Morning, friends! Anyone else excited that it’s Friday? What a silly question – of course you are! Winking smile I have a lot of fun plans this weekend (an outdoor movie festival, paintball shenanigans, running, and this bike event?!), and I can’t wait!

But I’m getting way ahead of myself here. I’m excited about the weekend, but I’m also really excited to tell you all about a really neat event I went to last night.

Side note: I just realized I typed the word ‘excited’ three times already. Well, four times if you count that instance. I promise not to use it anymore. Someone buy this girl a thesaurus! Smile

Moving on. Yesterday evening, my awesome sister invited me to an event here:

IMG_4336789

The Culinary Institute of St. Louis! Yes, my sister is in culinary school. I’m so proud of her!

IMG_4320789

Isn’t she cute?

IMG_4322789

Also, can I just mention how perfect it is that my sis is in culinary school and I’m a food blogger? I’m in a family of foodies, and I love it. Smile

Anyway, The Culinary Institute had an event last night called ‘Around the World’ Sliders and Fries. The event promised a variety of sliders, a french fry station, beverages, and dessert, all prepared by some of the students at the school. 

Sliders? Dessert? A FRENCH FRY STATION?! Yes yes yes. There was no way I was going to miss this.

My sister and I arrived to the school a little early, so while we waited for the event to start, she gave me a quick tour of one of the kitchens she takes her classes in.

 IMG_4319789

 

IMG_4328789IMG_4326789

IMG_4325789IMG_4327789

It was super cool, and you gotta love all of that natural light! I didn’t get much of that during my years in the Chemistry lab at SLU! I’m a little jealous. Winking smile

Once the announcement was made that the food was ready, we scrambled to the kitchen to load up our plates.

IMG_4248789

Are you surprised that we were first in line? We don’t mess around when it comes to food!

We started by grabbing a few toasted buns.

IMG_4273789IMG_4251789

Next up? The meat! There was a lot to choose from.

Ground beef sliders:

IMG_4276789

Pulled chicken:

IMG_4281789

Duck sliders:

IMG_4288789

Pulled pork:

IMG_4290789

And chorizo sliders:

IMG_4292789

As if that wasn’t enough food to choose from, there were also a variety of fries: cajun, lemon pepper, and garlic parmesan, just to name a few!

IMG_4294789IMG_4295789IMG_4297789

The selection of meat and fries was enough to impress me, but the thing that really sealed the deal for this girl? The condiment table!

IMG_4308789IMG_4262789

Holy freaking moly.

There were the usual suspects – ketchup, mustard, mayo, pickles – but there were also some pretty unique offerings that caught my eye.

Pear chutney:

IMG_4301789

Roasted red pepper compote:

IMG_4303789

Sweet and spicy mayo:

IMG_4306789

And my new favorite thing: pickled jalapenos.

IMG_4304789

These were so tasty! They were sweet and spicy, and I wanted to steal that little bowl and eat all of them, but then my sister would have to answer questions about her weird food-blogging sister that stole the bowl of jalapenos, and I didn’t want to do that to her. The thought did cross my mind, though! Just kidding. Kind of. Winking smile

I ended up going with a duck slider (topped with bacon and pickled jalapenos), a chorizo slider (topped with grilled pineapple and pear chutney), and cajun fries.

IMG_4265789IMG_4311789

Oh, and a side of BBQ sauce!

IMG_4305789

To this day, it is still my all-time favorite condiment, even after the great rib debacle challenge of 2012, where I consumed so many ribs (10 restaurants in 5 weeks!) that I still feel a little queasy when I even think about ribs. I’ll get over it soon, I promise.

Back to the food. Everything was super delicious. The duck burger was flavorful and tasty, and I loved my chorizo burger! The addition of the pineapple and pear chutney was not something I would typically go for – I normally don’t do fruit on my burgers! – but it worked REALLY well.

And the fries! Oh, the fries.

IMG_4315789

I’m a little disappointed in myself for only eating two sliders, but it’s probably because I loaded up half my plate with these delicious little things. Completely worth it!

