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 =

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 =

PW Pizza =

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 =

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 =

Civil Life =

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 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 =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Sunday, April 7, 2019

PW Pizza Modern Brewery Beer Dinner 2019

We were excited about Modern Brewery since it's a city brewery, and I still remember when they came to PW Pizza a couple of years ago.

There were new chefs starting behind this dinner so there were some new flavors and styles for the courses.

The first course was light with the Baggins' Belgin Wit (yes, that is a reference to Bilbo) with Satan's Salad. I thought for sure the dressing would be on fire with that description, but maybe they just meant the egg (evil eye from LotR?) since it was a curried deviled egg that only had a little spice.

Satan's Salad
For the second course, there was a Mexican theme to the Pueblo Pizza and they used Chihuahua cheese! This was MY favorite of the night since there were huge chunks of chicken. I loved the flavors and tried to get extra of this pizza.

Pueblo Pizza
The beer type wasn't listed on the menu and with 30 IBUs, I was able to correctly guess an Ale! Odinson (yes, Thor reference) is Modern's Pale Ale. Slight hops were well paired with this beer.

For the first time ever, I could not eat a pizza. The Viet-Cajun Crawfish pizza had my mouth on fire all the way around. I've had some pizza in the past where I was able to pick off peppers and eat around the spice, but there was no way to avoid it this time.

Everyone else at the table seemed to enjoy it though! I had to stop after one piece! Of course, the "money maker", Citrapolis (yes, Superman reference) was the typical pairing, but it's too hoppy for me. Definitely well paired with the spicy pizza.

Viet-Cajun Crawfish Pizza
I was really impressed with the Rye-Bourbon vanilla ice cream for the dessert course since those flavors really stood out in the vanilla ice cream, but without any chocolate, I gave most of mine to Patience.

Sorry about the picture...we forgot a little too late...but you've all seen vanilla ice cream'll just have to take my word for it that adding rye and bourbon (it was house made!) is a great way to jazz up vanilla ice cream.

WAS Rye-Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream
I do love the name McFly Rye (you better get that movie reference) ...this stout was not too thick and didn't overpower the ice cream.


PW Pizza =

Modern Brewery =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Frisco Barroom

All of a sudden, I am starting to feel like Webster Groves is the latest hotspot. Olive + Oak and Clover and the Bee took off and then I just stopped by Firenza Pizza last week to try it out.

With all the times I've been to Serendipity Ice Cream, I couldn't believe I didn't notice a new restaurant opening up two doors down! As I was walking up, I saw the new brick and mortar Balkan Treat Box across the street!

Anyway, there was a lot of hype around Frisco Barroom when it first opened, and my friends who dared to try it early on reported back about long waits. So I decided to wait until the hype had calmed down a little bit. It turned out to be the perfect spot for an early Sunday dinner after all.

It really reminds me of an Irish pub and was thrilled there was also an upstairs area and a patio, because I can see the place being really busy come summer time. (Will there be enough parking for all these new restaurants?)

I had fairly low expectations since it just felt like a pub, but the bar food is definitely a little more upscale.

I was impressed with the wide range of items on the menu, but I'm not going to complain since Patience and I wanted to try one of everything. Luckily, our friends were willing to help in our quest and split some of the starters with us.

In the small plates section, the poutine caught my eye right away and it's very traditional! This was amazing!!
Under the "Snacks" section were Deviled Eggs and these were more mustard-y than mayo-y, which gave it a lot more of a zing than I was used to. Soft creamy goodness!

Deviled Eggs
Another "small plate" that I really wanted to try was their Grilled Chicken Wings, but I looked a little further down the menu and they have a couple of Pierogi options!! I went traditional with the Potato Pierogi, but I definitely want to order the Farmers Cheese Pierogi next time!!

Potato Pierogi
Our friends helped us by ordering the Crispy Cauliflower, which were grilled in a buffalo sauce. Not too spicy, but it definitely jazzed up the veggie! You could easily make a meal out of just the small plates, snacks, and Pierogi.

Crispy Cauliflower
Good thing we were all hungry and were ready to take on our main entrees!

I actually ordered the smash burger (of course a double) instead of anything healthy.

Double Smashburger
Well, I did order a side salad, as my side dish, and it was in Italian dressing St. Louis style! Delicious!

House Salad
Patience ordered her favorite, french dip, which came with au jus AND horseradish on the side! Oh yeah...her side was her FAVORITE soup: Italian Wedding Soup. I don't know how they knew!

French Dip
They even let her put a slice of gouda on her french dip too!!

Italian Wedding Soup
Speaking of "on the side", even better than the movie was the "Potato & Cheese Casserole", which is a healthy portion "side dish" that you can get with any sandwich. (Entrees come with two sides but none of us made it that far down the menu.)

Patience calls them "funeral potatoes" since that's often where you see them served, or at other family functions. I really should learn how to make them since I know they'd be a big hit.

Potato and Cheese Casserole
Now I know why it was so crowded for so long! What a perfect "neighborhood joint"! I certainly hope to go back  a lot and I hope it survives for quite a while, especially since there is a lot of competition right there.


Frisco Barroom =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Cork & Rind Irish Cheese Class 2019

I was so happy to get the chance to visit Cork & Rind again for another cheese class and to see my former coach and current cheesemonger.

