Robbie Cassell, aka The STiCKMAN, has owned several restaurants and eating ventures of various sorts throughout the St. Louis area. He loves to eat, but he also loves to share his good eating “discoveries” with his friends. And that’s what he’ll do here: open our eyes to some good eatin’ places.
EAT FRIED CHICKEN
There’s nothing worse than getting up too early on a Sunday Morning, finding nothing on TV to watch, and then putting in a terrible movie. Yes, The Family, starring one of my all time faves, Mr. Robert Dinero, stunk. That’s being kind. I must admit, I watched it all the way through, waiting for the good part, but I’m still waiting. When the movie was finally over, I needed a pick me up, so I went online to find the best fried chicken restaurant in St. Louis. Although I was tempted to take a ride to Highland, Illinois and check out the Diamond Mineral Springs for some “family style” chicken (my mother’s favorite place), I figured just going near Soulard was far enough. Besides, we got to see a lot of the cute little dogs in costume going to the dog parade. Yahoo! We went to the ever-popular Hodak's.
Yes, I stole the line from one of my favorite movies, The Sound of Music (really Robbie?). These are a few of my favorite things: crisp fall days, football, old time taverns, and of course, burgers. At Lloyd and Harry's in Old St. Charles, this is exactly what you get.
Did you know that each of the buildings in downtown St. Charles has a historic marker on it telling the story of each company or person that occupied the premises. Lloyd and Harry's at 208 N. Main was, until 1941, the former home to Schulze Plumbing. John Schulze worked to modernize St. Charles plumbing by installing plumbing and sewers, including St. Joseph's Hospital and the Rand Shoe Company, which employed 400 workers in downtown St. Charles....Okay Robbie, all we're hearing is blah, blah, blah....Tell us about the tavern, the food and the adult beverages already.
Was it Chinese, Taiwanese, or Korean?
It’s All Three!
When I go to dinner there are two things that can make an evening memorable other than the food. First, it never hurts to have a good companion to eat with, and second, the owner who goes out of their way to make you feel special. At Shu Feng in the heart of “China Town” in University City, I had both, my good friend, Ron Stevens to dine with and a very delightful owner, Liling Wemhoener. Liling was very proud of everything on the menu at the restaurant that she bought 13 years ago, as she should be.
I Can’t Believe I’ve Never Been Here
Some 80 years ago, when Manchester Road was still gravel, a small restaurant was built in Rock Hill. For years I heard people say “let’s go get a burger at Carl’s Drive-In”. To be honest, I guess I just never thought about going to this tiny little place.
I’m almost 60 years old, and have been in search of the perfect burger for 40 of those years. I’m almost embarrassed that I’ve not been there as I consider myself quite the hamburger maven. I grew up at Steak-N-Shake (when you could actually see that smashed burger) and I saw the first McDonalds go up in University City. Sure, I’ve been to O’Connell’s and I’ve eaten Burgers in 27 different states, so last week I told Jane that I would take her some place that I had never been. I had to try Carl’s Drive In. As my teenagers would say “OMG”. This place was heaven.
Who ever said it’s not like it used to be has obviously never been to Frank and Helen’s in University City.
Recently a group of friends and I decided to take a trip back in time and visit an old favorite that my family started going to in the late '50s. Funny thing, when you walk in the front door or as I always did the back door, the wonderful aroma of pizza and chicken hits you immediately, just like I remembered when I was a kid. Fifty seven years later, from the time the doors were first opened, not only does it smell the same, but the décor is the same. Everything from the chairs to the tables to the wallpaper and even the sign in front is as it is trapped in time; 1956 to be specific.
It’s Saturday afternoon, I’ve been putting in a new garden in my yard and I’m hungry. I want some meat and potatoes, and lots of it. Where should I go? As my mouth watered thinking about a steak, ribs, or maybe even a ginormous burger, it hit me; some twenty years ago I ate at a place on Lemay Ferry Road by the name of PENNIES BBQ. I wondered, is it still there? I remembered an old tavern style restaurant sitting off the road and ordering a chicken kabob, the likes of something Fred Flintstone would eat.
What does it take to be a restaurant reviewer? Are they journalists or do they have degrees in Culinary Arts? Maybe they have Masters degrees in Restaurant Management. Have they ever worked in restaurants like most of us have at some point in our lives?