Monthly Archives: June 2014

Melt

My pick for this week is definitely the most interesting restaurant that I have been to on my food journey. Melt is the result of a coffee and ice cream shop that were “melted” together to create an eclectic spot specializing in waffles. Having moved its location from Cardondolet to Cherokee Street about a year ago, this restaurant offers food, coffee, and bar service and is open until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Whether you come for brunch or in search of a late night snack after the bars close down, there is something here for you.

Menu at Melt
Menu at Melt

Walking into the restaurant, I was overwhelmed by the amount of stuff around me. To best describe it, imagine having brunch in a thrift store. Lighting is made from old bike wheels, none of the tables and chairs come from the same set, meals can be had on couches or oversized chairs, and the menu is written on the wall in boxes separated by windows, door frames, and headboards. If you are looking to add a little excitement to your meal, you can play ski ball, pin ball, or choose from one of the many board games that are scattered throughout the restaurant.

Coffee bar at Melt
Coffee bar

We arrived on a Sunday morning for brunch and while it was crowded, there was surprisingly no wait. We were given the option of being seated at a high top table but we chose the oversized chairs with a small table in between.While comfortable, it was not the best spot for enjoying a meal. We had great service the entire time and were able to order right away. I chose to start with coffee and I was instructed to help myself at the coffee bar. The mugs were hanging on hooks on the wall and each one was more different than the last. The cup I chose was in the shape of a peanut that had a huge red smile and feet on the bottom. I filled my cup with Kaldi’s coffee (my favorite) and was able to return for a refill when I needed more. The rest of the coffee menu was large but not overly imaginative and the prices were better than we often pay. They also offer smoothies, a full bar, and a long list of beer.

Psycho Monkey waffle
Psycho Monkey waffle

I had an incredibly hard time making a decision from the menu which is divided into sweet, savory, and vegan waffles as well as bowls and scrambles. The bowls and scrambles allow you to make your own egg or tofu creation with whatever toppings and sauces you would like. As for waffles, you can choose whether you would like them to be made with a biscuit, buttermilk, cornmeal, vegan sweet potato, or gluten free base. I chose to have the Biscuits and Gravy special which was a biscuit waffle topped with potatoes, onion, scrambled eggs, cheese, and vegan sausage gravy (which I substituted for regular gravy). Once I added Siracha for a little extra flavor, I was in heaven. My husband chose the Slinger which was a waffle topped with chili, onions, cheese, and a sunny-side up egg. While he liked it, he thought the potatoes on my waffle would have been a good addition to his. We couldn’t leave without trying a sweet waffle so I chose the Psycho Monkey. This waffle, topped with peanut butter, chocolate sauce, bananas, and whipped cream, made me go from liking to loving my meal. Want to get a little more creative? Check out the Elvis with bacon cooked into the waffle or the Honey Badger topped with honey, peanut butter, and honey whiskey.

I finished my meal completely full and loving this restaurant for both the food and atmosphere. Prices are reasonable and the portions are large. The games make it a great spot to bring kids and conversation on a first date would never go dry because the décor leaves so much to talk about. While Melt may not be for everyone, if you are a lover of waffles or are in search of a new late night spot, you need to come down to Cherokee Street to check it out.

Melt is located at 2721 Cherokee St. St. Louis, MO 63118

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Planter’s House

I came across a list of hot restaurants in St. Louis and noticed that Planter’s House was one of the few that I had not been to so I decided to head to Lafayette Square to check it out. This restaurant, located at the corner of Mississippi Ave. and Choteau, offers both indoor and outdoor seating as well as a large bar. The restaurant has a similar late 1800’s charm to many of the homes in the Lafayette Square neighborhood with old architectural details such as arched doorways and ornate wood carvings. Although it pained me to not sit inside the beautiful restaurant, we chose to eat outside since it was such a nice night. The decently sized patio is nestled between two buildings and has a covered area that is supported by large brick archways. With soft music playing in the background, you almost forget that you are right in the middle of a city.

Planter’s House places a large focus on their extensive drink menu, likely due to owner Ted Kilgore’s status as one of St. Louis’ premier mixologists. We were presented with several pages of beer, wine, spirits, and cocktail options. The waiter was extremely knowledgeable about the menu and was able to provide some guidance through the many choices. I chose to have a My Paloma which was a refreshing grapefruit drink. I appreciated that only half the rim was salted so I could choose whether or not I wanted salt.

Mushroom appetizer at Planter's House
Mushroom appetizer at Planter’s House

The food menu on the other hand is more limited and I had a fairly easy time making my decisions. As a starter, my husband and I shared wild mushrooms which were sautéed in pureed lemon zest, basil, grapefruit, and parmesan reggiano. You wouldn’t think that mushrooms, basil, lemon, and grapefruit would be likely friends on a plate but the dish worked perfectly. I would have left completely happy if this had been the only thing I ordered. But then it happened, Olio’s burrata finally met its match. Planter’s House created a mussel dish that would completely satisfy me if it was the last thing I ever ate. The large, perfectly tender mussels were served with a creamy coconut curry sauce that had just a bit of a kick. Cornbread accompanied the dish and was perfect for soaking up the extra sauce and left me feeling more full than I normally would feel after a bowl of mussels. Although I could go on and on, it wouldn’t be fair to the other, almost equally delicious, dishes we had. For my husband’s main course, he chose the duck burger served on a challah bun with remoulade sauce, Irish cheddar, mixed greens, onion jam, and a duck egg. He was surprised how much he loved the duck but said that the burger could have used just a bit less salt. His burger was served with seasoned fries and homemade ketchup. For those of you who don’t know me, I HATE ketchup so much so that I would rather eat mud. However, my husband kept raving about this particular ketchup so after several minutes of convincing I finally dipped a French fry in it and took a chance. I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised and that I may have even had a few more bites. I chose to end my meal with doughnuts for dessert. I was served two, very light doughnuts topped with a lemon sauce and toasted coconut. They were light and fluffy, perfect for sharing, and just the right end to our amazing meal.

Visit Planter’s House at 1000 Mississippi Ave St. Louis, MO 63104 or at Plantershousestl.com

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