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Recent Visit to StL -- Good Eating

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nosh Jul 28, 2012 05:02 PM

I grew up in St. Louis and family still lives there, so I visited last week. I expected heat, but not record-setting 105-107. But I ate well.

Best dinner was at Atlas, on Pershing in the CWE. Atlas serves good portions of very good food at reasonable prices -- most entrees low $20s. I had a pork schnitzel with spaetzle covered with split cherry tomatoes that was crispy and very satisfying -- I could only finish one of the two large cutlets.

Had a very nice time at Annie Gunn's. Unfortunately, they overcooked my burger -- ordered it medium-rare but not a trace of pink to be found. Server agreed and readily took it off our bill. I ate very well with strips from my sister's NY strip and my dad's and wife's tomahawk ribeye.

Had a nice dinner at Harvest on a Thursday. Went there because their website advertises a "3 for $30" special on TuTh, where you get an entree and two other courses -- app, salads, or desserts -- for $30. I really enjoyed my entree, a hangar steak served sliced over garlic smashed potatoes and creamed spinach. The steak seemed to be maybe a flank, but it was properly medium-rare and a generous portion. The spinach didn't evidence much cream -- more like sauteed spinach -- but that was fine, the potatoes were creamy and wonderful. Good dish. I also liked the corn soup -- not much shrimp in it -- but the flatbread starter and the grilled romaine were simply bad dishes. Four of us split three desserts, and the bread pudding in bourbon sauce blew the others away. A great dessert, rich and moist, the top crispy parts really special, a big square -- this is the dessert to order there, or go there for. I questioned why they don't mention the special on the menu or tell other tables about it -- see my thread on the "Not About Food" page where others disagree.

Good final dinner at Pomme Cafe. A bit upset that the dishes I planned to order from the online menu, onion soup and beef bourgignone, were not available. But that got me a fine crab cake and the chicken poullard instead, which were very good. Desserts were a highlight here -- I enjoyed my big bowl of creamy lemon curd with berries (blackberries, raspberries, a couple blueberries) and there was a hot strawberry pastry/cookie in a castiron thing with ice cream I liked and my mom's chocolate mousse was a little dark/coffeey for me.

Had a casual dinner at Lester's. Liked the sports TVs on a Sunday night. Split half a brisket sandwich which I liked a lot -- tender, rich, thin-sliced, helped by squirts of the hotter bbq sauce which wasn't really hot. Liked the pastrami less, to my surprise -- was it too smoky, was it to lean? Big problem was service: charged $6.25 for a bloody mary when the sign on the table, which I specifically referred to when ordering, said $5 drinks on Sun. Dad and his wife ordered root beers and when they asked for glasses, one of the two frosted mugs was dangerously fractured.

Loved my two burgers: One at O'Connell's, the other at Fatted Calf. In another thread.

Famous Szechuan Pavilion was closed on Mondays, so we had lunch at Lulu's. Very good, though I didn't order well. I love that they put so many sauces on the table -- besides the hot chili oil (essential for me) there are two types of soy, a sweet and sour, a vinegar, maybe more. Liked my hot'n'sour soup, my eggroll, my rangoon. Ordered some shrimp dumplings and enjoyed. Mom's crispy eggplant was good, but I like a lot of sauce in my stirfry and my szechuan chicken was dry. Still, I'd go back in a minute for dim sum and to discover the really good dishes.

Ate ate a Culver's after golf -- burger pretty good, but they do this lemon ice that I really dug. Tart and refreshing. Is there dairy in that? (Only a buck + tax.)

Cafe Manhattan on Hanley for St. Louis pizza and salad -- twice. Still my favorite St. Louis pizza. I crave St. Louis pizza. Still have some wrapped up in my 'fridge -- part of dinner tonight!

Got to Ted Drewe's but once. Gotta admit that after a St. Louis dinner, I'm down to a small concrete. Still the happiest place in town.

Had a quick breakfast bite at Half-n-Half on Maryland on Clayton. They have these "doughnuts" on the menu which are really churros -- about five star-extruded sticks of dough deep-fried and covered in cinnamon-sugar and something citrus. A touch expensive at $4.50 + tax + tip but crispy and tender in the middle and sugary and warm (did I say crispy?) and delicious.

Didn't get to Crown Candy Kitchen (really want to try their BLT) and missed Pappy's or Bogart's this trip. Went to the only losing game of the homestand, but had great seats and a wonderful time with a dear friend.

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    ddfry3 Jul 30, 2012 06:13 AM

    Sounds like a great visit. As a non-native, from Chicago, the whole provel thing weirds me out. Big fan of Fatted Calf. I too like Atlas, I don't get there often, but always like the space, food, and service. It seems to not be on the radar screen for some, I know that when I am there it seems heavily populated by mostly the affluent older area residents. Absolutely get a shake and the BLT at CC. Bogart's, especially is not to be missed. I just moved to Lafayette Square and will have to exercise great restraint to not eat there every few days!

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