Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > General Midwest Archive >
Mar 26, 2009 08:35 PM

Visiting St. Louis area

I live in NYC but will be visiting relatives in Wright City at the end of April and wanted to know if it is worth the 1 to 1 1/2 hour drive to try out Pappy's, Ted Drewes frozen custard and Baileys Chocolate Bar?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It's certainly worth it to drive the 1 1/2 hours to visit St. Louis if you have the time. As you probably already know, other than your relatives there's not much out in Wright City, especially since Big Boy's closed.

    Make the drive, take the tram to the top of the Arch or visit other points of interest. Then grab a great dinner somewhere - grab lunch at Pappy's since they might be out of what you want by dinner. Ted Drewes is really good, especially on a warm spring night after taking in a Cards game.

    I would suggest going to City Museum, then dinner at somewhere close to HIghway 70 - your road home since highway 40 is closed between Kingshighway and 170. I suggest Mosaic, Anthony's Bar or Lucas Park Grill because of their proximity to a lot of the downtown things a visitor might enjoy taking in.

    1. Your choices sound like they are worth a 90-minute drive.

      I would check your cable listings to see if you can catch the Travel Channel's Man Vs. Food when they visited St. Louis. They took in Pappy's, Crown Candy Kitchen, and Iron Barley.

      1. Yes, it is worth it. Obviously you will want to make a whole day of it, and you can't eat for eight hours straight, so the question is how to fill the time between lunch at Pappy's and a last treat at Ted Drewe's before driving back. If you are with kids the choice is between the zoo, the other attractions in Forest Park, and the City Museum. If adults, maybe the Arch and the Old Courthouse downtown, then some time gambling on one of the boats, and maybe the Botanical Gardens or Art Museum. If the Cardinals are in town a ballgame would be a treat, especially on a gorgeous spring afternoon. Enjoy and report back.

        1. So you're coming to MO in late April. Well... any chance you have to get out of Wright City (family stuff aside) you should take it. So does that mean you will be coming into St. Louis more than once.If so, this changes things. However, in response to other St. Louisans who answered (and we are a proud bunch), Pappy's is a good choice for ribs. Other BBQ is ok, but side dishes suck. Crown Candy is fun for the nostalgia, good homey snadwiches and big ass ice cream creations. Since you mentioned Bailey's, I'm guessing you are looking to hit a bar or two. If so, skip Bailey's and go to the Venice Cafe by the AB brewery. Cool bar. Funky. However, if you come in town early in the day, Bailey's sister restaurant Rooster has a good breakfast of crepes and egg dishes, along with a vast bloody mary menu. ...Forget Iron Barley, it's a dump and food is hit or miss. Ted Drewes, well its fun on a hot summer night, but its frozen custard and you stand outside to eat it. So when everyone else is telling you about wonderful warm spring nights in St. Louis, know that it could also be 40 and raining. If you have the time, hit the Central West End. Start at Dressel's and hoist a few Felefoil's. Sart moving south and finish with shots at Rosie's. Spend the night at the hotel around the corner and limp back to Wright City the next day, stopping for a greasy spoon breakfast at the Majestic in the morning. Good luck and have a great time.

          17 Replies
          1. re: grillergorilla

            Thanks for the feedback everyone! I should have included my tentative itinerary in the original post. I'll be with my 2 year old son so family friendly places are the focus. I haven't mapped locations yet so I'm not sure what distances are between places, but does the following agenda make sense? Or will I waste too much time driving back and forth un-necessarily? Has anyone been to Max Brenner's in NY? Is Baileys similiar? Can't decide between Bailey's and Crown Candy. I think I'll skip Iron Barley per grillergorilla. I"ve been to some food network recommended places and they are really hit or miss.

            day 1
            zoo or botanical garden
            ted drewes or baileys

            day 2
            pappys for lunch
            zoo or botanical garden
            ted drewes or baileys
            baseball game

            1. re: judamazome

              if you're with kids, Zoo. if you're adults carryout from a place on Grand and eaten at one of the many gazebos in TG Park (founded by the same guy that gave the State the Garden) the Garden itself is amazing, esp. the Japanese area.

              2nd to Venice Cafe - hard to find if you don't know the area but actually quite easy with a little homework (exit West on Arsenal, Right at the gas station Left on Pestalozzi)

              Crown Candy is conveniently off 70 but I also understand they are finally ripping out the pedestrian mall and returning it to a proper street (14th), so there may be construction.

              1. re: judamazome

                With a two-old? Day One-Take the back roads from Wright City to Washington MO and hang out down by the river with a picnic. Check for ticks afterward. Day Two- The Zoo and Crown Candy. Cards game? Try to get a sitter.

                1. re: judamazome

                  When my kids were toddlers, they absolutely loved the Gardens. Bring a change of clothes, because there are lots of fountains for them to play in, as well as "The Children's Garden" just for them (additional charge for kids, adults are free). Also fish to feed, flowers to smell, sculptures to touch. Space to run.
                  So I say go to both the zoo and the gardens--but not the same day.
                  Bring your own food to the venues: the zoo only has junk-type stuff, and the Garden's restaurant is expensive.

                  1. re: p.j.

                    right, forgot about feeding the koi - that's food fun for all ages and species.

                  2. re: judamazome

                    Baileys and Crown Candy are TOTALLY different.

                    Bailey's is dark. The walls are red, the ceiling is black and it is a BAR. They serve cocktails, along with chocolate oriented stuff.
                    Crown is for daytime only, no drinks or alcohol, and from the 1920's or so.

                    Completely different.


                      1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

                        You nailed it with the photos. Bailey's is for an adult with a sweet tooth. Crown is the place to take the kids.