He got into the spirit by wearing a Leprechaun outfit!

Cheesemonger Kevin Kinney
Two of the cheeses were paired with beer and two paired with whiskey!

Cheese Pairing Menu
Starting at the top of the plate, my favorites were the first two Irish cheddars: Truly Grass Fed from Dublin, Ireland and Cahill's from Westmeath, Ireland. (I purchased the former to take home!)

The Cahill's Irish Porter Cheddar  was of course a perfect pairing with a Guinness Extra Stout. The marbling throughout the cheese is just beautiful.

On the left, a blue cheese, Cashel Blue was soft and fairly sweet. Definitely a good dessert cheese, without being overpowering. (I still noticed a few pieces of blue cheese left on plates. hehe)

There was also provided a little chutney, but I just spread it on the homemade bread as a snack.

Cheese Plate
You know I made faces trying to taste the whiskey, Kilbeggan Small Batch Irish Rye Whiskey and Teeling Single Grain Irish Whiskey, so the Smithwick's Irish Red Ale was the winner for me!

I find ryes to be a lot smoother for me, so that was my preference between the two whiskeys.

I love the classes here and I just wish we weren't so far away.


Cork & Rind =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, March 1, 2019


My "first to try a new restaurant" friends found a winner with 58hundred, which is also its address.  Another bonus is that it's a neighborhood restaurant that's only ten minutes away!

I hope this means we'll go back soon...especially since Patience was sick and I'm not even sure she'll get to enjoy the leftovers I brought her.

I loved the concise menu, focused on locally sourced ingredients.

Something different to start with - Pimento Cheese Toast, which my southern friends say I need to eat more of as the "cheese girl". The toast was thick and hearty and you should probably get some help with this as it could fill you up and not leave you room for anything else.

Nashville's Pimento Cheese Toast
My friends and the servers all said the Braised Beef is their best dish, and I thoroughly enjoyed it on a cold and rainy day. It came with brown butter gnocchi, squash, carrots, sage, in a red wine reduction.

Braised Beef
My friends ordered all appetizers for their meal, and split everything. So wise. Without my photography assistant, I missed capturing the nachos, but managed to get the shrimp.

Spicy Buffalo Fried Shrimp
I finished up the night with a large lemon bar, while my friends opted for a piece of banana cream pie. Of course the lemon bar couldn't stand up to my stepmom's, but I had to try it for myself.

Lemon Bar
I can't wait to go back and bring more friends here!

This place does not take a reservation, but there are several tables in the bar half of the building along with seating at the bar.


58hundred =

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Grand Tavern

I can remember sitting in the original Dark Room looking up at the building that is now the Angad Arts Hotel and hoping that it could be put to good use someday.

Well, the building is finally finished and on the main floor is the Grand Tavern by David Burke - a fancy NY chef. I knew I had to try it and the Sorrells were kind enough to take me there for my birthday.

I was excited about the high-end restaurant, but with it comes high-end expecations and I'm not quite sure all the kinks are worked out just yet. Since the restaurant is in the arts district, theater timing is very important. Another issue I found is the high ceilings in the main room, which leads to a loud dining experience. And in our situation... a large and obnoxious birthday party sitting next to us caused our server to have to apologize. Even the table behind us requested to move to "the red room", which seems to be a far more intimate area.

Other than not being able to talk to each other, our courses were pretty amazing. And I do mean "courses" because the food just kept coming.

There was a small cocktail list, but the prices were a little higher than we prefer.  I did enjoy the garnishes for the Bee's Kneeds is so pretty!


Bee's Knees
We got to start with an amuse bouche...I believe there is lobster on top there.

Amuse bouche
Even the bread service was "big", since we each got a popover the size of our heads!

Patience and I were very curious about the Emotional Lobster Dumplings. athough I'm not sure which emotion we were supposed to be feeling.

Lobster Dumplings
Of course we HAD to get David Burke's "famous" Clothesline Bacon, where they torched it by hand at the table. Entertaining if nothing else!

Clothesline Bacon
Finally on to the main courses...I played it safe with the branzino (white fish) on the menu, but Patience ordered the steak special.  We both added on a vegetable on the side since they are all a la carte. I ordered the Angry Brocoli...angry because they were spicy!


Steak Special with Pasta
Angry Brocolli
And Pai got to load up on Brussels sprouts. Both are shareable for probably two people.

Brussels Sprouts
Beth went all out with the Saturday special: Surf and Turf on a bed of polenta

Surf and Turf
I believe Matt chose a clams and linguine dish.

Clams and Linguine
Special thanks again to the Sorrells, since the desserts never stopped coming!

Dessert Tray
We each got our own "dessert tray": Strawberries, small cake, a David Burke Cheesecake Lollipop, cotten candy, and a gooey butter donut!!! All of these were amazing!!

Although it couldn't top my personal "birthday dessert"!!!!!!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse
On the menu for anyone, birthday or not, I was very blown away by the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse - "radio city rockette style" with raspberries. Isn't she sexy??

Then we got to have a complimentary macaroon along with our bill. SO! STUFFED!

Coffee Macaroons
This is definitely a special occasion type of place, but probably not before a theater show unless you go very early. Check out the menus before you go...

Dinner Menu

Drink Menu

Dessert Menu

Grand Tavern =

Photos by Patience Scanlon