Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Stone Turtle

Since it's "small business shopping" time of year, I also love to encourage folks to "eat local" and find those small niche places in your neighborhood. (Stone Turtle is actually located in Dogtown.) It is perfect for a Friday night dinner when you don't want to cook after a long week.

I almost hate to give up this little secret, but Stone Turtle had a lot of nice surprises.

First off, let's talk about the wall of bourbon! All the cocktail people need to check it out! You know Patience started her night off with a smoked bourbon cocktail, while I stuck with my favorite gin.

Smoked Bourbon Cocktail
Second, one of my all time favorite food people, Maz (formerly of Momo's and Flaco's Cocina fame, which the latter will always have a special place in my heart) is a server there! 

We just sat at the bar and had excellent service there. It was already pretty crowded by 6pm, so be sure to make a reservation.

Patience wanted to start off with an order of Garlic Herb Fried Cheese Curds, because...cheese. The bowl was overflowing!

Garlic Herb Fried Cheese Curds
I kept it light, ordering the Mushroom Gnocchi with spinach and goat cheese, along with a side of Sauteed Broccolini.

Mushroom Gnocchi

Sauteed Broccolini
Patience went heavy with the Denver Lamb Ribs, which came with a side of napa slaw and crispy fries.

Denver Lamb Ribs
We were smart and intentionally saved some leftovers so we could finish the night with dessert. One scoop of Serendipity ice cream did the trick. (Chocolate Peanut Butter for me, of course, and Salted Caramel Swirl for Pai.)

Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream

Salted Caramel Swirl
Secret shared. But please save me a spot at the bar.


Photos by Patience Scanlon

Original J's

Now I'm a huge Mike Radolph fan (moment of silence for Randolphi's), but it was by accident that we ended up at Original J's a couple of weekends ago. What a great place to fall into!!

I was unsure about TexMex AND BBQ in the same place, but that just means twice as tasty!

We were heading down Forsyth to go to Wine and Cheese Place for boozy gifts (shop local!) and were trying to come up with places to eat that weren't pricey Clayton restaurants. Right as we were about to go under Forest Park Parkway, there was a new place calling to us!

Patience had a hankerin' for Chips and Guac, so total score there. This is some DAMN GOOD Guacamole. There has to be some kind of secret spice in there that makes you want more. It was hard to share.

We had a hell of a time trying to figure out what we wanted to eat. Tacos? Bowls? Or just a big plate of meat!?!?!

We conquered and divided...

I chose the two tacos option since I could get brisket tacos! BBQ + TexMex! (Comes with a slaw on the side.)

Two Brisket tacos
Julia got a meat bowl (brisket as well), which comes with rice and veggies in it. (Sorry about the blurred picture.)

Brisket Bowl
Patience thought about a big meat plate, but then a hamburger special in front of the register caught her eye and I got half! (That's a side of cheesy hominy with chips.) Check out that queso oozing off the burger...

Hamburger Special
The wood paneling and checkered tablecloths, not to mention excellent service, really makes you feel at home too.

I hope we "stumble" accross this place again on purpose again sometime!


Original J's = https://www.originaljs.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Monday, December 23, 2019

PW Pizza Old Bakery Beer Dinner 2019

We finished the 2019 PW Pizza Beer Dinner series with local favorite Old Bakery Beer Company. Just like coming home for Thanksgiving, this beer dinner was definitely geared for celebrating the year end holidays.

Instead of a salad, we started with a Green Bean Casserole Crostini. Now I love Green Bean Casserole and I could have eaten a whole bowl of the stuff. But then I wouldn't have had room for pizza! Since this dish is creamy and heavier than the usual salad, the Basil Pale Ale was a good pairing.

Green Bean Casserole Crostini
For the next course, I enjoyed the fruity Digital Native Mango beer, and it made sense with the Honey Glazed Ham Pizza that came with pineapple on top.

Hone Glazed Ham Pizza
As tradition has it, we also had a Smoked Turkey Dinner Pizza, which is always one of my favorite pizzas for the whole year. Peas, mashed potatoes, turkey, and gravy go GREAT altogether on a pizza! The bigger beers lovers enjoyed the Porter as well. Probably the most popular beer of the night.

