Friday, September 14, 2018

A Weekend in St Louis, MO

Happy Friday! I am so excited to share with you the rest of our foodie trip we took to St Louis last week. I showed you all the highlights from our Weber Grill Academy & Nature Sweet Tomatoes day before and now I'm spilling the beans on all the things we ate and saw in the meantime.
Day 1:
It probably comes as no surprise that one of the first things I do when planning a trip is figure out where I want to eat, and then I plan everything else around that. Before leaving I asked a few friends and weren't given very many recommendations and a lot of the suggestions I did get were chains which I try my hardest to stay away from.
Maybe it's because I had very little expectations or maybe I just was lucky enough to love my picks, but I truly was blown away by the food scene in St Louis!
The awesome girls at Nature Sweet Tomatoes booked us a gorgeous room at Magnolia Hotel. The rooms are beautiful and the lobby is a stunner for sure. The weather didn't cooperate all weekend so I wasn't able to get a good shot of the entrance, but it's located downtown and super close to the convention center, Busch Stadium and the Arch.

We took the early flight out (hello, 3:30 am alarm) and landed by 7:30. We hopped in our rental car and drove straight to Egg. It is the cutest little cafe and we actually ended up chatting with the owners for a while which was awesome! I loved hearing their stories, how they moved to America from Tunisia, how they shop the local farmer's market for the restaurant and how the coffee is a special blend roasted just for them by the guy 2 booths over. After saying how much I loved the harrisa, which is house-made, they even brought me a container of it to take home- how cool is that?!
I tried the Hot Espresso Martini and the Corn Bread Benedict with Sautéed Spinach & Avocado and Louis got the special omelet of the day which he dug into before I could even get a picture of it. Service can be a little slow, but the friendliness of the owners and the food made up for it and then some.
 After breakfast we headed over to Budweiser for the Bud Light Brewery Tour
I don't ever drink beer, but I knew Louis would enjoy the tour and I was excited to see the Clydesdales. The tour far exceeded my expectations, I learned a lot and I could not get over how clean and pretty it is there. The tour is 75 minutes long where you visit the Clydesdale Paddock and Stables, the Beechwood Aging Cellar, historic Brewhouse and the BEVO Packaging Facility. If you do decide to take the tours, bring a light jacket or sweatshirt with you. A few of the rooms were freezing and I wish I had brought one with me
Those horses are HUGE and I swear that their stables are cleaner than my house. I can't really tell you anything about this part of the tour because I wasn't listening at all to the guide. I was too busy watching my new friend Lloyd and wondering how I could sneak him home with me.
After the tour we made our way to the hotel to check in. Since our breakfast was huge and our early morning flight had us exhausted we decided to have an early dinner at Sidney Street Cafe. If you can only eat one meal in St Louis please let it be here. We ended up doing the chef's tasting menu with wine pairing and it was absolutely stellar!
The wine pairings were perfect and each dish was prettier than the next. The bread basket was savory beignets!! I told our waitress that my dog's name is Beignet and she packed up a box of them for me to bring home. 
Just some of the highlights from the tasting:
Confit of Octopus with sunchoke puree and sea urchin bisque 
(we fought over the last bite of that one)
Sweetbread Tostadas with white bean escabeche and pickled jalepeno
Roasted Scallops, Ragout of summer beans, creamed corn, nduja and bone marrow jus
Halibut, Parmesan gnocchi, marinated tomatoes, grilled zucchini, and a horseradish cream

Day 2:
Saturday was our Weber Grill Academy experience. Knowing how much food I was in store for, I just wanted a cup of coffee so we stopped at a little cafe called Coma right across the street from where we were going. I got a cortado and Louis got a gorgeous fruit smoothie bowl that he had already eaten half of before I could get a pic
After the buffet we ate at Weber, all I wanted was a nap!
Around 8pm I wanted a snack. I found an awesome Peruvian restaurant a few blocks away from the hotel called Mango that now holds the title of the best sangria I've ever had. It was absolutely delicious with a hint of cinnamon that I will need to figure out how to make soon!
Instead of the chips and salsa I'm so used to in Texas, they start you off with plantain chips and a bright cilantro dip/sauce that I ended up putting on everything.
Louis had the Ceviche de Pescado (Traditional Peruvian dish of today’s fish cold-cured in freshly squeezed citrus juices with Peruvian peppers, onions, garlic and cilantro) and I got the Causa de Salmon (Aji amarillo infused potato cake chilled & layered with salmon salad, sliced egg & guacamole finished with red pepper aioli). To be honest, I think both of the dishes were just ok and really needed more seasoning but the Sangria and cool vibe made it a place I'd definitely give another shot if given the chance.

Day 3:
We took our time getting ready in the morning and checking out so by the time we got to brunch it was around 10. The Shack was PACKED! The wait was about an hour, but when 2 seats opened up at the bar we just seated ourselves. The waitresses were really sweet and ended up giving us samples of some of their Boozy Shakes. These things were flying out of the bar and now I know why! We tried the "I Do What I Want" which was coco puffs, yogurt, bailey’s & frangelica and the "Captain Crunch" which is rumchata, captain morgan, yogurt & crushed cap’n crunch
I got the Gringo Killer Skillet- 2 eggs over medium on a bed of hashbrowns topped with chorizo, onion, bell peppers, green chili salsa & SHACK cheese and Louis got the Downstream is too Mainstream Omelet  - a 3 egg omelet with avocado, smoked salmon & feta cheese. Both were excellent and the service was great too!
After our humongous meal we went and visited friends of ours that we hadn't seen in years. The drive there was beautiful and it was so good to catch up after all this time!
Our time was almost up, but I couldn't leave St Louis without trying some barbecue so we headed to Sugarfire Smokehouse
We had the Smoked Fried Artichoke Hearts, The Meat Daddy Platter (Smoked Turkey, Ribs, Smoked Sausage, Brisket and Pulled Pork), Coleslaw, Fries and about 32,987 sauces! 
I really loved the Coffee and White Sauces!
I truly don't think we could have fit any more food into one weekend and I loved every minute of it. Even if my clothes were a tad tighter on the way home!

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