Don’t you think that with just a month or so left of summer, now’s a great time for weekend getaways? I do.
And for those of you from Chicago, did you know Saint Louis is only a little over four hours away? In the just over 24 hours I spent there last weekend, I learned Saint Louis has some pretty cool things to offer — things like:
1) The Cathedral Basilica, a beautiful, imposing church with one of the largest mosaic collections in the world. You can take pictures inside, just not during mass.
2) Historic cobblestone streets near the arch, the kind you find in New England towns, the kind with names built right on the bricks.
3) Beautiful trees and green areas, not the least of which is Forest Park, an enormous urban park that’s 500 acres larger than NYC’s Central Park.
4) Forest Park is also where you’ll find free attractions like the Saint Louis Zoo and the Saint Louis Art Museum, the latter of which is especially enticing with its air-conditioning when it is 100 DEGREES OUTSIDE, you know, just as a heads up.
Of course as nice as all those things were, the parts I enjoy best about any city are its food, even beyond the Whole Foods and the Trader Joe’s (which, yes, I went to both while there). Special thanks to the Urban Spoon iPhone application for helping us find the following:
1. Pi PIzzeria, 400 N. Euclid @ McPherson, St. Louis, MO.
A green restaurant with vegan menu options, Pi Pizzeria boasts the best deep-dish and thin-crust pizza in town. We got a large thin pizza, the crust dusted with cornmeal and crunchy on the edges, topped with ricotta, cherry tomatoes, basil and Miller Amish chicken.
I ate two big pieces and wished I could polish off more.
2. Winslow’s Home, 7211 Delmar Blvd. St. Louis, MO.
Just a few miles from Forest Park in a beautiful neighborhood of historic estates, Winslow’s Home has such a cool vibe. Outside, it’s a beautiful brick building with awnings above an outdoor seating area.
Inside, it’s like a farmers market (fresh produce!) meets general store (all kinds of trinkets and grocery items) meets cute cafe (tables nestled right into the shop). The menu focuses on fresh, local ingredients, many of which have been taken straight from Winslow’s own farm.
There’s a counter filled with fresh baked goods, from muffins to pies to cookies. And at lunchtime, the cafe offers a variety of sandwiches, salads and soups, including our tomato panini with mozzarella & basil and the sourdough grilled cheese made with fontina and cheddar.
Fast trips are nice ways to spend weekends indeed — and even more so when the evening drive home is filled with sunsets like these:
What about you guys? Do you know Saint Louis? Have favorite spots there?
And where are your weekend getaways taking you this summer? I’d love to hear!
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.