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British honeymoon couple May 2013 St Louis

We are spending two nights in St Louis as part of our Route 66 tour. We would like to catch a ball game and have a few authentic meals, maybe a philli cheese steak for lunch.. Any recommendations for 3rd & 4th May 2013

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  1. If you are Route 66'ing, you absolutely must go to Ted Drewes for frozen custard.

    1. I've never had a good philly cheese steak outside of philly (for the record, don't spell it like you did around any of the philly hounds). I would recommend you stick to ted drews in the lou, and also go for some bbq ribs.

      1. If you're really interested in Philly cheesesteak, you can get a good one during your time in Chicago at Monti's, 4757 N. Talman, Chicago.

        As for St. Louis, here are some ideas:
        DeMun Oyster Bar near Washington University
        Gus's Pretzels
        Soulard Market
        John's Donuts on S. Broadway

        1. Unfortunately, you will not be able to catch a baseball game on those dates because the team will be in Milwaukee, which is definitely not on Route 66. (http://stlouis.cardinals.mlb.com) Many on this board would say that Imo's Pizza is "authentic." Many of the rest of us would say it is "authentic cardboard" but it's all a matter of taste. Philly cheese steaks are, as stated previously, best left to those living in Philadelphia. Here you'll want to try a few things that you won't generally find elsewhere, such as toasted ravioli (Trattoria Marcella or Charlie Gittos'), gooey butter cake (Gooey Looie); thin crust pizza (Cafe Manhattan). You would also do well to get some barbecue either at Bogart's or at Pappy's (same owners). Hope that helps.

          1. You absolutely must - MUST - go to Bogart's Smokehouse. Barbecue is an American specialty which varies by region, and St. Louis is well known for it. Bogart's is very popular and at most times it's very busy, but it's worth waiting for. Bogart's is amazing, the best barbecue I've ever eaten.

            For an upscale meal in St. Louis, I recommend Tony's or Niche. Both have outstanding food and service; the atmosphere at Tony's is more traditional, at Niche more contemporary.


            1. Congratulations. My wife and I are Brits living in Tulsa. (I know seems like just 24 hours). Since Route 66 passes through Tulsa and also Las Vegas, perhaps you should post similar threads in Great Plains and Las Vegas for some useful input. I could just give you my recommendations here - but that would be off topic. But since you most likely will drive along 44 from St Louis to Tulsa, you might want to stop off in Lebanon, Mo at Dowd's Catfish House. Their catfish is excellent - in fact, it's the only place where I've actually liked catfish.

              8 Replies
              1. re: kagemusha49

                Sounds like fun. I would definitely consider Bogart's for lunch...order a bit of everything. If you are there on a Saturday you can cross the street and have a wander around Soulard Market...the oldest continuously operating farmer's market west of the Mississippi. Not all that old by Brit standards, but old for here. The market is actually open of Fridays as well, but not so many vendors will be there. You must try both gooey butter cake and Ted Drewes' frozen custard. Although the South Grand location of Ted Drewes is probably closer to everything else you might be doing, the Watson Road location is livelier, and you will enjoy standing in line on a spring evening. The 'concretes', which are ice-cream type shakes so thick you can turn them upside down, are the speciality of the house. As for gooey butter cake, there is a place on Park Avenue not to far from the Soulard Market area, Park Avenue Coffee, that does good ones, and Gooey Louie is one Watson, thought Gooey Louie is, I think, a place to buy whole cakes, and not a place to sit down and have a piece (and they have limited weekend hours, you might need to check). Myself, I would plan Bogart's for lunch, and stop by Park Avenue Coffee around tea time and have a slab o' gooey butter cake and a nice cuppa. ANY of our Italian restaurants would have Toasted Ravioli, a so-common-that-it-has-become-quite-humdrum appetizer, though I sometimes forget that they are damn good when done right, and any visitor HAS to try them. I LIKE St. Louis pizza (okay, LOVE), but I grew up here. Our pizza is made on a cracker-thin crust with a relatively sweet tomato sauce and a unique-to-St.-Louis cheese called provel that sticks to your teeth and which you pretty much either love or hate. It is a (very) processed cheese blend that melts into a vaguely molten plastic cheese that I unabashedly adore. My English expat husband hates it. If you try it, you might want to get a small, just in case you hate it...(bacon pizza, extra provel...yum). Where are you staying, and will you be in town for Sunday as well? Any additional info might help you with more advice.

                1. re: tonifi

                  Just FYI, Bogart's opens at 10:30 a.m. and they get very busy at lunchtime, with the seating full and a line of folks waiting to order. It's definitely worth the wait. When I went in July, I got there when they opened and it was nicely empty, but by the time I left at 11:15, they were already filling up. And I have the photos to prove it! See below.

                  1. re: nsxtasy

                    Would it be better to go for dinner if we are there for more than one day, will it be quieter? thanks

                    1. re: Thebirniewedding

                      I really don't know how busy they get for dinner, which they only serve on Fridays and Saturdays, the two days of the week you'll be in town. Hopefully one of the locals here can help.

