St. Louis cools down

St. Louis weather is crazy!  It was in the 100F's last week, but this week it cooled down to the low 90's (thank goodness!) with the help of a weekend thunderstorm.  Book made us ramen one stormy Sunday evening.  The night was cool, lit up by the sporadic flashes of lightning acting as empty threats in a drip-free sky.  ... And then I walked into the boys' kitchen and melted from the heat @__@''

Everyone else stayed in the dining area, where the AC was puttering away to cool us down!  It's crazy how Book can make food for so many people; I'd be really intimidated making food for more than just me =_=''  I'm super easy to please, so even my failed cooking experiments are quite enjoyable to eat :D

Jae, Lucy, Shuran, and Leo!  I like how creepy Shuran looks staring at Lucy...

Josh waiting to eat the ramen that Anna and Sean are enjoying

Tadaaa!  Book's delicious bowl of homemade ramen~

Book the very smug-looking cook

Cooking ramen seems very difficult compared the the ramen I am used to (Maruchan's 10 cent packs of instant noodles :P).  Book had to simmer a broth from pork hocks and chicken for the soup for a long time.  I finished my entire bowl!  Really liked the mushrooms :3  Mmmm..  Thanks Book-- it was my first "real" ramen experience.  I hope my next one will be in either Japan or Ippudo's in NYC!


Since the weather was nicer for walking to lunch during the weekdays, I met up with Michael and Soomin before heading to Panera.  Er.. I mean *St. Louis Bread Co.*  (St. Louisans would make a racket if they heard me calling it "Panera!").  It was my first time eating there in St. Louis and second time to eat there in my life.  Chenghung met up with us there, and wow!  The line was super line for lunch, stretching all the way across the dining area, and I was actually wondering if we would be able to find seats to eat.

While we were waiting in line, I saw the love of my life.  


Well, one of many loves of my life!  ;)  GINORMOUS (as big as my outstretched hands!) cinnamon rolls!  Omgah, omgah, awelksdjlxkcjei~  It looked delicious.  But I was there for a sandwich and soup, so I stoically walked past the rolls while they lifted their sweet drizzled faces towards me.  *resist resist*  There were so many other beautiful pastries that I just wanted to try them all.  When I placed my order, I asked the lady what pastry I should bring back with me, and she recommended the carrot cupcake.  It was super cute, so I got one of those in a bag to take with me later.  ^^

I thought it was interesting that St. Louis Bread Co. / Panera "shouts" out our names for us to get the orders. It's like how it is at school!  Do other restaurants do that?  :o

Soomin and Chenghung

Michael!  Did you notice that he and Soomin are matching colors?  :P

Soomin's French Onion soup looked super yummy!  I might get that next time.  But I was in the mood for a lighter / less creamy soup.  When I saw the Asiago beef sandwich, I was a little daunted, because the cheese wasn't melted (Noooo!), but it tasted great even with the cheese not oozing all over the place anyways :)  The soup was so delicious that I got impatient (Get into my mouth NOOOW), so I picked up the bowl with both of my hands and slurped it with the bowl in front of my face.  Haha, so lady like!  My excuse was that we were sitting at a side table, so no one else could see me ;)  Also, this was the first time I ate an apple whole in several years!!  My teeth aren't super strong (or maybe it's a mental thing, as I don't like having stuff stuck in my teeth), so I prefer slicing my apple into bite-sized pieces for eating.  But this mini apple was easy to eat without cutting up!  I wonder if they washed it before hand...  Oh well, too late!  :P

Pick Two!:  1/2 Asiago beef, chicken noodle soup, and a mini-apple

Super cute carrot cake cupcake that was also really flavorful and yummy ^__^!

After we finished (me being the last one, of course), we chatted about some silly stuff.  I kept on mishearing Chenghung, so when he said, "How is your day?"  I heard "How is your dad?" and I was thoroughly confuzzled.  XD  St. Louis Bread Co. has a lot of patrons, especially people working the medical complex, so the place was bustling during lunch, which added to the pleasant meal.  I like how you can have soup AND a sandwich AND a bread roll/apple for lunch prices, so you can try a lot more things for your buck.  Also, I used the Panera card that Michael gave me for my birthday, so that was also nice ^_^b  Thanks Michael, I'll be coming back in the future!  :3

St. Louis Bread Company
4561 Forest Park Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110


I tried Shell Cafe's pizza (in the same building as my lab), and I love their crust!  It's doughy and soft, very similar to Papa John's :)  Yummy...  And it's huge and cheap (as well as unhealthy, yayyyy) :P

Compare the pizza slice to a guy's hand @_@  So big!

