Crazy Love

Grilled sea bass, chile guajillo rub, pickled cabbage, avocado, chile morita remoulade, cilantro on flour tortillas.

Statistics show that our love affair with food has turned all kinds of Jerry Springer dysfunctional. Said another way, there is nothing wrong with healthy appreciation of the yummy delicious bounty the earth has to offer, but set down the fork and step away from the table for gods sake!

I love food; the aroma, taste, texture. There is one restaurant/book review blog that I follow and I always look forward to her posts. She makes me want to visit all the places she reviews. (The good ones anyway.) I’m no Paula Deen, but I enjoy cooking, and like most Americans, I can be one equal opportunity glutton for the sweet, savory, crunchy, creamy, juicy goodness of just about anything set in front of me.

I DO NOT eat liver. OMG ***parenting tip*** It is WRONG with a capital WTF to tell a kid if they don’t finish their dinner of mashed potatoes and internal organ designed to filter impurities from a cow or chicken that they will have it for breakfast. I do not care if you purée it, drizzle it with chocolate ganache, garnish it with oysters and call it Pâté de foie gras Orgasm, I’m not touching it.

A couple of years ago we took a trip to St. Louis to revisit the place we fell in love. It was a quickie trip. We only had a weekend to spare for such an extravagance, and so, we decided to go Union Station, where we had our first date, stay at the Marriott, and look for two restaurants we’d seen on the Food Network. A soul food diner on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives called Sweetie Pies. The other, a BBQ joint featured on Food Feud and touted on that show as having the best BBQ in St. Louis, called 17th Street Bar & Grill. Now you’d think with a name like 17th Street Bar & Grill that it would be located on 17th Street. But nooooooo! As it turned out, it wasn’t even located in St. Louis! They do have four locations. ALL of which are across the river in freakin’ ILLINOIS.

So, we didn’t go there. Even though we know exactly where O’Fallon is, since that’s where we met, but I was too pissed off after walking from the hotel to 17th Street and then searching up and down the street for BBQ. GAHHHH! We did go to Sweetie Pies. The food was excellent. NOTE***The location where the Triple D episode was shot is the NEW location and not the actual “dive” location we found. Still the food was exactly as advertised; good soul food served cafeteria style.

Lessons: Don’t believe everything on TV and check your facts before you go.

Here at home there is no shortage of restaurants; especially Mexican restaurants.  El Chico, I mentioned in an earlier post is one we will definitely visit again. The food and the service on our first visit sealed that deal. We also go to a local institution called Esparza’s. It’s an old house on a semi-residential street. The food is standard Tex-Mex fare. The margaritas are killer. It’s usually crowded, but we’ve never waited too long for a table. There is another place we go about once a month called Mi Dia. We’ve taken out-of-town guests and my husband’s co-workers/+ones there for appreciation dinners. It is tough to get in on a Friday or Saturday night. They don’t take reservations and then suddenly they do and then they don’t again, unless you’re a party of eight or more. It really depends on who answers the phone. But once you get in, yeah, it’s worth it. I suggest a late lunch any day of the week. The quality of the food is exceptional. The professional, attentive servers suggest menu items, pleasantly accommodate requests and make the experience worth the wait and the price. Ask for Samantha, Ivan, or Tommy. Each have served us and are superb. The bar offers  flights of tequila for the connoisseur of such libations, from a tower, really a tower, of options. It is above average in cost, better for special occasions than say, a night out with the family. Actually I’m just trying to clear out the crowd and shorten our wait by saying that. Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Those are my top three pics. Each has its own appeal. For my money, these choices for Mexican food win hands down. Mi Dia is my favorite. In preparation for our Italian vacation, last weekend I ordered this margarita. Only one…blast off! Yeah, it’s that good.

THE INFUSED ITALIAN Tamarind & Vanilla infused Patron Silver, Cointreau, Luxardo Amaretto, lemon juice, agave syrup

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2 Responses to Crazy Love

  1. I have another blog devoted to Portland, and that one covers food more than any other topic…so I love when other people write about it, too.

  2. Wyrd Smythe says:

    I do love Mexican food best of all! There’s a local joint, La Cucaracha, that makes a chicken enchiladas de chipotle with black beans that is to die for (the chicken is so tender it almost melts in your mouth). Hell, I even like Taco Bell and Taco John’s!

    I don’t like liver any more than any sane human, and mom subjected us to it regularly (because it has iron… and was cheap (we were poor)). And you’re right that there’s no way to prepare it as a meat dish. But I’ll tell you what, I’ve had pâté that I’m pretty sure was actually ambrosia from the freakin’ gods! I had some blue fin pâté down in Florida once that may very well be the best thing I ever tasted!

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