When I moved to Missouri the first time (1997-2000), I lived in the Central West End (CWE), a section of the central neighborhood of the city referred to as Forest Park in the Guidebook to St. Louis. Specifically, this section of town is composed of the CWE, De Mun, Dogtown, Forest Park Southeast, The Grove, and Skinker-Debaliviere. In looking over the Guidebook’s recommendations, I realized how much I already experienced in this section of town. During the spring and summer, I hit Forest Park at least once a week to walk, run, or play golf. The CWE has two of my very “no-occassion needed” places for dinner and/or drinks in Herbie’s Vintage 72 and Subzero Vodka Bar. Sasha’s Wine Bar in De Mun as well as the ambiance of the CWE’s Pi (over the other two locations) are fun places to eat. I have attended many of the recreational activities outlined in the Guidebook to St. Louis so this was a little bit of a challenge for me. It was nice to immerse myself into this part of town to experience something new and to really appreciate this part of town all over again!
Food and Drink: I love sushi. It is not uncommon for me to have sushi for breakfast, that’s how much I enjoy sushi. Interestingly, I came across the Chi Bar on North Euclid in the CWE that piqued my interest so I made plans to meet some gal pals for dinner on a Thursday evening. Although we did not have drinks, the three of us enjoyed a wonderful meal that included two seaweed salads, 6-piece eel sashimi plate, 8 piece spicy tuna roll, 2 piece salmon, 2 piece tuna, 2 piece white tuna, and 2 piece yellow fin tuna nigiri sashimi, 4 piece avocado roll, and an 8-piece eel avocado roll that ended up costing us right around $15 per person. For the amount of food we ate, I thought this was pretty cheap for a sushi dinner. It was great and I will be back again. Oh, and by the way, if you get there before 7 pm bring some change for the meters; the Wicked Witch of the West rides around on her bike ticketing offenders so don’t take any chances on trying to beat the meter.
Recreation: There is so much to do in this neck of the woods including checking out the Cathedral Basilica, St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, Forest Park, Hi-Pointe Theater, and the Muny. The St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Dogtown every March 17 is a must. The Great Forest Park Balloon Race (still on my to do list), Greek Festival, and Grove Fest all take place during the month of September or very early October and are lots of fun. Having done all of it (with the exception of the Great Forest Park Balloon Race), the waters will be slightly muddied when I throw my recent experience at a cute candy shop as “recreation”.
Oh Lolli Lolli is a very cute candy shop in the De Mun area located in the scenic Concordia Park neighborhood. It is a tiny store but when I got there on a Thursday at around 5:15 pm, it was packed with kids and a couple of adults. If you plan on gifting chocolate to someone, their milk chocolate peanut butter cups are awesome. A lot of their candy is individually wrapped and you can buy one of a bunch of different chocolates that will serve as a thoughtful and unique gift for anyone. The stuff offered by Oh Lolli Lolli is a nice change from the traditional Bissinger’s chocolate. So, if you are in the De Mun area, take the time to check out this cute candy shop.
Shopportunities: Even before my Whole30 adventure, I have pretty much been an organic, whole “foodie” since moving to Boulder, CO in 2000. While the bulk of my shopping is done at Whole Foods in Brentwood, I just had to check out the Golden Grocer. Located on North Euclid Avenue in the CWE, this natural health foods & supplements store made me feel like a kid in a candy shop. The one thing that I was floored by was the number of bulk spices offered. I love to cook and the key to some great dishes is using the right spices. I now buy bulk spices in smaller amounts to make sure that they stay fresh. Now that I am aware of this little gem, I will definitely be going back to the Golden Grocer in the CWE to buy my spices because after all, variety is the spice of life and the Golden Grocer offers plenty!