Updated: Feb 8
I’m excited to share a couple of great dining experiences that I had recently while traveling with my daughter to St. Louis, Missouri. First, I have to say, it felt so good to be out and about and definitely felt good to be able to dine in. There’s truth to the old saying, “You never miss your water until the well goes dry.” I never missed dining out until I couldn't do it! My daughter decided to get her car serviced at the dealership which was 2 ½ hours away from us but we were ok with that as we were planning on staying overnight and going hiking the next day. Long story short, the hiking was canceled due to the challenges with the Midwest winter weather but we did get to dine at some scrumptiously delicious places (one was dine in and the other was contactless curbside pickup) These places were highly recommended by the guy at the car dealership who lived in the area.
Before I get into the places we dined at, I want to suggest that if you’re not familiar with an area and you need recommendations on the best places to eat, ask the locals. It gets to be really tiresome and weary reading all the online reviews. The reviews are very helpful for sure, and I use them all the times, especially with local places. But when you don’t know the area, it can be daunting which tends to suck all the fun out of eating out, at least for me. I mentioned to my daughter, after reading a lot of reviews and still not being sure, “Why not ask the people at the dealership, they might have some good recommendations?” Bingo! She not only got her car serviced, we got raving reviews on a few of the local restaurant which I’m eager to share with you. So go for it! Muster up the courage to ask a complete stranger if they can recommend a good place to eat.
Also, and this is a trick that my family and I discovered a few years ago while vacationing in Ontario, Canada for the first time. We were driving to church one Sunday morning and we passed by a restaurant that was located near the area where our hotel was. We noticed that the restaurant’s parking lot was full of cars! We all saw and said at the same time, O.K. we’re eating there for lunch! We didn’t know for certain, but we did see that as a good sign, that something right was going on inside that restaurant, because apparently, all these folks, perhaps, locals were eating there. We were right. The food an atmosphere were great hence the parking lot full of cars earlier in the day. We have since come to the conclusion that a good gauge in determining if the restaurant is any good is by looking at how many cars are in the parking lot. I know there are skeptics out there already finding problems with this technique, but in that moment of time, it worked for us and we have used it quite often since then and its proven true for us. So don’t knock it until you’ve tried it a few times folks!
Ok, now for the reviews. These two restaurants are literally across the street from each other.
Frisco Barroom, 8110 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Grove (is an inner city suburb of St. Louis), Mo. ---apparently known for its many drinks, hence why it’s called a bar. Atmosphere very clean, nice and friendly. Service was great. Food delicious. Outdoor and indoor eating spaces. The outdoor space is heated with overhead heating lamps and a fire pit in the center. We opted to eat indoor. We didn’t want to chance being chilled while eating but there were folks eating outside. I tried to eat as balanced as I could because we all know, staying on your health and wellness journey while dining out can be a challenge. So I chose to get what is called a small plate. I got grilled chicken wings (which turned out to be quite a few wings. I had leftovers for dinner), mashed potatoes and broccoli on the side. A few dipping sauces as well for the chicken wings. These were not hot buffalo wings by the way. Just regular grilled wings. The broccoli was a bit salty which I pointed out to our waitress and because I couldn’t eat it, I asked her to take it off of my bill. She did offer to make it again without salt. That worked. I don’t know why restaurants think its ok to load veggies up with salt. Totally unnecessary. Veggies have their own flavor and savory sweetness, no need for salt folks!
My daughter ordered steak and potatoes and sautéed string beans which she enjoyed. I tasted her food, and agreed with her. It was tasty and well-seasoned and cooked to her liking. We enjoyed our meal. The food menu is not large but there are good choices. The prices were not bad either. After eating we went shopping, and by then, it was time to check into the hotel.
The next day.
Balkan Treat Box, 8103 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Grove, Mo. --- we had to try this one before we left town because the person at the car dealership raved about this one. He felt the need to apologize because he went on and on about how great the food was. He described it as having food that were very true to his heritage as he was Bosnian. He pointed out the owner was from Bosnia as well and recreated the kind of food that he grew up eating. He pointed out that, if you’re not there by 11 a.m. when you could dine in, or order early, the food would be just about gone by early afternoon. Well, he had us hook, line, and sinker. We were not about to leave the St. Louis, Missouri area without trying this food, and it was like homemade to boot! And ethnic. There’s nothing like traveling and finding really good ethnic restaurants. Where people are true to their heritage. I love that!
Pide (ground beef with lots of flavor, a little bit of cheese, other veggies and cilantro) with Red Cabbage Slaw with a vinegar dressing, really good! And 2 banana peppers, slightly pickled. The star of the show, in addition to being well seasoned, is the flat bread!
We were not disappointed. We ordered online right at 11 am when the place first opened up. The website has a warning: Served until food runs out. Gotta love that. They keep it real. They’re opened Tuesday through Saturday. So closed on Sunday and Monday. Online experience very good. You get to choose the suggested time frame for pickup. It’s all pretty self-explanatory when you order online. Curbside pickup process even better. They text you when your food is ready. Parking was good. We walked in and was treated with a friendly smile and good customer service. The greeter asked our names. The food was ready. Everything ran like clockwork. We were in and out in a manner of seconds. It was a rainy day, hence the hiking being canceled, but we did find a beautiful park, sat in the car and enjoyed our meal. Oh how we wished that we could have walked that park after eating. It was such a nice park and was hilly in areas, hence would make for a very challenging workout! I think we’re going back there for sure when the weather is better and walk that park! If we do, I’ll give you more details. Oh, who am I kidding? There’s a second sandwich on the Balkan Treat Box menu that I so gotta try, and yes, the walk too! We’ll be back! Their sandwiches are made with homemade flat bread which is by far the best I’ve tasted yet. I had the Pide which I highly recommend. My daughter had the Doner. All situated on that wonderful flat bread. Of course we shared and we both enjoyed each other’s sandwich. I think it’s safe to say that no matter what you order, you can’t go wrong.
The flatbread encloses just so perfect pieces of what seems like grill chicken, assortment of veggies I think, but for sure lettuce and red cabbage slaw and a type of cream. The website has a better description of the contents. Sorry! I was enjoying eating and wasn't paying too much attention to all the details!
So, when you’re in the St. Louis, Missouri area or even if you’re passing through on highway 57 during their opening hours, check out these places. I would love to say, "Tell them Annie sent you," but, no, they have no idea of who I am. LOL with me! The guy at the car dealership told us to mention his name, and that, perhaps, we would get a free meal, but we forgot to mention his name. But in all honesty, the prices were not bad so we didn’t mind not using his name and the value you get...oh my! I've said it before and I will probably say it thousands of times more, "Have fun on your health and wellness journey. It does not need to be boring and bland!" And remember, as in all things, moderation is important. If you’re carb counting, you want to take that into consideration. I heard Joyce Meyer say once, "You don't have to have all of everything, just some of everything" and it resonated with me.
There’s a third restaurant that was recommended but we didn’t get to try that one yet so stay tune if indeed we get a chance to go there. But in the meantime, if you’re in the St. Louis, Mo. Area and want to eat at places with wonderful atmosphere and has delicious food as well, give these two places a chance. I don’t think you will be disappointed! If you go, write me and tell me about it.
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