Tag Archives: Tower Grove restaurant

Ices Plain & Fancy

Ices Plain & Fancy Liquid Nitrogen MixersJust when you’d started to tire of the froyo craze and you thought you’d have to revert back to regular old ice cream for a little change of pace, Ices Plain & Fancy rolled into town. This ice cream shop is like none other in St. Louis. Liquid nitrogen is used to make this frozen treat which creates an ice cream that has no ice crystals and is silky smooth in texture. After choosing your flavor, the cream base is mixed in a Kitchen Aid mixer with your custom flavors and liquid nitrogen. While the process looks like a science experiment, the end result is delicious. The menu offers several traditional flavors as well as specials, boozy ices, a coconut milk base, and a seasonal sorbet.

Johnny Jump Up
Johnny Jump Up

My trip to Ices was with a group of friends which actually turned into appetizers before our late dinner reservation. I had the chance to sample many things on the menu including Butter Pecan, Campfire S’mores, Salted Carmel Dulce de Leche, and Rocky Road, as well as two boozy ices, the Johnny Jump Up and Dark & Fancy. Although this seasonal selection will not be back until Fall, the Campfire S’mores was hands-down, the best ice cream I have ever tasted. The marshmallow ice cream base was infused with smoke flavor and topped with pieces of chocolate and graham cracker. To top it off, it appears that the ice cream is smoking when the liquid nitrogen escapes after removing the lid. One of my other favorites (and one that will be on the menu all summer) was the Salted Caramel Dulce de Leche. What makes this treat so amazing is the black salt that is sprinkled on top giving it a little texture and a hint of salty flavor. The boozy ices surprised me because they were served as a cup of ice cream instead of a shake. Instead of masking the taste of the alcohol, they are mixed with flavors that really highlight the liquor.

Ices Plain & Fancy is a great addition to the St. Louis ice cream scene and will keep kids and adults coming back for more. Just be sure to bring your patience because creative, custom orders take a little time to prepare and lines tend to go out the door.

Ices Plain & Fancy is located at 2256 S 39th Street, St. Louis, MO 63110
Open Wednesday thru Sunday, check the Ices Plain & Fancy website for times.

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The Shaved Duck

The Shaved Duck 6What appears to be a hidden gem from the outside is actually a restaurant that everyone in town seems to know about. The Shaved Duck was completely packed, even on a Friday during Lent when it seems many people would shy away from a restaurant that prides itself on BBQ. We pushed our way in the door where we began our hour and a half wait for a table. We managed to get a drink while we waited and we were able to follow our wait on the NoWait app (although you are not able to reserve a place in line ahead of time). When we were just reaching our limit of standing shoulder to shoulder with strangers, dishes of much appreciated, seasoned popcorn were brought out and placed at the bar for everyone to munch on.

We were finally seated in the dining room which had a great, energetic vibe. We looked over the menu and decided on appetizers to share between our table of four. First up was the buttermilk cornbread served in a skillet with a side of honey butter which the menu stated would take 15 minutes to prepare. However, it arrived in no less than 5 minutes, barely warm, and slightly dried out which can only mean that it had been sitting there a while. The sweet glaze on top and butter definitely helped but in the end, it was only average. Our second appetizer was the smothered fries which were featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. They were topped with rib and pork meat, white cheese sauce, and sharp cheddar. I really enjoyed the white cheese sauce verses the typical nacho cheese you find at most places and the plate was perfect for four people to share. While the fries were good, I can’t say I was blown away by them.

I had the shrimp and grits for my entrée. This hearty bowl of rich and creamy grits was topped with five large shrimp and while there were no frills about it, the dish was delicious. We also had the chance to sample one of the four chilies on the menu. We ordered the ancho beef as a chili mac meaning that the chili is served over a bowl of macaroni and cheese creating a dish that is definitely large enough to be ordered as an entrée. This was the least spicy of the chilies and was definitely manageable (the spiciest is served with a glass of milk). After hearing about the house-smoked meats and homemade sausage and meatloaf, two sampler platters were ordered at our table. The first had pulled pork, pulled chicken, and mac and cheese while the second had meatloaf, pulled pork, and burnt ends. While both plates were completely licked clean, the burnt ends were voted to be the favorite and the meatloaf was said to be “better than moms” (sorry Mrs. E.).

Just when I thought I could not eat another bite, we managed to be temped with dessert. After all, who can resist Samoa white chocolate pretzel bread pudding? Unfortunately, it was a little dry and we all agreed that the gooey butter brownie might have been a better option.

While there were parts of our meal that I didn’t love and the wait was less than desirable, I understand why the restaurant is bursting at the seams. The atmosphere and energy of the restaurant make for a really great dining experience. It is evident that a lot of time has gone into creating a menu full of thoughtful comfort food that keeps people coming back.

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