Helpful ReplyHot!St. Louis Favorites

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joekirkwood
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2003/07/03 19:37:52 (permalink)

St. Louis Favorites

I am a St. Louis food fanatic. I have a spreadsheet of over 300 restaurants in St. Louis Metro area (MO & IL sides of the Might Miss) that I have created from numerous area paper's readers polls and reviews. My wife and I have been to over 130 of the restaurants in the last 4 years.

I really liked having the reviews of restaurants found here at Roadfood when the wife and I recently went Memphis, TN.

I was wondering what folks at Roadfood think is some of the best foods of St. Louis. I am wanting to get a list of St. Louis favorite dishes and then submit reviews of the places that serve those dishes.

I have my ideas of what are St. Louis original dishes are and where I think the best come from, but would like input from folks here.

Off the top of my head we have as St. Louis Original dishes:
-- St. Louis Style Pizza (very thin crust, provelone cheese)
-- Toasted Raviolis (raviolis battered and deep fried)
-- St. Paul Sandwich (egg foo yong patty on white bread w/pickle slices)
-- St. Louis Salad - various versions of an Italian salad served around town

Plus, there are some restaurants that are unique to St. Louis and th region that have good food and local character I think need to get a review at Roadfood. Ted Drewes, Crown Candy, Connelly's Goody Goody and OT Hodge are a good start, but only scratch the surface. I would like to get a list together and then begin to hit them over time and submit reviews.

Just of the top of my head and in no particular order:
-- Uncle Bill's Pancake House
-- Lion's Choice Roast Beef
-- Fortell's Pizza
-- Racanelli's Pizza
-- Nacho Mama's
-- Carl's Drive-In
-- South City Diner
-- P'Sghetti's
-- Concord Grill
-- Eat-Rite Diner
-- Courtesy Diner
-- Spencer's Kirkwood Grill
-- Fitz's Soda and Grill
-- World's Fair Donuts
-- Lambert's, Sikeston, MO
-- Blue Owl, Kimmswick, MO
-- Blue Springs Cafe, Pierron, IL
-- Fast Eddie's Bon-Aire, Alton, IL

Please give me your feedback and ideas.

Have a great day!
Joe Toenjes - joekirkwood
#1
peppertree
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/03 20:09:19 (permalink)
When I think of St. Louis, I think of Custard. White Castle burgers and custard. That is St. Louis to me.
#2
mayor al
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/03 20:17:44 (permalink)
Where does one get the best "Snouts" as in the sandwiches???
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Bushie
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/03 21:02:15 (permalink)
What???? No mention of Hermann??? I have many, many good memories of food and fun there (many of them clouded by red red wine).
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/03 22:09:32 (permalink)
How did you miss Cunetto's in the Hill? It's probably the best Italian food value in America. Bartolino's is also a good choice. Ted Drewes is addictive!
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/04 00:12:51 (permalink)
Agree with you 100 per cent about Cunetto's, St. Louis Browns fan. Everything there is so delicious! I think there are so many great places to eat in St. Louis and that general area that you, joekirkwood, have a lifetime of work before you. Have you, Joe, considered using the" Riverfront Times", particularly its "annual restaurant review/patron's rating issue" as a source to prod your memory/serve as somewhat of a "get started guide" for your project?
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playgolf
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/04 03:20:58 (permalink)
C'mon, no mention of:
O'Connell's-burger, roast beef sandwich
The Village Bar-burger, ONION RINGS
Kreis'-Prime Rib
Citizen Kane's-BEEF
#7
playgolf
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/04 03:24:38 (permalink)
Best "St. Louis Style" pizza is Fortell's...get the Shelly's Special.
Best Pizza is Lou Boccardi's, across the street from Cunetto's.
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MoBob
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/04 07:24:05 (permalink)
Don't forget "Hodaks" and "Stan & Biggies"

Also agree with peppertree regarding White Castle's although they are from back east.
I remember you used to buy bags of hot pretzels on the street corners. Anyone know if you can still do that or as all good things, go away years ago?
#9
joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 00:39:23 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by St. Louis Browns fan

How did you miss Cunetto's in the Hill? It's probably the best Italian food value in America. Bartolino's is also a good choice. Ted Drewes is addictive!
#10
joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 02:28:51 (permalink)
Wow ... not expecting this kind of response from so many.

