than the Arch and the Budweiser tour on Saturday.

What I'm hoping for are recommendations for A) a good Irish pub or restaurant near the DT or Soulard area for a group (of about 8) for SPD night, B) fun restaurants and bars in the Laclede's Landing area that aren't too pretentious or too gimmicky, and C) a good place for brunch or lunch (maybe on the Hill) Sunday morning before we all leave.

As a group, we are all 25 (or about to turn it), and recent college grads or grad school students, and so not really rolling in it. We'll have 3-4 people driving, so it' wouldn't be a problem to drive out, but we want to try to keep the driving distance within 10 mins. of the hotel. Some of us tried a pub called McGurk's in Soulard last year and we generally liked it, but we're looking for more suggestions as a backup.

I hope this isn't repeating a thread. I checked out the other St. Louis boards, but didn't find newish stuff about the specific city areas I was looking floor.

Thanks in advance for all your help!


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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Going way back here, but the sandwich in question is called a St. Paul Sandwich. It is basically egg foo young--an omelette with bean sprouts and whatever else is on hand--on an italian roll or white bread. I haven't had one in years--decades!--but when I was a kid (70s-80s), you could not only get them at Chinese restaurants/carryouts, but also at many corner stores with sandwich counters. A guilty pleasure, for sure.

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A buddy of mine opened a restaurant in St Louis last year and I've heard they've gotten great reviews. I think it's in Benton(?) it's called Niche. Anyone checked them out yet?


"Make me some mignardises, &*%$@!" -Mateo

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Okay. I'm 46. Went to college in St. Louis. Haven't been back there in 25 years.

Memories...

An ice cream place that was sort of in a fancy restaurant in a house, where they did tableside desserts...

An Indian restaurant near the Botanical Gardens?

I was a Hostess at Boomer's in Laclede's Landing near the Arch, when there was a Salad bar there and Steely Dan type music. I was also a Hostess somewhere else around the corner, can't remember the name.

A coffee shop/folk music venue in Webster Groves.

A boat with melodrama and food, similar to something we had in Denver.


Philly Francophiles

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Funny how those St. Louis memories are fuzzy, isn't it?

The ice cream place... Is this the place that was under the big Amoco sign? Mrs. Waspy-Sounding-Surname?

When there was a Salad bar there and Steely Dan type music.

I remember the first salad bar that I ever saw in STL was at a place called People's in the very early eighties or very late seventies. The whole family got horribly sick afterwards (we suspected the mayonnaise-based dressing). That was pretty much the beginning and end of salad bar dining for my family.

The boat with melodrama--Goldenrod Showboat?

The hippie spot in Webster... Ah, I drove by this every day on the way to school for four years.... What was the name of that place? Ah, fuzzy memories...

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Just bumping.

I have 6 people hungrily looking forward to your recommendations!


"Life is a combination of magic and pasta." - Frederico Fellini

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I wish I knew more places in the area you area looking to hang out in but sadly I don't.

Laclede is goiing to be packed anywhere you go on Patties day but this is a link to SAuce magazine and if you look at 2005 best picks it cna give you an idea at least what people in the area voted for as good palces. Some of the picks I agree with but some of the places I personally would go to might either be pricy or out of the way. You can use their cool search engine and narrow down what you want to at least. ( by cuisine, location, ect ect..) If you don't mind puting the cash down i have heard eleven eleven is a good place to eat and the Red Moon Cafe. Not Downtown area tho. In fact alot of the good palces are closer to Central West end. or Clayton.

but you can if you must eat downtown try the Ole spaghetti factory, or drink at the morgan street brewery or Hannegans. My friend likes Giovannis on the Hill and I have heard good things about Trattoria Marcella.

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