A week of adventures

It's that time again-- a post crammed with restaurants and places I've been!  So prepare yourself and embark on an adventure with me!~  

... Anyone else think that was beyond cheesy? :P

It's Josh!

For Anna's first day back, we went to eat at Guo Bin Lou 國賓樓 .  I have no idea what that means.  But it's in an odd location-- tucked beneath a multi-level retirement home.  That's right, we went to a retirement home for dinner.  MMMMmmm YUMMY.  Haha~

Sean and Anna wanted to come here to try their jajangmyeon, because a Korean lady recommended it to them.  So the four of us entered and were whisked away to a back table.  The menu was in Chinese and Korean, and I asked for an English one for Josh and me.  The English menu is more extensive.

Josh ordered soup as an appetizer which looked very light~  :)  All of us ordered a bowl of jajangmyeon, so while we were waiting for the food, I spied looked around at other people.  The restaurant was decorated in a really traditional manner, with heavy yellow lighting, traditional wooden furniture, folding screens, and a cabinet of jade and shiny metals.  Yep yep, one of those "heavy" restaurants~  (Not my style, because I feel like restaurants like these try really hard to impress people with their decorations!)

Josh is ready to eat!

Sean says in Korea, it's common to order a bowl of ja jang myeon noodles with a beef dish (sweet and sour beef?).  I tried a piece, and it's pretty good with its initial layer of crunchy breading on the outside and the sticky sauce sweet and with just enough acidity :)  I'm not sure if it's very authentic though, because it seemed like something from an Americanized Chinese food restaurant!

Guo Bin's ja jang / zha jiang noodles

The jajangmyeon was 鮮炸醬麵.  I thought it meant Seafood ja jang noodles, but Anna told me it was not necessarily the case.  But I found shrimp peeking out from the dark sauce and the flavor was kind of fishy, so I'm not sure if Guo Bin's noodles are just the seafood variety or if 鮮 means seafood.  ._.''  The sauce was definitely a step up from Hot Wok Cafe's, and there was a lot more bite to it with onions, zucchini, shrimp, and spring onions.  But Hot Wok's noodles were pretty special, not uniform, starchy, and most likely homemade.  Both are pretty good, but if they combined with one another, spooning Guo Bin's sauce on Hot Wok's noodles, it would have been even better!  Mind you, not the reaching the best zha jiang noodles I've had before though~  ^_^''  I'm really curious to see what an authentic Korean jajangmyeon tastes like, because so far, I haven't been satisfied with any versions :O  

Buuuuut, I'm glad I tried the noodles at Guo Bin, it's just another stop in my quest to find the best bowl of Korean jajangmyeon and Chinese zhajiangmian noodles!  :)   So far, I'm extremely biased and think my dad's zha jiang mian is the best, hehehe~  In St. Louis, it's Wong's Wok!

Yay, thanks Anna and Sean for recommending Guo Bin!

The other patrons dining with us were mostly non-Asian families or elders who probably walked downstairs from the retirement housing.  A word of advice, if you can speak Chinese, show off your skills to the waiter.  He seems extremely friendly and funny with the non-Chinese speaking diners, but when he discovered we could speak Chinese when we were paying our checks, he told us that we should tell him next time so he would serve more tasty dishes to us!  I think that's a little unfair to those who can't speak Chinese, they should be able to eat authentic Chinese food if they're paying for it ._.''  but the diners all seemed quite happy, so... I dunno~

Next time you're on Delmar passing by a seemingly out of place set of palace doors, stop by and try Guo Bin Lou's food.  They have a pretty big menu in English, and their Chinese/Korean menu sports more authentic-sounding dishes.  I probably won't be coming back, because I don't like this type of restaurant's decoration and the food was good but I am more impressed by other restaurants ;)  but trying a new restaurant is never a bad idea, right?~

Guo Bin Lou
8600 Delmar Blvd # 1300  
St. Louis, MO 63124


On Thursday, Jeff and I grabbed lunch at Majestic, a gyro place in Central West End!  He's had one before and was craving one and I've never had a gyro before, so I was pretty excited.  But it's just pita bread wrapped around some meat, so it can't be that amazing, right?  Nyuuu, I was so wrong! :D

