Recently I went to visit my friend and her husband who live in St. Louis. I’m notorious for being directionally challenged, but in a different city, I have absolutely no sense of direction. So when the cabbie shooed me out of the cab and told me my destination was just down the street and that he didn’t want to get any closer due to road construction, I believed him. My friend lives in an upscale neighborhood around lots of trendy restaurants and boutiques. Upon closer inspection of the houses I walked past, I noticed that a lot of the homes were boarded up with plywood or were in disrepair. I thought, either I’m in the wrong spot or this place has gone downhill in the last year and a half since I’ve been here. I started walking faster, lugging my big orange suit case behind me. Nothing looked familiar, and I quickly realized I was lost. I wasn’t sure whether I was just on the wrong block or on the wrong street entirely. Then I smelled fried food and got excited. I followed my nose until I ended up in the Grove, a trendy part of St. Louis. And that’s when I stumbled across the Urban Chestnut Brewery, and thought, well, since I’m here…
The Urban Chestnut Brewery
In my life, I have found many lovely places while lost, and this was one of them. I love most breweries, but I especially love German-style breweries. The brewery has a large beer hall and several varieties of German-style beer and sausages. Since I was there at 11 am on a Thursday, the place was empty. I sampled the Zwickel, a Bavarian style lager, the Schnickelfritz, a Bavarian Weissbier, or wheat beer, and the Stammitch, a German Pilsner. All three were smooth and delicious, but I went with the Zwickel and then texted my friend to tell her where I was. She told me I was not only on the wrong street, I was in the wrong part of the city! Oops! Apparently there are two streets with the same address in St. Louis. Zipcode is key, she said.
The Mud House
On Friday morning, my friend had to work so I met up with another good friend, whom I went to college with. She, who is also a big foodie and an elite Yelp reviewer, recommended a local coffee house, The Mud House. The coffee house was friendly, cozy, the cappuccino was good, and the banana walnut french toast was to die for! Bananas with nuts and powered sugar on top equals my version of foodie heaven.
The banana walnut french toast.
A fancy, Instagram-worthy cappuccino.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
After dinner one night, I suggested we go to Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams. Jeni’s is the creation of Jeni Britton Bauer, who applied her perfume blending skills to create unique blends of ice cream— flavors like Ricotta Toast with Red Berry Geranium Jam Pint, Brambleberry Crisp (FYI, Google says a Brambleberry is a “berry that grows on thorny canes or trailing vines, called brambles” so raspberries and blackberries would be considered brambleberries—I didn’t know either), and Middlewest Whisky and Pecans. I ordered the Goat Cheese with Red Cherries and the Brandied Banana Brulee. The tangy goat cheese and sweet cherries complemented each other well. And banana-flavored anything is always a winner, but it was especially good with a hint of brandy. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, I would highly recommend visiting!
La Patisserie Chouquette
Both my friend and I have a weakness for baked goods, especially French baked goods. When she recommended a local french bakery, I jumped at the chance. We went the morning of the royal wedding so the place was decked out in British attire. We tried a banana eclair, a ham and cheese croissant (yum!), and last, but not least, the elderflower lemon curd cupcake, modeled after the royal wedding cake. I could not tell you what an elderflower is (Oh wait, Googling now. Elderflowers come from elder trees and are used in wines, cordials, and other drinks). And apparently, elder trees are all over the place in Britain, which is one of the reasons why the elderflower flavor was chosen for the royal wedding cake. Anyway, they chose well; the cupcake was delicious. The elderflower had a very subtle flavor. I only regretted not having bought two.
Taste of Maplewood
That Saturday, both of my friends and I went to Taste of Maplewood, a neighborhood food and drink festival held annually. I am always on the search for good mole. I had read about a local chocolaterie, Kakao Chocolate, that made their own mole. I suspected that if anyone was going to get mole right, it would be a chocolaterie. I was not disappointed. The mole had the rich chocolate flavor that was sweet and spicy just as good mole should be. I bought a jar of it and now I’m saving it as if it’s the end of the world and the last jar of mole on earth. It was exceptionally good, and in my mind, the star of the Taste of Maplewood.
Hope y’all enjoyed the post! Happy Thursday!