Sunday, December 30, 2012

Saint Louis: Salt & Ted Drewes Frozen Custard

Happy New Year!

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a new city is to find a brunch spot that showcases what that city is all about.  For this visit to Saint Louis, decided on Salt, which is a popular restaurant in Saint Louis and a James Beard Award semifinalist in the Best New Restaurant category for the Midwest!  Pretty good representative?

4356 Lindell Blvd 
Central West End
St Louis, MO 63108

Salt!  We actually missed it a few times because it looks like a really fancy house and it's in a residential neighborhood.

S&P.  I like it when restaurants serves it like this haha.

grapefruit juice
Fresh grapefruit juice.  Citrus fruits are in season!

French Onion
Started with the French Onion Soup.

cheese & bread
Love the super thick layer of Swiss Cheese!

The crouton.  Soup was served warm.  I think that's a way of serving it in many places?  I like it piping hot though :P

hash & eggs
I went for the Hash & Eggs since I was craving something hearty. It was totally not what I expected though. I did expect a large plate of hash and potatoes with fried eggs, but what you get is a small portion of their corned beef with potato hash, served with two poached eggs. 

corned beef,potato hash,spicy mustard
Not gonna lie, I was disappointed with the portion, but the corned beef hash was very tasty! The corned beef is definitely the star since it is made in-house.

poached eggs
I asked for my eggs to be runny, and it came in the form of poached eggs came with it!  Comes in little cups so I can just pop it and go all crazy with the yolk and pour it over the hash!

crispy thin fries
Duck Fat Frites!  Super crispy fries.

homemade ketchup & mayo
Comes with mayo and homemade ketchup.  The ketchup is terrific.  It's not as sweet and vinegary as traditional ketchup, more like a seasoned tomato puree, but it's very refreshing.  I used it with the corned beef hash too!

red velvet chocolate chunk pancakes with roasted banana whipped cream
Diana's Red Velvet Chocolate Chunk Pancakes with Roasted Banana Whipped Cream.

red velvet pancakes
Very odd to see pancake this color but very delicious!

roasted banana whipped cream
Roasted Banana Whipped Cream was definitely the best part.  Can really taste the banana flavor!


Before I was dropped off at the airport, Diana and I had to stop by the popular Ted Drewes for their frozen custard, aka "concrete!"  I saw it a few times on Food Network and they always show it by flipping the cup upside down to show how thick it is haha.

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
6726 Chippewa St 
Saint Louis Hills
Saint Louis, MO 63109 

The neon sign!

ted drewes
Ted Drewes.  You can tell that it is a old school spot haha.  Love the "icicle" :P

Menu on the windows and wall and damn it's a lot.  All they have here is vanilla frozen custard with different mix ins, sorta like McDonald's McFlurry!

some of the combos
Guess which one I ordered?

mint oreo & marshmallow oreo
Mint Oreo and Marshmallow Oreo!  It wasn't until we got our order that we realized that we ordered very similar things :P  Granted, I did rush her haha.

mint oreo
Mint Oreo.  Vanilla custard mixed with Oreo and mint flavoring.  Like mint chip?  Then this is definitely for you.

Man that's some thick vanilla custard haha.

marshmallow oreo
Marshmallow Oreo.  Can't really taste the marshmallow.  It's more about the texture.  You can tell you got a bite of the marshmallow because it's smoother and lighter than the other spoonfuls.

St. Louis' finest indeed!

With Ted Drewes, that ended my first visit to Saint Louis.  I knew I was gonna be back in a few weeks for Diana's birthday and even though I wanted to go to Pappy's again before I left, I told my stomach to be patient and that I would have delicious BBQ soon enough.  Good things come to those who wait!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Saint Louis: Pappy's Smokehouse for the Best Ribs I've Had

First of all, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

This Christmas, I really just want another bite of Pappy's awesome ribs, cause it is legitimately the best ribs I've had anywhere.  So good that I am still dreaming about it today!  When I first got to Saint Louis, I knew the barbecue was gonna be good but never imagined mind-blown status.  

The funny thing is, Pappy's style of barbecue is not even Saint Louis.  The barbecue is actually Memphis-style, and for the ribs, it's not the Saint Louis ribs cut, which Saint Louis made famous, but the baby back loin ribs cut.  Even though it's not "true" Saint Louis barbecue, the city has definitely embraced Pappy's as its own, evident by the line that forms daily.

Story: we were actually in line, and I was deciding between the full slab or half.  While pondering, the guy in front of us helped open the door when the staff was bringing in newly smoked ribs.  One of the staff was so grateful that she cut off two pieces of the rib for the guy to try, and the guy was nice enough to share one with Diana and me!  First bite of the rib, I just stood there in amazement, mouth in a flavor heaven, and I make sounds that I did not think was possible.  Just that one bite was enough to convince me to get the full slab :P

Pappy's Smokehouse
3106 Olive St 
St Louis, MO 63103

pappy's smokehouse

One of the smokers that they have.

Wood for smoking!

waiting line 
Waiting in line outside and the line inside.

all the sauces and some famous peeps zagat rated
Some shots of Pappy's.  Very highly rated by Zagat.


Hi piggie.

drinks fridge
Diana looking at the soda fridge.

Had to try a Fitz's Root Beer.