Majestic is one of the many restaurants lining the street near the medical center vying for customers that amble by.  They have both indoor and outdoor seating to enjoy the weather and people-watch~  We walked in, and the space didn't scream "fancy dining" as the name had suggested.  Instead, it's a very homely place with booths and tables, and the waiters running around seemed to be Greek or Italian.  The decorations included pictures and newspaper clippings as well as painted trays sporting subjects from Greek mythology and lore (which I found super interesting :D).  Service seemed slow from the start, since we had to find someone to sit us down.  I'm not sure if we're supposed to sit anywhere ourselves though~ :P  

Jeff picked a seat in the back near the gyro slicer thingie-ma-bob.  So cool!  The gyro meat is sliced vertically into thin pieces.  We were curious about what gyro meat was made of and looked it up.  It can be any mixture of meat, usually with lamb (but can include beef and chicken) and spices.  Yum, processed meat!  *heart*  ;)  I think it was the owner who sliced the meat for everyone.  It seemed like Majestic is run by a family, because it was really charming when one of the older ladies chided a younger lad for watching the soccer game on the television instead of doing his duties.  I felt like I was in Greece for a bit.  (Not that I've ever been there or know what it feels like, haha!)

The gyro here seems really popular, because Jeff and I saw the man shave the gyro meat multiple times, but it wasn't for our order :P  Finally, two gyro plates came and were served with a smile.  Ohh, and props to Majestic, because we had our water glasses filled multiple times, hehe~  

A gyro isn't pronounced gi-roe, it's like "hero," but the "h" is replaced with a "y."  Why do I know that if I've never been to a gyro place?  Because I read a lot of food articles.  :P  But no matter how you pronounce gyro, it's a synonym for delicious.  (Er, that's not official, just my opinion!  ^^")  Majestic serves their gyros with thinly shaved onions, a thick tomato slice, gyro meat, and a side of tzatziki sauce.  I'm not a fan of raw cucumbers, and the yogurt-based tzatziki sauce was definitely made with fresh cucumber, because it was like "Pow!  Cucumber!"  Haha, so if you're a cucumber fan, it's definitely delish-- Jeff squeezed the whole cup on his gyro before diving in with relish!  @_@  The tzatziki sauce was milder than the one I had with a chicken souvlaki at school.  That one was really pungent *dies*!

The gyro meat was really nicely spiced; I could probably eat it just as meat!  But the pita bread that everything was piled upon was *super* warm, soft, and thick!!  Oh my, so yummy!  Jeff commented that there was no lettuce, so maybe Majestic occasionally sprinkles lettuce too.  Also, they offer feta cheese for $2 more, but the gyro is heavenly without it.  And Jeff doesn't like cheese!  :P  I cut up the tomato slice before attempting to take a big bite, and the gyro vanished without a trace... into my tummy.  It's satisfying without being too heavy, and I'm glad that my first experience with a gyro was that delightful :)

Majestic also sports a menu of other dishes beside the gyro-- they have lots of Greek appetizers like spinakotiropita (spinach cheese pies).  I saw another patron eating an order of onion rings, and they are GINORMOUS, homemade, and crispy looking.  I remember that the menu also had salads, other sandwiches, and entrees like fish!

Majestic's Gyro

Majestic's gyros are definitely yummy.  Josh took Debra there for a date night based on a recommendation, so it must be good :3  The service is kind of muddled-- we weren't sure if we were going to get a check or if we should have paid at the front, and when I asked, they said you could do either!  But the people there are very friendly :)  So what are you waiting for?  Stop by Majestic and enjoy their classic gyro or their variety of Greek appetizers ^^b  You might just go back for more next time you are craving gyros :P

4900 Laclede Ave
St LouisMO 63108

With our bellies full, we stepped out into the St. Louis heat and walked a few steps before I persuaded Jeff to try the bubble tea at OR Juice and Smoothie.  He's a bubble tea fanatic, so why not?  ^^b  OR has a branch next to the Schnuck's at school, and when we stepped in, I noticed their menu style and restaurant decoration looks exactly the same.  They sell organic / super healthy food as well as drinks, and there are basically no decorations.  Or as Jeff calls it... "sketchy."  Haha  :P

Jeff ordered his bubble tea, and he offered a sip.  It was like a bubble tea slushie!  :)  Very creamy and yummy, nom nom~  Haha, Jeff said it was really good and actually liked this one better than St. Louis Bubble Tea's, but it's pretty expensive.  I think it was $4-ish for a small cup.  But that's what you pay for wholesome ingredients and for a location in Central West End!