I will try to answer some of the questions raised.

peppertree ... Belly-bombers (White Castles) and custard are staples here. The best custard by far is Ted Drewes. Others serve cutard, but two places serve fresh Ted Drewes.

Al-The Mayor ... I will have to do some checking for a good "snoot joint." The two I knew of as a kid are both closed. Plus, I am not a real big fan of eating out for BBQ - usually do it at most once or twice a year. I would rather eat BBQ prepared in my family's or friends' backyards. Charlotte's Rib is a good BBQ joint, just do not remember seeing snoots on the menu. Plus, a buddy of mine from work finally started his own BBQ takeout place that is real good. It is called "The StreetCart Express" on Jefferson. Last time I ate there I do not remember snoots on the menu either.

Bushie ... Hermann has a great reputation as THE Missouri wine country. Honestly, only been there a couple of times. So, I do not feel like I could recommend a "road food" restaurant there.

Browns fan ... I did not include Cunetto's since it is such an institution in St. Louis. INCREDIBLE FOOD! Linguini alla Pavarotti is without question the best Italian dish I have ever eaten. I would rather eat there than any other place in town -- just hate the 1-2 hour wait for a table at dinner.

But, for example, Cunetto's has a great version of Toasted Ravioli. Yet, I can get a Toasted Ravioli just as good at a little hole in the wall called A'mis and it is not on "The Hill." Cunetto's has really good cheese garlic bread, but I can get a really unique version at a restaurant like P'Sghetti's. Plus, A'mis and P'Sghetti's are places I can get in and out without taking up a huge portion of my day like I do when I go to Cunetto's.

Plus, I was trying to keep my look at St. Louis "road food" restaurants. Diners, grills and those unique restaurants that have great local character. Cunetto's is a great St. Louis restaurant, but I am real "iffy" to say it a "road food" restaurant.

Liketoeat ... I use the Riverfront Times (RFT), the Post-Dispatch (P-D) and St. Louis Magazine (SLM) as my sources for my restaurant spreadsheet. Just did not have it in front of me when I wrote my first posting, so I missed some great places.

Playgolf ... You are right, forgot O'Connell's for great burgers. And while thinking of it I forgot Culpepper's too. (See my response to Liketoeat.) Not familiar with "The Village Bar" - where is it located? I am always up for a burger and onion rings!

Kries' and Citizen Kane's are great local restaurants. I nearly go into "beef convulsions" when I go to the Post Office and Citizen Kane's is doing their majic on their steaks. The smell is beyond intoxicating! The prime rib at Kries' ... I know no better place to have prime rib in St. Louis. But in my opinion both are also "iffy" when trying to fit them into the category of "road food."

Fortell's serves great pizza. In my opinion Racanelli's does too. Never been to Lou Baccardi's, but heard nothing but good things about it. Will now defintely try their pizza when I go.

MoBob ... Also, forgot Hodak's for Fried Chicken (See my response to Liketoeat). I personally like Porter's better. Heard Romine's Fried Chicken is really good and Pat's Bar's too.

The pretzels you are talking about are from Gus's Pretzel's. I am not sure they are sold as much on street corners like they used to be, but Gus's shop is still on Arsenal by the brewery, the last time I was in that part of the city. According to the phone book Gus's can be reached at 314-664-4010. Plus, I think they sell them frozen in the local grocery stores.
#11
Liketoeat
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 11:06:16 (permalink)
Joe, what a great response. Enjoyed your comments. I agree it's likely difficult to include Cunetto's in a
"traditional" definition of "roadfood", but it offers such great foods it's a pity not to include it in any study/ publication re St. Louis foods, this despite the horrible waits unless one gets there for first seatings or hits it lucky for subsequent seatings. I fully agree with you; it is my absolute favorite place in all of St. Louis. All its entrees are so wonderful, but one of my very favorites there is its Pronza (spelling?) salad (with anchovies). Have never had anything like it anywhere else.
Have you ever tried the Lottawatta Grill across the river right off I-64, in Fairview Heights I believe it is. As far as I know its an independent operation but somewhat on the order of some of the chain "popular pub" type places. Everything I've had there has been really good with its stuffed mushroom appetizers being outstanding-to the point of my liking to have them as my complete meal.
Don't know how far out you plan to go with your surveys/reviews (notice you mention Lambert's in Sikeston). I think there are a number of good places down in the Carbondale-Marion-Mt.Vernon triangle area of Illinois.
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joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 11:58:16 (permalink)
Liketoeat,