Smoked Turkey Dinner Pizza
I love the name of the dessert beer, Cat Cafe, although it really is a coffee milk stout...milk...cat...get it? Anyway, the coffee flavor was very strong for this beer, so it's very appropriate for a dessert pairing.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Let me know if you are interested in signing up for next year's pairings. I have the list for next year. See you in January for MORE PW Pizza and Beer pairings!


PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Old Bakery Beer Company = http://www.oldbakerybeer.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The Bellwether

Our dining-out friends recently bought a new home, but we didn't make it in time to enjoy their rooftop deck during the fall weather. Since the chillier temperatures showed up so quickly, we were forced to try a new restaurant near them instead. I think it worked out just fine...

When a restaurant closes, after the sadness fades, we can't help but hope something tasty moves in next. We were definitely rewarded for our wait!

I was happy to see they made good use of the space in front of the bar, with booths lining the wall, and plenty of regular seating in the open area that used to be the lounge. This means the servers have to bring up all the dishes from the second floor kitchen though. (To sound old, they could have brought up the lights a little bit more too. No reason to hide these beautiful dishes! And yes, I did make this suggestion to the restaurant directly.)

A magazine article raved about their pastas, so that totally affected my menu choice. Hopefully we'll be able to go back to try a regular entrees.

Patience saw the Goose Ravioli Doppio on the appetizer menu online, but it got promoted to full entree status. Yet, our server allowed us to order it as an appetizer, although still priced as a regular item. Still delicious nonetheless as the fresh pasta with braised goose was quite rich.

Goose Ravioli Doppio
I had seen a Short Rib Ragout on the menu, but by the time we got to the restaurant, it was now a Short Rib Stroganoff. I guess this makes sense since tomatoes are now out of season. This was still a winner with the large noodles and hunks of beef. This dish was so filling, I had to take some of it home.

Short Rib Stroganoff
Patience ordered the Basil Pesto Campanelle, which quickly disappeared.

Basil Pesto Campanelle
Jamie ordered the English Pea Ravioli, which was also devoured.

English Pea Ravioli
I would love to go back and try some entrees, but honestly, I'd love to try more pastas too.

Cocktails were top notch as well.


The Bellwether = https://www.thebellwetherstl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Saturday, November 9, 2019

PW Pizza Center Ice Beer Dinner 2019

We actually have never been to Center Ice (even though it's not that far away from us) so we were happy to try their beers!

Of course the hockey-themed brewery was over the moon with the Stanley Cup win and I'm sure it'll be even more festive there now.

I love how the chef encorporated hockey into the menu as well since we started off the night with Risotto Arancini "pucks". I could have easily eaten ten of these and skipped over the pizza. This was well paired with the Checkerdome Pils.

Risotto Arancini Pucks and Checkerdome Pils
The Chicken Nacho Pizza was "the spicy pizza", which is now expected ate every beer dinner at this point. Of course it was paired with the Hop Shelf IPA. I did love the extra cheese though!

Chicken Nacho Pizza
This is not the first time for a Poutine Pizza and french fries on a pizza is totally awesome. The Double OT Winner Strong Ale was still too hoppy for me, but paired well to cut through all that grease on a pizza.

Poutine Pizza
My second favorite course was dessert since it was chocoletey! A soft baked chocoalte pretzel (it was huge!) was paired with the Peanut Butter Cup Stout. Of course Patience loved it, but I could have used a stronger peanut butter flavor since the coffee flavors overpowered the beer.

Soft Baked Chocolate Pretzel
I probably need to put this on my "to visit" list to taste more of their beers, and they offer up a shuttle on Blues game nights from the bar.


PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Center Ice = https://www.centericebrewery.com/

Wednesday, November 6, 2019


Patience had been bugging me for WEEKS wanting to try out this new restaurant, but I knew it would be so pricy, even with the a la carte menu.

But then I found out Zac Adcox had started working there after Reed's closed (moment of silence), and then next thing I knew, Patience had slapped a date night on the calendar.