Bubble tea

Super happy with his bubble tea ^^b

The fountain!  Pretty~


Later that day, Shuran, Jae, Daniel, and Josh popped up at the apartment and we all piled into Shuran's car to go to... TED DREWESSSSS.  What is TED DREWESSSSS you ask?  Ted Drewes is a beloved St. Louis tradition of frozen custard, which is ice cream but with more egg yolk.  They are known nation-wide and have two locations in St. Louis.  Frozen custard usually comes in a vanilla or chocolate base with a variety of toppings to choose from to add on top like a "sundae" or mixed together as a "concrete."  Nuts, candy, cookies, fruit, brownie bits, fudge sauce, anything, yum yum!~  ^^

Anyways, we've been wanting to go to Ted Drewes for a while, and I was pretty excited :)  Mostly because I went on their website and they have a "live stream" of the shop, and I always see it crammed with people.  How exciting~!  :D  When we arrived after a 20 minute drive, we saw a throng of customers waiting in line and spent a while finding a parking spot.  Then we got out of the car, pondered over the menu on the side of the shop, and threw ourselves into the sea of people.

The boys looking at the Ted Drewes menu

Inside the establishment, there were plenty of workers scurrying around to fill up orders.  I'm really surprised that frozen custard can be so popular.  It was busier than an ice cream shop located in an amusement park or tourist destination (like the Ben and Jerry's during our visit to the Bahamas)!  

Ted Drewes workers doing their duties

Finding a spot in line (they have twelve windows to take orders from to form lines!)

So many people @__@

Jae and Shuran were in a different line, and their line beat us to the window ;)  They both got some of Ted Drewes own creations with silly names like "Crater Copernicus," which is devil's food cake covered with frozen custard, hot fudge sauce, and whipped cream.  Oh my, sounds so sweet!~

Jae and Shuran making silly faces :D

The mysterious Crater Copernicus.  It was hot to the touch!

Ted Drewes also sells malts, shakes, floats, ice cream sodas, and cones in addition to their classic concretes and sundaes, but I really like concrete frozen custards :D  Josh was deciding between a regular and large, and Daniel and I persuaded him to get a regular like we were planning to.  Thank goodness he did, because their regular size is gargantuan!

Haha, candid shot!  I guess Daniel really likes frozen custard too ;)

I had frozen custard at Mr. Wizard's before, and I thought their frozen custard is quite delish too.  I think it's a little bit more expensive at Mr. Wizard's, but it's closer than Ted Drewes for us.  Also, I think the chaos of people in the front is part of the Ted Drewes experience.  There were people sitting on the trunks of their cars enjoying their sweets, and it was like a drive-in dining place.  :)

Don't know why, but both Mr. Wizard's and Ted Drewes choose yellow fluorescent lights to bathe their patrons in.  Whyyyy?  It makes the everyone looked like they've been stained with yellow!  So I took a picture of my regular-sized concrete with blueberries mixed in on the side of the shop where there were regular lights where, in my opinion, my frozen custard never looked so good *heart* :D


For a little less than $4, you can definitely satisfy your sweet tooth or even eat Ted Drewes for dinner.  I definitely think it's worth going at least once for the experience and to say you've been, because Ted Drewes is known all over the place :D  

I’ve always liked really thick milk shakes, and apparently the “concrete” is a malt/shake so thick that it stays put when you hold the cup upside down.  And true to tradition, when we got our concretes from the windows, the ladies held the cups upside down which surprised Daniel, haha~  Fun!  (and tasty, mwahaha)  So next time you're feeling adventurous or want to cool down in the summer evening, drive down to Ted Drewes to mingle with the crowd and enjoy a delicious dessert to remember :)

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
6726 Chippewa
St. Louis, MO 63109

Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
4224 S Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63111


We're not done yet!  One more adventure before the end of this post. :)

Again, Sean and Anna recommended this restaurant!

