St Louis Weekend

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toddfleet
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/20 21:44:51 (permalink)
Wanderingjew, I made a point to note on my list to avoid Regazzis based on your advice, thanks.

Robyn, thanks for the tip--what do you know, someone else here from Decatur! I have never done a Decatur-based review here on the site but am thinking about it.  I have, however, formerly recommended people to Harold's (moment of silence please), and declared my love of Del Carmen's and, of course, Krekel's. 
#31
mr chips
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 00:49:08 (permalink)
This has been an awesome report. Thanks for sharing your trip and your opinions.
#32
ayersian
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 01:05:52 (permalink)
toddfleet, I've really enjoyed your reports!  We're going through STL this summer on Route 66 and will keep the aforementioned spots in mind, especially that chicken at the Goody Goody.

Your slam of the Beacon, however -- well, being from South Carolina, naturally I take a little umbrage at your swipe.  But "elevated to a pseudo-tourist attraction"?  My good man, the Beacon was mega-popular with locals waaaay before Roadfood lauded it, before the Food & Travel Channels "discovered" it.  Were you disappointed because you had to wait in line for a long time?  The food was too greasy for you?  What, exactly?  You wouldn't've written that statement without having some idea about how readers would react.  Do tell -- for there is nothing even remotely touristy in Spartanburg.  Sure, the Beacon sells T-shirts, caps, and even J.C. Stroble bobbleheads, but that doesn't make them a tourist attraction, even in the pseudo sense.

Sounds like you had a bad experience at Arthur Bryant's, too, and that's a shame.  It's a consistent bane to some on this site, though it's a gem to others, including us.  We've only been once, and it was spectacular: food, service, atmosphere, the whole vibe of the place.  Meeting Zataar on that trip was a definite highlight, which led to her sage recommendation of RJ's Bob-Be-Que in Mission, KS.

I do look forward to seeing more of your food photos.  That chicken looked darn good, but I was sad to see the waffle -- the thick Belgian variety.  My favorite chicken 'n' waffles have fortunately been with the (now) old-timey thin kind with small indentations -- and those irons are disappearing everywhere.  In any case, keep writing and keep posting!    Chris
#33
zataar
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 08:56:35 (permalink)
Well, we thought it was pretty great zataar, what are your favorite places there? We could use a tip for OUR next visit, and have been talking about getting to KC too. Thanks for reading along, Todd


We've enjoyed Gian-Tony's a number of times. Two of my favorite places on the Hill aren't restaurants. Missouri Baking Company is great for old fashioned Italian pastries. Viviano and Sons is an Italian market.  Wonderful meats and cheeses, bread, pastas and other things for making great Italian food at home. Volpi Meats is another great place. We haven't eaten at Rigazzi's since 1977. I'm sure it hasn't changed one bit.

I highly recommend Iron Barley. It's a total South St. Louis experience. Lots of regulars and neighborhood people eating very good homemade food and drinking Budweiser. We like to find locally owned ethnic places, too. Our last trip we came upon a place on South Grand called The Vine. Fabulous middle eastern food. When you order hummus, they bake the pita to order! Park Avenue for gooey butter cake, but I'm sure you know that. If you like Cuban food (yes, I know, Cuban food in St. Louis???) make sure to stop at La Tropicana. It's not that far from Ted Drewes. La Tropicana has been operating for something like 40 years, and the food is excellent. It's also a market with all sorts of Latin American and Caribbean food items. The family that owns it are very gracious, charming folks. I really like St. Paul Sandwiches, but they are an acquired taste.

Let me know if you come to Kansas City. I enjoyed meeting the Ayersians and The Travelin' Man last year and look forward to meeting more Roadfooders in the future.
post edited by zataar - 2010/05/21 08:59:24
#34
zataar
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 08:59:02 (permalink)
I'm with Ayersian on the waffles. Hardly anyone does the thin, crispy kind anymore. Those are the best! We just have to make do with having them at home. Goody Goody's chicken looks terrific, though.
#35
Nancypalooza
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 09:51:43 (permalink)
Chris, come on honey.  Listen, I love the Beacon for what it is, I love Mr. Strobel, but having eaten at the sheer breadth of places you've eaten all over the world, you cannot say that that food is B level food.  It's fine, and the cheeseburgers are really quite good.  But that tea is LIPTON.  And they sell it in the GROCERY STORES around here like it's a big deal.  And the fries and onion rings are made in too-big batches for them to be good when they get to the end of the line on your plate.  And they're completely unseasoned.  And greasy.  I know you love your state and all its food, and when we were kids the Beacon sure as hell beat the Burger King or whatever.  And Spartanburg (I'm sorry new poster from there) is a pit. 
#36
toddfleet
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 10:10:11 (permalink)
Hello again zataar, thanks for the tips, and hello to ayersian.  Gentlemen, I am also with you on the waffles, the old kind with smaller squares would be welcome, but that is a smaller peeve with me than my usual butter vs margarine issue I mentioned, so I kind of let it go.

Oh ayersian, I realize I subject myself to wrath for criticism of those two institutions!  I was very disappointed to not be able to join in with everyone's enthusiasm.  My 2006 Trip Report "Illinois to South Carolina" is an easy search and lays out my Beacon experience in detail. 

