Review: City of St Louis

Gateway Arch and Mississippi

A few days ago, I got a phone call telling me I won a trip to St Louis to go see the Winnipeg Jets play the Blues in game 4 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The trip included a little spending cash, 2 nights hotel, 2 tickets to the game and airfare for 2!  This was a contest the Jets put on for their season ticket holders.

Although it was short notice – it was obviously not hard to find a friend to join me.  Prior to taking off, I started a thread on the ST. LOUIS REDDIT page.  Since I was only going to be there for 2 nights, I wanted to have a decent idea of where we should go, what we should see, and where I could find some good bourbon!  The fine people of reddit did not disappoint, within a few hours I had a full list of suggestions, and although I wasn’t able to get to EVERY place I wanted to (we were in St Louis for a total of like 36 hours) we did get to a surprising amount of places.

We stayed right downtown for the whole trip, and luckily for us, everything we needed to get to was only a few miles away.  The weather was beautiful (25 degrees and sunny) and the city was amazing.  My only complaint from the entire trip, is that (at least downtown) most bars and restaurants don’t open until 4, and stop serving food by 11).

Our first flight down was delayed, so we didn’t get in until late Monday night, almost everything was closed (for food) but we were able to find one sports bar by our hotel (the Over/Under).  We had about 15 minutes to order until the kitchen closed.  The food was decent, and the beer selection was pretty good as well.  Nothing to write home about, but we were starving and they were still open!  My first beer of the night was from a recommended local brewery: Absence of Light Peanut Butter Chocolate Milk Stout by 4 hands brewing. It was really delicious.  I’d get that one again for sure.  I also had a “Dale’s Pale Ale” which was just okay.  I had been up since 6 AM with the kids, and could barely keep my eyes open, so I went to bed pretty early.  My friend stayed out for a couple hours, and ended up checking out the Arch at night, and then headed down to the Casino where he won a bit of cash.

Tuesday we woke up fairly early (for us), and headed out for breakfast/brunch.  We found a place close to our hotel, and checked the reviews online.  It was called Rooster.  We both got the “slinger” which was basically eggs, sausage and potatoes on a piece of toast and smothered in gravy.  The potatoes had a nice kick to them, and it was delicious (and very filling).  It tasted a lot better than it looks…

Slinger Roosters St Louis

After breakfast, we headed to City Museum.  This place cannot really be described – you have to see it to believe it.  It is a huge old building, (used to be a shoe factory/warehouse I believe).  It’s been converted into a:

  • Museum
  • Arcade
  • Circus
  • Aquarium
  • Amusement park
  • Multiple Bars
  • Caves/Tunnels & so much more

We didn’t have enough time to see everything, and not I feel like I NEED to go back to St Louis with the kids just to take them here!  Here is the wiki page for a better idea of this place:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Museum

After the Museum, we wanted to go down and check out the Gateway Arch.  I saw it as we drove in from the airport at night, and I thought…meh..that’s kind of cool I guess….but once you get up close to it, you realise just how magnificent it is.  As usual my pictures won’t do it justice, (another reason to come back with the family, so my wife can take some professional pics).

St Louis Gateway ArchThe Arch2

 

After checking out the Gateway Arch, and a quick stop to the Casino (so I could lose my obligatory $100 playing roulette) we headed to the Broadway Oyster bar.  This is another place, i’d definitely like to come back to during the evening, and catch a band.  We sat in the outside bar which reminded me a lot of the New Orleans bars I saw on the show Treme.  We knew we couldn’t stay too long, so we just ordered an appetizer (Crab dip) and a couple of drinks.  Since the place reminded me of a New Orleans bar – I had to start with a Sazerac (pic below) and I finished with a delicious Pimm’s cup!

Broadway Oyster Bar

 

Another thing I have to mention, which is probably not even worth mentioning to most people – but I found amazing (being from Winnipeg) was the ride sharing scooters.  There are basically hundreds(thousands maybe) of scooters that you can jump on and unlock with your phone/app to get around.  They charge you by the minute, but its super cheap.  My longest ride was about 8 minutes, which cost about 3 dollars.  We walked, or scooted everywhere during our trip, and I spent a grand total of like 13 dollars.  It was also my first time whipping around on an electric scooter which was super fun.

