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Need Help for dining this weekend in St. Louis!

We will be there for 3 dinners and 2 lunch/brunch...and a snack here or there ;) I have been doing research on here and there seems like a few good ideas...so far I'm leaning towards these as possible options:
The Shaved Duck
FarmHaus
One of the Niche places
An American Place
Hodaks for some fried chicken?
A piece of Pie...where? Yes i will try the Provel ;) it doesnt sound scary to me ;)

I'm not a dessert person but sounds like my bf should hit up Crown Candy Kitchen & Ted Drewes for sweet stuff?

But what is "traditional" St. Louis food? I can't seem to figure out if there is such a thing? We are coming from San Francisco and love hole in the walls and high end...but just want to get a local flare on where ever it is we go.

We will actually be staying at Harrahs, outside the city but we will be renting a car and will drive anywhere , up to about an hour, maybe a little more for something really good ;)

Also..any suggestions for live music is much appreciated.

Thanks chowhounds!
Diane

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Candy Kitchen
123 W Cumberland St, Greenup, IL 62428

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  1. For chicken -about a 40 min drive from where you are -
    http://www.gallagherswaterloo.com/
    They have a family style chicken dinner on Sundays and serve fried chicken on the other days too. I have heard Hodak's is kind of bland but a lot of people like it.
    For Pizza, you are pretty close to Fratelli's.
    http://www.fratellisristorante.com/ home made dough, sauce and sausage
    They also have good chicken spedini on Sat.

    UNIQUE to or originating in St. Louis food-

    toasted ravioli
    gooey butter cake
    St. Paul Sandwiches
    pizza with provel-stick with the family places
    slinger
    BBQ pork steaks
    This is a pretty good recent thread
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7102...

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    Hodak's Restaurant
    2100 Gravois Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63104

    1. I'll try and hit at least some of your questions and then fill in later. Going in reverse order. For live music info your best source is the Riverfront Times, a weekly newspaper. RFT.com. Best venue IMO is the Pagaent in U City but not sure who is playing there. RFT will have the info.
      St Louis foods- Toasted ravioli(Almost anywhere), Gooey butter cake(Most bakeries), Frozen custard(Ted Drewes and many other frozen custard stands) St. Louis style pizza(Imo's and many other places). Americanized Italian with heavy sauces (Most of the italian restaurants). I'm missing a few but I'm sure others will chime in.

      Now if you were visiting and I was in charge, here is a list of the places to give you both a taste of St. Louis and show that we aren't just a fly over city when it comes to food.
      Lunch-Crown Candy Kitchen, real old style soda fountain type of store. Blt or some other sandwich but mainly there for a Chocolate or Chocolate banana malt or other flavor of your preference.
      Pappy's BBQ, Some of the best BBQ in St. Louis and I put it under lunch since they only smoke a set amount per day so when it runs out it's gone. An early dinner would probably be safe too.

      Dinner-Farmhuas, locally sourced creative american food but you mentioned it so you may have read some things already.
      Niche, locally sourced creative american food and again you mentioned it but if you want to change things up a bit Brasserie by Niche is less expensive bistro style food. If you go that direction Bissingers Chocolates in the Central West End would be a stop afterwards.
      Monarch is unfortunetly closed for remodeling otherwise that would have been my third choice.
      Iron Barley, kind of comfort food with a twist but very good.
      A diffferent direction on the Pizza would be Pi which is not St. Louis style at all but our current president was impressed enough to fly them to the Whitehouse to make their pizzas.

      To wrap up on your post:
      Hodaks, ok fried chicken and an institution but nothing special.
      Shaved Duck, haven't been there since they changed things.
      American Place, haven't been there since the chef left.

      We have some really good ethnic restaurants but since you are from SF I pretty much avoided them since admittedly you guys do most of those better. BTW based on where you are staying there isn't much in the immediate area but most everything can be reached in 1/2 hour or less in non rush hour traffic.

