Off the Eaten Path

Exploring St. Louis, one meal at a time…

BBQ, Booze, and Good news…

So I’m going to be honest. I had heard some not-so-good things about Smoking Joes online, so when my mom suggested we go here for our monthly girls night get together, I wasn’t too thrilled. However, after giving the place a try on a busy Friday night, I can safely say that Smoking Joes is legit.

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Smoking Joes is located on Washington Avenue in St. Louis, MO. It’s a really hip place (gosh, I just said hip…am I getting old?) with lots of bars, clubs, lofts, and awesome eateries.

I was expecting it to be somewhat crowded with the dinner rush when we arrived at 6:30, but to my surprise, it was mostly empty. The bright side? We could sit wherever we wanted! There was a live band playing that night, so we chose a table close to the stage, naturally. More on the entertainment in a bit.

Our waitress was pretty friendly, and quickly handed us menus and drinks.

As far as food goes, we decided on the large combo platter to split between the three of us:
– 1/2 rib
– 1/2 chicken
– 1/2 pound beef brisket
-choice of 3 sides

We subbed pulled pork for the brisket and chose mac and cheese, baked beans, and sweet potato fries for our sides.
While we waited for our food, I was able to get a good look at this place. Usually, when I think about barbecue joints, I think of a down and dirty type atmosphere. Grungy, dirty, farm-like. But this place was actually REALLY nice! It was very swanky and lounge-y. I liked it!

Our food came out pretty quickly, and boy was there a LOT of it! The waitress brought out three BBQ sauces (hot, mild, and sweet) and we went to town.

I started with the pulled pork, which was definitely my favorite part of the meal. Tender, juicy meat which knocked my socks off! Adding barbecue sauce only magnified the yummyness.

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I tried the ribs next, which came off the bone very easily with a slight tug. Once again, tender and moist, albeit a little too fatty for my tastes. Nonetheless, these are the types of ribs I’m accustomed to, not the ribs at Pappy’s (review coming soon!), which are good, but remind me of beef jerky.

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Next? Chicken! This was tasty as well, although a little dry for my tastes. That’s what BBQ sauce is for, right? It was seasoned very well, and it’s hard to get BBQ chicken right, so they get a pass on this one.

On to the sides! The mac and cheese was yummy after I added a touch of salt. The baked beans were sweet and perfect. And the sweet potato fries were hot and crispy, just the way I like them!

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Smoking Joes has a pretty decent drinks menu, so I ordered the Smoking Joes sweet tea, which had jeremiah weed sweet tea vodka in it. Yumtastic! My sister ordered the ‘Brazilian Blast’, which contained Malibu, Blue Curacao, Triple Sec, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice, and Mango Schnapps. My mom ordered something green. With a cherry on the bottom. I forgot what it was (darn!), but it was mighty tasty.

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I said I was going to get back to the entertainment, so here goes. The live band hit the stage around 8pm, and they were FABULOUS. Very smooth and jazzy. Love love LOVED it. I didn’t want to leave! The live entertainment knocked up what would have been a 4 star review to a solid 5 stars. I was snapping pictures like a fool, and this was the best one out of the bunch:

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Okay, so not the best picture, right? I kept taking picture after picture, fumbling around with the settings, and it was just a challenge! The lighting was tricky. And I’m not very proficient with my camera yet; I use the auto setting a LOT, and I’m trying to experiment with others. It’s just a huge fail. Help!

Anyway, the entertainment was FAB.

Okay, score time!

Food: 4 stars (out of five)

Ambiance: 5 stars

Service: 3 stars

Value: 4 stars

I can definitely see myself coming back here on a Friday or Saturday night when they have live music. And because the food is cheap, I’ll probably come here more often than I should!

Smoking Joes, you’ve won my heart. Congrats.

Oh, so you’re probably reading the title of my post and wondering what the good news is. Well…Off the Eaten Path is getting a (much needed) makeover VERY soon! I’m so excited I can barely contain myself. Everything will be organized by cuisine type (BBQ, Mexican, Italian, etc), and the site will look a lot cleaner and will be easier to navigate overall. I don’t have an exact date on when all of this will happen (this is just a part-time hobby, after all!), but I promise it will be soon.

