In about a month I'm spending most of a long weekend (Thu-Sun) in St. Louis. Thanks to various trip reports from 2010 and earlier, and thanks to other sources such as the Sterns' books and the Restaurants guide here on roadfood.com, I have more than enough ideas for my brief trip. I'm definitely going to try Ted Drewes (for a custard or concrete), either Gooey Louie or Park Ave. Coffee (for gooey cake), maybe Hodak's for fried chicken, and perhaps Connelly's for breakfast on Sunday. The info and pics on O'Connells look good, and I may try going there for dinner one night.
I'll be staying at the Cheshire, at the southwestern edge of Forest Park. All day Friday and part of the day Saturday I'll be at a convention at Union Station. I expect to have Thursday late afternoon/evening, maybe Friday evening (doubtful), Saturday afternoon/evening, and Sunday morning to explore the city and try out the local delicacies.
But I do have some lingering questions....
* Is Hodak's really worth it? I've heard mixed reviews. I've also read that Sweetie Pie's and Mama Josephina's might be good fried chicken options--so which of the three is best? Or is there another rec for fried chicken? Perhaps I should skip the chicken altogether and focus on other foods?
* How does Park Ave. Coffee compare to Gooey Louie? Gooey Louie is right near Ted Drewes, so that would be convenient, but if P.A.C. is really, really worth it, I'll try for that instead.
* I've read many good recs for toasted ravioli--Lou Buccardi's, Cunetto, Mama Campisi, Amighetti's.... I'm not sure if my conference friends will want to join me on my food travels, so I may go alone for an Italian dinner. What place (with good t-rav) on The Hill would be best for a single diner on a budget? It seems that Hodak's has t-rav--is it any good?
* I'll have to pass over a lot of places and foods I'd like to try--I doubt, for example, I'll get to Crown Candy Kitchen, C&K BBQ, and other places. Are there local foodstuffs to keep an eye out for at markets? Sausage? Soda? Beer (other than that world-famous stuff that begins with "B")? Any good markets with local flavor to hit, akin to the markets in Milwaukee like Usinger's, Cheese Mart, European Sausage, Glorioso's, etc.? What's the best Italian deli or market on The Hill?
* I have a feeling I won't have much choice of venues during the conference (we just tend to spend the 75 minutes of lunch at some lame hotel "bistro" or such), but just in case: any good lunch places in or near Union Station? Something that's not a chain--maybe something ethnic? And I don't mind "upscale" places, either, if the food is really good and even creative; I just don't want to spend $15 for a trendy panino or garden-variety goat-cheese-with-beets salad.
<message edited by quijote on Sun, 10/2/11 8:32 PM>