Other St. Louis eats:
I tracked down this north-downtown place on Chowhound.com and wasn’t disappointed. Specializing in crepes, Rooster has the vibe of a slightly upscale coffee/sandwich shop. The orange juice was freshly squeezed, the coffee nice and black and the space not too crowded when we got there. The 4 year-old enjoyed his raspberries and cream crepe and I the “breakfast burrito,” which was, essentially, a crepe as well. Mrs. Show Me Eats’ “Rooster Slinger” promising andouille, fried eggs and potatoes over toast was let down by the clearly burnt gravy (which the wife smartly had ordered on the side). No attempt was made by the waitress to rectify the situation, though admittedly it was probably the whole batch that had been burned. Otherwise, very tasty, very fresh, and well-recommended. It gets really, really packed after 9am though, so beware.
Ignoring all sense – and other, more highly recommended places on The Hill – I ventured into Amighetti’s for their famous Amighetti Special sandwich. It was a fine sandwich that might have been made better with some real deli meat. This was piled with Oscar Meyer-quality cold cuts and a single lonely pepperocini. The sammich, while decent, was ultimately disappointing (and outclassed by at least four Columbia sandwiches). The absurd “classic” salad of tired, chopped iceburg lettuce and bad tomatoes didn’t help matters. The place was packed with other easy marks.
From time to time you set out into the city in search of food with kids and no plan – and get lucky. We happened into Mosaic, a “modern tapas fusion” restaurant about two blocks from our hotel. We were looking for noise to drown out whatever moods the kids might settle into. The hostess sized us up suspiciously (I would too…really? Two kids – one only a year old – on Friday night?) and initially said there’d be a wait before showing us to a handsome banquette in the bar area of the restaurant. The high chair was already taken, so little Ms. SME got to experience the full range of booth-athletics.
To their credit, a most understanding waitress appeared and put us at ease. We ordered five tapas and drinks, which came out promptly. My wine was excellent, Finca Antigua Tempranillo, and was perfect for a number of the invariably delicious tapas. The kids loved the North African Hummus and potstickers while we were partial to the Patagonian toothfish Chilean seabass and Duroc pork. Only the lamb saltimbocca failed to stand out, as the flavorful crust of the lamb chops yielded to a plain, flavorless interior.
Had the breakfast buffet a the – gulp – hotel restaurant. My crepe was fine, as was the kid’s Fruit Loops. Enough said.
Fortel’s Pizza Den:
Came up with this courtesy of the Garmin and again, I’d say we lucked out. Medium-thin crust, chewy mozzarella cheese and generous toppings made for an altogether enjoyable pie.