One more shameless plug: if you’re on Facebook, you can keep up with Off the Eaten Path by becoming a fan (do it…pretty please!). You can also follow me on Twitter and get up-to-the-minute updates on what I’m doing, and more importantly, what I’m eating! So clickety-click away!

P.S. By the time you all see this post, it will be September 4th, so I just want to wish my mom a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Love you mommy 🙂

September 4, 2010 Posted by | food | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The science of CHEESE!

So ever since Cheese-ology opened up in the Delmar Loop (in St. Louis, MO…of course!) I’ve been DYING to try it. A restaurant entirely devoted to macaroni and cheese?!?! Count me in!

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Me and my boyfriend stopped by around 8:30pm on a Saturday night. It wasn’t too crowded, but there was a nice amount of people in there.

I heard a few things about flights (3 smaller portions) from some people, so we asked the cashier if we could order a flight. Sadly, they no longer offer that option — they said it wasn’t cost effective on their end and led to a lot of waste.

Oh well — on to the food!

I ordered the ‘Bacon, Bacon’ — according to the menu, it contained "Mozzarella and Gruyere cheeses, and a generous amount of thick cut Bacon."

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Wow. This was by far my favorite. The salty chewy bacon complimented the gooey creamy cheese PERFECTLY.

Andy had the ‘Shrimp Scampi’ – "a mixture of Mozzarella, Provolone and Parmesan cheeses, paired with strong flavors of lemon and garlic".

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This one was just okay. It was decent, but not my favorite. Nothing about it really stood out to me. It looks pretty though, right? 🙂

We were enchanted by the menu, and being the mac and cheese fiends we are, we really just had to have more, so we ordered two flavors to go: ‘Black and Bleu’ and ‘Buffalo Chicken’ (the special of the day).

The next day we tore into the leftovers!

The Black and Bleu had American and Bleu cheeses, Steak, and cajun spices. This was tasty, but it reminded me of hamburger helper. Really tasty hamburger helper, but still….hamburger helper.

The Buffalo Chicken was much better. It was spicy, creamy, cheesy…it was just an explosion of flavors in my mouth! SO. GOOD. If they have this one on special, ORDER IT.

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It was nice to know that even the leftovers held up really well. They were just as delicious as the stuff we had in the restaurant!

Even though the food was fantastic, the atmosphere of Cheese-ology left a lot to be desired. I feel like they could have put a lot more care into the place. It really looked thrown together — concrete floors, white walls, hard uncomfortable chairs — get this place a designer, stat!
But I didn’t come to be wowed by the decor. I came for the food — and Cheese-ology definitely delivered on that!

Time for scores!

Food: 5 stars (out of five)

Ambiance: 2 stars

Service: 3 stars

Value: 3 stars

I can’t wait to come back and try more of the menu! This place gets two (cheese-stained) thumbs up!

August 18, 2010 Posted by | food | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Are you in or are you out?

Well, the In Spot Dessert Lounge is…oh wait. You have to read to the end to find out!

I went with my mom and sister for our monthly girls night out event. This time around, it was my turn to pick the place, and I remembered a while ago when Natalie @ The Sweets Life recommended the In Spot! So I thought I’d give it a try.

The place itself was very chic and intimate. Totally lounge-y. Ready for picture overload?

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Nice place, right? Okay, now that you’ve seen the digs, let’s get down to business!

None of us were especially hungry, so we decided to split an appetizer, drink, and dessert between the three of us. This falls right in with my new healthier eating initiative, so I was game!

We started with the Brown Sugar Chicken Wings:

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I wasn’t a fan – at all. The flavor was decent (not very brown sugary, though!), but the chicken itself was terrible. The texture was just sickening. Very fatty and not at all appetizing. I could only take one bite of the chicken before I called it quits.

Next was the drink! The sweet pineapple martini caught my mom’s eye, and my sister and I agreed that it sounded tasty. We ordered it with high hopes.

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This was okay. The pineapple taste was definitely there, but the drink itself was just too strong for me. I feel this way about ALL martinis though, regardless of location…so perhaps I’m just not a martini fan. If you love martinis, though, you’d probably love this! I could only down a few sips.

