Landmark Hits Milestone

Pat’s in Dogtown has been there… forever. Well, longer than you can remember.

Actually, 75 years. The joint opened in 1942.

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Famous for being the starting point (or very near it) of the annual Dogtown St. Patrick’s Day parade, Pat’s, at Tamm and Oakland was founded by a real Irishman. Pat Connolly, native son of County Galway, called his establishment the Pat Connolly Tavern.

Following ownership changes over the decades and a period when the bar was known as McDermott’s, Pat’s is back in the family. And the official name is once again the Pat Connolly Tavern.

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The current owner is Joe Jovanovich, grandson of Pat Connolly. (That’s Pat in the photo.) In partnership with his mom, Jovanovich has updated things. The decor. And the menu.

However, you have to honor a classic: As it was in the beginning, so it is today that fried chicken is a menu staple. Along with a large selection of bar/grill food favorites, the beverage menu goes well beyond Bud and Bud Light. Along with Irish beers, the PCT offers classic cocktails.

If you haven’t been by in, oh, a decade or two, maybe it’s time to revisit a St. Louis landmark as the Pat Connolly Tavern celebrates its 75th anniversary. Check out their website by clicking HERE.

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Tomato Fest at Iron Barley

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Here’s some great family fun this Sunday!

Iron Barley’s 12 Annual Tomato Fest

WHEN: Sunday, August 14, Noon to 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: 5510 Virginia, St. Louis 63111

WHAT: A celebration of all things TOMATO! Bloody Marys. BLT sandwiches. Pizzas cooked on the smoker, topped with the season’s best tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes from local farmers. Tomato art.

LIVE MUSIC: From Pat Liston (of Mama’s Pride) and Sins of the Pioneers.

ALSO: A Bloody Mary making contest, open to all. Games and raffles. This is a free street party on Virginia Avenue in front of Iron Barley, just off I-55 in south St. Louis

PROCEEDS BENEFIT: Lift For Life Gym

Click HERE for more info.

Mayana Mexican in Clayton

My first meal in St. Louis when I moved here in 1988 was at Hacienda in Rock Hill. Over the years I’ve been back dozens of times. I’m a fan.

When I heard that the owners of Hacienda were planning to open a “fast casual” Mexican place called Mayana, I was eager to check it out. Mayana is now open and ready to feed you Monday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at 7810 Forsyth in Clayton. After my first visit, I am also a fan of Mayana.

I spoke to Managing Partner Brian Michaels about Mayana. He begins by explaining what is different at Mayana from Hacienda. (Our chat runs 4:31.)

Mayana Food

Mayana offer its ingredients (some pictured above) via a number of formats: Burrito, Wet Burrito, Burrito Bowl, Salad, Street Tacos, Fry Bread Taco or Quesadilla.

Fry Bread cooking

On my visit, I had a fry bread taco, as shown above in the fryer. I topped my fry bread with black beans, Carnitas (pork shoulder), chimichurri sauce and sour cream, as shown below. Yum!

Fry bread toppings

The meat and vegetables offered at Mayana include Fajita Steak, Citrus Chicken, Carne Guisado (beef), Carnitas, Grilled Shrimp and Calabacitas (veggie blend).

Not shown is the guacamole, which is also very good.

Churros

Mayana has delicious Churros, served with a sweet dipping sauce. I strongly recommend you try them.

Mayana is destined to become a Clayton lunchtime favorite.

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Visit Mayana online by clicking HERE.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop in O’Fallon (MO)

The St. Louis area now has its third Potbelly Sandwich Shop. The newest Potbelly is open in O’Fallon, MO, at 2025 Highway K. (That’s 1.6 miles south of I-70.)

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The shop features “toasty” warm sandwiches, salads, soups, chili, and shakes and smoothies. And a friendly crew!

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Crew 1

I sampled the Potbelly sandwich called “A Wreck” which comes with salami, roast beef, turkey, ham and Swiss cheese. Take a look…

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I got mine with lettuce, tomato, pickle and mayo. There’s a lot of good stuff on that sandwich. Very filling! (Took the other half back to share with a co-worker who loved it.)

The Sriracha Black Bean Soup was just spicy enough to enhance its deliciousness. I want more!

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If you’re a milk shake fan, try the coffee flavored shake. Or maybe get chocolate and coffee mixed for a mocha shake.

Potbelly shake

And would you believe that a sandwich shop has live entertainment? Yep. Everyday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., there are live music performers! Nice touch.

