Off the Eaten Path

Exploring St. Louis, one meal at a time…


One thing you will undoubtedly notice over time in this blog is my undying love of Vietnamese cuisine. I swear I could live off of pho and sushi for the rest of my life. Oh, I know sushi is Japanese. Let me reword my original statement: I love Asian cuisine. Yum. But this post? This post, my friends, is dedicated to Mekong.  Located on South Grand Avenue in St. Louis, it’s one of many ethnic restaurants lined along this busy street.

I went here on a blistering cold Saturday afternoon (actually, I don’t remember if it was cold or not — let’s just pretend that it was!). Like most places that I dash into, I had passed by Mekong dozens of times. This time, I decided to finally venture in.

It was around noon. Lunchtime, right? Right? RIGHT?!?! Hmm…so why was I the only person in the restaurant? And why did the restaurant SMELL FUNNY?!!? The average person would have walked out right then, but not me, my friends. I have a tummy of steel. I was craving Vietnamese. And I surely wasn’t going to let a funny smell separate me from some delicious food.

I’m not a huge fan of spring rolls (I like egg rolls much better), but after reading all of the glowing reviews of Mekong’s spring rolls, I decided to bite the bullet and try them. They came out quickly, with some sort of peanut sauce that was just heavenly. The rolls were pretty good. Spring rolls still aren’t my favorite thing, but these were probably the best I’ve had.

For my entree, I had the fried chicken in Mekong sauce (I think it was some sort of fish sauce). Oh my goodness. When I say that this was DELICIOUS, I really mean it. Just wonderful. Orgasmic. When my plate arrived at the table, I swear my heart skipped a few beats. I immediately fell in love. It just LOOKED good.

And boy, it tasted amaaaaazing. It must be the American blood coursing through my veins, but I couldn’t stop eating it, even after I was disgustingly full. It was THAT good. The portion was HUGE. Definitely enough for two nice meals. How I managed to stuff it all into my belly? The world may never know.

Service was fast and friendly. My waiter was quiet, but nice. He always kept my water full, he was very attentive, and when I ran out of fish sauce, he quickly brought me some more. Nice.

Food is really cheap here. All of my food came to less than 15 bucks, which isn’t bad for a huge lunch. Cheap food = happy girl!

February 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 4 Comments

Not so yummy pizza…

I hate for my first entry in this blog to be a negative one, but anything’s better than staring at a blank page, right?

So me and the boyfriend went to Katie’s Pizzeria Cafe in Clayton, MO (a suburb of St. Louis, for you lovely out-of-towners). I had passed by the place a dozen times, and after hearing mixed (mostly positive) reviews, I decided to check it out. I brought the boyfriend along. He doesn’t really have a choice when it comes to matters as important as this.

My first impression? Parking SUCKS. There was street parking out front, but there was also a sign on the street that said ‘No Parking after 4pm’. It was 3:30pm. We drove around to the back, hoping for a parking lot, and there was nothing. We ended up parking in a residential area a few blocks away. Not cool.

We walked in, and the restaurant was completely empty.

We sat ourselves at a table and waited a bit. After a few minutes with no greeting (or any sign of life, for that matter!), we peeked our heads into the back. There was one guy washing dishes, and he told us that someone would be with us ‘in a minute’.

I’m really impatient when it comes to service. I tried to keep my cool by checking the place out. Not bad. Nice atmosphere. The bar looked pretty cool.

Well…about 10 minutes passed before our waitress came out. She was completely unapologetic about our long wait. She handed us some menus and went to get some water for us. She didn’t leave any silverware, so I had to steal some from another table.

For an appetizer, we ordered the baked zucchini rolls, which came with a side of marinara sauce. These were actually very tasty. Definitely expensive, but unique and yummy nonetheless.

For our pizza, we decided to go with the one with fingerling potatoes, parsnips, pancetta, parmaggiano, onion, and rosemary. I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture. Imagine awesomeness on a plate. Yep, you got it.

The pizza came out pretty quickly, but as the waitress came over to bring it to us, she dropped half of it on the floor. Awesome. She apologized, and gave us the half that didn’t drop while she went back to have another pizza made for us.

The pizza itself wasn’t too bad. I’m not a huge fan of thinner crusts, but this was decent. While the pizza was definitely unique, it was missing something. I don’t know what. A hint of sweetness (maybe using a sweeter cheese or something? I’m no chef. I don’t know!) would have been nice. It just sort of fell flat.

All in all, this place gets a huge ‘meh’ from me. I’ve had better pizza elsewhere. I think I’ll come back one day (I really want to try the pizza with the fontina and apples), but I don’t know when that day will be. Everything was overly expensive, and it really wasn’t a good value. If the food was excellent, I can easily overlook the high price, but it just wasn’t.

One note: These pictures were taken using my iPhone. I promise the picture quality will be better in the future!

February 28, 2010 Posted by | food | , , , , | Leave a comment