The last few weeks have been a whirlwind! Between craziness at work (a lot of breaking news and the impending trial of our Governor have kept us busy) and diving into the wedding planning, I feel like I have been going, going going. Throw in trips to Ireland and Portland and I feel like I haven't slowed down.
But that's what I do. I over schedule myself, work hard and then treat myself. Even if that treat involves an ambitious 48 trip cross country to see my best friends. That's why seeking out those little moments is so important. For me that's trying to find at least one morning a week where I don't schedule three meetings before work or run a bazillion errands. Last week that meant checking out the new smoothie bowl spot in the Central West End.
Now I will be the first to say I'm not a big smoothie or smoothie bowl person. I like to eat my food. I don't feel like a smoothie which can be more calories than a donut sometimes ever fills me up. But the thing I liked about Rush Bowls is that with toppings like fresh cut fruit and granola, it felt like a more fulfilling meal. And the owner who was great at helping guide us through the menu said they're not nearly as calorie laden as one might expect.
There's a wide variety of more fruit forward bowls and those that teeter towards dessert. I ordered the Power Bowl, a mix of blueberry, raspberry, bananas, oats and frozen yogurt. I topped mine with granola, fresh strawberries and a drizzle of honey. With an addition of whey protein, it was clear it would fill me up. My mom went with the Chai's Mystique, which was delicious. It felt decadent without feeling overly sweet. Bananas mixed with frozen yogurt, chai and milk and then topped with almonds, honey. But there is a wide array of things on the menu and they are all about customization and helping you make your perfect bowl. At almost $8 a bowl, they're not cheap for a snack, but as a meal it's not a bad price.
You can dine at their little bar inside or even better, grab your bowl to go and grab a bench outside in the Central West End and enjoy this beautiful weather. I know I'm going to take a little time today to soak in this sunshine and let my to-do list just sit for a little bit.
If you follow pretty much anyone in St. Louis on Instagram, you've likely seen the gorgeous floral mural at one of the area's newest cafes. Well let me tell you, it's even more adorable in person. And if you come for the gram-worthy pic, you'll return again and again for the food.
The new fast casual restaurant by the owners of Olive + Oak, is located in the heart of Webster Groves and thankfully very near my mom's house. Usually I don't feel like I need to leave the St. Louis city limits for great food and coffee, but this is worth it. And so is the wait. I've been a few times, and they appear to be still figuring out the best way to serve the growing crowds. You can order at the counter for to-go orders and initially they were doing that for in house orders as well but on our last visit they sat us and then we ordered. Either way, once you get a table, service is quick and friendly, perfect for a busy lunch date or a quick brunch with the girls.
Similar to Olive+Oak, the menu items are familiar favorites but with a creative twist. The biscuits in the biscuits and gravy were like little scones, flaky and perfect for sopping up the gravy. The grits though are hands down my favorite. The perfect consistency topped with a delicious ragu and the perfect egg. For lunch we loved the brussel sprout salad and the pistachio dip is a MUST.
I can't wait for the weather to warm up and sit outside on the patio. According to Sauce Magazine, dinner service is also in the works. But for now, I'm ok settling into the the gorgeous gold chairs with a bottomless cup of coffee and eating those grits for ever and ever.
Open 7:30-3:30 Daily. For menu and address: https://www.thecloverandthebee.com/
Is Tuesday too early to start dreaming about Sunday brunch?
Yeah I don't think so either. You all know I have an ongoing list of restaurants I want to try and I swear every time I check one off another gets added! Turn recently opened in the .ZACK building in Midtown. .ZACK is a multi-purpose event space, there's also a new cocktail lounge, Sophie's Artist Lounge and Cocktail Lounge, that opened that I want to check out! The coolest thing about Turn is that it's record themed. The chef and owner used to be a DJ and the walls are decorated with records and there's a solid playlist of music streaming throughout the restaurant.
The cocktails were tasty and there were some unique breakfast offerings. We started with the paloma and mimosa to drink. Fresh squeezed juices take the cocktails up a notch. And of course I've never been able to pass up a biscuit and Turn offers a whole flight of them. The lemon-lavender biscuit was my favorite, with honey and seasonal jams.
The dill hollandaise on the L.E.O was a nice twist on the traditional eggs benedict. My boyfriend got the arepa which was the perfect savory breakfast, spicy chorizo with a yummy chili verde. There was an attention to detail on every dish that I appreciated and would expect from the chef who used to work at Cafe Osage (another brunch spot favorite!). The great thing is that this is another spot that now serves brunch during the week! They're open Tuesday-Sunday. But if you're out for Sunday brunch and you feel like continuing your day in Midtown, I suggest walking over to Urban Chestnut's beer garden for a complete Sunday Funday! Is it the weekend yet?
Let's talk breakfast my friends. I love breakfast...when someone else is making it. I know they say it's the most important meal of the day but during the week I am more about grabbing some oatmeal with apples or a scrambled egg. I would rather just have some coffee and wait until lunch. But if someone else is making me breakfast well then I could make an argument that it's my favorite meal.
St. Louis has a ton of weekend brunch spots. Every neighborhood has a great place for eggs and Bloody Mary's for Sunday mornings. Some with hour long waits that are worth every minute. But today we're talking breakfast, not brunch. Because of my schedule, I am off on Fridays and a lot of times I'm ready for someone else to make me some delicious potatoes and bacon for the start of my weekend. But I've found there are not as many options for weekday breakfast. Enter, Egg.