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The manager at the O’Fallon Potbelly is Mike Wright. Owners are Todd and Angie Stimson. They also have Potbelly Sandwich shops in Creve Coeur (on Olive in the old Provisions location) and in Clayton (on Bemiston in the old Fatted Calf location). Their next Potbelly is set to open in late summer in St. Charles near Lindenwood University.

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By the way, the name comes from the potbelly stove that was in the original Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Chicago. It was an antique store that began serving lunch to their shoppers and, before long, they were better known for their food than for their antiques.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop in O’Fallon is open at 11:00 a.m. each day. It closes at 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday and at 8:00 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, click HERE.

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Pearl’s Oyster Bar at Ameristar

St. Louis area seafood fans, put Pearl’s Oyster Bar on your list! Located at Ameristar Casino in St. Charles.

Ameristar has added a new executive chef for the St. Charles casino and has just introduced a new menu at Pearl’s. A recent tasting event featured several items with a distinctive New Orleans influence, including Shrimp and Grits, shown below.

photo (2)Atlantic Grouper is available at Pearl’s, grilled or blackened, as shown below.

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The new executive chef for Ameristar St. Charles is Chicago native Don Yamauchi who was on hand during my recent visit to Pearl’s Oyster Bar.

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Yamauchi’s honors include having been listed by Food & Wine magazine as one of the “Top Ten New Chefs in America” and being named one of the “Top Five Rising Chefs in America” by the James Beard Foundation.

Pearl’s Oyster Bar offers cornmeal crusted fried oysters in a po’ boy sandwich and as an appetizer. And, of course, they have raw oysters.

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Among my favorite items at Pearl’s were the Lobster Rolls and the Shrimp Po’ Boys, seen below.

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Add Hush Puppies, with remoulade sauce…

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And a bowl of Gumbo…

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And finish up with Key Lime Pie that has a perfect blend of sweet and tart.

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If you’re up for a cocktail, Pearl’s has a cocktail menu that includes concoctions called “Cajun Lemonade,” “Sweet Mother of Pearl,” “Blazing Cyclone” and “Who Dat.” (I’m more of a beer guy—and they have a good variety of beers available.)

The food choices at Pearl’s also include a Filet Mignon Po’ Boy, Live Maine Lobster, New England Clam Chowder and that New Orleans favorite Red Beans and Rice.

Pearl’s Oyster Bar is open Fridays and Saturdays, 5:00 p.m. to midnight and Sundays, 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Click HERE for more info.

For info about Ameristar Casino Resort Spa St. Charles, click HERE.

 

Gnocchi at The Dark Room

The Dark Room on Grand Boulevard in St. Louis has a new chef, Samantha Pretto, who joined recently from the Scottish Arms. One big way she’s put her stamp on the menu is with a weekly gnocchi program featuring fresh house made gnocchi with a variety of ingredients.

She hand rolls and hand cuts the thick, soft dough dumplings, mixing in featured ingredients. The 1″-2″ gnocchi pieces are pan-seared to the desired texture.

White Gnocchi

Among the ingredients she adds to her gnocchi are sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, spinach, and roasted red pepper. Chef Pretto (pictured below) then adds various butters, wine sauces and creams, topping it all with seasonal vegetables, artisan cheese and local greens.

Samantha Pretto

Dark Room wine and gnocchi

Along with gnocchi, The Dark Room’s food choices include appetizers (featuring charcuterie and cheeses) and an assortment of flatbreads. Also: Catalan meatballs, vegetable curry and desserts. To see The Dark Room’s menu, click HERE and scroll down through their extensive wine list. (The proper billing for the place is The Dark Room Wine Bar and Photo Gallery.)

The Dark Room is located at 615 North Grand Boulevard, between the Fox Theatre and Powell Hall. Call 314-531-3416.

Social links: Twitter: @TheDarkRoomSTL

Instagram: @TheDarkRoomSTL

Facebook: Facebook.com/TheDarkRoomSTL

 

 

 

Newsy Notes of Interest

Companion Baking has opened its new café in the Westport area. The location is 2331 Schuetz Road in Maryland Heights. Hours are Monday through Friday, 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Companion

The new restaurant Boundary is set to open February 8 at The Cheshire. It replaces the Restaurant at the Cheshire. Click HERE for more. The name is inspired by the Cheshire’s location on Clayton Road which straddles the city/county boundary.

A fast-casual Mexican restaurant will open in Clayton in spring. Located at 7810 Forsyth in a former Quizno’s space, Wet Burrito comes from the folks at Rock Hill’s landmark Hacienda. Wet Burrito will cater to the Clayton lunch crowd and promises “to serve virtually every customer from start to finish in less than three minutes.”