Finally was dessert. I thought the fried cheesecake sounded good, so we rolled with that.

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Look at that strawberry drizzle! Delish. This was my favorite part of the meal. I don’t think my mom or sister cared for it too much (they didn’t think it was sweet enough), but I really enjoyed it – and I ate the entire thing! Oink. The dough was flaky and buttery, and the warm cheesecake filling with creamy and rich. MMM. The strawberry drizzle was perfect for this treat.

How was the service? Well, our waitress was nice, but seemed overwhelmed. Why is there only ONE waitress (but FOUR bartenders) at this place? Weird. When we asked her about a particular wine (and requested to see the bottle), she snapped that she was ‘too busy’ to show us. She eventually did show us the bottle of wine, but her curtness was a HUGE turnoff. Hmm. Maybe she wasn’t nice after all!

There was a band playing, and they were good (very smooth and jazzy), but WAY too loud. If they would have turned it down a couple notches, I could have stayed here all night to listen to them. But by the end of dessert, my head was ringing so badly that I just wanted to LEAVE.

On top of being not so tasty, the food was sort of expensive! 7 bucks for 5 mini chicken wings, 7 bucks for 2 bites of cheesecake?!? It was like tapas. Stephanie is not a huge fan of small plates!

Score time!

Food: 2 stars (out of five)

Ambiance: 5 stars

Service: 2 stars

Value: 3 stars

Part of me really wants this little place to succeed. It definitely has potential. But it’s not there yet.

August 6, 2010 Posted by | food | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

3 Monkeys!

So what happens when a foodie (yours truly) plans a dinner date with her dad (also a foodie!) and her sister (who happens to be EXTREMELY picky!)?

You end up at 3 Monkeys near Tower Grove Park in St. Louis, MO. I’ve been wanting to try the place for quite some time, and it seemed interesting enough to satisfy me and my dad, while having ‘normal’ things on the menu to please my sister.

I was hoping for some mind-blowing food, and instead I left with a feeling of ‘meh’. Let me explain.

It was a nice night, so we sat outside. Fine, right? Other people were sitting outside too, so it wasn’t like we were the only souls out there. Well, our waitress seemed to forget that we were out there, because she dropped the menus off, and DIDN’T COME BACK. After about 15 minutes, I had to run inside (I was a little miffed) and remind her that she had (hungry) customers outside who felt a little neglected.

Water was finally brought out, and we started with some apps. Lobster rangoon and calamari.

lobster rangoon

fried calamari

I love crab rangoon, and lobster rangoon sounded CRAZY delicious! I was expecting to have my mind blown. Honestly? This wasn’t fantastic like I was hoping. It was just OKAY. It tasted like the lobster rangoon at Crazy Bowls & Wraps (a fast food chain in St. Louis).

The calamari was decent. A little tough, but I wasn’t expecting much from a non-Italian place.

For the entree, I went with the turkey burger and fries.

Now this was pretty good. The fries were nothing to write home about, but the burger was DELICIOUS! It was seasoned very well, and is actually one of the best turkey burgers I’ve had in St. Louis.

My sister and dad both ordered the ribs and fries, which they both seemed to enjoy.

So even though the food was average, I was left feeling a little disappointed about 3 Monkeys. It reminds me of an Applebee’s. Not bad, but not GREAT. Just…meh.

Scores, anyone?

Food: 3 stars (out of five)

Ambiance: 3 stars (we sat outside…I’m not sure what the ambiance was like inside)

Service: 1 star

Value: 4 stars

I love the Tower Grove neighborhood, so I’ll definitely be back. 3 Monkeys is really known for their pizza, so I think I’ll try that next time.  Hopefully that’s better than what I had tonight. And hopefully the service is a little better, too!

June 24, 2010 Posted by | food | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Tempura overload!

So I’m going to start this post off by saying that I’m obsessed with sushi. OBSESSED! I love it. However, at the same time, I’m a huge sushi snob. All-you-can-eat sushi spots? No thanks. Grocery store sushi? No ma’am. Sushi at a BUFFET? (Yes, it happens!) Hecky no!