Egg, located in Benton Park, opened last October. It originated as a brunch pop-up in Spare No Rib and then expanded to it's own concept. I went about a month ago and fell in love. They have a fantastic eclectic menu. It's short but the menu items each pack a punch. You could call it fusion. There's tex-mex elements and then there's a chakchouka, a traditionally Tunisian dish with eggs sauteed in a tomato sauce. I've yet to try it but definitely on my next visit.
You must try their take on eggs benedict. I went with the spinach and avocado, but there's also one with smoked pork belly that harks back to their original start as a barbaque restaurant (Spare No Rib moved to it's own location near Cherokee Street). Instead of your usual English muffin, the perfectly poached egg perches on top of a slightly sweet biscuit. It surprises your taste buds and veers away from the traditional brunch staple in the most perfect way.
The hashes are also fantastic. They pack a lot in that little bowl. Lots of veggies, spices and the potatoes have that perfect crispness. The El Cerdo hash with carnitas, corn and jalapenos packed a lot of heat! It's all perfect hangover food for weekend brunch but the portions also aren't insane that if you go for a week day breakfast you don't feel like you immediately need to go home for a nap.
But if you are looking to indulge during your week day...or you're visiting on the weekend, their Bloody Mary is not to be missed. They make their own pepper-infused vodka and homemade mix. Its the perfect amount of heat, just like a lot of their dishes. Fresh squeezed orange juice tops a generous pour of sparkling wine for their mimosas.
Egg is opened Tuesday through Sunday. Where are your favorite weekday breakfast spots?
-So I have this problem with St. Louis that in reality is the best problem to have - there are too many yummy places to eat. When I lived in Knoxville there were some amazing restaurants but after a while I was very tired of my options (of course since I've left the Knoxville food scene has exploded, every one should visit BTW). Coming home to St. Louis I was so excited to try the plethora of restaurants that had opened since I left. But of course that was while also getting my fill of life-long favorites.
Basically my weekly dilemma becomes, how do I fit in all my favorite spots while also checking off my (ever growing) list of new places? (While also trying to keep my wallet and waistline in check?) That's why it's taken me nearly a year to get over to Byrd and Barrel. But the wait was worth it. This was some solid fried chicken
I already knew I loved the space (obsessed with idea of rehabbing vacant buildings) and had an idea of exactly what we were going to order: chicken, mac n cheese and the poutine. The space was better than imagined, I love love love the re-use of the old Popeyes, the bar was beautiful. Only complaint was the stools at the counter (not bar) were horribly uncomfortable. Thankfully we we're able to snag bar seats when a couple left. We naturally chose to eat fried chicken while it was 100 degrees outside but that didn't stop our eyes from devouring that menu. I wanted so many things. We settled on the pre-planned order but of course had to add on biscuits. Knoxville taught me I can never pass up a biscuit.
Let's first talk about that poutine. Byrd and Barrel's version is tator tot-esque potato ball compared to your usual fries, and that gravy was so delicious. I wanted to smother it on every thing else we ate. Gravy plus tator tots plus cheese curds plus chicken? I mean what more could you want? Well you could want the cheddar biscuit which I will say happily reminded me of a more upscale Red Lobster biscuit. (Don't judge, I freaking love cheddar biscuits.) And then you could want to follow that with more guilty pleasure goodness. Cheesy mac-n-cheese and that chicken. We got the two piece and could barely finish half of it. It's peppery and crispy, the perfect kick of heat. Granted in 100 degrees we were slightly regretting our glutinous lunch choice.
But there we go, I have checked off another on the list. Thanks to the drive-through though it may become one my list of rotating favorites...
Let's start off with a confession. After living in Tennessee for nearly three years and visiting Nashville multiple times, I'm ashamed to admit I never visited the famed hot chicken joints (Hattie B's or Princes!). I know, I know. Judge me if you please.
So I've anxiously been awaiting St. Louis' own hot chicken spot. And boy did it deliver.
Southern opened their doors last week and the word quickly spread around town. We got there around 11:30 and the line was already creeping down the block. The Midtown restaurant shares a building and a co-owner (Mike Emerson) with the already beloved Pappy's. So if you're used to waiting in line at Pappy's, this is no different. But what made that line seem to fly by was a friendly visit from co-owner/chef Rick Lewis. Not only was he armed with a smile and a hello, but better yet, SAMPLES. In a little cup was his house made bologna. A far cry from the kind I remember as a kid that was wrapped in that red plastic. This my friends was some fantastic bologna.
But I came for the chicken. And that first bite was worth the 25 minutes we waited in line. Crunchy, juicy and just enough kick to make you want that piece of Companion white bread it sits atop. I went with Mild which was plenty spicy for me, but if you're a braver soul there's also a 'Cluckin' Hot' and a 'General Tso' that is supposed to have a nice soy kick.
The sides are as a classic as they come, from greens to mac n' cheese (amaaaazing) to a vinegar cole slaw. In addition to the chicken, there's also several great looking sandwiches (one of course with that delicious bologna). I think it'll be tough for me to go back and not get that chicken but perhaps I'll just have to go twice as often…I'll be glad to wait in that line if it means more samples!
Welcome to my blog! Here you'll find a behind the scenes look at the day-to-day life of a TV news reporter. I have a love for food, traveling and all things St. Louis. This is a place for me to write about my passions.