Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Midwestern Meat & Drink

I know that it feels like there is a lot of BBQ around town lately, but this one is definitely worth traveling downtown for! Yes I'm talking to you, county folks!

Hopefully by now you know that the chef is from Big Baby Q, where he got many accolades. And he has one of the top bartenders in the area as well. So be sure to get a cocktail while you're there.

We may have had a few...

I went with gin as usual (Hendrick's) with this Sweet Summer Lovin'.

Sweet Summer Lovin'
There is even a Manhattan of the Month! This is The Company You Keep with Espolon Reposado.

The Company You Keep
You can still keep it traditional with Yellow Roses or a 9 to 5 Mule (modeled by Laura).

Yellow Roses

9 to 5 Mule
All the appetizers looked tasty so we picked a couple out...make sure you save room for the meat though!
Fried Green Tomatoes

Smoked Deviled Eggs
Both of the appetizers were winners and this is definitely the time of year for those fried green tomatoes! Lightly battered with a sweet tomato jam, aioli, and ricotta on top.

If you share the apps, then you'll still have room for the main courses. It's hard to pick a platter with just one kind of meat though...hopefully they'll add a "pick two" at some point. There is a huge sampler platter, but that seemed to be enough for four people so we decided to just get our own.

We all got platters, which is the best deal since it comes with two sides AND cornbread. We almost got all the sides between the four of us!

I played it safe with my turkey...don't judge! Definitely had to get the Mac 'N' Cheese though. Also, the pit beans.

Turkey Breast Platter with Mac N Cheese and Pit Beans
The beef rib is only available on the weekends so be sure to get it if you can!

Beef Rib Platter with Creamy Coleslaw and Collard Greens
The St. Louis style ribs still look good though, although the potato salad wasn't what I expected.

St. Louis Style Ribs with pit beans and Candied Bacon-Jalpeno Potato Salad
And check out the rings on that Brisket!

Brisket Platter with Fresh Dill Pickles and Potato Salad
The dill pickles were tasty, but I'm not sure I'd use up a side for 'em.

I also highly suggest you go when the Cardinals are not in town or in the off season because I have no doubt it's packed on game days!


Midwestern Meat & Drink = https://midwesternstl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Saturday, August 17, 2019


I actually have been twice so far. Because yes, it's that good.

Although the real reason I didn't post earlier is because I went without Patience and I have not heard the end of it. Luckily, we celebrated Bethfest at Oaked so we could all try it out and now I can post ALL the pictures.

Please note that the menu is seasonal so not all the items will remain, but all the food is just gorgeous. I really don't think I'll be writing much... and just let the pictures do the talking. But really, just go. Although, I should note that it probably is a special occasion kind of place. Yet, you could still make a casual night out of it hanging in the bar area sharing a few starters.

You could probably just make a meal from the starters, but there are just too many tasty items. Try to go with a large group so you can try a good variety...or go more often.

Avocado Toast

Baked Burrata

Cheese and Charcuterie Slate
I loved that there were a couple of cheese items to choose from, and I really could have used more avacado. Five crustinis are not enough!

Pork Belly
Smoked Trout Cakes
If you're a piggy fan, you definitely have to get the Pork Belly. It's one of those melt in your mouth kinds of dishes. And the Smoked Trout Cakes could easily be a main course. (You can add on any scallops!)

Now that you're warmed up and stretched, how about a salad course?

I loved the Tomato Textures...tomatoes three different ways!

Tomato Textures
Patience got her favorite green thing: Brussel Sprouts!

Brussel Sprout Caeser
If you're still possibly hungry, check out the Duck with Foie Gras...I felt fancy.

Duck with Foie Gras
The second time around, Patience and I were smart and split the 14 ounce Ribeye, but we added a scallop so we could take advantage of the add on as well. The Ribeye rested on top of a bed of corn and fingerling potatoes. You can also add on foie gras butter too!

14 ounce Ribeye 
Not full yet? Save room for dessert... you're going to want to. The desserts change frequently, but hopefully there will always be something chocolate and something cheesy!

Chocolate Mousse

Dessert plate with chocolate bark, fruit, and cheese
Or perhaps a lemon tart instead?

Lemon Tart
I didn't even have time to mention the wine list. With a name like Oaked, you're probably expecting a lengthy list. Let's just say it's of biblical proportions! Luckily, a sommelier is on staff to walk you through it so have no fear.

I can't wait to go back.

Oaked Menu from August

Oaked = https://oakedstl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

PW Pizza Deschutes Beer Dinner 2019

Deschutes Brewery was back again with all new beers, with one exception from two years ago.

The Lil' Squeezy beer is just fun to say and of course it was the lighter beer paired with the Big Island Salad. A pineapple dressing helped give it that name.

The Big Island Salad
For a light beer, it still had 40 IBUs, so my favorite beer was probably the second beer, Da Shootz, which only had 25 IBUs. The beer's name was making fun of how often the name of the brewery gets mispronounced, so here it is spelled phonetically! No excuses this time!

