Welcome and thanks for stopping by! This first post will have a special place in my heart as it centers on a study abroad reunion trip in Missouri. I can see the face you’re making; stop judging and keep reading. The back story: Four friends meet in Spain in 2008 and reunite in Missouri for Natalie’s wedding. We met in St. Louis and drove across the state to Kansas City, digging up the best eats we could along the way.
So, what’s there to eat in St. Louis? Plenty. I never would have considered it a foodie hot spot but I couldn’t.stop.eating. Before each trip I always do research on the local hot spots and Missouri was no exception.
Between a paltry airport breakfast in New York and a stroll up Art Hill in St. Louis, I definitely had an appetite upon arriving. Our first stop was the popular Delmar Loop area of St. Louis for lunch at Mission Taco Joint. I love a good taco and this restaurant showed up on a list of top eats in St. Louis so I couldn't resist. Apparently neither could the locals. The line at this SoCal restaurant intimidated me at first but it moved quickly and we were seated in a matter of minutes.
With wooden high top tables and Pacific blue walls it was easy to forget we were landlocked. We decided on an appetizer of carne asada fries that, by the ingredients listed, were a sign of good things to come. They were well seasoned and devoured in no time but could have used more meat. We all ordered a variety of tacos that included everything from portabello mushrooms, goat cheese, onions, black beans and huitlacoche sauce (YUM) to roasted duck with crisp pork belly carnitas with avocado Serrano sauce. The whole of each taco was equally as great as the sum of its parts, making Mission Taco Joint a rare and delicious find.
After finding the third member of our group, admiring the Arch, and touring the Anheuser-Busch factory we were ready to eat again. Well, I was ready to eat again. We ran through some options that included a haunted mansion with a mixed menu and a modern take on St. Louis barbecue. We ultimately decided on a small location called Planter’s House. It was great night for outdoor eating so we opted for a table on the patio, which, with its strung lighting and greenery, felt more like a friend’s backyard in Manhattan than a St. Louis side street.
My fellow diners had an assortment of dishes: a beet salad with curacao vinaigrette, pecan smoked chicken wings with blueberry mustard and a lamb spaetzle. I was beyond pleased with my dish: a duck burger topped with cheddar and a fried duck egg that, when cut into, oozed all sorts of creamy goodness into every crevice of the burger and Challah bun. Major nom. Eggs are one of my favorite foods; really good eggs have a special place in my stomach. And the genius that turned duck into a burger deserves a raise. Advantage, Planter’s House.
Check back later for my next post on Kansas City dining!