First things first, some big news: We’re moving (again).
This time, we’re making a full circle back to the Twin Cities. Jake recently accepted a new role at work and so we’re wrapping-up our last full week in St. Louis.
Last month, I attended a bloggers dinner at the newly revamped Preston in the Chase Park Plaza hotel. I sat next to a woman who had also moved many times for her husband’s job. We talked about frequent, corporate moves and I tried to put a positive spin on them.
“Moving a lot makes you crazy,” she replied.
I had to laugh because it’s true. Like the past moves, this one feels bittersweet.
Jake and I will always remember something that happened before our first apartment viewing. While we waiting to view a home, a next-door neighbor invited us inside for a beer. We chatted for a while until the property manager was ready and left feeling like we’d made a new friend. This experience pretty much captures the vibe we’ve felt here.
People demonstrate hospitality. The architecture is beautiful. The food is really, really good. Chefs, brewers, and business owners collaborate a lot. People try new things.
I could spend a long time here. The only thing is that the Twin Cities are home. Our little cousins are growing-up and our parents are getting older. It’s time to put down some roots. My great-grandfather’s ashes are scattered in the Roberts Bird Sanctuary by Lake Harriet and my mother is buried nearby. This is where I want to raise a family and grow very very old. We’re sad to leave St. Louis but excited to return home.
We left Minnesota in our 20’s and are returning in our 30’s. Our six-year journey through North Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri has introduced us to lifelong friends and given us an immense appreciation for the Midwest. For now, though, we’re trying to make the most of the time that we have left in St. Louis!
The Blue Owl
6116 Second Street, Kimmswick, MO 63053
My friend Diana took me on a little road trip to The Blue Owl. It’s located about 30-minutes from downtown St. Louis. One moment you’re whizzing past the stadium and the next, turning onto a quaint little main street that appears like it popped out of a storybook from a past century. Dining here feels like time traveling. Maybe it is.
If it wasn’t 100 degrees outside, we would have loved to linger on The Blue Owl’s grand porch. Instead we welcomed the air conditioned dining room. Women in long, frilly denim aprons took customers’ orders and carried slice after slice of pie from the kitchen. Our server doted on us and called us “hun.”
The spiral-bound menu reads like a novel of hearty comfort food. Breakfast items are served until 11 a.m. If you really can’t decide what to order, the Terrific Trio allows you to choose three items from five different categories including pie. But not the chicken salad pie. You’ll have to order this on its own.
Never heard of chicken salad pie? Neither had I. Diana ordered a slice and shared a bite. My mom used to make a creamy, cheesy, water-chestnut dotted casserole like this, except that it wasn’t in a pie.
I ordered the daily special of chicken fried steak with green beans, mashed potatoes, and gravy. It went down crispy and fatty and comforting just like chicken fried steak should.
The blue, floral china combined with the scent of old, wooden floors and coffee made me nostalgic for my grandma’s house. The restaurant felt so old-fashioned that I assumed cocktails were a no-no. Not so. The Pineapple Upside Down Cake cocktail caught my eye.
Before you pay your bill, swing by the bakery case.
The Blue Owl is famous for its Levee High Caramel Pecan Apple Pie. Oprah, The Today Show, Travel Channel and Food Network have featured this pie. And in the restaurant’s lobby, a television plays an episode of Paula’s Party where the owner teaches Deen how to make it.
The pie’s hard not to stare at. The crust rises a foot tall and the outside glistens with caramel. Mail order your own for just $60 + shipping!
Choose from a giant slice or miniature, caramel-slicked version. The mini still looks like a tiny volcano. If you are not in the mood for Levee High Apple Pie, choose from many other flavors of pie, gooey butter cookies, or even melting moment cookies shaped like hamburgers.
I took home a little peach pie to enjoy later. By later, I mean the next day for breakfast.
Finally, when you are finished eating, there are plenty of intriguing little shops to wander. Full of chicken salad pie & chicken fried steak, we walked back to the car cringing at the 100 degree heat. When it’s this hot outside, the only way to move is really, really slowly.
I had so much fun that I posted about our experience on Facebook. A friend replied, “You are so Midwestern.”
You’re damn right I am. This sounded like music to my ears.