While I try not to go too early to new restaurants, this one totally lived up to the hype.

We decided to just order all the things we were interested in, but then we also wanted to order from each section of the menu. We chose a bunch of hot tastings, then a couple of cold tastings, and last we picked out sashimi and nigiri to cover all the bases.

You can order everything all at once, like we did, and then just wait to see what comes out next, or just order a few things at a time, gauging your hunger.

Hot Tastings

The Tom Yum Pork Skins were basically pork rinds, but came with a slightly spicy shrimp topping, along with a chive aioli to help cool things down. This is probably a dish you can skip since all the other dishes just stood out so much more.

Tom Yum Pork Skins
Both Patience and I love Gyoza, so it's almost a tradition for us to order it at different Asian restaurants. This version did not disappoint!

The dumplings (about eight of them) are hidden under the crust.

Although not fish-based, the Lamb Ribs had to be one of the best dishes they offer!

Lamb Ribs
Another personal favorite, because it's lobster, the Lobster Thermidor is a winner. Quite rich!

Lamb Ribs
While not in the Hot Tastings section, we also ordered the special of the night, Hamachi Kama, which is fish cheek. There is a thin breading on it, and we both dug out all the white meat. Also spectacular!

Hamachi Kama
Cool Tastings

Am I allowed to have more favorites? The Sake Sashimi (salmon) was amazing. I think this is also a must order dish.
Sake Sashimi
Our other "cool tasting" was a Vegetarian Hand Roll, which was served in a shot glass. Adorable! Patience and I took turns taking bites.

Vegetarian Hand Roll
Last but not least, we had our server pick out nigiri for us since there are always quite a few on the menu, and they prefer serve what has been flown in fresh that morning. We had a Saba nigiri, better known as mackerel.

Saba Nigiri
No room for dessert after all of this, but we did manage to find our way to Olio across the street for a night cap. (They were still slammed.)

Special thanks to Zac Adcox for all the delicious wine that perfectly paired with our meal.

Indo Menu

INDO = https://www.indo-stl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Pieces Board Game Bar

If you are one of those board game nerds, you will totally love this place!

Patience and Amy playing "Cat Lady", of course
And if you're not, there are so many things to eat and drink!

I was actually very impressed with the game selection AND the menu selection. You definitely need to get there as early as you can as the tables fill up fast. Luckily, you can wait in the bar (to start the eating and drink part) while you wait.

In the mood for Mexican? You can order quesadillas or soft tacos! I just had two Chicken & Cheddar soft tacos.

Chicken & Cheddar soft taco
In the mood for Asian? You can order one of several rice or noodle bowls! Patience order the Midwest Poke Bowl with pulled pork.

Midwest Poke Bowl
Just want regular ole American sandwich? Amy ordered a BLT.

BLT with a side of chips
My favorite part of the whole experience is that you can raise one of three "plastic flowers" to indicate you need a drink, food, or help with a game. The "game assistants" are always quick to come over and help you pick, which was actually the hardest part of the whole trip.

We finally solved the issue by each of us taking a turn to pick the game. The servers will even help you pick out a drink or menu item too. If only the place were bigger...


Pieces = http://www.stlpieces.com/

Thursday, October 3, 2019

PW Pizza Schlafly Beer Dinner 2019

I've never told anyone this story and I doubt my friends would remember this, but I had just gotten back from college and I met them at this new place called "The Tap Room". Well, it was new to me since I had recently turned 21 and there were a lot of places (bars) I had never been before.

When the server asked me what I wanted, I went with my recently learned automatic answer: "Bud Light".

The server and my friends looked at me like I had three heads.

"We don't have that here."

Let's just say I have never made that mistake ever again.

Schlafly was the first beer dinner I ever went to at PW Pizza and they always come back around every few years. I always have to tip my cap to them as they were "my first" craft beer I learned about. This time was special again as it was the first time for Eddie Corno, now a "long time" Schlafly employee and a personal friend, giving the beer presentation.

While I was in the minority at my table, I loved the first pairing since it was a cider! Ciders are very rare at these beer dinners and it was so easy to drink and not too sweet. It was paired with a fall harvest salad and the rosemarry ranch dressing made me want to lick the plate!