I was unfamaliar with the salad, so I went to Cunetto's web site and it is on the lunch menu. I have never had lunch at Cunetto's, just dinners. But, the salad sounds oh so good. By the way you were so close on the spelling - Insalata Pranzo.

I am a Kirkwood transplant - yet originally from Belleville, IL, but never heard of Lottawatta Grill. Is it fairly new? Will look it up and add it to the list now.

As far as how far I plan to go? I just do not know. I plan to stay in the close metro area first, since there is just so much here to work with. But, I think Lambert's is just such a cool place - "the home of the throwed rolls" - that I was shocked it had not been reviewed here already. Same things with The Blue Owl in Kimmswick.

What are some of the places in southern IL that you think stand out? The P-D did a cool little article a year or so ago on places to get real good pie, many of which are in S. IL, and I have them on my list to go to. I have already made it to Blue Springs Cafe - with its "foot high pie." I can not remember the names of the other places at this time. But, I would love to know of any suggestions you might have. I like to take my mom and step-dad on little road trips when my wife and I take them out to dinner. I think another cool little place is Dreamland Palace a German restaurant down in Foster's Pond, IL. Any suggestions you have would be appreciated. Might not get to them in the real near future, but always love to hear about another restaurant to try.

Our restaurant list was developed out of trying to keep us out of the rut of just eating out at one of our regulars. Just too easy start the circle of "where do you want to go to eat ... I don't know ... where do you want to go" that you end up eating at one of our old stand-bys. We try to make our date nights more of a culinary adventure. That way when we go out with friends, family or out-of-towners we have a wide variety of places to offer them - that we have been to.
#13
signman
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 12:40:41 (permalink)
Joe,

Is Amighettis still around. I remember very good cold cuts.
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joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 14:42:13 (permalink)
Signman,

Yes, Amighetti's is still around. Their signature sandwich is wonderful. Another great St. Louis place I forgot about. That would definitely be on the short list of places to review for Roadfood. Plus, there is a great sandwich place on the UCity Loop called Salvatore's that I forgot about too. I have some great eating cut out for me just to do the great places here in town.
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Liketoeat
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 14:42:35 (permalink)
Hello, Joe. Thanks for your reply and for the info on correct name of Cunetto's salad. Believe you me it is great, and altho not on the dinner menu, they'll get it for you at dinner if you request it. They'll leave the anchovies off, too, if you request, but to me they just contribute to its uniquely wonderful taste. Also, do you happen to know Daniella, a waitress in the smoking section? Its worth sitting in the smoking section just to get her. She's a native of Venice, Italy, and the epitomy of a professional waitress.
The Lottawatta is, its seems to me, some 5 or 6 years old and is off the interstate to the north, kinda behind some other restaurants and motels. I believe but am not certain it is in Fairview Heights. It may be O'Fallon. You are so right. There are so many wonderful places to eat in the immediate St. Louis area that I don't know if you'll ever get to any surrounding ones further out. As for southern Illinois, one of my favorite places, particularly for a total outing, not just an eating adventure, is Giant City State Park & Lodge just out from Carbondale.Thinking of this particularly for an outing for your family and parents.The park is really beautiful, and the Lodge, both inside & out, is so neat & rustic; the original part of it built by CCC back in the 1930's and maintained in original fashion. The dining room offers a wide variety of items, but one of the most fun things to do/get there, particularly if there is a group, is its family fried chicken dinner. It consists of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, corn, dumplings, slaw, rolls, and seems like a few other items. Its all realy good and is served family style in bowls and on platters, with their providing as many refills as you request. For big eaters, you get the same end result as an all you can eat buffet, yet without having to go thru the buffet line and its "health concerns" which some folks have. There is a regular commercial restaurant on the north side of hwy. 13 between Marion & Carbondale (but closer to Marion) which serves exactly the same family chicken dinner. Can't think of the restaurant's name or its specific location, but it's easily spotted. Food is fine there but it lacks the lovely setting of the state park and lodge restaurant. A drive totally through the state park is well worthwhile as is a stop in the little town of Makanda, believe the name is, which one goes through when driving out to the Park/Lodge from Carbondale. Its got several craft shops and one of the best assortments I've seen recently of ageing hippies left over from the 1960's.
Larry's Barbecue in the little town of Christopher, IL, has great barbecue , but perhaps even better is its usual offering of an all you can eat fried catfish dinner. As with the fried chicken dinners, this is served famiy style with as many refills as you request. Very, very good catfish and all the trimmings. Also in Christopher, in true roadfood fashion, is the Made-Rite diner which serves Made-Rites ("loose meat" hamburgers sort of like sloppy joes but without the tomato sauce) and great pies at these long counters. Its one of those "been there forever" places where all the locals know everyone and everything which is happening. I'm not sure if correct spelling is Made-Rite or Maid-Rite. It is locally owned and a local institution, but understand there were/are a number of these up further north, maybe in Mo. and definitely in Iowa and maybe further north. Please observe a moment of silence, shed a tear for the passing/closing of the "Savoya Inn" in Christopher, IL. The Savoya was one of the all time great roadfood (or any other type) restaurants for quality and variety of foods offered, quality of service, and reasonableness of prices. Really, don't think I've ever anywhere seen a restaurant which had everything to offer that the Savoya did. Also mourn the passing of Rusty's Drive Inn in Mount Vernon which had the world's best Italian Beef. As far as I know, there is still a real good barbecue place (can't think of name of it) right in downtown Murphysboro, IL. Know they have over the years won a number of Memphis in May barbecue awards. There are plenty other good places (many of them true "roadfood restaurants") in that area (one is a; maybe the only restaurant in Dix, IL, just north of Mt. Vernon; a good fried chicken and plate lunch place), but these are the ones which readily come to mind. There are also now some wineries which one can visit in the Mt. Vernon area, but I've not had opportunity to try any of them. I always love getting up to St. Louis and in that area of Illinois, not only to visit friends buy also to enjoy the foods there. Hope you may at some time have occasion to sample some of these neat places over in Illinois as a change from your great St. Louis restaurants. And if you have even more time for an outing (its really commendable your taking your parents for such), definitely visit & tour, if you've not done so, one of the neatest spots on the face of the earth; New Harmony, IN, with a meal at The Red Geranium (original restaurant; not the new one over in the conference center/hotel section). Shawnee National Forest, Garden of the Gods State Park, and Cave in Rock in far southeastern IL area also make for a good outing, though I don't know any of the restauarants in that part of the state. Enjoy, and I'd appreciate any of your special St. Louis or area recommendations. Know of or have eaten at many of the places you mentioned, but there are some, such as, Kries' and Citizen Kane's, with which I'm totally unfamiliar. Liketoeat
#16
Sundancer7
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 15:09:31 (permalink)
Liketoeat:

TMI

Paul E. Smith
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joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 15:47:23 (permalink)
Liketoeat,

Thanks for the great recommendations. I will note them and add them to the list.

If you love good prime rib, wear your Sunday-go-to-meetin'-clothes and head to Kries' Restaurant. They serve a fine prime rib. Its a few years since I have been there but a wonderful slab of perfect beef and great twice baked potatoes.

Citizen Kane's is in Kirkwood where I live. Incredible steaks! Great service and a wonderful all around meal.

