Foodie Finds, Illinois, Missouri, Travel & Adventure

The St. Louis Dining Experience

I had a great time visiting St. Louis last month with my husband. It was just a quick trip for the weekend, but we enjoyed lots of good eats and visiting new spots. We spent Friday visiting Eckert’s Farms in Belleville, IL and started our mini-vacay off with some amazing peach custard. You can check out that post here for all the details!

After Eckert’s, we headed to St Louis to meet up with family for dinner. Since it was just four of us adults we chose a unique St. Louis location call Basso. The following day we visited the Foundry Bakery for a quick brunch and Salt+Smoke for an early dinner. Before heading back home we stopped by Kaldi’s Coffee House for some java to go.

St. Louis is a city for those who love unique food experiences. It didn’t always use to be this way, I remember visiting St. Louis years ago and struggling to find good spots to dine. However, they seem to have really grown over the years and are full of so many options. The food industry here is booming! It was hard to pick only a few places to visit with just two days, but I’m happy with the choices we made. One thing I know for sure is that we will never be limited on options when we visit!

Eckert’s Custard

There are so many options to choose from here, you really can’t go wrong with your choice.  Not located in St. Louis (or even Missouri), but just 30 minutes outside of the city is Eckert’s Farm.  Featuring a restaurant and custard stand, the flavor of the day when we visited was peach. Being peach season, of course, this is the flavor we choose. They had delicious, and humongous, sundae options as well. And if you’re like us, sometimes you just want a good old-fashioned root beer float. However, here at Eckert’s, you can also get yourself a Ski float! Ski is something we can’t find where we live, but those of you who are fans of this “soda” might just appreciate this option.

Eckert’s Custard Menu

Basso

Three words come to mind when I think of Basso: romantic, mysterious, and unique.  Basso was the perfect choice for four adults looking for a late-night dining option.  Basso means “below” or beneath” in Italian which is the perfect description for its one-of-a-kind location, underneath the Boundry Resturant at The Cheshire.  Upon entering you descend down stairs that lead you to a dimly lit restaurant with an open kitchen, comfy leather booths, stone fireplace, and large oval bar.  Their menu boasts of authentic Italian food and they are known for their generous happy hour with discounted drink, pizza, and appetizer options (available weekdays from 4-6pm).  My favorite menu items included the Crispy Meatballs, Emo Cover Band Pizza, and tiramisu.  (Also located across the street from the Stevenson’s Hi-Pointe Amoco sign, a St. Louis landmark)

Crispy Meatballs

The Foundry Bakery

We wanted to sleep in and get brunch, coffee, and maybe some bubble tea.  Getting all of those at one location is hard to find, however, we did at the Foundry Bakery!  With suggestions from Yelp, we made the easy decision to drive over to the northwest side of St. Louis for some late-morning snacks and drinks.  The Foundry features Taiwanese baked goods, teas (including bubble tea), and a coffee bar (with locally used beans!).  With a large dining area in a quiet neighborhood, friendly and helpful owners, and a variety of menu options, you’ll want to make The Foundry Bakery a regular stop!  Our menu selections included a Strawberry Green Tea Latte, Cafe Latte, Crispy Orange Bun, and Croissant-donut – all recommendations from the owner and highly recommended!

Salt+Smoke BBQ

Ok, let’s talk BBQ.  Yelp suggested this location for us and I was willing to put off going to Pappy’s Smokehouse in order to try something new, Salt+Smoke.  Located on the Delmar Loop, it is the hipster-ish of all bbq places I’ve ever been to.  Okay, it’s the only “hipster” BBQ joint I’ve ever been to.  But, it’s in a popular spot in an ever-expanding foodie city.  Putting the hipster vibe aside, the food is good and interesting.  You won’t find plastic straw or rolls of paper towel for napkins here, but you will find some good barbeque.  I wasn’t a big fan of their sides and sauces, but I was for their meat – and that’s what counts.  And they made a mean macaroni and cheese, which pretty much defines all barbeque restaurants.

Pulled Pork

Kaldi’s Coffee

No food post is complete without mentioning coffee.  A quick stop for some coffee-to-go lead to Kaldi’s Coffee.  Suggested by friends and other St. Louie folk, Kaldi was the coffee of choice.  With a huge menu of coffee, teas, and specialty drinks, they offer both single-origin and blended coffees.  Unique drinks, like the Ginger Rose Latte and Honey Almond Cold Brew (our selections), are available, as well as a variety of coffee classes available to the public.

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