But I’ll definitely snack on sushi from a reputable restaurant, as evidenced here and here. Mmm. I love it!

So when my mom and sister wanted to hit up Asia @ Lumiere Place in STL for some eats, I was down! Sushi heaven!

This trip was sort of interesting, because my mom and sister already had an idea of what they wanted me to try. I’ll try just about ANYTHING, so I’m a guinea pig of sorts, I suppose! Oh well…I love it. 🙂

We started out with grilled shrimp. The menu described it as ‘honey glazed shrimp skewered and glazed to perfection’. It was served with a sweet and tangy sauce.

Yes, it was just a delicious as it looked! So yummy and flavorful. Too bad I had to share and couldn’t eat it all myself. 🙂

Next, we (or should I say ‘I’?) had the tempura vegetables and the tempura soft shell crab. Tempura overload, anyone?

tempura veggies

tempura softshell crab

The veggies came with a thin soy sauce, and the crab came with a thicker, sweeter teriyaki sauce.  I was in love with the teriyaki sauce, but honestly, I don’t think tempura covered foods are my thing. I would rather just eat grilled or steamed vegetables. Tempura batter just adds unnecessary crunch (and calories!) that aren’t needed, in my opinion. What’s this? Stephanie likes the HEALTHIER option? Check this girl’s temperature!

The tempura soft shell crab suffered from the same tempura overload. It was just unnecessary. The crab wasn’t too tasty, either. I’m usually a big crab fan, but this tasted super fishy. Weird.

Time for the main courses! My sister was dying to try the Kumo sushi roll. It included soft shell crab, tempura shrimp, cream cheese, avocado, fried asparagus, and was topped with spicy mayo, eel sauce, and tobiko (flying fish roe). Sounds intense! And it looked intense:

Kumo Roll

Look at all of that yummy roe! I love the stuff.  The presentation was kind of cool, but we had to stare at it for a bit and decide exactly how we were going to conquer the thing. Finally my sister knocked the tower over, and we went to town.

So how did it taste? It was just ooookay. The entire thing was coated in tempura, so it was hard to distinguish the different components of the sushi, which was a little frustrating. It was also really hard to eat. The individual pieces of the roll were HUGE, and it was hard to fit the entire piece in my mouth (TWSS!). I tried biting it in half (which I NEVER do with sushi), and it ended up making a mess (which is why I never try to do that!). It was bad. I could only eat two pieces before I had had enough.

The others in the party had better luck with their food. My mom had plain fried rice, which was pretty good.

There was also beef and broccoli:

And general Tso’s shrimp:

I didn’t try either dish, but they looked tasty!

I did have a few complaints about Asia. First of all, they had a lot of popular Chinese and Japanese appetizers and such, but NO MISO SOUP. Oooh. That’s a huge strike. You have an entire sushi menu, and no miso soup? Bad.

Secondly, they don’t have a dessert menu. Nothing would have made me happier at the end of the meal than some mochi ice cream, and they didn’t have any! Double strike.

Enough complaining. Time for some scores!

Food: 2 stars (out of five)

Ambiance: 3 stars

Service: 3 stars

Value: 3 stars

This time around the food wasn’t so great, but I would definitely give it another shot in the future! And no tempura this time. 🙂

June 20, 2010 Posted by | food | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Oh my, Mai Lee!

So after my 5 mile run through the streets of St. Louis, I decided to reward myself with a huge steaming bowl of pho. I went to one of my favorite Vietnamese places, Mai Lee.

I started with the same thing I always start with: the egg roll appetizer. I’m a sucker for a good egg roll, and Mai Lee doesn’t disappoint. Since everyone knows what an egg roll looks like (hopefully!) I’ll just post a picture of the yummy goodness inside:

I’m going to be 100% honest and say I don’t know exactly what is inside of Mai Lee’s eggrolls. But I’m pretty sure love is in there somewhere. And happiness. Maybe pork.

Next, I had the Bun Bo Hue. Otherwise known as spicy beef pho. Otherwise known as YUMMYNESS IN MY MOUTH!

