Tuesday, March 22

square one brewery @ brunch

Let me start off by saying that I love Square One Brewery in Lafayette Square.  I've always had fantastic and delicious experiences there.  But (MAN ALIVE!) my latest escapade left me wondering if this was the same place. Had I not been before, I would likely not go back. 

We walked in and popped on up to the bar while we awaited the arrival of our other guest.  Apparently, this annoyed the bartender.

However, much to the bartender's dismay, my guest asked about brunch-time drinks, and she begrudgingly rattled off a few basics.  Luckily for us, soon after our mimosas came our third guest arrived and we headed for the dining room.

The main dining area was bustling and the late morning sun poured in through the gigantic windows.  We were seated and opened the menu to find a much larger selection of drinks than 'Bailey's and Mimosas' (I'm talking to you, bartender). One in particular caught our eyes. 

As noted on the menu, Square One's 'Beermosa' is recognized as one of the best drinks in St. Louis. With half Square One Spicy Blonde and half orange juice, sure, I guess it's a cute idea, but hardly the best drink (ahem, go to Aya Sofia and get a fresh-apricot-bellini. Now we're talking.).  To me, it tasted of nothing more than a Blue Moon. Want to try one? Pull yourself a draft of Blue Moon, pop an orange slice in it and BLAM! Welcome to Beermosa.

For my meal, I ordered one of my favorites: corned beef hash.....

...and I couldn't even finish it.  Now, as a girl who was taught to always clear your plate, this is a big feat.  But this was one of the most over-salted dishes I ever eaten.  Plain and simple. Bleck.

On the good side of things, however, the waitress was excellent.  On a hectic morning/afternoon, she was flawless.  But for me on this morning, not enough for a saving grace. I promise that Square One is one of my St. Louis favorites but just not this day.

bottom line: i will most certainly go back, but not based on this.

Square One Brewery & Distillery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 9

drunken fish, cwe style

Sometimes you walk into the Drunken Fish in the Central West End and no matter what you're wearing, you feel underdressed.  Sometimes it's the place to see and be seen. 

Luckily for me, this time it wasn't like that.  Other than a few Mardi Gras stragglers and a spattering of 'girls' night out' tables, it was a tame - not too fancy - crowd. 

Since it was Saturday night at 7, we made reservations and were quickly seated.  Servers were zipping around us in that frantic dinner-time-rush mode, but we were attended to right away.  On our servers suggestion, I had an off-the-menu martini - of which the name is escaping me - that involved vodka, sake, a peach and some type of peach juice/puree.  It was a solid concoction.  (If you ever find yourself here, just ask the server for the martini that was recently removed from the menu that involves a giant peach slice floating at the bottom.  That should - at the very least - point you in the right direction).

We started off with the basic: edamame.  Now it's hard to mess up steamed, salted beans, but when the salt only lands on the top layer of soy-bean-goodness and several of the beans looked liked a shriveled mess, I would say it was below par.   But of course we still ate it because, hey, who doesn't love edamame?

For my main sushi course, I tried out the Mango roll (one of their new ones): crab, mango and avocado topped with tuna and salmon, as well as a combo of sauces.  One of the reasons I love DF is their crazy selection and variety of rolls, so I was very excited to try this one.  Now I'm a huge fan of having mango in a roll - it's a nice burst of sweet in the sea of salt, spice and meatiness.  But this slice of mango was huge.  Like star-of-the-roll huge.  It hit the upper limit of the correct amount of mango in sushi.  Not to mention, the roll itself was large.  And while I've come to expect having to shove a baseball size amount of sushi in my mouth when I order from the fancy side of the sushi menu at DF, this one was particularly large and messy.  In spite of this, however, the roll was very good.  The flavor meshed well and had the right combination of textures. Though it may not become a regular for me, I wouldn't be opposed if it showed up on my plate again. 

bottom line: as usual, a solid experience with good service and a nice selection. 

Drunken Fish on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 6

tokyo sushi

As one of South County's only sushi options, my friend and I decided to give Tokyo Sushi a whirl.  I have stopped in for takeout now and again, but have never dined in. 

Turns out that I wasn't missing much.

The place itself was cute, yet unimpressive.  Modern Asian decorations surrounded a few booths and tables.  And while we we're warmly greeted by the hostess, the waitress was cold and short with us - almost to the point we felt as if we were annoying her by ordering. 

We started off with the shumai - very elegantly presented on a fan-shaped plate and garnished with greens and shredded carrots.  Beyond the plating, however, there wasn't much to write home about.  Cooked to varying degrees, some pieces were crispy and browned, while others remained softer and white.  The accompanying dipping sauce didn't enhance the dish either.  What I expected to be a slightly sweet soy treat, was on the salty side and appeared to be no more than plain 'ole soy sauce. 

 The Miso soup was on par, with the addition of mushrooms kicking it up a notch.

Then the main course: the sushi rolls.  Their sushi selection was not huge, really just sticking to the basics. So of course, I went with my old standby, the Philly Roll.  It did the trick, satisfying but not a standout.  My dining pal seemed to have made the better choice with Shrimp Tempura, which had a nice drizzling of sauce (granted based on the shumai dipping sauce, it could have been a dagger that killed the dish).

bottom line: good basic sushi to fill your craving in south county, but far from st. louis' finest (sushi or service).

Tokyo Sushi on Urbanspoon