Last Thursday was our weekly "Go Explore St. Louis' Restaurants" dinner :D  Betty picked Local Harvest Cafe, which is a cute little cozy restaurant catering local, organic, and sustainable fare.  In other words, "hipster food" as Daniel likes to call it!  ;)

They have their own grocery store, but we were hungry, so we didn't stop by before dinner.  The place was packed when we walked in, and the menu was sprawled across chalkboards on all the walls.

The waitress was nice and told us the specials which were written on a chalkboard in case we missed what she said.  Everything sounded so tempting; too bad I don't have multiple stomachs to eat every special on the menu!

Dinner specials in the back

Haha, bro hug~ :D

While we waited for our food, we all took lots of pictures of everything, random things XD  Betty and Alex had their Nikon DSLRs, while I had my Sony Cybershot and Jeff had used his Samsung Galaxy.  We must have looked like tourists ;)

Candles in a jar!  Reminiscent of Winslow's Home?

Betty's chili

Alex and I thought the homemade cracker thingies tasted very... "earthy."  I was tricked, because they looked like graham crackers and I was expecting to be sweet, but then again, who would eat graham crackers with chili? @_@''   Betty and Jeff liked it!  It tasted super healthy, and the chili was full of beans instead of being more soupy like I'm used to.  But it definitely looked appetizing! :D 

Every table was served a teeny tiny bowl of house-pickled cucumbers and green beans.  Surprisingly, the pickles were less sour than the green beans!  I'm guessing this was supposed to be a palate cleanser before the meal, but I'm also suspicious that it was to keep patrons from waiting for food to appear on the table ^^''
Local Harvest Cafe pickled cucumbers and green beans

After a long wait, our food finally arrived!  I picked the pasta special because the waitress said that it "looked insane," so this is what insanity looks like! :D

Those are tomatoes, not meatballs! :)

I was also craving noodles / rice / bread, because I didn't eat any carbs for lunch (Alec pointed that out to me, haha!)~  The linguine was definitely home-made, because it was thicker than usual and each noodle wasn't perfectly uniform.  It had a slight doughy chew (which I like!).  By itself, the pasta is light, with a sprinkling of feta cheese and a small bunch of spinach beneath two massive roasted tomatoes.  It was delicious though!   

On the other side of the spectrum was Alex's burger :D  He had this before and it was so good that he wanted it again.  It's a half pound Missouri grass-fed beef patty with the usual toppings.  He said it was super good, and we couldn't tell if the chips were made from yams, sweet potatoes, or regular potatoes.  We think they were sweet potatoes though!

The Locavore’s Dream Burger

Betty ordered the fish special which I believe was broiled tilapia with puttanesca on top.  Haha, I learned what puttanesca was when I ate at WashU's vegetarian station at the DUC!  It's a sauce mix made from tomatoes, olives, capers, and other spices like oregano and salt and pepper.  :3  I also learned what orzo was from eating at the Comfort Food station my freshman year ^^  *nostalgic*  It's a pasta, even though the tiny pieces look like rice!

Tilapia with puttanesca on orzo (Special)

Lastly, Jeff ordered pork chops!  This pork was from Missouri, and the meat was tender and juicy :)  I really liked this dish, and the mashed potatoes were *so* buttery / yummy~  The spinach had a lot of buttery flavor too, and eating the food with the gravy guiltily reminded me that I was eating butter, butter, butter...  MMMM DELICIOUS.  Haha!  Jeff liked the pork chop from Big Sky Cafe better, although he said both were great.  I think Big Sky Cafe's pork chop was more colorful (I think it was orange??), but I can't decide which one tastes better-- they're both yummy! :D

Pan Seared Pasture Raised Pork Chop

We were the last ones to leave the restaurant, and we all enjoyed our meals.  Local Harvest Cafe has some splendid food and atmosphere, and I wouldn't mind coming back :D  I really enjoyed the natural lighting from the big windows instead of dimly lit areas.  If you're feeling moral and want a great meal, this place is a great place to try out :D

Local Harvest Cafe
3137 Morgan Ford Road
St. Louis, MO 63116

Debra said...

I think it's hilarious how Daniel is creeping in the back of the second picture~

Why would St. Louisians throw a fit about "Panera"?