It had vermicelli noodles, spicy medium-rare beef, and a bunch of different herbs and spices (I definitely tasted cilantro, among other things). It was delicious, warm, slightly spicy, and the perfect way to reward myself for running five miles in the cold. Mmm. Perfect.

My boyfriend will probably disapprove of this blog post, because I wasn’t very descriptive about the food. I don’t really explain WHY I like it. Well…sometimes, that’s just how it is. You don’t know exactly WHY you like something, but you know that you do. That’s how Mai Lee is for me. And honestly? I’m okay with that. 🙂

March 13, 2010 Posted by | food, running | , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Sushi sushi sushi!

Mmm…I love sushi. It’s too bad I live in a landlocked state like Missouri. I long for the day when I can move to the coast and have really fresh stuff.

Until then, I’ll settle with what we have here in St. Louis. Today I went to Kampai Sushi in the Central West End. I had heard so many things about their sushi and how lovely their fish was. Lovely, fresh fish? Count me in!

The place was very nice. No frills at all. Very simple. Very welcoming.

I walked in a little after they opened for dinner and was seated at the sushi bar. Yay! I was hoping for some fun interactions with the sushi chefs.  I was sorely disappointed. Maybe they were having a bad night. Not a single word was exchanged between us. Is this normal? I thought sushi chefs were supposed to be chatty and fun! I saw a tip jar sitting on the table, and it was full of single dollar bills. Well…how am I supposed to tip someone who won’t even talk to me?!? Psssh.

Luckily, they made up for their silence with some GREAT food.  I started with the complimentary miso soup and house salad.

you've seen one, you've seen them all...

I spy tofu!

The house salad was typical. Nothing to shout about. Tasty, but run of the mill. The miso soup was actually quite delicious. One of the more flavorful ones I’ve had in St. Louis. Very yummy broth that had just the right amount of saltiness. I could have used more tofu, but I’m never happy with the paltry amount that most restaurants give you in their soup. Oh well…it was free. Enough complaining, Stephanie!

For my meal, I ordered the Dynamite roll. It had cucumber and spicy tuna inside, with seared albacore tuna, ponzu sauce and scallion on top. I also ordered a few pieces of nigiri to round out my meal. Salmon, unagi, white tuna.

dynamite roll on top, unagi, white tuna, salmon nigiri on bottom

The Dynamite roll was, well….DYNAMITE. It was very tasty, and packed just the right amount of punch to my tastebuds. Very flavorful, and the fish was very fresh. I enjoyed the crunch of the cucumber in the roll. The albacore tuna on top of the roll melted in my mouth. It was very smooth. It’s hard to describe. But it was delicious.

Dynamite roll

This is what the roll looked like inside

The salmon, unagi, and white tuna nigiri were very good, too. The fish used was obviously quite fresh, and this stuff also melted in my mouth. It was like buttah, yall! BUTTAH!

delicious unagi!

yummy salmon and white tuna

Finally, to finish my meal, I had the red bean mochi. It was VERY good, although I’d prefer a different presentation. It was a little tricky trying to figure out how to eat it. They gave me a teeny tiny fork, which wasn’t of much use at all. It would have been easier if they would have cut the mochi in half to make it easier to eat. Ah well. It was VERY good mochi ice cream. And they have tons of flavors! Red bean, strawberry, banana, coffee, mango, etc. I’m probably missing a few.

red bean mochi ice cream

All in all, it was a great meal at Kampai. I left feeling very satisfied and not disgustingly full. Success!

March 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Bittersweet Bakery

Bittersweet Bakery. Ahhh.

It is located in the lovely Benton Park neighborhood in St. Louis, MO, which is a rapidly changing, growing, and soon to be AMAZING neighborhood. Hell, some might say it’s amazing already! It is definitely unique. And filled with little gems like this place.

Before I even get to the food, let’s talk about the space. It’s in a HUGE building. The inside almost looks like a loft, with exposed bricks and ductwork. It’s very very cool. I wish I could have captured that on film.

When I walked in, I noticed something that I’ve never seen in a bakery before. All of the pastries and goodies were out on display. No sneeze guard, nothing to keep you from getting up close and personal with everything on the menu. Of course when you actually order, they give you something fresh that ISN’T sitting out! What a nice way to get a look at everything.

look at all of those treats!