All in all, it was a super fun event. It was fun to hang with my sis and meet some of her classmates. Everyone was so nice! I guess I would be too if I was surrounded by delicious food all day! Winking smile 

Thanks again to the little sis for inviting me to this event, and thanks to the Culinary Institute for allowing me to take half a million pictures of everything.

See you next week!

{ 1 comment }

Five Star Burgers!

by Stephanie on July 18, 2014

in American, Burgers

Hello and happy Friday! Unlike last week, this week has absolutely zoomed by. Does anyone else agree? Why can’t every week be like this? Smile

As you all (hopefully) know, I love a good burger. I feel like I’ve written at least a dozen blog posts about burger joints. I don’t know what it is – I think it’s just the satisfaction of biting into a juicy, perfectly cooked hunk of meat. It feels so wrong…but oh so right! Diets? Yeah, I don’t do those. Winking smile

So it goes without saying that when I found out about Five Star Burgers, I had to try it.

photo 14

This little burger joint has been around for a few years at least, and it’s located in Clayton, a (really) nice suburb of St. Louis. Even though Clayton is not too far from where I live, I rarely venture out that way; I’m definitely more of a city girl. But I heard good things about this place, and I’ll travel just about anywhere for good food.

I arrived on a quiet night and had the whole place pretty much to myself.

 

photo 2photo 3photo 6

Super cute!

Before I made my decision on what to eat, I had to start with a drink. I settled on the Last Word: Gin, maraschino liquor, green chartreuse, and lime.

 

photo 4

It was perfect! A little sweet, a little tart, and all around delicious.

I took a look at the menu to decide what I would feast on.

 

photo 7

All of the burgers sounded delicious, but the Breakfast of Champions burger really caught my eye: A sunny side up egg, American cheese, roast tomato-bacon jam, and hollandaise sauce? Sold! I went with a mixed basket of russet and sweet potato fries as my side.

 

photo 11photo 9

As usual, I ordered my burger cooked medium rare, and while 5 star didn’t quite hit the mark on that, the burger was still delicious. It was juicy, flavorful, and all around delicious. The fries were a winner too – crispy and tasty!

Service here was attentive and speedy. My drink and food came out in record time!

I’m really excited to come back and try more items on the menu – hopefully they measure up to my great first experience!

See you next week. Smile

{ 0 comments }

Gringo!

by Stephanie on July 11, 2014

in Dessert, Mexican

Hola, amigos! Sorry I missed ya last week – I was on vacation in Malibu, enjoying the beach and pretty much loving life. I wasn’t ready to come home, but alas…here I am. I miss the beach, but it really is good to be home in good old St. Louis. Smile

I’m sure most people would agree that the first week back to work after a long vacation is really really hard. It took me a little longer than I would have liked to get out of vacation mode! In between meetings and projects and other worky things, all I could think about was how badly I wanted to go back to the beach, relax, and drink a margarita the size of my head.

Thankfully, I won’t have to fly all the way back to Cali to make this happen.

IMG_3182789

Hola, Gringo!

This restaurant is fairly new, or new to me, at least. It opened while I was away in Virginia, and when I came back to St. Louis, it’s one of the first places I visited with friends. They know me well. Winking smile

Gringo is located in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis, in a pretty prime location: right in the middle of all of the action!

The inside of the place is beautiful:

IMG_3183789

IMG_3185789_1

IMG_3188789

I visited with my friends Joselyn and Christine. I won’t embarrass them with pictures this time. Just trust me on this one!

We grabbed some seats at the bar, and the friendly bartender immediately handed us menus.

We weren’t super hungry, so we decided to stick with the essentials:

 

IMG_3192789

 

IMG_3194789

Cocktails and desserts, baby!

I went with the Gringo Margarita. Jos and Christine went with the El Camino Margarita and Mexican Sangria.

IMG_3200789IMG_3198789IMG_3203789

My Gringo Margarita (Exotico Blanco, triple sec, fresh lime and orange) was delicious. I tasted the El Camino and Mexican Sangria, and those were tasty as well. Winners all around!