      Other sources for food info
      saucemagazine.com
      rft.com
      stltoday.com

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      Iron Barley
      5510 Virginia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63111

      Candy Kitchen
      310 Cedar St, Wilton, IA 52778

      Hodak's Restaurant
      2100 Gravois Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63104

      U City
      , Saint Louis, MO 63101

      Shaved Duck
      2900 Virginia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63118

      Brasserie by Niche
      4580 Laclede Ave, St. Louis, MO 63108

      2 Replies
      1. re: STLLifer

        awesome! thanks for the info guys!...so good...i feel I'm kinda on track. Another one I forgot to ask about, the menu looks pretty good...Annie Gunn's? any feedback on that one?

        1. re: mapleleafgirl

          Annie Gunn's is good, but I think overpriced for what you get. Also good in the steak genre is Citizen Kane's in Kirkwood (also west of the city, not as far as AG) at a more reasonable price point. I'd also consider Sidney Street Cafe, in the same neighborhood as Niche, Crown Candy is a must stop and the real deal. For brunch, I recommend Nadoz in the Grand Center/Midtown area. I am not that crazy about Ted Drewes, but it is a local institution. Another great dessert place (and no, I don't live in the area) is also In Midtown, Fountain on Locust, some of the most decadent ice cream sundaes/desserts you could imagine. I should also add they have some eclectic and very delicious sandwiches, salads, and othe non-dessert items.

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

          Fountain on Locust
          3037 Locust St, Saint Louis, MO

          Annie Gunn's
          16806 Chesterfield Airport Rd, Chesterfield, MO 63005

      2. A short drive from Harrah's is one of my favorite places to hang out on a summer weekend day. It is the Creve Coeur Lakehouse.

        http://www.cclakehouse.com/

        The food will not win awards like any of the other restaurants listed here. The only thing local is horseradish mayonaisse (99% of all horseradish consumed in the US comes from St. Louis). But the place overlooks a small lake, lots of bicyclists whizzing by, dogs are welcome, and it will lower your blood pressure by a few notches.

        And has music some evenings.

        1. Try GoodyGoody's for breakfast or lunch. Nothing like this in SF. Maybe Oakland but not SF.

          1 Reply
          1. re: steveb

            love all the responses! thanks for coming through for me...think we have some solid choices to go with now...but keep 'em coming :)

          2. If you want great pie, go to Sugaree Bakery in the Dogtown neighborhood and buy a mini one to go -- they are fabulous. Sugaree is open Fridays and Saturdays.

            If you want a very good Italian place, try either Lorenzo's on the Hill (and steer clear of places like Rigazzi's and Cunetto's) or Trattoria Marcella on Watson. Great tapas - very authentic -
            can be found at Modesto, also on the Hill. In Clayton area, BarCelona is also an excellent tapas place.

            We love Franco in the Soulard area for French/continental food and interesting cocktails.

            Have fun and bon appetit!

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            Trattoria Marcella
            3600 Watson Rd, Saint Louis, MO 63109

            1 Reply
            1. re: chinitav

              I second Marcella, also LoRusso's Cucina, both slightly off the Hill proper.

            2. Can't go wrong with the "Niche Places"; FarmHaus is very good. The chef/proprietor was with Erato (Edwardsville) and they had excellent food. Other considerations Herbies (Central West End), Sub Zero (Vodka Bar) and great food (also in CWE), Modesto (Tapas) on Shaw, Terrene on Sarah). Also, decent food but great views from the roof deck is Vin de Set.

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              Vin de Set
              2017 Chouteau Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63103

                1. Been to SL a few times and always seek out the goods. I've been to Pappy's BBQ a couple of times and it was always great (get the ribs and sweet potato fries). I'd been told that if I liked Pappy's that I'd love the Shaved Duck. We went there our last trip. They have a nice upscale BBQ menu (among other gourmet type options (duck confit et al). I got the (St. Louis style) ribs on the servers recommendation. They looked beautiful with a nice dark crust and outer smoke ring and were very tender. HOWEVER, they were practically flavorless. The rub must have only been paprika and I'm not sure what type of wood they used (I'm guessing Oak) but it was nearly non-existent. They had some nice sauces (one really nice one with the flavor of caramelized onions) but that didn't help enough. Next time I'm going back to Pappy's.

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                  Shaved Duck
                  2900 Virginia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63118