St. Louis is a town of considerable historical importance, especially as it was the frontier for the western exploration of America. Somehow it has never reached the size and buzz of the bigger metropolises of the United States. It does have its own unique charm and there are some neighbourhoods that provide opportunity for walking, shopping, eating and people-watching.
Grand Boulevard near SLU is a great place to spend your evening. You can start by taking a leisurely stroll in Tower Grove Park. If you want to sweat it out, you can join other joggers and bicyclists that you will dot the park.
After the stroll, head over for a coffee at the Indie coffee shop MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse. A poster on the entry door proudly claims – “We support the other 99%” and you have to just look over your shoulder to the neighboring brownstone to realize that you are next to the local “Occupy Wall Street” movement!
From Arsenal Street to Humphry Street, Grand Boulevard has some of the most popular restaurants in town. Some of the ones that I have tried and I recommend are:
King and I for Thai Cuisine – Try any of the traditional Thai curries. The quantities are fairly large so be prepared for leftovers. On weekends, you can expect a waiting time of 10-15 minutes, if you do not have a reservation
The Vine Mediterranean Café and Restaurant – This totally unassuming eatery serves some of the best schawarma and hummus that I have eaten in St. Louis.
Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant – It’s not out of ordinary to say “Let’s order a Pizza” or “Lets have Chinese” or “Lets do Indian food” , is it? However, I am sure none of us ever think of “ Oh I feel like eating Ethiopian!” ..Well we should! This is by far the closest I have ever come to eating a cuisine that is so Indian. It’s basically rice pancakes with well cooked vegetables, meat and lentils, a concept very similar to the south Indian food.
If you don’t feel like eating, there are bunch of interesting stores to check out in Grand Boulevard. Now I make it a point to go to all book shops in a city (no, seriously!) and I cannot recommend the Dunaway bookstore enough. The store is massive and in a good non-chain store kind of way. The books are lined up cleanly and the collection has a lot of breadth. It’s quite possible that you may find some obscure titles here. We had a little chat, with who I assume to be the owner, and he was so friendly and pleasant ant British! He joked about his visits to India and how his Jain friend makes him eat vegetarian food. This is a store that I know I want to go back to.
If you are in the mood for bleeding a little, head over to the tattoo parlor or if you are in the mood for a little fun then head out to “Cheaptrx” – a kinky novelty store. I have never been inside (honest!) but there is some element of poetry in seeing leather and lace clad mannequins amid aspiring-to-be-posh restaurants.
However you chose to spend your time at South Grand Boulevard you can round off your evening with some Gelato at “Gelateria St. Louis. That’s where I plan to start my evening next time !