The little town of Kirkwood alone has some great places to eat. Spencer's Kirkwood Grill (Diner - breakfast & lunch only), Zuzu's Petal's (New American - lunch, dinner), Joseph's (Italian - lunch, dinner), Blue Water Grill (Seafood/Ecclectic - lunch, dinner), Cafe Provencal (French - lunch, dinner), Fortel's Pizza, soon to have a Racanelli's Pizza, Massa's (Italian - lunch, dinner), Sunset 44 (New American - lunch, dinner), Graham's Grill (Seafood/Cajun/Carrribean - lunch, dinner), Oberweis Dairy (Ice Cream Parlor).

The next time you are in St. Louis ... here is where I would go and do to get a FANTASTIC meal and it is all in one little suburb - Webster Groves. First go to Big Sky Cafe and gorge yourself on wonderful comfort food with total flair. Order your entree and a few extra sides, especially the mashed potatoes and the mac & cheese. I love the pot roast. The wife loves the pork tenderloin. But make sure to leave some room for desert just a handful of blocks away at Cravings. The best place for dessert in town. You have got to try the "Lime-Bluberry Bombe." What a killer dessert!
For more info here is their respective web sites:
http://www.grihome.com/BSC/bsc_main.html
http://www.cravingsonline.com/sys-tmpl/door/

For more ideas email me at joekirkwood@excite.com and I will gladly email you the excel spreadsheet my wife and I use to pick our latest meal choice. We also rate A to F on the various places we have eaten at. They only get a rating when we have both eaten at them at the same time. You could then cut it down to some of the top picks the next time you are in town.
#18
Ort. Carlton.
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 17:55:48 (permalink)
Joe,
Ol' pal, you left out Miss Hulling's Cafeteria... or is it even still there?
For snoots, someone tells me of an all-night soulfood place in a loveably unsavory-looking (but reasonably safe) part of town on the northside... out Delmar, maybe? She used to go there after the bars closed, and nobody ever bothered her or her friends. When I have particulars, I'll let you know.
In the meantime, I've been too busy lately to post lately. Be back directly. I've found some great new restaurants to tell y'all about.
Always Hungrily, Ort. Carlton in sunny Athens, Georgia.
#19
St. Louis Browns fan
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 19:08:19 (permalink)
I don't live in St. Louis, but I visit every chance I can. I've always thought of St. Louis as one of America's most underrated and reasonably priced cities. Any comments?
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Liketoeat
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/05 19:15:43 (permalink)
Joe, thanks so much for your so kind and informative reply. Hope you all may about now be headed out to or already at some delicious Saturday evening meal. I checked out the two websites which you gave and found their offerings to be quite appealing. Apparently Big Sky and Blue Water, which I've enjoyed, share common ownership. Have both heard of and been by Big Sky but never eaten there since most Webster Groves visits have ended up with delicious meals in the home of a couple, both of whom loved to cook and were great cooks. My last visit to Webster Groves & Kirkwood was last Thanksgiving, unfortuantely to funeral of the husband of this couple. Will surely try out Big Sky next time up. Also want to try dessert at Cravings. It reminds me of a bakery, dessert place which was (no longer there) in Central West End which had a chocolate cake, so rich and overwhelming, that a bite of it would cause physiological reaction by your body, the only remedy for which was a bite of light lemon cake, which it also served, to offset it. We always got and shared the two desserts for health's sake. Am also really anxious to try Kries' and Citizen Kane's. They sound wonderful. That will definitely be four, plus as many of the additional Kirkwood places you mentioned, to try as new experiences upon next visit. Ort mentioned Miss Hulling's Cafeteria. Have been there a few times for lunch. Last I knew it was still there. Thanks so much for you offer to share your restaurant spreadsheet. I thought that we, as well as some St. Louis and Illinois friends, really planned everything around our eating experiences, but see you have us all beat by a mile with your spreadsheet & rating system. Can't wait to see it. Thanks so much. Will be at you for that info shortly, but just send it whenever it's convenient. No rush. Thanks. Liketoeat
#21
Bushie
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/06 00:10:27 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by joekirkwood

...
Off the top of my head we have as St. Louis Original dishes:
-- St. Louis Style Pizza (very thin crust, provelone cheese)...


Joe, what do you consider to be the best St. Louis pizza? Growing up in Springfield, I LOVED that style, and still do.