For dessert, we decided to share churros:

 

IMG_3209789

And tres leches cake:

IMG_3217789

I thought both desserts were good, but I was more drawn to the churros. Anything topped with cinnamon and sugar = instant winner in my book!

Service at Gringo was great – our bartender was super attentive and kept our drinks filled. Prices were reasonable, and the atmosphere was awesome.

I’m looking forward to coming back to try their lunch or dinner menu. And I’ll definitely be back for more margaritas!

See you next week! Smile

{ 0 comments }

Uptown Café!

by Stephanie on June 27, 2014

in American

Happiest of Fridays to you all! It’s a very happy Friday for me; I leave for California tomorrow! I’ll be there for a week, and I absolutely cannot wait. Bring on the sun and sand! Smile

This week’s review takes us to Uptown Café, in the lovely suburb of Clayton.

IMG_3235789

I met up with my friend Holly for a quick lunch. Fun fact: we met up here just a few days after I came back to St. Louis (after almost 2 years of living in Virginia). It was a super happy reunion with one of my best friends in the world. Smile

And you know what? In searching through the pictures on my camera, I realize I didn’t take any pictures of us during this outing. That’s completely unlike me, as I love embarrassing my friends by including pictures of them on the blog. What kind of friend am I? The worst kind. Winking smile

Anyway, I dug through my old photos on my computer and found a few:

l_9dc6636f110c04261b75a2488fa600ac

 

IMG_4815

2007 vs. 2014. We really haven’t changed too much in 7 years!

Enough of that. Let’s talk food!

Uptown Café has a pretty decent menu, with a large variety of pastas, pizza, and sandwiches to choose from. Their Thai Pizza sounded amazing; this New York style pizza included grilled teriyaki chicken, green onion, sweet peppers, chili peppers, and spicy Thai-peanut sauce.

The Mostaccioli also sounded amazing, and I have to admit, I almost ordered this classic dish, just because it is SO St. Louis. Mostaccioli itself is pretty simple: it’s basically just noodles mixed with marinara sauce, topped with cheese, and baked. But go to any wedding, barbeque, or work potluck, and it is always there. Someone always brings Mostaccioli. Just don’t ask anyone from St. Louis to pronounce it. Spoiler alert: we completely butcher the pronunciation.

However, I decided to go with the Seasoned Beef: this sandwich consists of roast beef topped with melted provel (another St. Louis thing), green peppers, and onions, and served on toasted garlic bread with a side of au jus.

IMG_3230789

Speaking of provel cheese, remember when I used to hate the stuff? That reminds me – I should probably write another review of Imo’s. My tastes have changed a lot since 2010. Winking smile

Anyway, the seasoned beef sandwich. It was super tasty! The beef was flavorful and juicy, and I loved the added flavor that the garlic bread added to the sandwich. I will admit, the bread was a little hard (I should have asked for it untoasted!), but the delicious au jus definitely fixed that problem.

Service at Uptown Café was quick, efficient, and friendly. The prices were more than reasonable, and the atmosphere of the restaurant was nice, even though the size of the place is pretty small.

Uptown Café is nothing to squeal about – I save my squealing for very special occasions – but it’s a good place to visit if you’re in the Clayton area and need a quick bite to eat.

See ya next time!

{ 0 comments }

Bailey’s Range

by Stephanie on June 20, 2014

in American, Burgers

Oh. My. Goodness. You all…I’ve been a terrible food blogger lately. Life has been really crazy lately – work, running, and my social life have literally taken over my life, and my poor little blog is the victim of that. I apologize! I’m back to my once-weekly blog posts now, I promise! Winking smile

So what better way to come back than with an old favorite?

 IMG_3047789

Bailey’s Range!

You may remember that I’ve blogged about this place before. But that was three years ago! Today is a new day.

I came to Bailey’s Range with my friend Joselyn. Even though it’s been three years since I last visited, once I walked in, it felt like home.

