Meet Us in St. Louis Part Two

And, here is the second half of A Couple in the Kitchen's Culinary Guide to St. Louis.

Best Beer
Root beer, actually. Fitz's, in the area known as The Loop, makes their own sodas on the premises. Watch as their concoctions are blended, bottled and capped, then sit and enjoy one plain or as a float. The root beer was smooth, sweetened with real cane sugar, and had nice hints of birch - so refreshing on a hot day!

Best Appetizer
The Central West End is a fantastic area for restaurants and shopping. It was there that we discovered Scape and had our favorite appetizer in St. Louis - Barbecued Shrimp with Cheddar Grits. Three large, sweet, tangy, peppery grilled shrimp were stacked over creamy, cheesy grits for an amazing mingling of flavors. We were thisclose to ordering a second round. So delicious was this creation that t.v. personality and food expert Phil Lempert reviewed it and printed the recipe here. If you can't go there, make it at home!

Best Brunch
You're in St. Louis. You're going to visit The Arch (it's a must-do!). Why not start with an amazing champagne brunch first? That's what we figured! The Millennium Hotel's Top of the Riverfront restaurant is a revolving restaurant near the Arch with a top-notch brunch of over 100 items and plenty of bubbly. We loved the food almost as much as the incredible views of the city, the Arch and the Mississippi River.

Best Bar
This one's a tie. We loved Bridge Tap House for its modern decor, hip atmosphere and knowledgable, friendly bartenders. We loved it more for its extensive menu - over 200 beers, over 100 wines, and a wide variety of unique liquors, plus charcuterie, cheeses, desserts and other snacks. Excellent for late-night visits. Then there's The Fountain on Locust - technically an ice-cream parlor, with an incredible art-deco interior. Homemade ice creams, like Zanzibar chocolate and champagne sherbet, are featured in sundaes, old-fashioned sodas, and cocktails like the Sparkline Champagne Float (pictured), which could be Amy's most favorite drink ever.

Best Overall
Our best overall goes to a relative newcomer on the St. Louis scene. It has it all - fun atmosphere, welcoming staff, good prices - and the best barbecue we have ever had. Ever. This honor goes to Pappy's Smokehouse. Smoked low and slow over cherry and apple wood, their meats were spectacular, even without their tasty barbecue sauces (as they say, "Sauce is on the side 'cause there's nothing to hide."). When we did get around to adding sauce to our falling-off-the-bone ribs, moist pulled pork and fork-tender brisket, we loved the sweet kick of the "Sweet Baby Jane" and the smoky tanginess of the "Pappy's Original" sauces. Their sides are nothing short of brilliant in themselves, particularly their housemade baked beans and deep-fried corn-on-the-cob. Pappy's smokes a certain amount of each item, so go early because they do run out. The line (we hear there's always a line) moves quickly and the meal is worth every second of the wait. We were too busy stuffing our faces to take pictures of our food (plus the camera would have gotten covered in saucy fingerprints), but here we are afterwards, happily filled to the brim with spectacular barbecue. A special shout-out goes to Pappy's partner John for making us feel like old friends. We'll come back to St. Louis just for another meal at this extraordinary bbq joint.


jck said...

Sounds like a delicious trip all around.

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for posting about The Fountain on Locust! We will post a link on our Facebook page & Twitter account :)

- The Fountain on Locust