Also, do you ever make it down to Springfield, and have you tried Pizza House (the first pizza I ate as a child) or Arris, a fabulous pizza place that opened just few years ago?
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joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/06 12:15:16 (permalink)
Bushie,

If you want a St. Louis Style Pizza, I think Cecil Whittaker's makes a better St. Louis Style Pizza (thin crust with the provelone cheese - that sticks to your teeth, cut into squares)

I have tried the various national chains attempts and found them flat as well as a few of the other local restaurants that try to offer a St. Louis Style pizza. Imo's I think sets the base standard for St. Louis Style Pizza, but Cecil's does it better.

Yet, in my opinion Fortel's makes the Best Pizza in St. Louis - the sauce, the spices, the toppings, the crust and the great mozzarella cheese (doesn't stick to your teeth) - combine to make it the best. I like Racanelli's when I want a change, but it is more of a New York Style pizza. I will need to try Lou Boccardi's now that playgolf has recommended it is the best. I am always open to trying something new. A small bar called the Black Thorn has recently gotten good ratings for its thicker crust pizza, so it is near the top of the list for me when its comes to a new pizza place to try.

I am going to assume when saying "down to Springfield" that you mean Springfield, MO. I have only been to the MO version once and stopped to eat only for a quick fast-food sandwich. My wife went to college there, but was not a foodee until she got mixed up with the likes of me. She wants to take a trip down there some time soon, so I will add those to the list. Just let me know if I assumed the right Springfield.
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joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/06 12:18:16 (permalink)
Just to let all the folks here at Roadfood know. My offer to email my spreadsheet restaurant list for St. Louis area is not just open to Liketoeat. Any one can email me and I will gladly send it out this week. It will be in Excel format.

#24
damoor3
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/06 12:42:49 (permalink)
Yep- Amighettis is still there- with that spectacular roast beef sandwich
quote:
Originally posted by signman

Joe,

Is Amighettis still around. I remember very good cold cuts.
#25
joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/06 15:03:52 (permalink)
Ok back to my original premise ...

Here is what I have thus far for "roadfood" restaurants that need to be done in the St. Louis area ...

-- Uncle Bill's Pancake House
-- Lion's Choice Roast Beef
-- Fortell's Pizza
-- Racanelli's Pizza
-- Nacho Mama's
-- Carl's Drive-In
-- South City Diner
-- P'Sghetti's
-- Concord Grill
-- Eat-Rite Diner
-- Courtesy Diner
-- Spencer's Kirkwood Grill
-- Fitz's Soda and Grill
-- World's Fair Donuts
-- Lambert's, Sikeston, MO
-- Blue Owl, Kimmswick, MO
-- Blue Springs Cafe, Pierron, IL
-- Fast Eddie's Bon-Aire, Alton, IL

Add on's:
-- O'Connell's Pub
-- Hodak's
-- The Village Bar (once I find out where it is)
-- Lou Boccardi's
-- Stan & Biggies (need to see if still open)
-- Lottawatta Grill
-- Miss Hulling's Cafeteria
-- Amighetti's
-- La Tropicana Market (serves a killer Cuban sandwich)
-- Salvato's Cafe (oops not Salvatore's)

So this is a great list to start with. Please throw out anymore names you all can think of that represent St. Louis and its culinary uniqueness.
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joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/06 15:13:48 (permalink)
Also, let's not forget the beginning of this thread - St. Louis specialties.

Does anyone have any stand out favorites that serve these St. Louis specialties?

-- St. Louis Style Pizza (very thin crust, provelone cheese (sticks to teeth), cut into squares)
-- Toasted Raviolis (raviolis battered and deep fried)
-- St. Paul Sandwich (egg foo yong patty on white bread w/pickle slices)
-- St. Louis Salad - various versions of an Italian salad served around town

In retrospect this is where I would need to take any suggestions and not necessarily a "roadfood" type restaurant. Plus, is there another food that is "St. Louis" that I may have missed?
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Bushie
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/06 17:28:01 (permalink)
Joe:

Thanks a bunch. I'll try the places you recommended. Next time I'm in St. Louis, I'll live entirely on pizza!

