Baileys’ Range

Bailey's Range BuildingOn a quest for something other than brunch on an early Sunday afternoon, I came across Baileys’ Range. It is fair to say that I have loved the atmosphere and food of every single Bailey’s restaurant that I have walked in to so I expected nothing short of delicious. One of my favorite things about Baileys’ restaurants is that they embrace older buildings that others would possibly shy away from. The first glimpse of their creative touch is the mural outside of the building which provides a bright spot to an otherwise dreary city block. Walking in to the two-story industrial style loft space, your eyes are drawn in every direction. The ice cream bar on the left makes you question whether you really need a meal or if you should skip right to dessert while the giant display of unique sodas provides you with as many drink options as the fully stocked bar. The space is filled with a variety of reclaimed items from ceiling fixtures to hanging windows that separate the kitchen from the rest of the restaurant.

Bailey's Range First FloorWe were led upstairs to our table with giant windows on one side and a view looking down into the restaurant’s first floor on the other. We were presented with three menus for food, drinks, and ice cream. There are 17 different soda flavor categories, several local brewery offerings, boozy floats, shakes, ice teas, and lemonades. The rest of the menu consists of starters, salads, and burgers along with a la carte sides. All burgers on the menu come with a suggested protein, but any meat can be substituted for lamb, bison, chicken, pork, beef, veggie, or Match products (plant based, vegan meat substitute). In addition, your bun can be customized to be vegan, pretzel, or gluten free. There is also a weekly burger battle in which two burgers face off head-to-head so that the burger that is ordered more often remains on the menu to compete with a new burger the following week.

I chose to start with a Virgil’s black cherry cream soda while my husband chose a delicious, creamy espresso shake made with homemade ice cream (I suppose it’s one way to get your Sunday morning coffee). We also ordered the pretzels for an appetizer. The plate of three pretzels arrived quickly along with a large bowl of cheese sauce. The pretzels were unique in that they were more buttery and fluffy than your usual salty, dense pretzel. There was plenty of cheese for each bite and even some left over for our fries. I ordered the Ozark burger for my entrée which came with caramelized onions, sautéed Ozark forest cremini mushrooms, and black peppered goat cheese. This was all served on a homemade bun which was light enough that I didn’t feel like I completely filled up on bread. I substituted the protein for Match but the texture was a turnoff for me so I will probably go with a veggie patty next time. However, the toppings were great and I loved the flexibility of the menu which allows almost anyone with a dietary restriction to enjoy a meal. My husband chose the Herb’d Lamb which was a lamb patty topped with mint basil walnut pesto, Asiago cheese, fennel, and mixed greens. His burger was completely devoured by the time I took my third bite so I took this as a sign of success. We also ordered the small French fries which was plenty for two people. All fries come with a choice of mayo (rooster, horsey, chipotle, sriracha, house), mustard (beer, honey, sweet/hot), homemade catsup (sriracha, chipotle, curry, wasabi), Bbq or house cheddar sauce. Since we had left over cheese sauce from our pretzels and catsup from our burgers, we went with something more adventurous and chose the horsey sauce (horseradish mayo). All it took was a small dip but I loved the kick it added to the fries.

All in all, our meal was a success. The prices for these unique burgers average a manageable $10-$12. The space is perfect for a casual meal with kids or friends and provides a great spot to go before a game or with out-of-towners who may be out and about in downtown St. Louis.

Baileys’ Range is located at the corner of 10th and Olive in Downtown St. Louis (map).

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Death In The Afternoon

IMG_2884Death In The Afternoon. How can you not be intrigued by a restaurant with a name as unique as this? Death In The Afternoon, located in downtown St. Louis, is named for Ernest Hemingway’s book as well as a classic cocktail made of absinthe and champagne which both bear the same title.  The owners of the member’s only restaurant, Blood and Sand, opened this lunch spot to provide diners with a unique and creative midday meal. The location alone is something special. The building is constructed with floor to ceiling glass windows which provide unobstructed views of City Garden.

Looking over the menu, I was surprised by eclectic variety of Asian, Middle Eastern, and American dishes served together under one roof. My meal started off with the Agua Fresca, a refreshing drink that changes every day. My particular beverage was made with pureed cucumber, mint, and lemon and served over ice. The drink felt healthy and fresh and was a great alternative to a soda or cocktail. We started our meal with an appetizer of kim chi which was served with pickled green beans, mushrooms, colrabi, and parsnips. This was my first experience with kim chi and I really loved the spice, especially against the tartness of the pickled vegetables.


When it was time to decide on a main course, I was immediately drawn to the turnip miso ramen. I always find myself longing for warm, hearty soups and stews but it is rare to come across one that is vegetarian friendly. This large noodle dish was accompanied by root vegetables, mushrooms, black garlic oil, a perfectly cooked soft boiled egg all served in a broth that had a great peanut flavor. Although I didn’t quite master the art of eating ramen in public, I fully enjoyed my dish and would come back for this alone. I also had the chance to sample the falafel and special of the day. The falafel was served alongside tzatziki sauce, cucumber salad, romaine lettuce, radishes, and mint. Although the falafel appeared to resemble your typical Middle Eastern street food, the spices of the dish are what made it stand out. The special of the day was baked eggs topped with cured guiancale (Italian cured poor cheek), carrots, and daikon. The eggs in this dish were also perfectly cooked but it felt like it didn’t quite belong on a menu with no other breakfast items. However, with a menu filled with such a variety of foods, I suppose anything goes.