                    1. re: judamazome

                      Skip Bailey's w/ a child.

                      Day 1:
                      Gus' Pretzels for snacks
                      Zoo or gardens
                      Lunch on the Hill (try Adriana's 5101 Shaw)
                      Some custard at Drewe's before heading out.

                      Day 2
                      Lunch at Pappy's
                      City Museum or zoo/gardens
                      Crown Candy for an afternoon treat.

                      1. re: lrstl

                        My variation would be this:

                        Day 1
                        Gardens in AM
                        Lunch on South Grand (St. Louis Bread Co if you want to stick to basics, Pho Grand for great Vietnamese (my son gets their fried rice and loves it), Manga Italiano, City Diner, etc)
                        Walk around Tower Grove Park to burn some energy and hit Ted Drewe's for custard before hitting the road.

                        Day 2
                        Early lunch in St. Charles or pack a picnic. Culpepper's at 70 and Zumbehl in St. Charles is kid friendly, so is Dos Primos on North Main in O'Fallon.
                        Gus's Pretzels for a snack and a quck peek at the Anheuser Busch complex.

                        I don't know if you'll be here over a weekend but if so, you might think about Grant's Farm. Younger kids love getting up close and personal with the animals and there's still complimentary A-B beverages for adults. I'm trying to figure out how to work Pappy's in here. Crown Candy is great but I was just there and can't imagine taking a two year old. It's so cramped and it was overflowing with people waiting for to go and to make candy only purchases. Maybe if you are okay with ice cream for breakfast...

                        1. re: Socialkim

                          Crown opens too late for breakfast. It's incredibly crowded right now due to'll slow down a bit next week.

                      2. re: judamazome

                        Entertaining a 2-year old is a totally different issue! Forget half of the above recommendations.
                        Starting at Wright City, head south toward Washington (per steveb), but go to
                        the Purina Farms. Hold baby animals, milk a cow, watch dog tricks, and play in a barn loft...2-year old heaven (2 hours).
                        Next, head East on I-44 to the Magic House in Kirkwood. Pass up Six Flags, Lone Elk Park, and the World Bird Sanctuary...all interesting but for older kids. The Magic House is a terrific facility for Kids. Your 2-year old will probably stay and splash at the sandpile tables! (2 hours).
                        Snack at Ted Drewes, then head to the St Louis Zoo...the train, the carousel, Puffin Coast, the Children's zoo, etc....all for young children!
                        Your little one will sleep all the way back to Wright City, unless you stop at the Butterfly House, and turn the tyke loose on the indoor carousel or the outdoor jungle gym.
                        Bottom line is , the 2-year old will dictate your activities, and not care one bit
                        about Pappy's (yum!), or any of the other eating places.
                        Also, forget the City Museum and the Arch. Two years of age is too young to enjoy these fine facilities.
                        I am Granddad Dave, who entertains three out-of-town munchkins on a regular basis. These venues are their repeat St Louis area favorites!

                        1. re: dda_dave

                          so many options to consider. think i'll skip baileys but try to squeeze in ted drewes and pappys as well as som e of the other recommendations during the trip. will report back after we return. thanks everyone!

                          1. re: judamazome

                            One last word of advice before you head to the Lou'. Don't judge our recommendations by their appearance. They are decidedly under-stated:

                            Ted Drewes is a glorified Dairy Queen;
                            Pappy's could pass for a Homeless Shelter with communal tables;
                            Focus on FOOD, VALUE, and the friendly PEOPLE who serve you.

                            However, your 2-year old's emporiums are neat. We'll put our Zoo and Magic House up against anybodys! And Purina Farms is unique...check their schedule of events. They frequently host dog judging events televised on the Animal Channel, and are building a competition diving pool for dogs.
                            Have Fun!

                            1. re: dda_dave

                              "Ted Drewes is a glorified Dairy Queen;
                              Pappy's could pass for a Homeless Shelter with communal tables;"

                              I like that. but if I ever opened a BBQ joint there I'd prob. aim for more a 1930's TB sanitarium meets beer garden aesthetic.

                              BTW after seeing zoos all over the US, STL has nothing to apologize for , it's only beat by San Diego, Bronx, maybe Chicago - but I think SD's is just too big really.

                              although a toddler may inadvertently poop at the close-up sight of a baby elephant (uh, no reason I would think such a thing...) but the great apes LOVE kids and in the right way.

                              1. re: hill food

                                thanks for the heads up. i'm all about food, value & friendly service and can sacrifice atmosphere any time as long as it isn't too grubby.
                                that's why we always end up eating in queens as opposed to manhattan restaurants where it seems often you end up paying for ambience and the price of expensive real estate.

                                1. re: judamazome

                                  Sorry, I just saw this thread. I grew up in Queens and still visit my parents there 1-2X per year. I live near Peoria, IL now, but we lived in St. Louis for 2 years. I would highly recommend a trip to the Botanical Gardens, especially this time of year. I agree you should have lunch on the Hill that day. But instead of Adriana's, I'd go with a classic----Amighetti's (5141 Wilson) Get the special, and order a small mostacolli (like ziti) for the little guy. If it's a nice day, sit in the enclosed courtyard. If you're lucky, the jazz band will be playing.
                                  I've been to Adriana's and been disappointed. I've had much better subs in NY and NJ. The space is not very kid-friendly, either. It's a large, boxy, crowded room with tables jammed in. There are a few tables outside, but too close to the busy streets for a 2-year-old. Besides, if you go to Amighetti's, you get to have their wonderful cannolis for dessert!

                    2. There is nothing to do in wright city, please make your way to the city to experience what St. Louis is really like. It seems to me that WC is only an hour but maybe with traffic it is farther. Enjoy!