The three sauces: Sweet Baby Jane, Holly's Hot Sauce, and Pappy's.  I liked the Sweet Baby Jane the most since I like sweeter BBQ sauces.  Holly's got a good bit of kick and Pappy's is more of a vinegar-based sauce.

full slab ribs
The ribs, a full slab of the house specialty, dry-rubbed and slow smoked over apple & cherry wood.

smoke ring
Since it is the baby back loin cut, it is much meatier and look at the smoke ring

The dry rub here is amazing, and so flavorful that you don't really need any sauce!

with sauce
But I'm a sauce guy so I alternated between adding all the different sauce or just eating as it is.  Here it is with my favorite, Sweet Baby Jane.

baked beans
Baked beans, and of course, baked with BBQ sauce.  Sweet.

fried corn on the cob
This is also something unique: fried corn on the cob.  They take a whole ear of corn and just fry it!  Thought it was gonna be greasy but it's actually the opposite.  Pretty tasty.

Diana got a two-meat combo so we could try more.

brisket & pork
Beef brisket and pulled pork!

Never seen beef brisket like this.  You can see a bit of the smoke ring.  Super tender.  Definitely not in the same class as the ribs.

pulled pork
Pulled pork!  Out of the two, I definitely liked the pulled pork more, especially with the Sweet Baby Jane and Pappy's sauce.

sweet potato fries
Sweet potato fries.  

potato salad
Potato salad.

To be honest, I didn't care too much for the pulled pork, the brisket, or the sides cause I could not stop thinking about how good the ribs were!  It really is the best I've had and it sucks that I can't have in here in LA :[  GAH!  Pappy's = hog heaven.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Saint Louis: Taste Bar & Brasserie by Niche

I think most people associate BBQ and pork with Saint Louis so when I visited Diana while she was there for her internship with Purina, BBQ was definitely on the top of my list.  Diana told me how she attended a speaker session on how a chef expressed the importance of design in his restaurants and how it was really memorable.  Just so happens, the chef, Gerard Craft, owns a few of the top restaurants in Saint Louis, so we decided to check out two of the restaurants while I was there!

We stopped by Taste Bar for a quick late night dinner on the night I arrived and then Brasserie by Niche the next night for a more proper dinner.  Taste Bar is a super hip spot with a professional mixologist on site.  Definitely expected a place like Taste Bar to be in SF or the hipster areas of LA, but not STL!

Taste Bar
4584 Laclede Ave 
Central West End
St. Louis, MO 63108

taste bar
Taste Bar.  Sorry for the crap lighting haha.  Had the camera on the wrong setting.

open kitchen
The open kitchen.

Paper coaster.  Saint Louis and Taste loves pork!

food menu
Food menu.  Since it was late, we decided to get one small plate and one large plate.  Had to get two pork dishes haha.

big in japan
Since the drinks menu was created by a professional mixologist, I had to get one, and went for the Big In Japan, which is made with Yamazaki 12yr Whiskey, Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Byrrh, Cocchi di Torino Vermouth, Cherry Herring, and Laphroaig Scotch.

far and away
Diana's Far And Away, made with Fiji Apple Infused Hendrick’s Gin, Cocchi Americano, Lemon, Smoked Rosemary, and Don’s Spice.  Fancy fancy :P

pork tartine, orange, fennel, walnuts, pickled caramel apple
Pork tartine with orange, fennel, walnuts, and pickled caramel apples.

another angle
The pork was super tender, but all the toppings was what made this open-faced sandwich bomb.

pork burger with bacon & fries
Pork burger with bacon & fries.  Had to add $1 for the cheddar cheese!

pork patty
Nice thick pork patty.

Crunchy fries!

old fashioned
For the 2nd drink, I wanted to test the mixologist's skill and ordered an Old Fashioned.  Yea, he knew what he was doing haha.


Brasserie by Niche is a French bistro by Gerard Craft.  Totally different vibe from its next door cousin, Taste.  It's loud and fast-paced, just like how a French bistro should be!  Good thing we made a reservation too cause the place was packed.

Brasserie by Niche
4580 Laclede Ave
Central West End 
St Louis, MO 63108

brasserie by niche
Brasserie by Niche.

Front of the menu.


Fresh bread!  Warm!

2012-11-10 19.53.23
Since I liked the cocktails so much from Taste, decided to get another whisky cocktail.  Forgot the name, but whoa it just punches you in the face.  Definitely a sipping drink haha.

french onion
Had to get the French Onion at a French bistro!  Love the thick layer of cheese on the top, and the soup is piping hot too!

mixed lettuces with goat cheese, hazelnuts, and roasted shallot vinaigrette
Diana's Mixed Lettuces with goat cheese, hazelnuts, and roasted shallots vinaigrette.   The hazelnuts were candied!

white beans, pork belly, duck confit, and sausages
My entree, white bean with duck confit, pork belly, and sausage in tomato sauce.  I couldn't resist since it had three of my favorites: pork belly, duck, and sausage!

pork belly
The pork belly hiding under the white bean tomato stew.

white fish, clams, mussells, shrimp, potato, light cream
Diana's white fish, clams, mussels, potato, and croutons in a light cream sauce.   Very light and I actually liked this over mine!

I think overall, I preferred Taste Bar over Brasserie, just because I liked the creativeness of the dishes there.  There's also a high end restaurant in the Niche family, Niche, which does French cuisine.  Maybe sometime in the future!