Waino, These Are Bueno

Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright posted these words on his Twitter account (@UncleCharlie50) Sunday night:

Making the most of my DL time. Enjoying stl’s sneaky great restaurant scene! Tonight, @vindeset Wow! Last wk Stone Soup Cottage! Any Rec’s?

As a matter of fact, Adam, I do have a few suggestions! (FULL DISCLOSURE: Some of the places listed below are past or present PR/Social Media clients, but my comments here are from a diner’s perspective not that of a consultant. If that’s possible.)

I know that you get to visit America’s great restaurant cities like San Francisco, New York, Chicago, etc. every season. I’d guess that you have visited all sorts of places from the funky joints to the exclusive high-end restaurants.

You are known to be a fan of Pappy’s BBQ here in St. Louis. I’ve heard that you’ve been known to visit Bogart’s as well.

You mentioned Vin de Set and Stone Soup Cottage in your tweet. Both work hard to make the entire customer experience memorable, just as much as they focus on their food and drink.

Since you like those, I’d recommend Paul and Wendy Hamilton’s sister restaurant to Vin de Set, 1111 Mississippi which has a different feel and a different menu, but a similar pronounced emphasis on great service. The Crossing in Clayton also delivers wonderful service and great food. Because The Crossing is a smaller place—though not as small as Stone Soup—the kitchen and serving team are able to match your particular wants and needs.

Another fine dining experience I’d recommend is Cielo at the Four Seasons Hotel. As you likely know from your travels, some hotel restaurants are good and some are embarrassingly bad. Cielo is top-notch.

During the 90’s my wife and I dined many times at Cardwell’s At The Plaza at Plaza Frontenac. Not sure why we haven’t gone there in a long while, but our meals there were always enjoyable. (Plus we sat right next to Big Mac once in ’99 but we didn’t bother him.)

Haven’t been to Annie Gunn’s in the valley in a few years either, but dinners there were very good and chef Lou Rook, Jr. is a good guy.

Since you are a Georgia native, you’d likely enjoy the food at Highway 61 Roadhouse in Webster. They feature favorite foods from New Orleans, Memphis and St. Louis. I recommend the Smothered Catfish. And you must try their Mac’n’Cheese.

In the BBQ realm, for pulled pork, try Super Smokers in Eureka. Your BBQ buddies Mike Emerson and Skip Steele both worked with Super Smokers’ Terry Black back in the day. The pulled pork is always smoky and tender and comes un-sauced, as I prefer. A good assortment of sauces is available.

Like burgers? 5 Star Burgers in Clayton and Kirkwood is a new favorite. Seamus McDaniel’s in Dogtown never disappoints. And I’ve always enjoyed my burgers at P.J.’s Tavern in Kirkwood.

Enjoy the St. Louis dining scene during your time on the DL! And be sure to share your impressions of local restaurants on Twitter. We’ll be following. I hope your rehab goes smoothly and that you’ll be back on the mound for the Cardinals in great form in 2016.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 Star Burgers Now Open in Kirkwood

My wife and I checked out the Garden Glow at Missouri Botanical Garden Thursday night—we loved it, by the way—and afterward decided to stop at one of the casual spots in Kirkwood. We drove by the new 5 Star Burgers location and, to our surprise, there were people inside, eating! So, we stopped and went in.

5 star room

After being seated, we chatted with proud owner Steve Gontram (pictured below). He told us that final inspections had just been completed that morning. Thursday night was practice night, the shakedown cruise for the staff before official opening day on Friday, December 20.

Steve Gontram

Our food and service were perfect. My wife had a salad and I had the 5 Star Burger, shown below. (Pic shot with bite taken so you can see that it was cooked medium, as ordered.) We shared a basket of sweet potato fries.

My burger

The bar poured me a tasty Civil Life Brown and appeared to be making first night visitors happy. They have a good selection of local craft beers.

5 Star bar

And for Slinger fans, this month is a good time to visit. See below.

Slinger

5 Star Burgers in Kirkwood is in the old Culpepper’s location at 312 South Kirkwood Road. Now open and ready to rock! (5 Star Burgers also has a location in Clayton, which opened last year, at 8125 Maryland.)