48 hours in St. Louis

Just another installment of “Eat Your Way Through __________”

As a reward to ourselves for setting up shop in Charleston in record time, Lisa and I headed for St. Louis. 140 miles to the southeast on the brink of the Show Me State lies the home of the tallest man-made monument in the United States. Known as the Gateway to the West, the Arch dominates the city skyline and is a well known symbol in the Midwest.

St Louis Arch

Photo credit: Wikimedia

Once we dropped off our bags at the hotel, we made our way downtown. St. Louis is an interesting city in that everything is very spread out. The neighborhoods are not as tightly packed as other cities, so the layout is more conducive to public transportation or a car. We made our way on foot and hit the downtown highlights: the Arch .. and the food. The admission price is a whopping $10-14 depending on your options, but the climb to the top is worth the view on a clear day. Those space pod capsules that take you approximately 62 floors up to the top are slightly terrifying, and not for the claustrophobic. The amount of people per shift is also pretty substantial, so be prepared for crowds.

Now the important part. Imo’s brought us our first taste of St. Louis style pizza. The cracker thin crust, square slices, sweet sauce and delectable cheese were an adventure for this East Coast pizza eater .. but a worthwhile one. Also featured here are the awesome toasted raviolis, which surprisingly included meat and not cheese, and as a result may be a new feature in my Midwestern diet.

Our foodie to do list composed by my good friend Mike also included concrete and gooey butter cake. “Concrete” is a fancy way to say thick custard at Ted Drewesoff of Route 66. This endeavor requires a car, and is worth every mile. Stay tuned for a photo of me flipping my custard to prove a point. Gooey butter cake came the next morning with a caffeine fix at Park Avenue Coffee, much needed after spotting the damage done to my car overnight (keyed by an angry Cardinals fan, I think). Although not on the original list, we were pleased to find an awesome dinner at nearby Schlafly Brewery .. beer bread and the best Turkey Monte Cristo in life.

While everyone else flooded into the city for the St. Louis Rams game, we headed to the outskirts of the city and the Budweiser brewery. A point of comparison is important here – and I’ll use the Heineken Experience in Amsterdam as the alternative. The Budweiser tour was mainly outdoors, lasted a little over an hour, included two beer samples, a trip to the Clydesdale stables, and free admission. The Heineken tour was indoors, includes an amusement ride and video, two beer samples and costs 14 euros. Take your pick! (go with the Clydesdales).

Honorable mentions: sculpture garden, St. Louis Cardinals MLB ballpark and recently reopened Peabody Opera House (we just missed Aretha Franklin and Jay Leno who were in town for the red carpet re-dedication).

Now it’s back to Charleston and back to work! Photos to follow ..

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