Da Shootz was paired with an Gumbo Pizza, so I was nervous that it might be too spicy for me. But then I worried if it IS spicy, it would just overpower the beer. So the andouille on the pizza was not spicy at all, but still had a lot going on. (Why yes, that's rice on a pizza!)

Gumbo Pizza
Everyone else at my table preferred the big flavors from the Korean BBQ Pizza and Fresh Haze, which was plenty hoppy like an IPA. The Korean BBQ had a marinated grilled flank steak, but also pickled jalpenos and kimchi! A little too weird for me, but good for standing up to the hoppiness.

Korean BBQ Pizza
The Black Butte Porter is a great dessert beer and I don't think anyone minded that it was a repeat. This was probably my favorite pairing with the Warm Maple Pecan Cookie...I had three of them! Patience loved the caramel sauce drizzled over the top. (Not quite chocolate sauce, but still warm and soft!)

Warm Maple Pecan Cookie
Deschutes in Bend, Oregon is definitely someplace I hope to visit in person someday!


PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Deschutes Brewery = https://www.deschutesbrewery.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Thursday, July 4, 2019


Patience wanted a way to pay homage to Anthony Bourdain since a year has gone by since his death.  We just happened to be stopping in Chicago on our way back from Milwaukee, and she suggested (demanded?) we stop by Jollibee on our way through town.

I have no doubt that Patience saw herself walking in the footsteps as the great "food adventurer" Anthony that day...

We made it to Jollibee!
There are two Jolliebee restaurants in the Chicago area and this one was smartly attached to a Seafood City, frequented by many Asians.

Inside the Seafood City
Patience couldn't wait to try the Halo-Halo (HOLLA!), which was a frozen milkshake-like drink, but with this colored yam ice cream on top. There were also jello-like pieces in it, which were tasty, but the cannellini beans were just too weird for me. (You can see them at the bottom of the cup below.)

Patience is stoked to drink her Halo-Halo!
Jolliebee is known for their fried chicken (definitely could take on KFC), but there was also has a strange mix of other fast food and random sides thrown in.

I chose the one piece "Chickenjoy" with the "Jolly Spaghetti". I didn't think you could make spaghetti taste weird, but it did...

Chickenjoy with spaghetti
Patience chose the Palabok Fiesta noodles for her side, which tasted similar to Pad Thai, but with glass noodles. This was definitely the best side. Of course each piece of chicken came with a small container of gravy.

Chickenjoy with Palabok Fiesta
I am thinking the chicken sandwich or a burger may have been far safer choices, but the Peach Mango pie was just as tasty as McDonald's.

If you're up for a food adventure unlike most others I post about here, put this on your list for the next time you visit Chicago. At least know that I warned you...


Jollibee = https://jollibeeusa.com

Photos by Patience Scanlon

PW Pizza Great Divide Beer Dinner 2019

I wasn't too familiar with Great Divide and this may have been their first time at PW Pizza for their beer dinner series. I admit that I do love their cans with the large letters... I'm sure it would grab your attention in the store!

We started off the night with their seasonal Strawberry Rhubarb Sour Ale. This was actually "not too sour" and seemed more like a sweet and fruity summer beer. This beer was purposely paired with a fruit salad as well, although the Spicy Watermelon Fruit Salad was a little too spicy for me! (The new chefs this year really like to heat things up!)

Spicy Watermelon Fruit Salad
I love the name of the first pizza...Wakey Bakey pizza, which is perfect for a breakfast pizza! There really were scrambled eggs on the pizza with lots of veggies and sausage gravy. This was paired with Colette, a farmhouse ale. I enjoyed another "easy to drink" beer, although it did ring up at 7.3% ABV.

Wakey Bakey Pizza
Yet, the Muffuletta pizza was the best, probably because I normally love olives on a pizza, but the salami and ham went great on top too. This pizza was paired with the Titan IPA, which helped to cut through the grease of the meaty pizza.

Muffuletta Pizza
I love the name Roadie for a beer and it makes sense to show a guy on a bicycle too. It's really a grapefruit radler, another seasonal beer, but the grapefruit was just too much for me. The stuffed banana muffin was amazing anyway, thanks to it being stuffed with chocolate ganache!

The edible flowers were so pretty too!

Breakfast of Champions

Great Divide Menu

Great Divide = https://greatdivide.com/

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Boathouse at Forest Park

I had to look back through my posts to see when the last time I went to The Boathouse. I know I stopped by for a beer and burger with friends since then, but the last official event there was back in 2010 for a shrimp boil.

So it's been a minute...

And thanks to the new ownership by the Sugarfire crew, I had a really good reason to return. (Plus, Patience really wants to ride in the paddleboats for some reason. It seems like a lot of work to me.)

Since it was a beautiful Friday and the happy hour time frame, I got the expected "40 minute wait" response from the hostess, but luckily our friends had already gotten there early. So just a heads up...if you want to go and sit outside...get there early or just accept there will be a wait!

