Sorry for being so MIA on the blog lately! Between our Governor going to court and a whole lot of craziness in the news business, I've found little time to write on the blog. But summer is in full swing here in St. Louis (yes we went straight from February to July it feels like) and that means filling the longer days with all the fun. This weekend I can't wait to take a dip in the pool, spend time with friends and of course watch the Royal Wedding! Anyone else waking up super early to watch the love story of Harry and Megan? If not, here's a look at other fun around town!
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.
Is Tuesday too early to be thinking about Sunday brunch? I think not.
Last month we got to check out the first beer brunch at Center Ice Brewery. It was a collaboration between the brewery, Coma Coffee and Chef Alex Salkowiski of Sydney Street. And they're getting ready to do another one this weekend and I'm here to tell you, go get your tickets. This was such a fun morning, filled with great food, full pours of some delicious beers and owner and brewer Steve Albers takes the morning to explain why certain beers pair well with certain foods. Walking your taste buds through the beer as you start with a fruit and cheese plate, explaining the flavors you get when biting into creamy brie verses tart blood orange.
We started off with the American Golden which was really delicious. It was refreshing with hints of citrus. But my favorite beer of the brunch had to be their coffee stout they made with my friends at Coma coffee. The brunch was held in the back part of the brewery where you can see their brewery equipment. And if you haven't been back there, the equipment is surrounded by a wall like at a skating rink. If you're a Blues fan, you'll definitely want to check out all their hockey memorabilia. The gorgeous bar is built from wood from the old arena. Even if you can't make the brunch it's a great spot to grab a beer before a game, with friendly staff. Normally the Midtown brewery doesn't serve food but you can order from neighboring Pappy's or Southern.
The next brunch is this coming Sunday and tickets are on sale. The menu isn't posted but they have teased ahead to a raspberry picker cream ale paired with a parfait made from local goodies. There will also be a new beer released. Find tickets here.
Usually I am off on Friday's but today I'm working a dayside shift for a co-worker. Feeling very sleepy this morning but happy to help when I can. This week seems like a blur. It went by crazy fast but I got a chance to do a story I loved (Maplewood restaurant boom!), take a hike with a friend and spent time with 8th graders at a career fair talking about why journalism is the best. Plus we saw sunshine and 60 degree days this week! And that in itself gives me smiles for days. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!
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/
It really is the most magical time of the year. I LOVE the holidays in St. Louis. There are so many festive touches around the city and so many ways to celebrate the holiday season. So for this week's #ToDoInTheLou, I'm making a growing list of holiday events and pop-ups for your enjoyment! Tis the season!
One of the things I love about St. Louis is how many great weekend getaways are within a quick drive. You can get to Chicago or Louisville or Nashville in just a short drive. Or you can stick closer and explore the beauty of Missouri. Biking to wine country along the Katy Trail has been a bucket list item for me for ages. And fall is the best time to do it!
Missouri has several different spots to explore wine country. You can take a drive down to St. Genevieve or hop on the train to Herman, we opted to get a little workout in without wine drinking and ride part of the Katy Trail to Augusta. The Katy Trail stretches 240 miles across Missouri and is a beautiful way to see the Show-Me state. We decided to take it easy since we planned on spending several hours at the wineries. (Wine + biking can lead to some cuts and scrapes FYI). So here is our advice for the perfect day trip to the wineries.
We started in Defiance which is just about 40 minutes from St. Louis. We brought our bikes but there's a great place - Katy Bike Rental - where you can rent bikes, pick up gear or chat up the helpful employees about your trip. Our route from Defiance to Augusta was about 8 miles, a little under 45 minute one way. The trail is beautiful. The crunch of the leaves under your wheels, the views of the Missouri River and fields. Its the perfect way to take in the beauty of the area. Plus the trail is flat and easy to ride. On the way to Augusta, there's a winery a few miles in - Sugar Creek Winery. You can stop there, but decided to keep going.
Along the route is also Klondike Park. It's a gorgeous park with hiking, biking and fishing. We stopped to take in the views of the river and grab a drink of water. The park is for another visit. We finally turned the corner and spotted the sign welcoming us to Augusta. Our booties were ready to hop off our bikes and ready for wine.
Our first stop was Augusta Winery. Heads up, the town is HILLY. So if you are biking, be prepared to hoof it, or hop off your bike and walk up the hills. For $5 at Augusta, we got a tasting of five wines. I am not a fan of sweet wine which for the longest time made me think I couldn't drink Missouri wine because so many of them are very very sweet. But there are a lot of great dry options. We tried some white and some red, my favorite red was the Norton, a full bodied red with berry notes. But given we were still a bit toasty from the bike ride, we opted to get a full glass of the Chardonel. It was crisp and light and perfect for sipping on the outdoor patio.
Next stop, we headed up another very steep hill to Holy Grail Winery. It's housed in an adorable little shed like building with a shaded garden area. This was by far the most hospitable stop - mainly because it wasn't crowded. The husband and wife team who own the winery walk us through their wines and their background. They even offered us some of their homemade sausage and venison to try. We sampled all reds, some heavy, some light, ended with a raspberry chocolate port. They were all delicious. Plus they sell chocolates that they import from Ireland. The smell inside the shop was intoxicating. We loved the Pinot Noir and purchased a bottle. The tasting was 5 wines for $5, but that charge is waved if you purchase a bottle. Across the street were a couple of darling antique shops.