It's called Yia Yia's Euro Bistro, and it's located in Chesterfield.  The inside looks really nice like a Carrabba's or Olive Garden.  Since we had a reservation for a party of eight, we were seated in a private room *so special* :P  Our waiter's name was Sam, and my first thought was of my hermaphrodite worm that I named Sam!  ... Haha, okay, not really, he looked *so* similar to a friend back in Texas that I kept staring at his face.  Haha, hope it wasn't too creepy ;)  He emphasized the fact that Yia Yia's uses local, organic, wholesome, natural, *good feeling words here* food!  Yay!  :D

The menu had "Eurobites" which are appetizers, but I thought the name reminded me more of some type of cereal, hehe~  Salads, pastas, sustainable seafood, and locally farmed livestock graced the menu.  There's also a daily soup, which both Book and Josh ordered.

Niki came with us today!

And so did Michael!  It was my first time to see both him and Michael since school ended :)

Sean said that their bread was super nom nom yummy, and Anna exclaimed about their spread, which is an eggplant puree and olive oil mix.  It's very creamy and just slightly salty~  The bread was warm and crusty on the outside with a fluffy and soft interior.  ^^b  Thumbs up!

Our table actually got a refill~

Anna ordered calamari

Can't forget Daniel!

Both Michael and Daniel ordered the salmon.  Actually, Book got salmon too, but it was in a salad.  I thought it was really interesting, because Sam the waiter asked them how they wanted the fish cooked.  Medium or well done.  I didn't know that fish could be cooked that way!  Interesting!  The fish was laid on a bed of ravioli and shrimp.  Although the waiter promised that the ravioli was amazing, Daniel and Michael thought that the salmon was the star of the show :)  The menu's description was "Clare Island salmon, ricotta ravioli, asparagus, oven dried tomatoes, lemon truffle oil, sherry shrimp cream sauce."  Coolio, because that means the salmon's from Scotland!.... which is somehow local? :P

Wood Grilled Scottish Salmon

"Candid."  Let's see what they're enjoying ;)

Heritage Missouri Pork

Josh got the porkchop, and it was massive!  It crowned a pile of ravioli and greens, and it looked extremely tasty~  He gave everyone a piece, and it was very tasty~  Although it was such a huge piece of meat @_@''  I think half the size would have been enough to go with the ravioli! 

Laughing Bird Shrimp Linguine

We were wondering what in the world "laughing bird" meant.  I just looked it up, and apparently it's a type of shrimp raised in the Caribbean.  They are fed a vegetarian diet without additives and are sold fresh and not frozen.  They're also raised in filtered sea water!  So Yia Yia's goes really far to make their food exceptional.  The pasta serving looked generous, and everyone said it looked like Chinese stir-fried noodles.  The people who tried it said it tasted like soy sauce :P  But Niki enjoyed it!

Fresh Seafood Stew

This is my dish!  It reminded me of the seafood stew Josh and I ordered at Vin de Sete last year~  I liked the way they cooked their scallops, very tender, and the stew's flavor was nice.  The mussels and squid were really yummy too!  Eating this by itself served as a light dinner, so good thing I wasn't too hungry.  The seafood is ladled on top of a few pieces of softened potato slices.  If I come next time, I want to try the risotto!

I like how the bowls and plates are huge, and the portions are not huge but not stingy either.  Yia Yia's is definitely a place I'd love to come back to, because not only is the food good, they try to be nice to the environment :P  The waiters are nice, the food comes out at the same time relatively quickly, and the meals are delish~ If you find yourself in Chesterfield, I highly recommend Yia Yia's, because they provide such an exceptional experience!  ^_^b

Great recommendation, Sean and Anna! :D

Yia Yia's Euro Bistro
15601 Olive Blvd. 
Chesterfield, MO 63017

After dinner, we went to watch Madagascar 3.  I have no idea what Madagascar 2 was about, and I barely remember the first one (other than "I like to move it, move it!" :P).  But the humor was so impossibly ridiculous, that it was downright hilarious!  I was laughing the whole time and had such a good time that I didn't care if the whole theater thought I sounded like a broken recording machine or a horse or whatever my laughing sounds like ;)  Everyone else thought it was super funny too, because I could hear everyone laughing along with me.  It's so cheesy, but oh so funny~!  :D

Yep, so that's a week's worth of adventures for you!  This summer in St. Louis has been my most relaxing break since graduating high school!~  ^_^b  Although I don't have all day to lounge around, I have been swimming twice a week, making dinner, reading at night, and eating out / watching movies with friends and volunteering on the weekends.  Hope to add a few more activities to this list to make it an even better summer :)