Because it's worth it...

We started out with the Smoked Crispy Chicken Wings...not too hot, just right amount of spice and everyone got two. No fighting!

Smoked Crispy Chicken Wings
I started with "The Hill" salad, which wasn't all that close to the Pasta House original version, but I still enjoyed their take on a "St. Louis salad" with all my favorite ingredients. For my main course, I chose another appetizer: the Smoked Brisket & Provel Toasted Ravioli. Keeping it local, but loved the twist and the "meaty" insides. This dish even came with BBQ sauce instead of marinara.

The Hill

Smoked Briske & Provel Toasted Ravioli
Patience got one of her favorite dishes: shrimp pasta. But since it's Sugarfire, it's formal title is actually Smoked Chicken & Shrimp Penne Saute. (And there's andouille sausage too!)

Smoked chicken & Shrimp Penne Saute
Our friends ordered a pull pork sandwich (good job ordering BBQ) and a Volpi Meats flatbread pizza. Again, all the entrees were the perfect size. (I swear the pulled pork is under that side salad!)

Sugarfire Barbeque Pulled Pork

Flatbread pizza
Gotta love patio season! The menu is just as big of a hit as the view.


The Boathouse at Forest Park = http://boathousestl.com

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

PW Pizza Civil Life Beer Dinner 2019

Patience and I had been looking forward to the Civil Life beer dinner the most for this year as her go to beer, the American Brown Ale, was one of the star's of this month's dinner.

We kicked off the dinner with my favorite beer of the night, the light German Wheat, and for the first time I had a Bierbrot! Much like a pretzel, but heavier and it came with a tangy dipping sauce called Obatzda, which is a Bavarian cheese delicacy. I had to research it, but it is made with two thirds aged soft cheese like Camembert and one third butter, along with a small amount of beer. It was heaven!

Bierbrot and Obatzda
The first pizza was a completely new flavor: Carolina BBQ Pizza. I have to admit, I don't think I've tasted too many Carolina BBQ sauces, but I really enjoyed the sweet and tangy flavor on this pizza. Believe it or not, but the pork and BBQ sauce were amazing, although the collard greens slaw was kind of in the way. I prefer my veggies to be more baked into the pizza than just sitting on top.

Civil life is one of the few local breweries that brews an Irish Red, and I almsot finished this beer as well!

Carolina BBQ Pizza
The new chefs are very much into the spicier flavors as for the second month in a row, we got a pizza that I didn't make it past the first slice.

The Rhone Bar Pizza, celebrating their sister restaurant down the street, included jerk chicken, mango, red onion, roasted jalpeno, monterey jack, roasted garlic oil,  mint-pepper puree, and cilantro. That's a lot going on! Appropriately, paired with the hoppier Pale Ale.

Rhone Bar Pizza
I was STOKED to see another chocolate dessert this month, and it made up for the spicy pizza course. Since I didn't fill up on pizza too much, I had room for almost two desserts. I would have loved some more! The American Brown Ale was definitely the perfect, as well as my favorite pairing of the night.

Frangipane Chocolate Ganache Cake
Looking forward to Civil Life's expansion!



PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Civil Life = https://www.thecivillife.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon


There is another new restaurant on the corner of Manchester and Sutton and I really hope this one sticks! The space looks completely different...no more stage... and the kitchen is behind glass walls like fishbowl.

We went relatively early and there probably could have been some early bird specials for those who had already started dining before 6pm. It was definitely much quieter when we started than when we finished thanks to the high cielings, but the noise factor was not an issue.

The lighting, however, kept getting darker and darker the later it got, and with the storm outside, it was almost too dark. Great for a date night perhaps? Definitely not so good for our pictures here.

Other than the dark, hipster feel, the food spoke for itself much more brightly...

You must get the Wagyu Beef Jerky Skewers... they're quite addictive! We ended up ordering seconds...while some had thirds!

Wagyu Beef Jerky Skewers
And our other starter...baked and raw oysters... this is definitely the best cooked oyster I have ever had! Another must order!

Baked and raw oysters
I chose the Gnochetti Sardi for my main course. I figured it had to be some kind of pasta and I ordered a side of broccoli (I'm so healthy!) that I cut up and mixed in with the pasta. The broccoli came in it's own cheesy sauce, but I enjoyed the pasta the best.

Gnocchetti Sardi

Grilled Broccoli
Patience was torn between the lamb chop and the mussels. The mussels allowed her to have more beef skewers! hehe

Bangs Island Mussels
And of course we had to get dessert..Elmwood's take on a S'more, but there was a surprising spicy kick to the marshmellow part so I just dug under for the chocolatey goodness using the graham crackers!

I definitely will be making a second trip soon, and I hope this one lasts a while. Just be sure to bring your own flashlight!

Elmwood Menu

Elmwood = https://www.elmwoodstl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon