Oct 23 2007
First off, expect to pay in the neighborhood of $10us per meal if you're in the St. Louis area. Budget about $30us/day if you'll be here on a trip lasting more than two days maybe $20us if you only eat twice per day.
The first restaurant I went to on my trip to St. Louis was the House of Wong (46 North Central; Clayton, MO; 63105; phone 314-726-6291), a new-school Asian restaurant within spitting distance of the hotel. The waitstaff is polite and attentive, the atmosphere very pleasant, and the food excellent. Our crab rangoon was cooked to perfection, and I highly recommend a half-portion of Wong's Hot Chicken, which is a little bit like General T'sao's Chicken but with a lighter, spicier sauce. Theirs was easily the best food I've had so far into my trip, and they even have T'sing Tao Beer in stock. One and one-half flareguns. Go here for dinner at least once!
The next evening C- and I hit up Zuzu's Handmade Mexican Food (31 North Central Avenue; Clayton, MO; 63105; phone 314-863-6767; fax 314-863-7455). It's a smallish restaurant in the middle of Clayton that, like many places over here, has cafe' style dining in addition to takeout and the option for delivery. I have to admit, I wasn't terribly impressed with this place. Their hottest salsa is probably equivelent to the most mild that you'll find in a grocery store, my chicken burrito didn't have much flavor outside of the sauce, and the mahi-mahi tacos were about average. Not a bad place if you're in the mood for tex-mex, but definitely not top shelf. Two and one-half flareguns for so-so tex-mex food (and all that entails).
Next up: The Uptown Cafe' (105 South Meramec; Clayton, MO; 63105; phone 314-721-0393; fax 314-725-6746). They've got an excellent selection of fare, ranging from Italian to American to tex-mex and not a bit in between. They also have daily specials during the week. On Tuesdays, for example, their lunchtime special is a house salad and a calzone (which I strongly, strongly recommend). In fact, just about everything I've had there was pretty good. Get there early because the workaday force will invade around 1145 local time, and they have to start turning people away. If you'll be in the area, stop by here for lunch. Expect to pay between $7us and $9us for lunch. I highly recommend this place: One flaregun for tastiness as well as a responsive, attentive waitstaff during the lunchtime crush on a Tuesday.
Last, and so far least, was C.J. Muggs (200 South Central; Clayton, MO; 63105; phone 314-727-1908). It's your basic sports bar, with plasma televisions all over the place, bar food, drinks, and grilled faire. Their appetizers are rolls with butter and some sort of orange-ish buttery spread that neither C- nor myself could quite place (though C- suspects that grilled peppers are a major ingredient), and you can find charred meat in various and sundry forms on the menu for about $10us per plate. The turkey burger and fries weren't much better than what I had at Zuzu's the night before, the coffee is weak and warm (not hot), and the waitstaff on an empty evening must have been killing time out back while waiting for the game to start. To quote Fuscia, "Stunningly mediocre." Two and one-half flareguns for tasteless food and slow staff when they had a nearly empty house. Bring your TV-B-Gone if you must eat here.