Saturday, October 31, 2009

Uncle Bill's in St. Louis

For breakfast, I had pancakes and fried chicken. They were actually leftovers from our post-Halloween party 2am excursion to Uncle Bill's. Uncle Bill's, menu-wise, is St. Louis' Breakfast King, but with a Southern accent rather than a Southwestern one. Decor-wise, it's 1970s would've been right at home at Buckingham Plaza pre-redevelopment.

As usual, I had no idea what to order. Too many choices. Then the waitress volunteered that she could make their fried chicken "dinner" (salad, potato) into a "breakfast" (hash browns, eggs, pancakes). Awesomeness ensued. Their food is mostly greasy diner food, and sometimes doesn't succeed at that, but their fried chicken was some of the best I've ever had. Even more amazing? They make it to order. Even at two in the morning.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Food in Denver, Part I

I've been in Denver for the last two weeks- long story short, I own a condo by City Park still, and have been trying to get it rented out after the last (very, very horrible) tenant left. This has given me ample opportunity to revel in yummy Denver food.

I've visited a number of my favorite, and/or nostalgic restaurants:

the Bagel Deli- I finally made it in time for their early bird specials...the beef baken is not as enticing as I'd imagined. And I really miss the classic wood paneling they got rid of years ago. But it's still homey, and I love their garlic bagels with salmon cream cheese.

Rico's- sooo good, and really great prices. I usually go for their veal canelloni. Never tried their pizza, which is apparently what they're known for. But everything is tasty. I missed out on a visit to Romano's this time around, which is another of my favorite neighborhood Italian places.

Oshima Ramen. No commentary, I just love it.

Tommy's Thai. Another great local place. My condo is pretty close, so we'd eat there once a week or so when we lived in town. I'd forgotten all about the chicken soup they serve with meals at lunch- it was just what I needed with the cold weather- and I'm always amazed at how cheap it is, especially at dinner.

Goosetown. Great calzones, good 2am pizza. I usually get their Standard calzone, but tried their veggie this time. It was just as good.

Watercourse. I wasn't even going to go here, but a certain vegetarian acquaintance wouldn't shut up about their chili (which I actually didn't try). I'm impressed by how much they've improved. I've been going there since they opened at the original 13th Street location, and the service has always veered between apathy and suckage. The food has always been good, but too salty and too pricey. The price point is the same, and the salty is not entirely their fault- my favorite item is their Mediterranean Blue Plate Special, which is full of horribly salty things like feta, capers, and olives- but they seem to have toned it down. And our waitress was actually organized, helpful, and had the cutest Southern accent.

I've also eaten at a few new (at least to me) places:

Bender's Brat Haus- I had a krautburger and German potato salad. The burger was really a rich pasty filled with hamburger meat, sauerkraut, and a mysterious creamy cheese sauce. Delicious, but probably horrible for me. I'm not remotely bacon-obsessed, but the potato salad had intriguingly thick and chewy bacon chunks that were awesome. It needed more of the bacon chunks, and more acid, to be truly fabulous.

Ya Ya's. Oy. Their menu items sounded tasty. And their wine list was a huge book, heavy on Spanish wines, which makes me happy. But it was incredibly weird. And, well, it makes complete sense now that I've discovered their other outposts are in Wichita, Little Rock, Kansas City, and St. Louis. It's in the DTC, and a prime business lunch/ladies who lunch sort of place, so I had high expectations. Our server was attentive and friendly, but my orechiette with winter veggies (which said waitress highly recommended) was really lame. The hummus was just ok. The baba ghanoush and the hummus were almost interchangeable. And the waitress took it upon herself to explain to my mother, who lived in a vegetarian commune long before said waitress was born, what baba ghanoush was. It made me cringe. Their decor sort of sucked, too. The styles of food are completely different, but for my money, the best real European dining experience to be had in Denver is at Kinga's on Colfax. I know it's primarily a bar, but their traditional Polish plates are really good, and the atmosphere is legit European.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lunch at Home

Today for lunch, I had some mac n' cheese and half of a squash.

The mac n' cheese was pretty foul, despite being Annie's. I prefer her white cheddar and shells, but they take forever to make, so I settled for the nasty microwaveable version. I see Annie's makes a whole-wheat version, so in the future I'll eat that instead. I have no guilt about eating anything, regardless of how bad it is for me, as long as it's real food. But white flour is gross.

The squash was much better. I prefer roasting, but opted to microwave today because I was starving. I've recently discovered sweet dumpling squashes, and they are my new favorite. Very substantial, almost meaty, with buttery flavors between pumpkin and acorn squash. They're also adorable!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Jewish Deli in St. Louis

For lunch, I had the soup and sandwich combo from Kopperman's Delicatessen in the Central West End, with an iced tea to drink.

They were out of chopped chicken liver already, so I had a corned beef on rye with spicy mustard.Probably slightly better for me than chicken liver, anyway. The meat for our sandwiches was freshly sliced, and the place was actually sort of posh as delicatessens go. The sandwich was delicious, and the rye was really nice- I usually eat rye only grudgingly, but theirs was flavorful without being heavy.

The soup selection was decent- I had meat-filled kreplach soup, while Jon tried their matzo ball soup. They were on the fluffy side, but not very exciting; to be fair, matzo balls are never exciting for me. They also offer a variety of other soups, along with chili.

The meal was perfect for today's cold and rainy weather, but I'm still on the lookout for a good bagel place. Although Denver's Bagel Deli has mostly average food, I do miss their garlic bagels and lox spread, and their chicken soup. I also miss the kitschy paneling they took out when they remodeled a few years ago, but that's another story.