St. Louis, Missouri
Cassandra and I went to St. Louis Missouri last week to be a part of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. St. Louis hosted the Midwest regionals featuring Ohio
State, Tennessee, Northern Iowa and Michigan State. We were expecting to see our beloved Maryland Terrapins, but Michigan State Spartans ruined that dream the previous Sunday. Our new team would be the Northern Iowa Panthers. After a two-hour flight from Philly on Friday morning, we were able to buy two NIU Basketball shirts for $20 at Lambert Airport (2 for $10 when we flew out on Monday).
We had a Club Level room awaiting us at the Milennium Hotel <http://www.millenniumhotels.com/millenniumstlouis/> . Our view of the Arch and Mississippi River from the 23rd floor was spectacular. After check-in, we walked to the waterfront pub district of Laclede’s Landing for the pregame festivities. Along the way we met the Michigan State cheerleaders, tailgated with the Ohio State Buckeye Boosters and shared stories with fans from Tennessee and Iowa. It was an electric atmosphere. The games were at the Edward Jones Dome. Tennessee and Michigan State prevailed. Afterwards we found a posh downtown Sushi spot called the Drunken Fish <http://www.drunkenfish.com/#home> .Our Sashimi and house rolls were amazing and the DJ was on point with his selections.
Saturday we visited the Lewis & Clark museum underneath the St. Louis Archway. We hired a horse and carriage to take us around the city. We stopped off at Busch Stadium- home of the St. Louis Cardinals and one of the most beautiful sporting venues in the world. The locals had recommended nearby Imo’s Pizza <www.imospizza.com/> to sample the city’s most famous and original pizza. St. Louis pies have a super thin yeast free crust and Provel cheese (a creamy fusion of provelone, Swiss & white cheddar) that is rarely found outside the city. The sweet yet tangy pizzas are cut into rectangular slices. Imo’s was located inside the Hilton Hotel, which was quite abuzz that day. Magic Johnson was staying there that weekend and had bought Michigan State Jerseys for the front desk staff to wear over their uniforms.
Saturday evening we enjoyed what we believe to be the greatest restaurant in the United States – the Top of the Riverfront <http://www.millenniumhotels.com/millenniumstlouis/restaurant/> above the Milennium Hotel. This revolving restaurant rotates 360 degrees every ninety minutes and offers stunning panoramic views from high above the city. The menu is exquisite and the service is impeccable. We had an appetizer of Peeky Toe Crabcakes, Asian Duck Tacos and Pistachio Crusted Zucchini followed by Cass’s Primo Tutto Mare and my “Duck Two Ways” (Topped with Blackberry reduction, toasted Orzo, Black Walnuts and dried fruits).
After Brunch, we walked to the Edward Jones Dome for the Midwest regional. Michigan State beat Tennessee in a thriller and we stayed to watch the Spartans cut down the nets. The venue was sold out and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Sunday was an early night as we had Monday morning reservations to ride to the top of the St. Louis Arch.
The ride to the top takes four minutes in an egg-shaped compartment that seats five. Once at the top of the 630 Arch, we enjoyed the views from the windows overlooking the city. The Arch was opened to the public in 1967 and is an iconic symbol of St. Louis as the “Gateway to the West”.
We found St. Louis to be a very clean and friendly city. The city is alive with jazz and blues music. The riverboats that cruise the Mississippi keep the heritage of the city alive and well. Prices are very reasonable.
There is a one-hour time difference which snuck up on us a few times. St. Louis offers a wonderful slice of Americana and we encourage everyone to visit. It is a unique American City and we’d love to make it back someday!