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.


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.


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.



Tomato Fest at Iron Barley


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


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.


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!

Friendly crew2

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





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.


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.”


Casa del Mar Grand Fiesta Weekend!

Casa del Mar at the St. Louis Galleria is having a Grand Fiesta this weekend. The event celebrates the restaurant’s new decor and a newly updated menu.

photo-423From Friday, August 28, through Sunday, August 30, guests can enjoy Casa del Mar’s “Limit 2” Margaritas for half price. (They’re called “Limit 2” because they are potent.)

Casa del Mar is also offering a free appetizer to diners who purchase two entrées during this weekend’s Grand Fiesta.

CDM enchinladasAmong the items I enjoyed at a tasting event this week were the Lobster and Shrimp Enchiladas, Steak Fajitas, Shrimp Quesadillas and Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas. Casa del Mar describes their offerings as “traditional Mexican food as well as Tex-Mex fare with a twist.”

photo-424Street and Beach Taco choices include Fish, Chicken, Lobster, Beef, Shrimp and Carnitas.

CDM tacosGuacamole is prepared tableside at Casa del Mar by your server who includes a large number of ingredients. Let her/him know if you prefer your guac smooth or chunky.

CDM guacCasa del Mar is run by the same folks who’ve had a long-running success with the Canyon Cafe at Plaza Frontenac. Casa del Mar opened in November 2014 at the north end of the Galleria, next to Dillard’s. The restaurant has entrances from the mall and from the parking lot.

photo-425 photo-426Among the new visuals at Casa del Mar is the distinctive eye mural from local artist Peat Wolleager, seen above in the bar area.

To make reservations for the Grand Fiesta weekend at Casa del Mar, call 314-725-3700. Casa del Mar is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Except Fridays and Saturdays when they remain open until 9:30 p.m.)

To visit Casa del Mar online, click HERE. To find them on Facebook, click HERE.

Mother’s Day—Take Your Mom Out To Eat!

Yes, Mother’s Day is a busy day for restaurants. But if you make a reservation and show up on time, you should be able to be seated and served promptly.

Tons of spots around St. Louis are offering Mother’s Day brunches. Here’s a list compiled from my inbox and my Twitter feed. It includes a few obvious spots (Four Seasons, e.g.) and some you may not have considered (Frazer’s, e.g.).

You should note: Some brunches are buffets. Others are not. Here are a few you might like to know about…

Flemings on Lindbergh has a 3-course brunch featuring appetizer, entrée and dessert for 39.95. (The Baked Brioche French Toast, pictured, is one of the entrée choices.)

Brioche French Toast

Plus all moms receive a 25-dollar gift card for a future visit.


Tenacious Eats at 3117 Olive combines a 5-course meal (+ 5 special cocktails) with a movie! For Mother’s Day, the film is The Help. All moms receive a corsage and complimentary Mimosa on arrival. (And, yes, dessert will be chocolate pie!)

Doors open at 10:00 a.m. First course and first reel are at 11:00 a.m. Cost is 65.00 advance. (85.00 at the door.)


Eleven Eleven Mississippi is offering a 3-course prix-fixe Mother’s Day lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for 28.99 (+ tax and tip).

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Cielo at the Four Seasons Hotel has a Mother’s Day Brunch with bottomless Bloody Marys and Mimosas. Cost is 90.00 (35. for kids 5-12). It features 70 items and action stations.

Four Seasons


For info: 


Robust Wine Bar at the MX Downtown (635 Washington) will feature an a la carte menu starting at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. Click HERE to view the menu and get more info.


Highway 61 Roadhouse in Webster Groves begins its Mother’s Day Brunch at 9:00 a.m. with last seating at 2:30 p.m. Cost is 16.99.

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The Restaurant at the Ritz-Carlton has a Mother’s Day brunch buffet that runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Cost is 89.00. (44.50 for ages 5-12.)


Frazer’s at 1811 Pestalozzi, just across I-55 from the brewery will serve Mother’s Day brunch 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.


Remember your mom (and all the other moms in your family) and remember to make reservations!





Spring Training Games, Burgers and Beer at BPV

A burger and a beer for $10 at BPV. And Cards baseball on the big screen!


For the following Cardinals spring training game telecasts from Florida (each starting at noon, CDT), participating BPV restaurants will offer any menu burger and a pint of domestic beer for $10.

Here are those dates: March 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30 and 31. And April 2. The games will be shown on BPV’s giant 40 foot screen as well as on monitors inside each restaurant.

Budweiser Brew House, Cardinals Nation and Fox Sports Midwest Live will serve up the burgers. Drunken Fish will offer an appropriate burger substitute.

For more info, click HERE.