Friday, April 28, 2017

The Pretzels that Saved the Day







Gus' Pretzels saved the day. 

After a particularly disappointing breakfast, Ben and I were pretty cranky and needed to find a restaurant open early on a Sunday, close by where we already were, and offered something that would never ever  disappoint. 

Uh, hello, carbs. 

Though both Ben and I have had Gus' multiple times before, this was our first visit to their actual shop! It was teeny but oh so chock full of pretzels in every shape, size, and dipping sauce! I went for basic pretzels (no salt!) and a huge tub of cheese while Ben got a Salsiccia pretzel sandwich (of course). 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

BPC for Breakfast









We've gotten a lot of recommendations to try out Benton Park Cafe. Our local post office peeps are obsessed with them and keep on telling us they have the best food around. After a couple months of cajoling, we finally gave in and decided on a light early breakfast on a quiet Saturday. 

It was actually quite busy when we got there, and loads of families already filled the place. Since we weren't really feeling anything huge, Ben and I chose to split an order of Biscuits and Gravy and a side of turkey bacon. To be honest, we were disappointed with our meal. The biscuits were a too flour-y and heavy for our tastes, and we really wished we got more sausage in the gravy.

Afterwards, we spent some time walking through the neighborhood, admiring the building styles of this particular part of St. Louis. We spotted a gorgeous sign made with tile! 

Monday, April 24, 2017

Teatopia





I can barely contain my happiness about this new tea shop on Cherokee-- Teatopia!

It's a tiny little place that's easy to miss, especially with all the loud signage on Cherokee. I'm astounded that they're able to squeeze in seating on the inside, but I definitely want to (one quiet day!) spend some time sipping and sitting quietly in that teeny space. 

On this visit though, Ben and I just bought a couple of new blends to try: Duke of Africa which is a rooibos tea with a very strong flavor-- good for mornings when you need an extra pep; and Chocolate Lavender which is as lovely as it sounds and is one of my new favorite blends. I can't wait to try more!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tai Ke





Oh man. 

How do I even start this post? Ben and I weren't expecting to be blown away by the food from Tai Ke. We walked in what looks like an unassuming, typical restaurant down Olive Blvd. We regarded the expansive menu with interest, and were thrilled when we discovered unfamiliar names with enthralling descriptions: rice cakes with hotdogs, pork blood soup, chitterling. 

We ordered Gua Bao, which is a braised pork belly in a warm, fluffy bun. Then we followed that with Jha Jiang noodles, Chili Stir Fry shrimp (because that is my weakness), and Wuxi Style pork ribs. All of which blew our minds.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Luxury Lunch at the Park






Ben doesn't like to admit it, but he is crazy about sweets. He tries to hide it, but I know that he's always looking for places with pretty pastries. If he comes upon a place serving entremets, I am powerless to stop him from frequenting said establishment until he's exhausted their assortment. 

Nathaniel Reid Bakery is Ben's favorite bakery. Ok, it's mine too. And it's really easy to see why. Their desserts are exquisite and scrumptious. We haven't tried them all, but each one we've tried has been better than the last. They also make, in my opinion, the perfect macarons in St. Louis, and their flavors are so delicate and consistently delicious. 

On this visit, we tried their turkey sandwich and salad for lunch, and snagged a few treats as well! Since it was a shiny albeit chilly day, we drove to a nearby park and shared our noms while people watching-- one of our favorite activities!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Croissants at Comet









Weekends are for slowing down, having late, indulgent breakfasts, and not regretting all the carbs and lethargy. Ben has been begging me to check out Comet Coffee mainly because it boasted a Croissanterie on their website. You mention croissant (aka carb and butter heaven) during the weekend, and I am pretty much in. 

Since it was the weekend, we ambled in around 9 in the morning, surprised to see the place already cram jam with people. The line was pretty long, but we were able to appreciate their wall art listing the local businesses and ingredients they work with. Pretty impressive list, if you ask me!

We chose a couple of croissants: a savory one with ham and a pain au chocolat, which is my favorite way to enjoy flaky pastry. They were perfect, ya'll. They have that crisp exterior and loads of flaky layers with the center just slightly soft especially when you get to the chocolate. Totally worth waiting in line for!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Pizza by the Slice








We are pizza fiends. 

Though, in our old age, our appetites have slowed to an embarrassing rate of no longer being able to annihilate a respectable pie size between the two of us. So imagine the thrill when we found out that there were pizzas by the slice being sold by U.R.B-- the Urban Research Brewery down The Grove! 

One cloudy afternoon, we waltzed in the large, inviting space and picked out a few slices to share. If we didn't have a multitude of errands to run that day, we probably would have imbibed, but the hot, cheesy pizza was enough. You guys, I love a good dough. And these pizzas have that perfectly cooked crust with a great chew. Ben was swept away by their pepperoni (he does love a strong pepperoni). So yeah, you bet we'll be adding this place to our regular haunts. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

We came for the beignets




Lately, I've been craving afternoons in cafes. 

Does that sentence even make sense? 

Back in grad school, weekends (and class-less afternoons) were pretty much spent at a cafe, indulging in a hot drink while writing papers or making a dent on the old to-read pile. So I guess I'm just being a little nostalgic now that I don't have to worry about paper deadlines or grading.

Ben and I decided to check out Cafe Ventana upon reading that they offered beignets on their menu. Eyes greedy, we ordered a plate of 6, thinking they would be dainty delights. Wrong-o. They were each the size of saucers! We enjoyed our fried dough packets with hot chocolate (Ben's pick) and a tall glass of iced tea (my poison) while people watching and reminiscing about days old. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Mastodons in Missouri







When I saw the sign for Mastodon State Park while driving down I-55, I was sorely tempted to stop in the middle of the highway, make a hard (and illegal) U-turn, and find out what the hell it was all about. I did get my wish a couple weeks later when Ben and I spent one afternoon walking the pleasant park trails and then paying a visit to the museum which houses a small display of replicas including a Mastodon skeleton and a giant sloth!

Friday, April 7, 2017

Salume on the Trail











Though I'm not a huge sandwich kind of gal, if you suggest we get sandwiches at Salume Beddu (or anything at Salume Beddu, really), I am totally in. And if you suggest we eat at a park then walk lunch off down the trails, I am doubly in!
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