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St. Louis recs wanted

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I will be visiting St. Louis for a few days next month and would like some recommendations. I've read prior posts, particularly http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/589736, and they were helpful, but I want to check for recently opened places, etc.

I will be staying for a few days at the Chase Park Plaza in the Central West End; I'll be attending seminars, so I'm looking for places to eat in the neighborhood. I'll also be at another hotel not far from the airport for at least one night - am considering the St. Louis Union Station Marriott downtown. And my friend and I will have a car, so we can drive, particularly for dinner.

I'm not worried about price but rather quality. I'm looking for places that are special - either extremely good (high or low end, doesn't matter), or unique to St. Louis, or that stand out in some way. Since this may be the only time I visit St. Louis, I just don't care about "decent, good location, good value" kinds of places - I want special places. For example, I've read about a place called "Terrene," and it sounds amazing - great local produce, innovative technique, delicious food. And I definitely want to sample some St. Louis bbq - some really good examples of it (I love my Alabama pulled pork but am far too greedy to forego any other types). I'll drive, I'll pay, I just want to eat some great food.

I'm also interested in farmers markets or any other good places to buy food.

Sorry if this post seems redundant, but I don't want to miss anything super recent and would also love to get names of places near the hotel (CPP). Thanks to all the Chowhounds who reply.

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  1. Terrene is excellent. Niche is a must visit for you I would think. Gerard Craft was a James Beard nominee this past year.
    For Q, the only really good place to go is Pappys in the downtown area. Depending on what day and when you go, that can be a real adventure. I would try and go on a weekday after the lunch crowd. I went there at 4 pm this past Saturday and there was a line out the door and down a hallway. They were selling out of the ribs shortly after I hit the counter. FANTASTIC q though. DO NOT go anywhere else for Q as it does not hold a candle.
    Iron Barley is an interesting place and has been featured on both Diners Drive ins and Dives and Man vs Food. Pappys was also on Man vs Food and he has a platter named the Adam Bomb after Adam.
    Crown Candy is an awesome place for shakes. Man vs Food lost the shake challenge there. Food is diner fare but the shakes are awesome. Also recommend them at lunch time or afternoon. Not even sure they are open at night.

    FOTD

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    Iron Barley
    5510 Virginia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63111

    3 Replies
    1. re: FriendOfTheDevil

      FOTD has it right. Pappy's is actually in Midtown, which is an easy cab ride from the Central West End. Get the ribs.
      Terrene is midway between where you're staying and Pappy's. Definitely a good choice. Niche, however, is generally regarded as the place to go if you really want terrific food.
      If you want to try something that is unique to St. Louis, you may want to have breakfast at one of the low rent places that serves slingers. Goody Goody Diner is one; Eat Rite Diner is another.

      Enjoy and report back.

      -----
      Goody Goody Diner
      5900 Natural Bridge Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63120

      Eat Rite Diner
      622 Chouteau Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63102

      1. re: alan

        Niche is wonderful, Monarch, in Maplewood (not far from Clayton) is worth visting too. Down Kingshighway from the Central West End (CWE) a few miles is O'Connells, smoky joint but some of the best burgers around. In the immediate CWE vicinity, Pi, while not St. Louis-style pizza (which I dislike personally), gest rave reviews. They have 3 locations and they are all hopping (Easter pun intended) I also very much like St. Louis Coffee Oasis for good Middle Eastern fare...again, not "St. Louis" per se. Also in the CWE vicinity is Atlas, not been there myself but gets high marks.
        Not far from the CWE in an eclectic area called the Delmar Loop (worth a stroll) is Winslow's home, it's a mile or so east of the Loop. Unusual store/wine shop, eatery with fine sandwiches and breakfasts, sweets there are not to be missed.

        Hope this helps and let us know what you did!

        http://www.saucemagazine.com/oconnells/
        http://restaurantpi.com/
        http://www.atlasrestaurantstl.com/
        http://www.winslowshome.com/

        1. re: ddfry3

          Pi is terrific. Atlas is excellent, but not, IMO, on a par with Niche or Monarch. Winslow's Home is actually WEST of the Delmar Loop.

    2. If you are at the Marriott at Union Station, for breakfast walk north on 18th Street to the White Knight at the corner of Olive and 18th. It is an intact pre-fab hygenic restaurant from the 1920's. A great breakfast experience.

      For more great experience, I highly recommend Iron Barley. Totally focussed on the quality of the food, with zero attention paid to the decor.

      And the Crown Candy Kitchen is a STL icon. Restaurant hours are Monday – Thursday 10:30a.m. to 8p.m., Friday & Saturday 10:30a.m. to 10:00p.m., and Sunday 11:00a.m. to 6:00p.m.

      -----
      Iron Barley
      5510 Virginia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63111

      Crown Candy Kitchen
      1401 Saint Louis Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63106

      Union Station
      1699 Racine Ave, Mount Union, IA 52644

      1. I also love Monarch and love Pi.

        FOTD

        1. For a truly hometown St. Louis experience, get to Ted Drewe's, preferably after a Cardinals win or a very hot late afternoon where the crowds will be large and happy. Don't worry, the lines move very fast. Frozen custard with a variety of toppings or mix-ins -- the "concrete" is a shake so thick you can turn it upside down.

          Be sure to ample some St. Louis pizza (ultrathin crust, provel cheese, toppings under the cheese layer, and cut into squares) and some toasted ravioli.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nosh

            STL pizza - yes, but keep it simple and keep an open mind. the provel cheese works best with Italian sausage and blk olive IMHO. but anything more than 2 or 3 toppings and it gets top heavy and gloppy. what I unequivocally love is the circle sliced into squares - some like centers and some like crust, everybody wins in this scenario.

            be careful with toasted ravioli (dipped in marinara) if you have addiction problems.

          2. Thank you so much for all of the suggestions. This is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. Thank goodness for generous Chowhounds!

            1 Reply
            1. re: hamiltonmh

              Be sure to give us a report.

            2. If you want a uniquely St. Louis experience, you should hit up one of our restaurants that source locally. Of the top of my head, I've got the following:
              Farmhaus. Website is not up and running just yet, but the food is amazing. 3257 Ivanhoe Avenue, Saint Louis, MO 63139-2245

              Another favorite of mine is Five. The chef is hot and the food is great. Menu changes daily. http://www.fivebistro.com/menu_april2...

              Same chef has a gastropub called Newstead Tower Public House which is a bit more casual, but still delicious. http://www.newsteadtowerpub.com/index...

              My favorite favorite place in town is Sidney Street Cafe. http://sidneystreetcafe.com/ I would almost warn you to not eat there, because you will be craving it when you get home. Soooo good.

              (I also love Pi, Iron Barley and Pappy's.

              )

              Also, Union Station isn't close to the airport at all, but is a stop on the Metro. It's about a 20 minute Metro ride from the airport.

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              Iron Barley
              5510 Virginia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63111

              Sidney Street Cafe
              2000 Sidney St, Saint Louis, MO 63104

              Newstead Tower Public House
              4353 Manchester Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110

              1 Reply
              1. re: mtoo

                Five is a superb recommendation--locally sourced food, creatively prepared, attentive and friendly service.