 

This is not quite the place to bring your kids after playing in City Garden nor is it  where you should stop by for a hurried lunch. The food is meant to be enjoyed and take you out of your comfort zone. So if you are looking to get a bit adventurous on your lunch hour, Death In The Afternoon should definitely be on your list.

Death In The Afternoon is located at 808 Chestnut Street, St. Louis, MO 63101
Open everyday from 11am-3pm

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Winslow’s Home

Winslow's 1Winslow’s Home is what I would consider to be the hidden gem of University City. If you are not looking for this restaurant as you drive down Delmar Blvd., you are likely to miss it as the building’s architecture blends right into the rest of the neighborhood. The farm-to-table concept is apparent from both the rustic and homey feel of the restaurant to the seasonal and ever changing menu. In fact, much of the food is grown right at Winslow’s Farm near Augusta, MO. Not only is Winslow’s a restaurant but it is also a store with a variety of household products, books, and local foods such as sweets, flavored salts, and honey.

I would like to preface my review by saying that this is probably the fifth time I have dined at Winslow’s and I go back because I love it so much. However, my experience for brunch last weekend was incredibly different than what I am used to.

Winslow's 6Since it was a beautiful Fall morning and I live in the neighborhood, we decided to ride our bikes to the restaurant. There are two racks out front which made it easy to secure the bikes while we ate. It was a crowded Sunday morning as I expected and we took our spot in line to order. Diners have the option of any of the breakfast items, salads, main courses, and off-the-menu specials such as butternut squash soup throughout the day (See Winslow’s Seasonal Menu (PDF)). While standing in line to place our order, a hostess took our name and informed us that it would be quite a wait for outdoor seating so we settled on eating inside. After standing in the very slow moving line, we ordered and were then instructed to move to another line to pick up our drinks. After sixteen minutes of waiting at the counter, I was handed a mocha and the smallest glass of fresh squeezed orange juice I have ever seen. Now I understand that the orange juice was fresh but had I known that it would be gone after four sips, I would have chosen something else, especially with how long I had to wait for it.

After 25 minutes our food fiWinslow's 5nally arrived. My husband went with the pork burrito which was a whole wheat tortilla stuffed with breakfast sausage, eggs, potatoes, cilantro, mozzarella, chipotle sour cream and served with a side of tomatillo salsa. The portion was quite large and the flavors were good. The burrito was a bit dry however the salsa took care of the problem. I ordered the egg white frittata which was mixed with broccoli, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, and topped with arugula and served in a hot cast iron skillet. While the presentation was good, the bottom of the frittata was burned, rubbery, and required a knife to cut which is not what I expect in an egg dish. I was underwhelmed with my meal because it felt like it was something I could have made in my own kitchen. We finished our meal with a plum sour cream coffee cake which was large enough to share, very moist, not overly sweet, and reminded my husband of a Russian cake that his grandmother used to make.

Overall, I was disappointed with my experience because of the wait times, chaotic atmosphere, and execution of my dish. Although the restaurant is designed to be cozy and quaint, it doesn’t feel equipped to handle a crowded Sunday morning. However, I have had really good experiences at this restaurant in the past and I am incredibly impressed with the freshness of the food and concept of the menu so I will definitely be back, maybe just for a mid-week, late afternoon lunch.

Winslow’s Home is located at 7213 Delmar, University City, MO 63130

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The Dining District at United Provisions

United provisions 7Exciting things are happening in the Delmar Loop including the building of Wash U. student housing, the opening of exciting new restaurants, and the creation of a much needed grocery store. The owners of Global Foods Market in Kirkwood recently opened their newest venture, United Provisions. This specialty supermarket features items you would find in a typical American grocery store as well as products from around the world. Another component unique to this location is a restaurant called The Dining District, located inside United Provisions. Chef Ben Poremba, James Beard nominated chef and owner of Olio and Elaia, has partnered up as chef in this new venture.

The Dining District offers a variety of foods including old favorites from Porembra’s other restaurants such as Olio’s egg salad and burrata as well as a huge menu of new creations. They feature a raw bar, a long list of sandwiches, grill items, and full sushi menu which is overseen by Chef Naomi Hamamura.

I started my meal with two appetizers, the burrata and crudo. The burrata was topped with olive oil, salt, and pepper and served with beets on the side. It came with a large portion of warm pita bread although I was happy eating the dish on its own. The crudo included five thinly sliced pieces of fish that were also lightly seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper. I was a little nervous about ordering this on a Sunday night because it is hard to expect much freshness out of seafood at that time of the week. However, this fish was perfect and tasted like it was caught that morning!

