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May 27, 2009 11:36 AM



I've never been to St. Louis...staying 1 mile away from Busch Stadium...If I had 3 nights....Where would you go?

1) Top High-End Steakhouse
2) Top BBQ
3) Any other stand-out

Thanks in advance!

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  1. BBQ needs to be Pappy's, which is relatively close to downtown, on Olive St., which goes through downtown. You can get a good steak at Mike Shannon's, near Busch Stadium, but make reservations immediately as they will be jammed. Our other steak spots are mostly the major chains, Mortons, Ruth's Chris. Shannon, the former ballplayer and current STL Cards broadcaster, has lots of memorabilia in the new location, but it doesn't feel like a sports bar, and the beef is high quality. And the third spot, I know other folks will have tons of suggestions for.

    1. I had an excellent meal at Carmine's a couple summers ago. It's a steak house downtown. The steak was very good, but there was potato gratin with artichokes, I believe, that was excellent and almost stole the show. It may have been a special, so I don't want to get your hopes up, but I would recommend this place.

      1. 1) Most of the highest-rated steakhouses in the St. Louis area are not downtown near the stadium, they are out west in the suburbs. Some would send you to Citizen Kane's in Kirkwood, others prefer Annie Gunn's which is way out west in Chesterfield, and another oldtime favorite is Kreisz's on Lindbergh in Ladue, which is also known for prime rib but may be on a downhill alert in recent months or years with the loss of some veteran staff. If you need a grilled piece of meat, I'd recommend the burger at Anthony's Bar, caddycorner from the ballpark and run by the same family from the same kitchen as the most famous restaurant in town for decades, Tony's.

        2) Agree with Pappy's -- the best bbq to hit St. Louis that I've eaten from a restaurant rather than someone's backyard. Some hints -- go early, they tend to run out of some meats late in the days. Order the ribs (baby backs rather than St. Louis-style spareribs were smoked when I was there) and if you get the pulled pork, which you should, order it untrimmed, with the bark. My mom loves their cinnamon-dusted sweet potato fries. Very friendly and eager-to-please ownership and staff.

        3) For cutting-edge dining, the place to go is Niche, which has won some "best of" accolades recently and is one of the few places offering a tasting menu. Sidney Street Cafe is another excellent choice, and both are located just south of downtown. Tony's is the dress-up, expense-account formal-service restaurant, and Kemoll's recently moved into new quarters on top of a highrise with amazing views. On the north side of downtown on Washington is a regentrified stretch of theatres, bars, hotels and numerous restaurants in a number of styles.

        Don't leave St. Louis without tasting a St. Louis pizza -- ultrathin crust, the beloved or reviled provel cheese, the toppings mostly under the cheese, and sliced into squares rather than wedges -- Imo's is the local chain with the most locations. Start with an order of toasted ravioli, deepfried beef ravioli that you dip into the tomato sauce. And definitely get out to the happiest place in town, Ted Drewe's, for frozen custard.

        1. hydraa-
          1)steakhouse-just the meat is important-Citizen Kane in Kirkwood-closer to downtown-Sidney Street Cafe in Soulard- Bearnaise is phenomenal and service is consistently outstanding--DO NOT GO TO SLEEK, Hubert Keller's place in Lumiere Casino. the food was outstanding, but enormously overpriced with pushy snooty service.
          2)Smokin Al's on Hampton Avenue
          3)Sidney Street Cafe- now you gotta go cuz i listed it twice

          1 Reply
          1. re: ChefCharles

            ChefCharles, I hadn't checked in a while, but I think Smokin' Al's is no longer with us. Bear moved out of town, and for a while, the building and equipment were for sale/lease. Has the place been taken over by a new outfit, and are they continuing with the Smokin' Al's bbq?

            I agree with nosh about Pappy's, but I have to say that St. Louis does great bbq but some places do great St. Louis bbq specialities. CK barbeque has fantastic snoots, but that's a hike from where you'll be at. So maybe try OK barbeque on North Broadway, about half a mile from downtown. It's small and quaint, and their snoots are good. Also, rib tips are a great item not often found outside St. Louis. I don't have a great place to recommend for those, but maybe someone else will give you a suggestion. For a hike, try Smoke Pit BBQ in Collinsville because they have great snoots and Lil Devils.

          2. Carmine's Steak House is conveniently located near the Stadium.

            BBQ: Smokin Al's looked very out-of-business when I drove by it this morning

            Stand-out: Franco, near the Soulard Market. I really liked my meal here.