Our next stop was for dinner, and we headed to The Midwestern; a place that had been highly recommended on reddit for both it’s BBQ and Bourbon.  It did not disappoint.  I was also able to cross off a bucket list item at this bar (having a sip of some Pappy Van Winkle).  My buddy & travelling companion Benji was nice enough to drop $75 USD on a pour of Pappy for me.  It was absolutely delightful, and although I’m sure a lot of it was just in my head because of all the hype, it really was delicious.  That said, It’s definitely not worth $100 Canadian for a single pour.  I’d gladly take 6 pours of Blanton’s for the same price!

This was not just the first time I’ve ever tried Pappy, it’s the first time I’ve even seen a bottle in person (Yes, they are that friggin’ rare).  Anyways, here is my pour, and me enjoying my first sip.

Pappy van Winkle Bourbon

MoneyMaaster Drinking Pappy

The food was really good as well.  We ordered a platter so that we could try a bit of everything.  The platter included:

  • Ribs
  • Turkey
  • Pork
  • Brisket
  • Pastrami
  • Wings
  • Cornbread
  • Mac n Cheese
  • Potato Salad

It was all real good, but the ribs and brisket were my favourite!  We were both burping up BBQ all night, and it just kept reminding us how good the food was…hah

St Louis BBQ

While we were at the Midwestern, we started noticing a lot of people coming in wearing their Blues Jersey’s.  Every time one would walk by our table, I’d lightly whisper to them
“Go Jets Go!”.  They would always smile and say something like “right on” or “go blues!”  I thought this was odd- why weren’t they booing me…Or worse? I assumed maybe they thought I was saying “Go Blues Go”.  More on this later….

After dinner we headed to the Hilton rooftop/360 bar (another reddit suggestion).  The views of the city and downtown were amazing.  I wish I had taken more pictures up there.  You could see the Arch, the Baseball stadium, the river, and the rest of downtown.  We also met Patrik Laine’s family up there as well!  Here is (one of) the views from the 360 bar:

View from 360

While we were there, we both ordered a Black Cherry Old Fashioned (which was really good), wandered around to do a full 360 view of the city, and then finally realised we had to go back to the hotel to grab our Jersey’s and head to the game!

We picked up our tickets at the box office, and quickly went to check out our seats.  Section 109, 10th row, between the blue line and the goal line…Very nice 🙂

We ran into a few other (not many) Jet’s fans and did the obligatory high five’s and handshakes.  We did a lap around the arena to check it out, and then went down to watch the Jets warm up right by the glass/bench.

The arena was really nice, it reminded us both a lot of Bell MTS Place – just slightly bigger, and a MUCH better beer selection.

The game itself was pretty much everything we could have asked for.  The Blues scored first, so we got to hear the home crowd erupt, and cheer….then in the 3rd period we tied it up (goal was scored right in front of us).  The Laine family was sitting right in front of us for the game as well, so it was fun being able to cheer with them.  The game went to Overtime and we got to erupt in Cheers with the few Jets fans around us as we won the game to tie up the series!

Throughout the entire game, the Blues fans were coming up and asking us how we liked the city, and being unbelievable friendly….like almost scary friendly.  During the intermission, right before overtime we were chatting with some Blues fans.  We also happened to be in line in front of Patrik Laine’s dad, and they kept telling us how much they hated Laine (probably because he scored 5 goals in one game against them).   I told them the guy right behind us was Laine’s dad…they didn’t care.  They told him they didn’t like his son, and then bought us a round of beers (but didn’t buy one for Laine’s dad)…haha

I cannot stress enough, how nice the Blues fans were to us, even after the game, a bunch came over, shook our hands, congratulated us, and said things like “anyone but Nashville” and “great game tonight”.  Seriously, the worst thing that happened to us, was a girl whispered “booo” as she past by us in the concourse.  

Here is a view from our seats prior to the National Anthem.

P.S – The anthem singer in St Louis is awesome too!

NHL PLAYOFFS

Final Thoughts:

St Louis is a beautiful city, with awesome people.  My only regret is that we didn’t have more time.  I definitely want to come back in a few years when the kids are a bit older so they can experience City Museum.  The downtown area was extremely clean and well kept.  Every single person we met was an absolute gem, and the Jets won!  What a great 2 nights.  Stay classy St Louis.  Until we meet again!

