St.Louis to K.C. weekend
my wife and i will be taking our son to wash u. in st.louis in a few weeks for his freshman year. we will be flying in from N.J. and we decided to make a long weekend out of it and plan to drive to K.C. for some BBQ. How does this sound- in KC, arthur bryants and/or LCs, Oklahoma Joes, Jack steak, gates for Q. Room 39 for breakfast/brunch, and maybe spin pizza for lunch. comments? suggestions? in St.L its much harder. I want a true taste of these cities but i am afraid of a true taste of st.louis! does everything have chili poured over it? not that theres anything wrong with that. if i have a slinger, will i be able to eat anything for the rest of the weekend? besides ted drewes for a concrete and toasted ravioli somewhere, im open for suggestions. also, anyplace on the drive betwwen st.l and kc? thanks in advance
In my opinion, you should save the Kansas City drive for another time, and hang out in St. Louis. There is some great eating here (not sure why you think it might be hard to find good food). True, BBQ tends to be lackluster and saucy, and there aren't as many legendary joints here compared to KC. I'll stay away from that topic and steer you toward other great STL spots.
At O'Connell's Pub pub on Shaw, you'll find a fabulous old bar and the best burgers in the Midwest.
In Soo on Olive Blvd. has an addictive style of Korean-Chinese food that is out of this world - try the Hot and Sour Soup and the made-from-scratch moo-shu.
Nachomama's on Manchester is a down-home Tex-Mex place that serves woodroasted chicken and homemade tortillas. Great margaritas, too.
My favorite pizza is at Pizza-A-Go-Go on Scanlan. It's the real deal - thin crust and no Provel. But, of course, in St. Louis the whole Provel cheese issue is contentious. I think it's gross, but you'll have to try a pizza at Imo's and see what you think.
For a more "grown-up" meal try Niche on Sydney Street: http://nichestlouis.com/
Hi - I went to Wash U. I highly recommend Harvest, which is literally just a few blocks from the South 40. A great great locally-grown produce influenced meal is sure to be had. Make sure you try the bread pudding for dessert.
Other options abound on the Loop, which is a 10 minute walk from campus, including Brandt's (a nice evening place to go, great wine list) to Blueberry Hill (totally college bar, great burgers, super cheap and good beer - $9/pitcher of Blue Moon!)
If you want to head more downtown, I suggest King Louie's or 1111 Mississippi.
And of course, Ted Drewes for frozen custard is a must. They'll serve it at Wash U for orientation, but it's not even close to going to the actual road stand and getting it fresh there. My favorite is the Cardinal Sin sundae - vanilla custard, hot fudge, and sour cherries. Yum!
I have to second the "Stay in STL" suggestion. Not so much because of the cuisine as because of the congestion. Save yourself the agita of driving 4.5 to 5 hours each way on I-70 -- not well maintained, lots of traffic. Especially if you're only going to be around for the long weekend.
If you want a shorter drive, I'd recommend a quick trip to Columbia or Rocheport. Very pretty right along the Mighty Mo.
Chili all over everything? Are you sure you're not thinking of Cincinnati?? I strongly second the Ted Drewes suggestion and encourage you to try an Imo's deluxe. Olive Street is full of great Chinese places - and the prices will knock your sox off, seeing as how you're from the East Coast. We like LuLu's Seafood for dim sum.
As k_d accurately said, St. Louis is definitely not known for its chili. On the other hand, I have to agree with Pylon that Imo's pizza will be a gross disappointment and a waste of time, money, and appetite, particularly from someone who has real pizza with real cheese available on a regular basis. Try Riddles Penultimate for well-made food using lots of locally grown and produced ingredients, not to mention an extensive wine list. Also, the section of Olive Street k_d refers to is in University City (Olive is a very long street). You will also get other good ideas on the excellent Sauce Magazine website: http://www.saucemagazine.com/
I had the same thought about cincy...
Get the Ted's, skip the Imo's. They have real pizza where you live, you will not be pleased, IMO.
If you must go to KC, Bryant's is the place for BBQ. If you do want pizza, hit Shakespear's in Columbia. Now that's good pizza.
But staying in the Loo is not a bad play either. 1111 Mississippi is always popular, as is Jacksons on Manchester.