IMG_3054789

 

IMG_3051789

Clearly, I’m not the only one that enjoys this place. Smile

We were seated pretty quickly, and I immediately began to peruse the menu. The boozy lemonade menu was something new to me, and I studied it carefully.

IMG_3058789

I went with the El Diablo: Aguila tequila, Gosling’s ginger beer, lemonade, and crème de casis.

IMG_3074789

Calling this creation ‘delicious’ would be a gross understatement. It was INCREDIBLE. The perfect blend of sweet and tart, and the kick of ginger was definitely there. I loved it!

Every week, Bailey’s has a little competition that they call the Burger Battle. They come up with two creative burgers, and whichever burger gets the most orders that week moves on to the next round to challenge a new burger. I think that’s pretty neat!

IMG_3066789

This week it was the Baa Baa Black Sheep (lamb patty, black peppered goat cheese, anchovy caper aioli, fresh sage) vs. The Big Kahuna (smoked beef patty, hazelnut butter, pickled pineapple, relish, arugula).

The Baa Baa Black Sheep was calling my name, so I went with that.

IMG_3076789

I think I made the right choice. Look at how amazing that looks!

Joselyn and I also split a huge order of fries:

IMG_3077789

Bailey’s has a wide variety of sauces for fry dipping, and we went with the queso and ‘rooster sauce’ – think of it as a kicked up version of ketchup. Both sauces were delicious!

And the burger? It was perfect. It was flavorful (lamb is super tasty!), juicy, and delicious. I ordered it cooked medium rare, and it was spot on. This was very impressive, as most restaurants get it wrong and end up cooking my burger until it’s a dried up hockey puck. Winking smile

After my burger, I wasn’t super hungry, but Bailey’s ice cream menu sounded awfully tempting:

IMG_3050789

They make all of their ice creams in house, and I just couldn’t resist. I went with the cookies and cream.

 

IMG_3082789

Fantastic! It was rich, creamy, delicious, and I felt like I needed to run 10 miles afterwards to burn off the calories. Worth it, y’all. Worth. It.

All in all, Bailey’s Range continues to impress the heck out of me. It’s a solid burger place with a wide variety of things to choose from on the menu, and great service as well. This is definitely one of my favorite fast-casual places to eat downtown, and I highly recommend it!

See you next week (and I really mean it this time)! Winking smile

{ 1 comment }

Sauce on the Side

May 9, 2014

I should really start thinking about beginning my blog posts with something other than my typical “Happy Friday!”. But until then, I’m going to say it: Happy Friday! My latest foodie adventure happened at this little place: Sauce on the Side! It’s walking distance from my place, and I had heard nothing but good things […]

Read the full article →

Café Osage

May 2, 2014

Goooooood morning (or afternoon…or evening!) and happy Friday to you! I can’t believe it’s May already! 2014 is zipping by, isn’t it? You’re probably going to hear me say that about a dozen more times before the year is through. Friendly warning! Anyway, enough chatter. Let’s talk food, shall we? A few weeks ago, I […]

Read the full article →

The Libertine

April 25, 2014

Happy happy happy Friday! I hope you all had an incredible week. I know I did! My new job has been wonderful, my social life is booming – my schedule has been jam packed with all kinds of fun things with friends — and last night, I went to see an amazing band by the […]

Read the full article →

Sugarfire Smokehouse

April 18, 2014

Good morning, and happy Friday! Or should I say Good Friday? It’s good because today is a holiday at my job, so I’m off work! First week of the new job, and I already have a day off? Lucky me! Anyway, thanks for all of the wonderful comments, Facebook messages, and tweets in response to […]

Read the full article →

I’m Baaaaaaaaack!

April 11, 2014

Well, hello there, strangers! Remember me? It’s only been, what…2 years since my goodbye post? As you may remember, I put the blog on hiatus to move to Virginia for an incredible job opportunity. As excited as I was to take the next step up in my career, leaving this little blog behind was hard. […]

Read the full article →