 

63 Comments on “Review: City of St Louis

    • If you come back with your kids, you must go to the zoo. It is free and one of the best. Also, you should try one of the Italian restaurants on the Hill. You also should see a Cardinals game. Glad you liked the city! Lots more to see!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jordan, so glad you had a great experience at the game. Truly was a great and hard fought series. If (and when) you get back, a few other things to check out.
        You HAVE to check out The Hill. It may be the best Italian food you ever have. Several places there but we can all recommend a favorite. It’s just a short 12-15 minute drive from downtown. Also, (bc you mentioned your wife enjoying doing professional photos) the Missouri Botanical Gardens are eight around the corner from there, as is the St Louis Art Museum, Zoo, and The Muny (which is the larges outdoor theater west of the Mississippi) And finish the night at a tiny bar on The Hill called Milo’s, where we still play and have a Bocce ball league.
        Also, Ted Drewes … votes best ice cream in the world. Lol
        Hope to see you again soon. Email anytime for recommendations. I may even show you around myself.
        Let’s Go Blues!!!
        Cheers

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Nice reviewJordan. My wife is from St. Louis and we have been there many times. It’s a nice mid size city with good stuff to do without the trouble of a larger US city. Tom

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  2. Awesome trip! Jealous you got to try the Pappy. The Sazerac cocktail is delicious, I love the absinthe nose. We definitely had a few of those in New Orleans. Let’s go Jets!

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  3. I loved reading through your review! So glad you had a great time. I’m a St Louis native and huge Blues fan (this whole series has been intense). You named a few of my favorite places in the City Museum and Pappys. Hopefully you can make it back some day and explore the city even more!

    Let’s go Blues! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • Im pretty sure they sell bottles in a few of the local grocery stores. If you do a quick google search they also sell online and would probably ship to you. The cost was $5 a bottle but not sure how much extra for shipping. It’s so good!

        Liked by 1 person

    • He drank a bourbon called Pappys. He didn’t go to Pappys BBQ. Although, next time he’s in town he should! Pappys bbq is soooo good.
      And I believe he was looking for a bottle of the super super expensive Pappy Van Winkle Bourbon. 🤑

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  4. We sure appreciate that awesome review of our awesome city 😁 Your family will love it too! Next time, I recommend toasted raviolis, gooey butter cake and a bar b que pork steak for some bites. All unique to “STL” or “The Lou”. And, The Magic House, Science Center and our Zoo….free and ranked #1 in the country I might add! All the best to you. LET’S GO BLUES!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review of your trip to STL! We are very proud of what our city has to offer—especially great for families!! So glad you enjoyed many of our offerings and I hope you do come back sometime—there’s so much more! This has been an intense series for sure! Go Blues!!

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  6. Awesome! Loved reading your review! I love our city, but thank you for being the first ever non-local to give it a good review! Wish you could have seen a cards game, there is nothing like that.

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  7. Next time, don’t forget to visit the brewery. It’s the birthplace of mass marketed Bud and Bud Light (I don’t like either) but it is impressive and historic. You get to see the brewing, storage, aging and packing areas, The Clydesdales and enjoy a free bottle of any AB InBev beer at end (I do Stella…)

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  8. Glad you had a great time! I was born and raised in the area and love the city. The zoo is an excellent idea – and it is free admission. You can spend most of the day there. When your kids are older, there are other places like the Planterium and Cahokia Mounds Historic site that you can go to and see things you would not in other places.

    If you come outside of winter, you must go to Ted Drewes to get a frozen custard concrete. Another must-have for a St. Louis visit.

    Our fans are the most friendly you will probably ever find when it comes to other teams’ fans, unless you are a Nashville Predators or Chicago Cubs fan. While you may not be into baseball, I highly encourage you to go to a baseball game if the St. Louis Cardinals are in town. All the seats are great and the atmosphere is second to none in any stadium, and I have had the luck of seeing games in almost half of the major league stadiums.

    Best of luck and enjoy your next visit. The music at night is pretty good, because musical influences are abound as the blues was born in St. Louis, and Chuck Berry was from there as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Enjoyed your review of my hometown. If you do make it back with the kids not only the brewery but Grants Farm has free beer and is great for kids. Art museum is also free. And if it’s summer the muny is an outdoor theater that shows Broadway musicals and have at least one ahow aimed at kids a year. Midewest BBQ is so new that I haven’t tried it yet but sounds like I should. Pappy’s and Bogart’s are both good and I really like South town Pub’s smoked house brined corn beef

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  10. Glad you had a great time in our city! When you bring the kiddos back be sure to go to Forest Park to the zoo. It is free and one of the Nations best. I am a professional photographer so as a fellow hockey fan I can take care of those photos for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Very glad you enjoyed our city! Thank you for the kind words. If you are able to come back in 3-4 years (say for a conference championship series), hopefully our MLS team’s stadium will be built and rocking, and/or the Cardinals will be in town. This city is more alive when there’s big events in town. Hopefully you’ll have more time to take in more of the great restaurants and get the family to our world class zoo.