I tried Imo's once out of desperation, and I didn't care much for it.

Yes, I was referring to Springfield, MO. I was born, raised, and graduated from college there (SMSU). I highly recommend both places I mentioned, Pizza House and Arris. I'm not positive Pizza House (corner of Glenstone & Bennett) uses provolone, but it's the ultra-thin crust cut in squares. As I said, it was my first pizza, and is still my favorite. Arris (south Springfield on Republic Road) opened 3 or 4 years ago, specifically as a St. Louis-style place, and they use very high-quality ingredients, including a special provolone that is out of this world.

As to your "specialty" question, I've heard St. Louis is famous for fried brain sandwiches. Is that true? Not my cup of tea; I tried a bite once and it tasted good, but the thought just doesn't rest well with my tummy.

Thanks again!!
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/06 21:07:41 (permalink)
Hi, Joe and Bushie. Hope you all are winding up a good long July 4 holiday. I've certainly enjoyed the St. Louis eateries discussion. I earlier meant to mention the St. Louis brain sandwiches but forgot to do so. Don't know about all of St. Louis, but Pat's (its official name but better known locally as McDermett's - spelling??) on Oakland just a bit west of Hampton and catty cornered across from the "turtle park" for years was famous for its brain sandwiches. Friends who live in that Dogtown area told me a year or so ago that McDermett's no longer served them; they understood city health authorities had forbidden them to do so for some reason. Didn't know if that was true or not, but they knew the brain sandwiches were no longer served there. McDermett's used to be a kinda fun place for a short visit (bar as well as restaurant) but I couldn't stay in it long due to the heavy odor of cooking grease. I've been in there a couple of times since they redid it, vastly improving the filters and ventilation system, and its plate lunches are now pretty good and can stay there with no problem for duration of a meal, but, on the other hand, something that just "was McDermett's" is gone. I've never had a brain sandwich, fried or otherwise, but grew up on brains and eggs (cooked brains in scrambled eggs). Its great despite how it may sound. Everyone I've ever known who was unfamiliar with it nearly gagged at the mention of the dish, but if they ever once tried it, all other brains & eggs lovers in the group were sorry, for you couldn't beat the new brains and eggs recruit away from the bowl and there would be that much less of this wonderful breakfast for the rest of us. Looking forward to seeing your exciting spreadsheet, Joe, whenever you have convenient time to send it. No rush. Thanks. Liketoeat PS - Agree with your comments, St. Louis Browns Fan, but prefer to think of St. Louis as more of a lesser known jewel than as a known but underrated one. Also been meaning to ask, is it the old St. Louis Browns (Sportsman Park) baseball team of which you are a fan? Find so few people any more who remember or ever even heard of the St. Louis Browns.
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joekirkwood
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RE: St. Louis Favorites 2003/07/07 11:07:53 (permalink)
The subject of brain sandwiches ... ugh!

This is a weird old-timers meal in the area. I think it originates from the strong, frugal German community that came to St. Louis and the area in the early to mid-1800's. (They supposedly fixed another gross unique dish called "blood soup" - made from I believe pigs blood.)

My grandmother, great-uncles & great-aunts all talk about eating brain sandwiches when they were kids and into their later years. Usually served at bars, beer gardens and family meals. I have never tried it and probably never will - see below. I have eaten some pretty strange stuff - the worst being Swedish FERMENTED Herring, but could not stomach the idea of eating brain.

From what I understand, most places that used to serve them do not, since supposedly a lady and her dog died from some kind of brain wasting disease - NOT MAD COW - REPEAT - NOT MAD COW - after eating a brain sandwich.

Eating any kind of brain is supposedly not the best thing in the world to do. The brain wasting disease suffered by the lady and her dog is similiar to the same kind of disease experienced by cannibals in New Guinea that prized the eating of the brains of their enemies. PBS can have some real strange shows on at times - ahhh the wonders of educational television.

Needless to say there is a reason why I did not bring up "brain sandwiches" and had hoped it would not be brought up.
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