This post is brought to you by the Fox Theatre's Fabulous summer marketing interns: The author, Cassie Hall, is a recent graduate of UMSL; Images were edited by Rachel Maxwell, who is a current student at Webster University.
The Fabulous Fox Theatre is excited to participate in the Grand Center Restaurant Tour, which invites you to explore the fun, flavor and entertainment of Grand Center. When you spend at least $25 at each of the eleven participating restaurants you'll receive a gift certificate of your choice to the Fabulous Fox Theatre, Powell Hall, or the Sheldon Concert Hall. If you complete the tour before September 30, 2012 you'll receive a $100 gift certificate and If you finish by January 31, 2013, you'll receive a $50 gift certificate.
Here at the Fox we wanted to introduce you to each restaurant and help you get started. So we asked members of our team and visited tour spots in order to point out the reasons why it would be crazy for anyone not to go through this tour.
A Fox Theatre favorite and first on the tour list is Triumph Grill. Triumph is known for their gourmet Sunday brunch that could fill up even the hungriest of indecisive eaters. Watch a chef cook up your favorite omelet and eggs benedicts plus grab a piece of fresh salmon and some dessert on the side. Administrative Fox employee, Kathy Parker brags about Triumph’s food and compliments the service and prices. VP of marketing, Jana Scharnhorst says that out of all the places she could choose downtown for an Italian salad, the Ago’s Tuscan Salad from Triumph tops them all.
The owners of Triumph Grill are also the proud owners of KOTA Wood Fire Grill. Fox employees love KOTA’s wood fire technique and tropical, southern coast style. Kathy favors their fish tacos. According to her, these tilapia stuffed tortillas that are topped with salsa fresco and cilantro cream are “the best thing there.” Office coordinator Karli Lundergan disagreed by saying that no one can resist the hickory bacon and white cheddar cheese that comes on the “Fox” Burger. KOTA’s beautiful patio, viewing the front doors of the Fabulous Fox Theatre, is perfect for a pre-show dinner.
City Diner at the Fox
If close to the theatre is what you’re looking for, it doesn’t get any closer than the City Diner. As you can imagine, this makes it a popular lunch spot for theatre workers. Fox Theatre technician Mike Shaver is such a fan that he is known by their employees and managers. Pictured above is Mike’s favorite, a double layered turkey club sandwich along with some crispy French fries and a juicy pickle spear. Not only is the City Diner a great lunch spot, but they also stay open late on show nights so your midnight milkshake craving can easily be fulfilled.
Vito’s Pizzeria brings you the taste of Italy right here in St. Louis. Jim Downey from MetroTix shared that the decoratively lit patio is one of his main reasons for visiting there. Of course his favorite dish, the Baby Arancini, doesn’t keep him away either. Who could resist marinara Bolognese, peas, and mozzarella stuffed risotto balls. According to Jana, Vito’s is the only place to go when the pizza craving hits.
Nadoz is popular for its fast and handcrafted European breakfast, lunch and desserts. With their variety of light sandwiches, salads and Paninis, you can’t go wrong with the Euro café. MetroTix President Larry McDonnell has worked at the Fox for twenty years and tried all of the restaurants in Grand Center. Nadoz is his favorite lunch spot because it’s quick, delicious, and within walking distance. Larry also takes advantage of Nadoz catering. Their cheesecakes, éclairs and tarts go perfect with his dinner parties.
Field House Pub and Grill
There’s not a better place around to catch a good sporting event than at Field House Pub and Grill. Their endless selection of beer and drinks, great happy hour, array of TVs, nice patio and menu with plenty of variety are all reasons to love the Grand Center sports bar. Even diners looking for a healthy selection can find a favorite dish at Field House. The Fox’s own Kim Bell enjoys the grilled Big Fish Sandwich with fresh vegetables on the side. Kim would suggest Field House even for those not looking for the loud and crowded environment that a sports bar usually provides. Daytime allows for a laid-back lunch and is great for group meals because it’s easy to get a seat and everyone can find something they like.
