St. Louis - What is it good for?
Please don't tell me "Absolutely nothing."
I'll be in St. Louis at the end of the month for a few days on business and will have some free time to check out what the city has to offer. So far from researching on here I've read that the BBQ is not really all that, the St. Paul sandwich seems kinda wacky and the pizza is a, uhhhh, acquired taste shall we say.
So what IS good in St. Louis? Any type of suggestion is welcome....but I'm especially looking for something that St. Louis specializes in. Something you can't get elsewhere. But any must visit restaurant or bakery around town I'd love to hear about.
AND on a sidenote, recommendations on The Hill are equally welcome. Thanks, Midwest Hounds!
Can you get tie-dyed grilled cheese sandwiches anywhere else but St. Louis? Try the Grateful Inn in Maplewood - it is a vapor bar (not an oxygen bar) that serves quite tasty food, including hempseed dressing for your salad. The place is a hoot.
Toasted Ravioli....Gooey Butter Cake.... and you have to at least taste Provel Cheese since it's a St. Louis only thing.
Where are you staying???
I like Favazza's on the Hill. Start with crispy artichoke hearts and toasted ravioli. Get a house salad (with provel , of course!) and then either the Sicilian Chicken or steak. Get a couple cannoli to go from Missouri Baking Company.
Pick up some gooey butter cake at McArthur's bakery.
Stop by Crown Candy Kitchen for a sandwich/chili and a malt or sundae. Take home a solid milk chocolate elephant or donkey (they ought to be selling them right about this time of year.)
To be truly original, go to Iron Barley and order a O'Fallon cask beer with a ballistic Elvis sammiche and a blaster pie with habanero-strawberry sauce. Be sure to ask the bartender what her special drink is. It's always good.
For the Hill (which is the opposite of original), I hear good things about Gian-Tony's.
To recommend something besides Iron Barley, I'd say try Everest for Nepalese food. They're either on Washington and 20th, or near Manchester and Vandeventer (they're moving, not sure precisely when).
Carl's Drive In on Manchester. I dream about that place while everyone in LA raves about the dried hockey pucks between delish buns called In n Out.
What is unique to St. Louis for food:
1) As you noted, St. Louis style pizza. Other than the crust, sauce, and cheese it's not bad.
2) Toasted raviolis. Not actually toasted, they're crumb dipped and deep fried meat raviolis served with a marinara. Some people love them -- Sara Moulton showed how to make them on her show. For me, they're unremarkable.
3) Gooey butter cake. As delicously decadent as it sounds. There have been several recent threads that include them.
There are plenty of good things in The Lou that you also can get elsewhere. Great sausages, a couple of places for excellent sushi (believe it or not -- Yoshi's being the best), Tony's for 4-star 5-diamond high end Italian and some good other Italian places such as Roberto's.
There is a large Bosnian population here and several restaurants reflecting this. Others will have to tell you what's good.
Sauce magazine -- http://www.saucemagazine.com - has a pretty good restaurant section. As usual in these public forums take what people write with a pound of salt.
Favazza's is a restaurant I highly reccomend. I really like the fried calamari as well as their pasta dishes. Ted Drewe's as well. I used to walk there with my roomate from college to get frozen custard. If you want a true dining experience, Tony's can't be beat for its service and quality food. I truly enjoy going there. There are many, many good restaurants on the hill. It hard to choose a bad one. Enjoy your trip to the city!
I am a big fan of Ami's on Manchester in Warson Woods. Neighborhood style sit-down place where you can get your St. Louis style pizza (get the house special), toasted ravioli, and St. Louis style salad (which is semi-edible). Good prices and vin ordnairde by the glass or carafe. And they load you up on homemade rolls and butter!