I had to take some close ups of the pastries out on display.

three different types of quiche!

Okay, on to the food. I started with the sauteed wild mushroom and gruyere quiche.

It was topped with a citrus herbed salad (not pictured) that amounted to a few leaves of spinach and a couple of dried cranberries; it was quite forgettable. The quiche itself was creamy, and there were plenty of mushrooms spread throughout. The crust was my favorite. It was rich and buttery. Although tasty, the quiche was honestly too rich for me, and I could only eat half. But it was still pretty to look at.

super close up of the quiche!

this is what it looked like inside. Look at all of those mushrooms...

Next up was the bacon and cheese savory pastry.  It was probably the highlight of my meal. It had a nice flaky crust, and the warm gooey cheese went along nicely with the thick, chewy bacon. It was probably the tastiest thing I had at the bakery. I could have eaten two! Or three! Mmm.

bacon and cheese savory pastry

A view of what's inside...

I saved what I thought would be the best for last. The sticky bun bread pudding. I am a bread pudding FANATIC. I love the stuff. Even when it’s bad, it’s usually pretty good.

Well…this wasn’t BAD, per se…but it wasn’t quite as good as it looked. It was topped with caramel and candied pecans, which were pretty yummy, but it didn’t have that ooomph I’m looking for. Even though the girl working the counter popped it in the microwave, it could have stood to be a little warmer.

sticky bun bread pudding

Even though I was too full to eat the whole thing, I made sure I ate every last one of those candied pecans!

So…would I come back? I’m not itching to come back, but if a friend wanted to go, she wouldn’t have to drag me. Oh, who am I kidding? I’ll be back. I can’t resist a good pastry. Hell, I can’t resist a mediocre pastry either! Yeah…I’ll be back.

March 6, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 17 Comments

I’m breaking all kinds of rules here…

ahh...Chicago at night...

So…for those of you who have noticed (hopefully ALL 3 of you!), this blog is called ‘Off the Eaten Path’. It was originally going to be a food blog about hole-in-the-wall type places in St. Louis.

Well…I decided at the last minute that I don’t go to enough hole in the wall places to fill up this blog, so I’m going to make it about food. Period. I’m all about breaking rules, people!

So while I’m breaking rules, I’m just going to go ahead and break one more. I’m going to talk about food…in Chicago.

*gasp*

I know…I know. This is a St. Louis-based food blog. And that’s not changing. But I went to Chicago this past weekend with some girl friends, and well…I had some pretty good food. And I have to share it with you all. Because I love you that much.

First things first. Gino’s pizza.

It was literally right next door to our hotel. And it was pizza…deep dish. You can’t go to Chicago without eating deep dish pizza! Our concierge told us about the lunch special: A personal sized deep dish pizza, a salad, and a drink for less than 7 bucks. SOLD!

I LOVE deep dish pizza. Mmm. I’d eat it everyday if I could. But did I LOVE Ginos? No. Personally…Giordano’s is a lot better. But this is a close second!

We ordered an antipasto tray to nosh on while we waited for the pizza to come out:

All in all, I give Gino’s a solid C. I’ve had much better.

Next on the menu? A Chicago dog!  We heard lots of good things about Portillo’s, so we headed there:

According to wikipedia, a true Chicago dog has mustard, onion, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices, pickled sport peppers, and celery salt:

chicago dog and french fries from Portillos

Oh, it was DELICIOUS. The hot dog had a nice bite to it, the sport peppers were nice and spicy, and the relish balanced everything out with a touch of sweetness. The fries were crispy and hot.  Everything was SUPER cheap!  As you will come to find in this blog, cheap food = happy Stephanie. Oh yeah.

Of course me and the girls went to a few more fun eateries, but I thought I’d just cover the two highlights of the trip. Pizza and hotdogs! Yum yum yum.

Once again, sorry for the shoddy picture quality. My friend Jane Linders told me that the macro setting on my point and shoot digital camera is best for closeups of food, so I’ll be using that setting from now on. Thanks Jane!

March 5, 2010 Posted by | food, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Mmm…Vietnamese

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