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May 22, 2013 08:38 PM

Clayton/St. Louis questions

Visiting Wash U with my son in June and staying at the Moonrise Hotel near campus. I would like to eat dinner relatively close to the hotel (no more than 10-15 minute drive/cab ride) - looking for excellent food, relaxed atmosphere - not too precious, and would love to find a place that feels like the real St. Louis (whatever that is...) Niche and Farmhaus seem to get a lot of love here - do they fit the bill? Any other suggestions? For late lunch on the way to the airport before leaving town the next day, sounds like Bogart's is the best bbq - is that the right call? And we will go to Ted Drewe's...thanks in advance for your advice.

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  1. Bogart's, Pappy's or any of the others really aren't on the way to the airport from U City not crazy outta the way, just not on a direct route. (unless someone has a parking lot vendor up their sleeve, but those are a karmic find, now you see 'em, now you don't).

    my new favorite Thai place: Fork and Stix is on a side street across Delmar from Moonrise. and PI is right there for a good crust pizza (and no Provel added for those innocent and born w/o sin).

    that's a great location for getting around town.

    6 Replies
    1. re: hill food

      If you are on Delmar, go west (towards the airport) to Price Rd in Olivette.- Sugarfire is my new fav 'Q joint. Really good meat with interesting sides.

      1. re: rich in stl

        Many thanks to all the St Louis chowhounds for the excellent advice. Due to weather, we didn't get to the Moonrise until 9pm so decided to just head across the street to Pi, which we really enjoyed: our low calorie meal consisted of good, meaty chicken wings, a small blt salad with buttermilk dressing, and a sausage and wild mushroom thin crust pie. Oh, almost forgot the milkshake we shared for dessert. The pizza toppings were better than the crust, but the table outside in the balmy breeze and the delicious local saison beer made up for any doughiness! And we made it to Sugarfire for lunch on the way to the airport the next day: 1/2 lb of brisket w/ baked beans and macaroni n cheese and 1/2 rack of ribs w/ french fries and cole slaw. Highlights were the delicious ribs and beans, but it was all good. What a friendly place, although I wasn't sure whether to feel good when we were told when we left "I was watching you and you guys know how to eat!" Oh well, back to 2% Greek yoghurt and kale juice in NYC, but it sure was fun while it lasted!

        1. re: fress

          Glad you had a good time. Come visit us again. And a compliment like that at a barbecue spot is high praise indeed!

          1. re: fress

            "I was watching you and you guys know how to eat!"

            we're everyone's Nonna.

            1. re: fress

              Of course you know how to eat - you FRESS

              1. re: fress

                Thanks for the follow up, glad you enjoyed. I often wonder as so many posters never post after their visit!

          2. We stayed at the Moonrise hotel a couple of years ago and liked it. Agree with hill food on Pi across the street if you have an extra meal. We ate at Niche (apparently it has moved since then) and were mostly impressed - however, while maybe not "precious", I'm not sure I would call it "relaxed", especially from a high school senior's perspective. But again, I haven't been to the new location. For what it's worth, we are from Memphis and were seriously impressed with Bogart's.

            1. what IS on the way to the airport, on Lindbergh (just south of the airport) at Whitehall Manor road, is La Tejana, a bare-bones taqueria in a non-descript strip mall. really good carnitas and carne asada tacos. it's next door to a bodega of the same name, but they'll cheerfully re-direct you.

              IIRC Niche moved to Clayton (even closer than the old Benton Park location). the 'Loop' on Delmar caters to a college-age demographic so your son will probably like that mix, but there's stuff for adults too. over in the West End (Euclid is a pleasant place for a stroll anyway) there's lots of options, some so-so, some good. South Grand (btw Arsenal and about Utah) is an interesting stretch, VN Thai, Gelato, 'new' American...

              1. Thank you all for your responses! Pi sounds like just the ticket - do you recommend the thin or thick crust? (We're NYers so our experience with the latter is limited to Giordano's (meh) and Lou Manati's (yum!) on visits to Chicago...)

                1 Reply
                1. re: fress

                  well it IS STL, so the default is thin... usually thinner than NYC type (which I like too).

                2. I don't know about the "real St. Louis" but there is a new place about one block west of the Moonrise, Mission Taco Joint, which is very casual and very good. Also very crowded.