Next up was a marinated artichoke and provolone warm-pressed sandwich. It was filled with marinated artichokes that were just a little too lemony for my liking but delicious nonetheless. There was a thin layer of a mayo based spread over the bread which was crisp on the outside and soft in the middle. I’ll be honest, I didn’t finish the sandwich at the restaurant but ate the rest at home later that night. My husband ordered the goat burger which was a hamburger topped with a healthy serving of goat cheese and medjool date tampenade for sweetness. The burger was served medium rare and was devoured before I could even finish half of my sandwich.

Because there was a sushi menu sitting in front of me the whole night, I couldn’t help but order one roll. I went with the Hamma’s tuna roll which is Chef Hamma’s signature spicy tuna roll. The tuna was incredibly fresh and the sauce was not overpowering as it sometimes is. The sushi was a bit more expensive than most restaurants in St. Louis with prices averaging $8.50 for basic rolls and $10 to $22 for specialty rolls.

United provisions 3Somehow, I managed to save just a tiny bit of room for dessert. Desserts at the restaurant are provided by La Patisserie Chouquette and are displayed in a case at the front of the restaurant. Since I had just eaten the equivalent of about three meals, I stuck to macarons. Although there were lots of interesting flavors such as absinthe and lavender, I chose to play it safe with pumpkin and chai. They were both fresh, delicious, and probably the best I have found in St. Louis.

Overall, I was really impressed with both the grocery store and restaurant and I think that this space adds so much to The Loop. Whether you need groceries, takeout, a fast lunch, or want to sit and enjoy a nice meal with a bottle of wine, you will be able to find something at United Provisions and The Dining District that works for you.

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Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co.

IMG_2393
A Peacemaker is actually an oyster sandwich that fisherman would give to their wives after they stayed out all night drinking.

As someone who is obsessed with seafood, I could not wait to check out Kevin Nashan’s new restaurant, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. Let’s be honest, options for this type of cuisine are lacking in this area of the country. I knew trying to get into this popular restaurant would be a challenge on a Friday night, especially since they do not take reservations. However, I found out that the restaurant supports the use of the app called NoWait which lets you put your name in line before you ever get to the restaurant. After putting my name on 90 minute wait-list, I was able hang out at home for an hour and get to the restaurant to be seated in just 10 minutes!

Our short wait was spent at the bar where I ordered a bourbon slushy. I am not a huge bourbon fan but I cannot resist a slushy, especially when it comes in a colorful mason jar. I was pleasantly surprised by the drink and it is just mild enough for a bourbon beginner. As I waited at the bar, I couldn’t help but take notice of the atmosphere and décor. The restaurant is rustic and bright with large pictures on the walls of the actual fishermen who catch some of the food that is served in the restaurant. Reclaimed wood from an old Missouri barn has been turned into many of the tables and structures used throughout the space. There are buckets on all of the tables with wooden mallets and metal crackers to be used with your meal.

We were seated and quickly greeted by our waiter who went over the menu with us in detail. The restaurant features a raw bar serving oysters, clams, and crudo. If you are looking to work a bit for your food, you can opt for the boils and steamers with the choice of lobster, shrimp, crab, mussels, and clams. The most popular item on the menu is the lobster roll, served either warm or cold. There are other roll options as well as poor boys, salads, soups, and sides. If you are watching your wallet, be sure to ask about the prices because many of the items are charged based on market price and your bill will add up quickly.

IMG_2410I decided to start with the yellowtail crudo. The large portion of fish was incredibly fresh and was topped with cilantro, jalapenos, and crunchy corn for texture. My husband chose the clam chowder which actually confused me just a bit. The clams were hard to come by and the chowder tasted more like a potato soup with bacon. The flavor was good; I just think I would have enjoyed it more had I not been expecting a true, New England clam chowder. Next, I chose the steamed bun roll which were three Asian sticky buns stuffed with lobster, sour cabbage, and tarragon aioli. These sandwiches were quite small and served with nothing on the side. Although the sandwiches are unique and tasty, they left me hungry. If I had to do it again, I would order the more substantial looking and highly praised Lobster roll. My husband opted to be a little more adventurous and ordered the crab boil. After all, how often do you see fresh crab on a menu in St. Louis? The crabs being served that night were fresh Maryland Crabs that arrived off of a plane just a few hours before being served. His plate had three crabs, Andouille sausage, a buttermilk biscuit, potatoes, as well as the tiniest piece of corn I have ever seen. To say that these crabs were a lot of work is an understatement. To put it in perspective, by the time we finished cracking these crabs, our dish of butter had solidified. Although the idea of cracking your own fresh crabs is exciting, the amount of work it took for such little meat did not seem worth it.

IMG_2413We were both still hungry after finishing our meals so we decided to end with dessert. We chose the snow cone (yes, a snow cone) with house-made lime syrup and chocolate pecan pie. The pie was served warm with a perfectly brown, flaky crust and was just the right end to the meal.

While the meal was good, I was expecting a little more creativity in the menu. However, there was so much to love about this restaurant that I will definitely be back to give it another try.

Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co. is located at 1831 Sidney Street St. Louis, MO 63104


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