Tasty Tuesday–Gerard’s 1907 Tavern

We were in Bowling Green, KY, for my birthday last month, a town with restaurants that are mostly unfamiliar to me. I knew I wanted to try something different, so after some Googling, I found Gerard’s 1907 Tavern, which is located in a historic building right by Fountain Square Park, and just down the hill from Western Kentucky University. It turned out to be a great choice!

Both the outside and the inside of the building look really cool. I love the exposed brick, the light fixtures, and the ceiling beams…but I especially love the sense of history in the place!

The food was excellent. Since it was my birthday, we splurged a bit. We tried an appetizer of fried pickles and jalapeños with a homemade buttermilk sauce. They were delicious, and some of the jalapeños were amazingly spicy (for me, anyway…Ryan was unfazed). We also got drinks. Ryan had an old-fashioned (he approved), and I had a Paloma, which was quite tasty. We both ordered sandwiches for our entrées. Ryan had the Cuban, which he said was prepared just right, and I had the GT burger, which was topped with Henry Bain sauce, gouda, slaw, and tobacco onions. The burger wasn’t as rare as I prefer (unless I’m at Seamus, it never is), but the meat was good, and I loved the combination of toppings. We both had the hand-cut fries on the side, and they came with a great roasted red pepper ketchup.

I’m really glad we had the opportunity to try someplace new, and were rewarded with a great meal in the process!

Tasty Tuesday–Llywelyn’s Pub

It occurred to me recently that even though we’ve eaten at two different Llywelyn’s Pub locations (St. Charles and Webster Groves), on several different occasions, I never actually wrote a restaurant review. So even though I haven’t been there lately, here’s a look at one of our favorite St. Louis area pubs!

There are nine Llywelyn’s locations, and like I said, we’ve only been to two of them. I can’t imagine any of them having a better atmosphere than the St. Charles location, though! Not only is it located right on historic Main Street, it is in a former bank building, and if you’re really lucky, you can even eat in the old vault!

Let’s start with the important stuff…their pub chips are AMAZING. The burgers are good, too. They don’t quite measure up to my gold standard (Seamus McDaniel’s), but they’re close:

I’m not sure that the colcannon pictured with the burgers is on the menu anymore, but it was so good. They definitely know what they’re doing with the traditional pub fare…they also have other favorites, like shepherd’s pie and fish and chips on the menu, and everything we have tried over the years has been excellent. And don’t let the word “pub” scare you off…it’s a very family friendly restaurant, with a full kids’ menu. The Fab Five love eating there, too (especially the one time we were seated in the vault!).

This is a great local spot, and it really has that neighborhood pub feel. The Soulard location even offers a trolley that runs to Cardinals and Blues home games, which is just another great reason to stop by Llywelyn’s for a bite to eat and a beer!

Tasty Tuesday–Three Kings Public House

I have been wanting to go to any of the Three Kings Public House St. Louis area locations for so long. But their prices are high enough that it just wasn’t feasible for our whole family of seven to enjoy a meal there. But when The Bigs were at Kantorei Kamp last week, I realized that Chickadee and I could enjoy a meal out together, without breaking the bank!

We went to the location on Manchester in Des Peres. The interior is just what I was expecting…very pub-like.

The one thing that surprised me, however, was the portrayal of the “Three Kings.” I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t the combination of Elvis, Henry VIII, and King Kong!

As I did before we went to Muldoon’s in Wheaton, I studied the menu, so I knew exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to try the house made chips (to compare them with the ones Seamus McDaniel’s makes), along with the Irish cheddar rarebit. They were delicious. For my entrée, I had to try a burger, of course, so I went with the Pogue Mahone, which was topped with a fried egg, carmelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, bacon, and cheddar and Swiss cheeses, all on a pretzel bun. Of course it wasn’t a Seamus burger (what is?), but it was really good. I ordered it rare, and it was almost as rare as I prefer, and the combination of toppings was excellent, if not very messy!

Chickadee and I walked around a bit after we were done eating…the whole restaurant is charming!

There is quite a bar, as well:

I would definitely like to go back to Three Kings. I’ll have to take another look at the menu, though, and see what I would like to order next time!

Tasty Tuesday–Muldoon’s

We just got back from a long weekend in Chicagoland. One of the things I really wanted to do while we were there (if there was time), was eat at Muldoon’s in Wheaton. I’m very happy we found time!

When I was a little girl, this building housed the Wheaton Restaurant, a place where we occasionally went for breakfast after church, because church was just a few blocks away. We were sad when the Wheaton Restaurant closed, but it reopened as Cafe Wheaton, a place we frequented often for dinner when I was in high school/college. It retained the charm of the original restaurant, with an all-new menu (including one of my all-time favorite dishes, Chicken Thomas), and Wheaton history spread throughout the restaurant. There was the story of Wheaton on the menu, a photo gallery of former mayors, autographs from famous Wheaton residents, and photos from throughout Wheaton’s history everywhere you looked. I was even sadder when I heard Cafe Wheaton had closed, but intrigued when I heard it was reopening again as an Irish pub, with yet another new menu, but with the photographic history of Wheaton still on the walls. Ever since I heard about Muldoon’s, I wanted to see it for myself, and I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed. Even though the menu is completely new, there was much of the restaurant that was familiar, starting with the glass fleurs-de-lis in the entrance!

The menus, like the cloth napkins on the tables, felt fancy, but a look inside let you know that you were really in an Irish pub:

We started with an order of “Harp Strings,” which are onion strings with honey mustard sauce. They were delicious…I think I could have eaten the whole order myself! For our meal, I ordered the Dagda’s Harp burger (which had the delicious Harp Strings on it!), with a side of homemade chips. I also enjoyed a drink called the “Dublin Donkey,” which is a twist on the more famous “American Mule.” Ryan had the pretzel bacon melt and Turkey ordered his favorite kind of burger (not pictured), one with a fried egg and bacon on it. Bunny tried something completely different, and had a black and bleu salad. The rest of the children ordered off of the children’s menu, and they enjoyed their dinners, too. Everything was delicious! Turkey said his burger was the second best one he’s ever had (of course, the Seamus burger is number one), and Ryan and I agreed with him…our burgers were excellent. The homemade chips were just as good as the ones Seamus serves, too. And Bunny’s salad was amazing…I think everyone but Turkey and Moose tried it and enjoyed it. The menu was quite extensive beyond these options, including classic pub fare like shepherd’s pie and fish & chips, many kinds of mac-n-cheese, American favorites like meatloaf and chicken, and even taco platters!

I’m so glad we decided to give Muldoon’s a try. I have to admit, I was a little nervous going in, partly because I knew it wouldn’t be Cafe Wheaton, and partly because I knew that there was no way it could be as awesome as Seamus. While it wasn’t quite as good as Seamus (nothing ever will be!), it’s definitely a close second, and even though it’s not Cafe Wheaton, it was still familiar, and brought a flood of memories back. It was a great dinner out on vacation!

Tasty Tuesday–Hi Pointe Drive In

A few weeks ago, I finally had a chance to go to the Hi Pointe Drive In, located next to, you guessed it, the Hi-Pointe Theatre on McCausland Ave. in St. Louis, where the old Del Taco used to be. This is a fairly new sister restaurant to Sugarfire Smokehouse, which has several locations in the St. Louis area. The brightly colored Hi Pointe, built from shipping containers, is impossible to miss…especially with the addition of a spaceship out front!

I loved all the signs inside, both menus and artwork. They also help you figure out what you’re supposed to do. Start by grabbing a drink (great local selection of soda by Excel, as well as local beer), unless you want a draught beer, which you get at the end of the assembly line, and then place your order. After you pay, find a table, and they’ll bring your food to you…pretty simple!

The whole space is full of funky charm:

Of course, the real reason I was there was for the food. While Ryan ordered a standard burger (which is prepared smashed-style) with bacon, and a chocolate shake, I had to try the specials. It happened to be National Pretzel Day, so I got a burger that had gouda cheese (one of my favorites!), beer cheese sauce, chips, and onions, served on a pretzel bun, plus an “Elvis Pretzely” shake, which had peanut butter, bacon, and bananas! The burger was amazing, but the shake was too heavy on the peanut butter for me, so Ryan and I ended up trading. The chocolate shake was perfect (check out the fat straw that came with it…totally necessary, too!), and he liked the one I ordered, since he’s a bigger fan of peanut butter than I am.

This is a fun restaurant with tons of personality. The food is great, and if you follow them on Instagram, you’ll quickly see that while their standard sandwiches and burgers are fantastic, what they really specialize in is coming up with over-the-top specials. Burgers with ingredients you’d probably never have thought of, brunches that will leave you drooling, and other sandwiches that are fresh takes on old standards. It was a bit spendy, so I don’t think we’ll be able to go very often, but it’s great to see another successful restaurant in the Dogtown area!

Tasty Tuesday–The Best Burger in St. Louis!

A few months ago, the morning news show for our local NBC affiliate, KSDK, was looking for the best hamburgers in St. Louis. I was only too happy to volunteer the name of our favorite restaurant, Seamus McDaniel’s, because they make the best burger I’ve ever had. I was kind of shocked when KSDK contacted me and asked if they could take me to lunch and interview me about the food, but I wasn’t going to turn down a free lunch at Seamus, so I met with Nichole Berlie and introduced her to the wonder that is the Seamus burger. The segment aired in May, and even though I felt completely awkward when they were filming me eating, I’m happy with how it turned out!

The Best Thing I’ve Ever Eaten

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It’s no secret that our family loves going to Seamus McDaniel’s for dinner (or lunch, as the case may be). Ryan and I first started eating there when we first moved to the Dogtown neighborhood of St. Louis almost 14 years ago, and lived just down the street, and we’ve continued to enjoy stopping by for a meal, even after we’ve moved a bit farther away than an evening stroll.

I truly believe Seamus makes the best burger/cheeseburger I’ve ever had, anywhere. And my order has remained pretty much the same–cheeseburger with provel, onions (raw), and tomatoes. Over the years, I’ve ordered said burger less and less cooked, until I reached the very edge of the burger spectrum, with a gloriously rare sandwich.

We stopped at Seamus today after a fun field trip to the LC-MS International Center (details to follow), and I had the best burger I’ve ever had there (which is saying a lot, since they’re always excellent):

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It was amazing. Not just the best burger I’ve ever had anywhere, but the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Turkey also thought he had the best burger he’s ever ordered, as did Ryan, so whoever was manning the grill today was really on his or her game. We also realized that we have now gone to eat at Seamus on February 26 two years in a row, which was totally accidental, and also kind of funny. At this point, I think we just may have to make it a new family tradition…until the 26th falls on a Sunday, because that’s the one day of the week Seamus is closed!