The wait was not my problem, and they did have a little technical difficulty during our visit which I would give the benefit of the doubt.  My problem in both places was simply that we did not like the food!  At the Beacon the burger was average at best (to my palate), likewise on the fries, I am not big on onion rings, and I thought their sweet tea with heavy lemon overrated.  Arthur Bryant's was certainly authentic, right down to the bars on the windows, but the sliced brisket (my favorite type of BBQ) was bland and not smoky, nothing special.  

I guess my "pseudo tourist attraction" remark may sound a little snarky, but as you mention both of these places have been WAY blown up in reviews, surveys, cable TV etc.  My problem may have been as Carolina Bob and I speculated earlier here; that some places coverage is so overblown that when I got there they just could not meet such expectation.  I guess it is subjective for all of us, maybe another problem is we like the IDEA of the Beacon, it's heritage, more than I like the actual food.  Thanks for reading our stuff though, and hello to nancypalooza too!  Todd C  
post edited by toddfleet - 2010/05/21 10:24:44
#37
mr chips
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 11:46:29 (permalink)
Ayersian, I feel your pain. There is a review onsite that attacked  Portland's Voodoo Donuts as an overhyped place which would have gone out of business without national publicity which i considered to be one of the silliest things ever posted here. However, everyone has different tastes and experiences.
    And todd, I really enjoyed this report and hope sometime to experience the Beacon myself as well as meet nancy and partner and see Conargee national park
post edited by mr chips - 2010/05/21 11:47:34
#38
toddfleet
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 12:34:36 (permalink)
Thanks Mr Chips, funny you would check in from Portland, Rita just said we need to get out there and we have seen the Voodoo Donuts on TV.  And we LIKE doughnuts!  MMMMM!!  Todd
 
PS--if you do get to South Carolina take the time to get to Charleston and get some of that Low Country cuisine you see mentioned here sometimes.  Just thinking about She Crab Soup makes my knees weak! 
post edited by toddfleet - 2010/05/21 12:40:30
#39
buffetbuster
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 12:45:40 (permalink)
toddfleet-
Excellent report and photos!  And thank you for the kind words, they were much appreciated.  Isn't St. Louis a great eating city?  It is kind of where the Midwest meets the South.  Throw in plenty of Italian and that is a recipe for some fine eating.  Too bad about the gooey butter cakes, but two desserts were enough for one day. 
#40
toddfleet
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 13:04:00 (permalink)
buffetbuster
Too bad about the gooey butter cakes, but two desserts were enough for one day. 

Yes, sort of an embarrassment of riches that way, and now we have a motivation to get back.  Thanks buffetbuster, for the kind word, I was inspired by your material.  We tip our Goody Goody coffee mug to you! Todd
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/05/21 13:14:53 (permalink)
toddfleet-
Right back 'atcha!
#42
battra
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/06/09 17:17:00 (permalink)
Man...I have got to get back checking this place again. :)

Toddfleet loved the tour of my hometown.  I also recently made it up to the Goody Goody Diner to get the Wilbur Slinger. :D

I'm also thrilled to see you staying inside the City limits.  I'm a champion of city pride and loved that part the best.

The Suburbs here suck.
#43
toddfleet
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/06/14 14:29:43 (permalink)
Thanks battra, we really enjoyed it.  St Louis is certainly one of the most suburbanized metro areas and we are not haters of the burbs, but as I said at the start we can't forget how many roadfood institutions are in town.  Our travels seemed to take us to the north and west and we just kind of skirted around them.  No more.  I still am ashamed that at my age and claiming roadfood "street cred" that I had not yet dined at The Hill or Ted Drewes.  Looking forward to a return trip, Todd       
#44
battra
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/06/14 14:31:37 (permalink)
I describe the City and the Burbs as very different animals.

The City's Crusoe's  and the Burbs are Applebees.

I almost NEVER eat out for real in the burbs.
#45
highcard
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/06/14 17:00:54 (permalink)
Battra still hating on the burbs...BIG SURPRISE.

St. Louis County has some GREAT roadfood...

The Village Bar in Des Peres...best burger and onion rings in town.

Farotto's in Rock Hill...great St. Louis style pizza.

Larry's in Wildwood...roadhouse with great burger.

Helen Fitzgerald's in Sunset Hills...wings and beer and women.

Pirrone's in North County...reviewed above.

Hessler's Pub in South County...burgers and beer and women.

Anyway, I prefer the county, since I don't like having my car broken into or stolen while I am eating.
#46
toddfleet
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/06/14 19:15:55 (permalink)
highcard Pirrone's in North County...reviewed above.



Glad to get local input that I picked well with Pirrone's, I certainly liked it.  Todd 
 
PS to battra, I was tempted by the Wilbur Slinger but just could not take the plunge, did not think my heartburn medicine could handle chilli for breakfast.  Still thinking about it for next time though, what are other good breakfast places like the Goody Goody?  We went to Chris' Pancake and Dining a few years ago and liked it too.
post edited by toddfleet - 2010/06/14 19:26:34
#47
Littleman
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/06/16 11:13:47 (permalink)
What are the best St. Louis steakhouses.
#48
highcard
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Re:St Louis Weekend 2010/06/16 14:47:15 (permalink)
Citizen Kane's is THE best steakhouse in St. Louis...actually in Kirkwood...the County.


#49
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