Grand Center is no stranger to unique places but freshly opened hot spot, Plush, takes it to a new level. Chef David Zimmerman explains their menu as “diner food with a twist” or “fine dinery.” Plush’s handmade breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are served all day. Their meatloaf cupcakes topped with purple Japanese sweet potatoes are intriguing and delicious. But it’s not just the food that makes Plush awesomely different. Artist and owner Maebelle Reed did most of the vintage decorating. The two story music venue contains brightly painted walls, half-dressed manikin pieces, mismatched chairs and silverware rolls with napkins that were hand tie-dyed by the staff. If the atmosphere and décor doesn’t get you feeling loose and fun, their twenty draught beers, never-ending whiskey list, and live music almost every night of the week should.
The Best Steak House
A good steak was hard to find and came at a steep price until we discovered The Best Steak House. This casual cafeteria has been serving juicy steaks, half-pound burgers, and flavorful, Texas toast sandwiches seven days a week since 1964. The best part, nothing on the menu exceeds $20 and most of the menu is under $10. It’s not just the steaks that are irresistible. Gayle, a Fox marketing employee, finds herself repeatedly ordering the Chicken Monterey sandwich. The Texas toast is what really adds the finishing touch to the grilled chicken and it goes perfectly with a buttery baked potato.
Dooley's Beef-N-Brew House
Being just two doors down from the Fabulous Fox Theatre, Dooley’s Beef-N-Brew House is happy to serve show-goers and even stay open late for show- leavers. Dooley’s offers home-made burger creations unlike any you’ve ever seen and at a reasonable price. The Hill is a marinara covered burger on cheesy garlic bread. Or try The Alex, a burger that’s been soaked in mushroom sherry wine reduction sauce. Dooley’s also has two sandwiches topped with smokehouse BBQ sauce bought at fellow neighborhood restaurant, Pappy’s Smokehouse. If you’re looking for a good dinner, a place to watch tonight’s game, or even just a quick drink, you can’t go wrong with Dooley’s Beef-N-Brew House.
Café Pintxos at Hotel Ignacio should be the first and last stop of your day. Get your morning energy from one of their hot or cold coffee drinks. Lattes, mochas, and espresso go perfect with Brioche French Toast, an egg and ham sandwich, or a fresh fruit parfait on the go. Breakfast isn’t the only hot time for Café Pintxos. Their doors reopen at four-o-clock in order to serve exotic tapas, topped with anything from roasted potatoes and hummus to beef meatballs and octopus salad. There is sure to be something on this menu that you’ve never had before but are guaranteed to love once you’ve tried it. Being a Hotel Ignacio guest is not required in order to enjoy a little Spanish flavor.
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company
Urban Chestnut Brewing Company has been stirring up original, house-made beer since January of 2011 and is perfect for wrapping up your Grand Center experience. UCBC has displayed tremendous growth in the past year and a half by coming up with 65 different types of brew and always keeping 15 of those varieties on tap. Their massive patio which is covered with large picnic-style tables and beautiful string lighting turns into a beer garden every night. Ryan Rakel has been with UCBC since the beginning and is extremely proud of their success. He loves that everything there is local and personal from the beer names made by the brewers to the bar snacks borrowed from Nadoz. Your first time at Urban Chestnut the bar tender might giggle when you try to pronounce “Schnickelfritz” but this local brewery is the place to be if you’re looking for a warm and enthusiastic staff that is ready to serve a good time.
People have been living with these one of a kind restaurants in their backyard without knowing or taking the time to experience the delicious array of menus that they have to offer for too long. Now everyone has an excuse to try all of Grand Center’s finest. So pick your first stop and get your passport started because you only have until September 30 to get $100 to the Fabulous Fox, Powell Hall or Sheldon Concert Hall.