Third stop was Mount Pleasant Winery. This is the biggest and most popular winery in Augusta and was packed on a Saturday afternoon. There as a wedding, a party and a live band, so the lines were a bit long, plus the tasting room was a bit crowded so I didn't feel we got a good description of the wines we were trying. We loved the Brut Imperial, a dry sparkling wine. After our tasting ($10 for 4, you get to keep the glass) we purchased a bottle of the Brut and headed to the patio. There's a restaurant onsite and we purchased a cheese and sausage plate and listened to the live band. It was a fun crowd on a beautiful day.
Our final stop was Augusta Brew Haus. Located on a hill overlooking the Katy Trail, they too had live music. We got a flight, sampling the blonde, IPA, Oktoberfest and Hefeweizen. The beers were tasty but we could tell if we had anymore we wouldn't be able to make that 8 mile ride back. We got back on our bikes and hit the trail. The ride back was quicker than the ride there, I think because we were pedaling quickly to get it over with. The soreness had set in and the wine only helped so much.
Back in Defiance if you're ready to keep drinking there are several other spots, including the Yellow Farmhouse Vineyard and Winery and Chandler Hill. Overall it's the perfect spot to spend a day that feels like a mini-vacation. Check out the little video we made of the day! I'd love to know, what's your favorite Missouri winery?
Today marks Day 11 of protests in St. Louis. Unless you really have been living under a rock, you’re aware that our city is once again under the spotlight after a white police officer killed a black man and was found not guilty. It’s been a tiring week for many – for those beyond frustrated with a legal system they do not feel will bring justice, for police officers working 12 hour shifts and for those of us in the newsroom who are doing are best to bring the most accurate coverage of everything happening on the streets of St. Louis.
The majority of the protests in our city have been peaceful. Disruptive, but peaceful. But some nights have turned violent. Windows have been shattered, officers have been hit with bricks, our crews have been threatened at gun point, spit on and called every name in the book. But we are committed to being on the ground, showing the viewer what’s happening.
Many people have said “just stop covering the protest, they’ll go away.” Well sorry to break it to you but that is simply not true. Whether our local news cameras are recording or not, someone is. Livestreamers, citizen journalists and anyone with a phone will continue to record what’s going on. But we as professional journalists believe we need to document and record and work to provide context. You may not agree with what you’re seeing on the TV – whether it’s police allowing protesters in the street or maybe you don’t like how police are wearing riot gear – but that doesn’t mean it’s not happening. And I believe we as journalists owe it to our community to bring them information.
Sometimes that information changes, and in breaking news situations things are happening fast. We do our best to only state facts, what we personally witness or what we are given from officials. But officials get it wrong too. I’ve had more hate emails, tweets and nasty Facebook comments than I can count. And they’re coming from “both sides.” Which in my opinion usually means I’m telling it down the middle... But I’ve also had strangers stop me at the grocery store, at the park, and on the street to thank me, and my coworkers for bringing them the coverage. Again they may not agree with it all, but those kind words, and their concerns for our safety mean a whole lot.
So thank you to the viewers, to those following along on Twitter, and for my mom’s friends who text her about my live shots. We do this for you. And I’ll end on this: Instead of typing something mean or hateful on Facebook, or making a judgment, try to make conversation instead. Real conversation. Ask a protester why they’re out there. Ask a police officer why they serve despite a tense climate. You just might learn something.
Here’s a look at some of my coverage throughout the last week of protest.
How in the world is it Labor Day weekend already? I swear we were just opening the pool on Memorial Day weekend. Wasn't it just my birthday? I have such mixed feelings about fall. While I love the cooling temperatures and the chance to throw on a cozy sweater, I really really love summer. And fall means winter is on its way...just not ready.
Good news is there are so many fun things planned this weekend to distract me!
I have always loved theme parties. From summer camp to college, I was always down to dress up for a party. By the end of college I had collected a serious costume box. But as you get older it seems costume parties just don't seem to happen as often. I for one think that needs to change. Thankfully I got the chance to dress up over the weekend thanks to the Pat Connolly Tavern. My friend Kate invited me to the VIP party to celebrate the Dogtown institution's 75th anniversary. The Irish bar has been a classic spot in the area since the 40s, so what better way to celebrate their birthday than with a 40's bash?
I was so impressed with all the fun costumes, I wish I had gone all out because hello! How often do you get to wear a hat? But I donned my circle skirt, red lip and tried my best at a 40's inspired up-do (spoiler alert, it did not come out like the YouTube video). Classic cars outside made for the perfect Instagram background and live music made us feel like we were right in the middle of the Notebook. But the best part was trying all their classic cocktails. With all the great cocktail bars in St. Louis, Pat's isn't one I often think of, but that all changed the moment I tried their Ward 24. Jameson, real grenadine, lemon and orange juice create the perfect boozy yet refreshing drink for summer. Of course you can never go wrong with a classic Manhatten. So if you missed the party don't fret, head on down to Pat's one night for a cocktail, and maybe don a hat for old time's sake.
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.