Fall Harvest Salad
I was looking forward to the Smoked Chicken Pizza, although I had to pick off the candied jalpenos. Since Kirkwood Brewing has shut down, Schlafly has taken over brewing the St. Louis Football Club Ale D'or. Considered an APA, this was a little hoppy for me. Yet it made sense to pair this with the pizza since it had a little kick to it.

Smoked Chicken Pizza
Surprisingly, the highest ABV of the night went to the Pumpkin Ale at 8%. That was my second favorite although this year's version has a high cinnamon punch to it. This was paired with the Honey Pulled Pork Pizzza, which was a lot milder, and I had to knock off all the shaved fennel slaw as it was a bit overpowering.

Honey Pulled Pork Pizza
I think everyone loved the Banana Bread Pudding with caramel drizzled on top and Oktoberfest pairing the best. Definitely always a winner from Schlafly.

Banana Bread Pudding with St. Louis Football Club Ale D'or beer 

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Schlafly = http://www.schlafly.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Sunday, September 22, 2019

The Blue Duck

I am grateful that I have good friends who enjoy celebrating birthdays...or rather, who are willing to use their birthdays as an excuse to get together, catch up, and try new restaurants!

I still hadn't been to The Blue Duck and it came with great recommendations. The restaurant has an upscale name, but has more of a neighborhood feel on the inside. There is a cute bar area and plenty of open space in the main dining room. You're greeted by a baked goods display case made by the owner herself, so be sure to save room for dessert!

I was surprised by how many burgers and sandwiches there were on the menu so that also gave me a hint that there was a more casual feel to the place.

Gail ordered The Classic burger, although there was a ginormous eight ounce Slamburger special of the week called the Luke Fry Walker, the regular burger was plenty for one person.

Classic Burger 
I definitely wanted to try something duck and the Duck Fried Rice hit the spot. A quarter leg of duck as well as "duck ham" mixed in with the fried rice. I am glad that we skipped the appetizers so I had room.

Duck Fried Rice
We barely saved room for dessert, but we kept it small with Gail's pick of the "blue duck" sugar cookie. Isn't he cute? Although, not quite big enough for a candle.

The Blue Duck
Now that I know what to expect, I can't wait to go back in and try a few more things as they have a variety of dinner salads, appetizers, and unique duck dishes. Or just grab sandwich during lunch.


The Blue Duck = http://blueduckstl.com/

Thursday, September 19, 2019

PW Pizza Best of Missouri Beer Dinner 2019

Unfortunately, Uinta had to pull out from their beer dinner and PW Pizza was able to put together a "Best of Missouri" beer dinner in its place. We didn't mind one bit and was looking forward to being surprised!

The first course was a little heavier as we started out with a small bowl paella paired with Six Mile Bridge's Pilsner. We were used to a salad or small appetizer, but this was a healthy portion. This was one of my favorite pairings as the flavors were the most mild out of what was to come next!

The chefs went over the top on spice with the Shawarma Pizza and even though it was smartly paired with the Urban Chestnut Fantasyland IPA (IBU of 60!), my mouth was definitely on fire. So many tables didn't want their "seconds", so they ended up at our table! GAH! I couldn't even finish off my second piece.

Shawarma Pizza
Luckily, the next pairing was a little more calm with the Lasagna Pizza paired with a Public House Bierleichen, which was similar to an Octoberfest style beer. The pizza didn't remind me too much of lasagna as it was more of a sausage pizza.

Lasagna Pizza
For dessert, the 4 Hands Ripple, a white ale, was light, fruity, and easy to drink...another winner for me, although it got overwhelmed by the Pear Strudel. That was adorable!

Pear Strudel
Maybe they'll put one of these on the list again next year! It's so nice to have all these great local breweries near by!

Best of Missouri Menu

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Six Mile Bridge = http://sixmilebridgebeer.com/

Urban Chestnut = http://urbanchestnut.com/

Public House = https://1764pub.com/

4 Hands = https://4handsbrewery.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon