Tasty Tuesday–Eckert’s Country Restaurant

Even though we’ve lived in Belleville for eight years now, we hadn’t been to eat at Eckert’s Country Restaurant since I was pregnant with Turkey 12 years ago, and we happened to visit the farm to pick apples. We figured that the time was right to go back, especially since Eckert’s has been chosen as a finalist in US Foods “Family Friendly Restaurant” contest. Much has changed at the restaurant (and country store), since then, especially the building itself!


The decor is exactly what you’d expect at a country restaurant…very homey. The pails of crayons on the tables (along with paper table”cloths” perfect for a little pre-dinner art), were very popular with the children…and perhaps with their mother, as well!

There are several different dining rooms. We were in the back room, which is equipped with long tables perfect for a large family. I especially loved the sliding barn doors!

The menu at Eckert’s is seasonal, which I think is fantastic. Right now, they’re in the process of switching over to their fall menu. The thing you notice right away on the menu, however, is their famous fried chicken.


The one thing both Ryan and I remembered from our last meal at Eckert’s was the biscuits and apple butter. We weren’t disappointed…they were as delicious as we remembered!


The main course also did not disappoint. I ordered the fried chicken, because I figured I might as well get their speciality. It was among the best fried chicken I’ve ever had, and the side dishes were also excellent (who can complain about mashed potatoes and green beans made with bacon?).


Everybody else enjoyed their various meals, as well, and it was decided unanimously that we’ll be going back, hopefully sometime soon. More than one child mentioned this as a potential birthday dinner location!

And just in case you didn’t order dessert after dinner ( I hear the pie is excellent!), and you’re visiting Eckert’s between April and October, you can walk next door and get some delicious frozen custard!


Eckert’s was already one of our family’s favorite places, and truly a place where we’ve made lots of memories. It’s nice to know we can add “favorite restaurant” to our list of things we love about Eckert’s!

Tasty Tuesday–Lunch at Fitz’s

Last week, when we picked Ryan up at the end of his in-town, but not at home, business trip, we went to lunch at Fitz’s in the Delmar Loop in University City. We were very excited to go to this St. Louis icon, as the children and I had never been there before, and Ryan had only been there once the previous week with his co-workers.

The inside is bright and colorful, and I was surprised to learn that there are two floors of seating. The music of choice being played in the restaurant was, of course, oldies, which was very fun. You can even watch the soda being bottled through windows in the back of the restaurant!

I loved the menus. They, like the restaurant, are also colorful and fun, and I love the creative names for the various beverages Fitz’s serves. I think the Ginger Rogers wins both for most creative name, and most creative drink!

The food was delicious. I had the “Black and Bleu Burger,” which, as the name suggests, was Cajun blackened, and had bleu cheese on top. I was surprised to see that there were also two whole, (huge!), onion rings on the burger.

I couldn’t pass up the chance to indulge in one of their frozen concoctions–I chose the root beer shake, which was, of course, made with Fitz’s own root beer. It was so delicious–I wish I could go back there just to have another one of those!

The children’s favorite part of the meal was watching the soda bottling. After we were done eating, we went over to the windows to get a closer look. We saw the whole process, from the bottles being filled and capped, to the syrup and carbonated water being mixed, to the labels being applied. It was really interesting. We were slightly surprised that they weren’t bottling their signature root beer while we were there–instead they were bottling cream soda, which was what Ladybug tried at lunch, (Moose went with the standard root beer; Turkey and Bunny choose the slightly more adventurous grape soda).

It was a pretty expensive meal, at least for us, so we probably won’t be going back there often. Still, it was a fun St. Louis experience, and I’m glad we finally made our way down to Fitz’s!

Tasty Tuesday–O’Charley’s

Did you know that children eat free at O’Charley’s? It was news to me!

Turkey wanted to go someplace he’d never been for his birthday dinner, so I came up with some options for him, and showed him the various menus. He picked O’Charley’s because they have both mini corn dogs and fried shrimp on the children’s menu, and these are two of his favorite “eating out” meals. It had been a very long time since I’d been to O’Charley’s, so I was looking forward to it as well (especially those delicious rolls!).

After we were seated, Turkey started looking over the children’s menu. All of the sudden, he says to me, “This isn’t going to cost as much as I thought.” I thought that was kind of a weird statement, so I asked him what he meant. It was then that he showed me those beautiful words on the back of his menu: “kids eat free.” And a generous kids eat free, at that–two children per paying adult, instead of the usual one. That ratio worked out well for our family!

Yes, you do have to pay for children’s drinks. But even after all four of them got something, that was only $8 total, which is a lot better than the usual $16-20 we’d pay for all of their meals at any other chain restaurant! (Not that they’re not worth it–I just love saving money!)

So, the children enjoyed their meals, the adults also enjoyed the selections, and who can complain about the final bill? Plus, we had a coupon for a free appetizer for “liking” them on Facebook, and they let us use that, too! Definitely a place we’ll go back to in the future, whenever our budget might allow!