    Anyway, thank you again for writing this article. We don’t like Laine, but don’t hate him, & will look forward to meeting the Jets again in the playoffs. Also, spot on with the anyone but Nashville, or Chicago (mostly Chicago).

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  12. If you end up going back, make sure to catch at Cardinals game at Busch Stadium! You wouldn’t regret it! One of the better stadiums in the MLB and arguably has the best view, food, and atmosphere. Glad you had a good time here.

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  13. Congrats Blues Fans. Considering the great review of St. Louis in this post, and the friendly comments from the people of St. Louis. I think I just may be a Blue’s fan for the next series. Well that and I couldn’t bring myself to cheer for Toronto.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yesss so glad to hear you liked the city. Definitely go to the zoo when you come back. Well worth it. And maybe try out ballpark village. It’s always a good time.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Glad you enjoyed this fine city, always really nice to know someone had a great experience here. I always worry about how people perceive us and I hate hearing about the bad experiences at Enterprise, so I’m happy that you had fun and it was all encompassing a good trip. The right team won. Better luck next year, it was one hell of a series!

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  16. St. Louis was a wonderful city and I’m glad you enjoyed your visit and since the Blues won the series I’m glad you got to see a win 😃.

    Definitely bring your family back and he sure to catch a Cardinals game and take your kids to Ted Drewes afterwards for custard and also take the kids to Crown Candy Kitchen to eat and get a milkshake.

    Enjoyed your reviews. STL gets a bad rap but it’s a great city filled with wonderful people. I was blessed to visit Winnipeg a few years back and found it to be equally friendly.

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  17. No fans like those in St. Louis. Great city and great place to live. So glad you enjoyed yourself. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. What a every nice comment you left on the city of St. Louis…I’m from Belleville Il. across the river…but I’d like to thank you for your complimentary comments…..so glad you won the tickets and stay…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Loved reading this review of (“Home”) St. Louis! Living here my entire life (or close to it) you actually taught me something new! I had never heard of the Midwestern! Can’t wait to try it. 🙂

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  20. The coolest thing about this town is that it is so affordable and the start up community is thriving – think Bio-tech, Ag-science, Geospatial, Finance. Over 8 billion in investment currently coming in to prepare St. Louis for the future. Come and make our home
    your home!

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  21. Great to hear man. I’m glad you had a great time in my hometown! I hope the people of STL can bring this sort experience to everyone who visits. Next time try some toasted ravioli, hit Forest Park, and, more than anything, bring a loss while your Jets are in town haha. Seriously though thanks for the glowing review of our city.

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  22. I was at that game too and sat next to Kevin Hayes sister and mother. The first thing I asked was what they thought about the city.. and where did they eat etc. They were from Boston but had never been to STL. They said they were surprised too about how nice all the people were that they met, it’s a shame all the hockey towns aren’t like that. Next time you come back you need to ride to the top of the arch! The kids would like that too. Thanks for the nice review, come back anytime!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thanks for the review. St Louis is a great place to live and we have awesome sights to see. Most are free too. Come back, bring your family and don’t miss our zoo! Grants Farm too.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Great review Jordan! I moved to St. Louis from Ohio 30 years ago and will never live anywhere else. Great city, beautiful people, affordable, good schools, etc. People speak funny here (“Warshington”, “Highway FARTY”…) but they are very friendly. Here is a suggestion if/when you come back: drive about 45 miles West on I-64, to state route 94, then head West to the wineries. You will be pleasantly shocked at the beauty and hospitality of Missouri wine country.

    Liked by 1 person

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  26. You Canadians are so nice!! My husband and I saw a Canucks game in Vancouver years ago–it was great! Bucket list would be to see all NHL teams in their home cities 🙌. Please come back with your family and as previously mentioned, our zoo is a must see, too. And you can’t beat the price: $0.00, but your kiddos will want goodies so they will get you one way or another 😱.
    Also, the Cardinals baseball is a lot of fun for families (bring your credit card–food and drinks are ridiculous. You can bring your own food and water to save a few bucks.)
    So happy that you and your friend enjoyed your visit and that you saw your Jets win. Sorry for you and your beautiful city that we took the series, but the Jets will definitely be great next season: have faith! That’s what keeps us Blue’s fans going 😇

    Liked by 1 person

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