                      And I assume when you ask about it being "quieter" you're asking about how busy they get, i.e. how long you would have to wait in line. And not noise levels. It's a small place, so it's not horribly noisy, and besides, it's not really the kind of place where you expect a leisurely/romantic meal, if you know what I mean.

                      Also, although they get busy, they also seem to turn the food around pretty quickly, so I don't think you need to avoid going there just because of having to wait in line. If that's a big concern, the wait isn't too bad if you go on the early side (as shown in the 11:15 photo) or late (after the lunch rush - say maybe 1:30).


                2. re: kagemusha49

                  Just so there is no confusion, Route 66 didn't come close to Las Vegas.

                  1. re: IowaBoy

                    I can tell you that at Hoover Dam, which isn't very far from LV, I ran into a couple of Brits who'd rented a '56 Ford to make the 66 trek. And living in St. Louis, I can tell you that 66 was moved around some over the years, so there may have been some variation there, too.

                  2. re: kagemusha49

                    thank you Kagemusha49! we've put that one on our schedule!.. will be a good lunch stop and I've never had catfish so will be a great experience!!

                    1. re: Thebirniewedding

                      You'll like it. It's about 3 or 4 miles off the interstate but easy to find.

                  3. well since it's a Route 66 theme after Ted Drewe's you have to hit http://transportmuseumassociation.org... especially for the Bobby Darin "Dream Car"

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: hill food

                      oh wow, while I was looking for something else, found this: http://missouri66.wordpress.com/

                      tons of restaurants and diners and motels along that path across the state

                      1. re: hill food

                        This was in the paper yesterday, some of these motels might be fun to check out: http://www.stltoday.com/travel/update...

                        1. re: tonifi

                          Ah, good for you. You beat me to it. Saw the story and thought about them.

                          1. re: lemons

                            nice article, makes the loss of Coral Court that much more poignant. I didn't know Springfield claims the first Steak 'n' Shake (to the OP: for a chain they have great burgers and chili, I think their fries (chips in Brit-speak) are too thin. I'd get my fix at the Maid-Rite in Rolla, as they still use tallow in the fryer.

                            1. re: hill food

                              Two years in Rolla, and I don't think I went to Maid-Rite even once. In my defence, I was astonishingly poor. I may have to remedy that next time I pass through on my way to Springfield...the honeymoon couple should take the first Highway 63 exit at Rolla and drive past Missouri's version of Stonehenge. The intention (School of Engineering, and all) is admirable, the reality is more, well, funny. Zooming by a model of Stonehenge on Highway 63 (a block or two past Panera and just before Dairy Queen) has always seemed wonderfully absurd to me...kind of like driving past Bevo Mill.

                              1. re: tonifi

                                I also chuckle at that, AND the modern observatory right by it plunked in the middle of town under some of the brightest streetlights no less... nice thought.

                                hey on the Rolla food front, Lucky Chinese down K'Hwy near the circle by 44 advertises Korean Bulgogi 'n' stuff. I have yet to try the gyros at the International Market (mostly Indian/Pakistani) sort of across from Maid-Rite but they do have good fresh naan/lavosh flatbread.

                                1. re: tonifi

                                  Thank you for the suggestion on that one, probably worth the detour off the I44! sounds veru surreal.

                                  Any other suggestions off the I44 between St Louis and Springfield.. thats destination 3!

                      2. The Steak and Shake on E. St. Louis St. in Springfield MO still has curb service. Give it a try.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: steveb

                          Thanks Steveb, would this be a good lunch spot.. we are in St Louis 2 days, a Friday and Saturday.. arriving Pm Friday and leaving first thing Sunday, though we might try and get to town earlier Friday if its worth it. We're coming from Chicago so unless there is lots to do enroute maybe we should just drive straight through to SL and fit in a great sandwish inseatd!

                        2. Route 66 was established in 1926, 13 years after Crown Candy Kitchen was established in St. Louis. I heartily suggest having lunch at CCK --- you can experience an American malt and an American sandwich in a place that has not changed much since it opened.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: Doug

                            A wonderful, authentic place. Known, besides, their ice cream (but they won't know what a Knickerbocker is - still, lots of things similar), for their gigantic bacon-lettuce-tomato sandwiches, but I'm sure the founders wouldn't believe the generous amount of bacon (crispy American style) they now put on each sandwich. Still in the family, too.

                            1. re: lemons

                              CCK is an institution and I love it, but it is possible to put too much B in a BLT. but if you're in town, may as well.

                              IIRC, 66 went from the Alton or Chain 'O' Rocks bridge somehow to Dunn road to Lindbergh down to Gravois and then WxSW (If anyone wants to gets hardcore, I may very well be wrong)

                              1. re: hill food

                                There are several signs on Manchester in far west SL County which confused me plenty until I found out. And Watson Road was definitely part of it for some time, in living memory, which mine is to varying degrees. But we - gasp - digress.

                                1. re: lemons

                                  hey it's a national icon. documented, yet elusive.

                                  1. re: hill food

                                    Stepdaughter teaches in Norway. We had a family graduation in Flagstaff, AZ, which is for sure on 66. She talked about her plans to go there and mentioned that it was on 66, whereupon one of her students assured her that it wasn't, that 66 no longer existed at all. She was careful to bring him back copious evidence to the contrary.