Day 2; St. Louis
Up at the butt crack of Dawn to try to secure some last minute tickets to the new Busch Stadium. By the time the box office opened and we had secured a pair for the evening, hunger has set in. What better place than one that advertises...
I think I have mentioned before that I am a sucker for this type of marketing. I always want to see "the biggest," "the best," "the tallest," etc.Tony's Restaurant
(12246 Natural Bridge Rd, Bridgeton, MO) did not disappoint. The restaurant is not large, and well off any kind of beaten path that anyone but the locals would find. It is, however, near the airport, so it is an easy stop on your way in or out of town. Specials were listed on a board near the kitchen, and a sizeable menu exists, but when a place advertises that they are "Home of Missouri's Largest Omelet," why would you order anything else?
The three of us -- all healthy adult males -- split two dishes. One bacon and cheese omelet and a stack of apple pancakes.
I can only tell you that this picture doesn't do this omelet justice. Realize that the omelet is the same size as those pancakes, and about as thick as a stack of five! Maybe this close-up does it better...
Not only was the omelet ENORMOUS, but it was also delicious. It fed THREE of us, and we couldn't finish the whole thing. I can only imagine how many eggs it took to make this -- my guess is 6 or more. There may have also been about 1/3 of a pound of bacon in there. To top it all off, the omelet runs about five bucks. As a matter of fact, the whole check for the three of us was about $15, including tip. If you are looking for a place to grab a good, filling, hearty, inexpensive breakfast, Tony's shouldn't be missed. Bring a defribulator, though, it may come in handy.
Afternoon activities included a trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden (http://www.mobot.org), specifically to see the Glass in the Garden exhibit by Dale Chihuly. I had previously seen a similar exhibit in Chicago a few years ago, and subsequently became a Chihuly fan. For one thing, the guy wears an eye patch, which is kind of pirate-ish. Extra points, for sure.
I won't bore you with a ton of Chihuly photos here, but I posted some on my blog (http://styok.blogspot.com) for anyone who wants to catch a peek.
We decided to grab a late afternoon meal (only in Florida would a meal this time of day be considered dinner) before heading out to the ballpark to limit the intake of lips and snouts. Our first choice was Connelly's Goody Goody Diner (http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Overview.aspx?RefID=1178), but they were closed by the time we arrived. Before we spent our entire time trying to figure out what would be the best substitute, we quickly decided on using some serious "foodie nose" to get the job done. Sometimes, you just have a feel -- with no guide book or anything.
Located right in front of the Bel-Nor City Hall, we found The Breakaway Cafe
(8418 Natural Bridge Road). Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of this place, but you can trust me, the food was tasty. Breakaway Cafe serves a number of pasta dishes and other varieties of comfort food. This was my first experience trying toasted ravioli, and they did not disappoint. I don't know how much better they could have been at the more well-known Italian institutions on "The Hill," but these served this novice pretty well -- a crusty exterior, and a well-seasoned filling, all dipped in homemade marinara. Appetizers were generally under $6 and entrees could be had in the neighborhood of $10.
From there, it was on to the new Busch stadium for the night.
I am particularly partial to the view of downtown and the Arch from the stadium.
One serious plus for the stadium is the enthusiasm of the St. Louis fans. They did have this in the old ballpark, too, though...so, it only goes so far. There is a nice Cardinals history done on the outside promenade in brick. If so many of the Cardinals highlights hadn't come against the Mets, I might have enjoyed that a little more.
Day 3 coming....