Tag - coffee

The Top 10 Iced Coffee Spots in St. Louis

The Top 10 Iced Coffee Spots in St. Louis

Where to Beat St. Louis Heat with Chilled Java – Top 10 Iced Coffee Spots in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO/August 12, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – When I first tried iced coffee, I’ll admit that I was skeptical.  The dark, rich mug of black coffee I had been drinking since high school was perfect just they way it was.  It was reliably delicious and invigorating, fortifying me for the day ahead and the perfect afternoon pick-me-up—except when it’s really hot out, like July or August in St. Louis.  How would I get an afternoon caffeine hit that’s cold and effective?  Enter iced coffee.  Whether cold brewed with a splash of milk, double-strong hot brewed over ice, or a creamy, espresso-based frappe, a chilled cuppa joe is the perfect warm weather refresher.

This summer has been a warm one in St. Louis and many of us have reached for an iced coffee for relief.  This cold elixir has become so popular in recent years, it’s available in every coffee shop, many restaurants—including fast food joints, and even bottled on grocery store shelves.  So who makes the best iced coffee in St. Louis?  We turned to customer reviews to find out where to go for the best iced coffee in town.  Topping the list is Coma Coffee Roasters in Richmond Heights.  The cafe inside the University Club Tower opened just about a year ago (August 2016). In a relatively short time, this office-building coffee shop has drawn in caffeine-craving customers who rave about all of the coffee and espresso drinks, but most especially, their cold brews.  Coma Coffee is serious about cold brew and they’re out to prove it’s top tier.  They took second place in this year’s Cold Brew Competition at Coffee Fest Chicago.  This is seriously good iced coffee.

Everyplace on our Top 10 Iced Coffee list offers a selection tasty, frosty, delicious iced coffee drinks in a unique environment.  No wonder customers love them! Just in time to help you breeze through the dog days of summer, here are St. Louis’ Top 10 Iced Coffee Makers:

1. Coma Coffee Roasters (4.70 stars/56 reviews) Richmond Heights, 1034 South Brentwood Blvd, Richmond Heights, MO 63117, (314) 250-1042.
2. Comet Coffee & Microbakery (4.65 stars/259 reviews) Cheltenham, 5708 Oakland Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 932-7770.
3. Kitchen House Coffee (4.63 stars/60 reviews) Compton Heights, 3149 Shenandoah Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 732-0009.
4. Gelato Di Riso (4.60 stars/153 reviews) The Hill, 5204 Wilson Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 664-8488.
5. Washington Avenue Post (4.55 stars/65 reviews) Downtown, 1312 Washington Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 588-0545.
6. Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery (4.55 stars/174 reviews) McRee Town, 1629 Tower Grove Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 833-6111.
7. Park Avenue Coffee – The Hill (4.52 stars/130 reviews) Southwest Garden, 5105 Columbia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63139, (314) 717-1900.
8. Pint Size Bakery & Coffee (4.52 stars/176 reviews) Lindenwood Park, 3133 Watson Road, Saint Louis, MO 63139, (314) 645-7142.
9. 2Schae Cafe (4.41 stars/193 reviews) DeBaliviere Place, 275 Union Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63108, (314) 361-5333.
10. RISE Coffee House (4.41 stars/149 reviews) Forest Park Southeast, 4180 Manchester Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 405-8171.

Some of St. Louis’ newer establishments are quickly becoming favorites.  These spots each offer a unique environment in which to sip really excellent iced coffee.  Their high marks translate into enthusiastic recommendations from customers, but they don’t yet have enough reviews (minimum 50) to make the top 10 list.  So, to these iced coffee purveyors, we offer Honorable mentions:

La Cosecha Coffee Roasters (4.57 stars/28 reviews) Maplewood, 7360 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO 63143, (314) 440-0337. One of Maplewood’s many synergistic businesses, La Cosecha shares space with Great Harvest Bread Co.  They offer their own roasted Fair Trade beans, and beverages made with them.  Their Flash Brewed iced coffee is rich, yet well balanced, making it the perfect summertime pick-me-up.
Cursed Bikes & Coffee (4.65 stars/17 reviews) University City, 7401 Pershing Ave, University City, MO 63130, (314) 601-3136.  This full-service bike and coffee shop opened in May.  The little coffee bar offers big flavor using locally roasted Dubuque Coffee beans.  Bike over for a caramel frappe or one of their exquisite cold brews.
Comet Croissanterie and Creamery (4.55 stars/22 reviews) Kirkwood, 640 West Woodbine Ave, Kirkwood, MO 63122, (314) 394-1033.  This is Comet Coffee’s morning-operated bakery, specializing in croissants and espresso-based drinks—all of which can be made iced.  A fresh croissant and iced cappuccino with a shot of their homemade Tahitian vanilla syrup is a great way to start a summer day.

The Best Coffee in St. Louis, a Top 10

The Best Coffee in St. Louis, a Top 10 - STLRestaurant.News

The Top 10 Coffee Shops Across St. Louis

St. Louis, MO/July 9, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News)(Best Coffee, St. Louis, Top 10) – When I think of great coffee, I think of a rich, robust, perfectly brewed cup of caffeinated heaven.  My preference is for a medium-dark roast, brewed moderately strong, and served black.  Of course, I also enjoy a well made cappuccino, with it’s lovely, rich foam.  And I won’t say no to a rich, sweet, creamy caramel latte, when offered.  In other words, I, like many St. Louisans, love coffee in all its wondrous varieties.  In a city with four full seasons (autumn, winter, spring, and oh-that’s-what-they-mean-by-humidity! summer), it’s refreshing to know our local coffee purveyors have specialty brews and blends for each.  In fall, the ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte fills the bill.  In winter, peppermint mocha warms our bones.  In spring, cold-pressed and iced coffees have appeal.  And for summer, nothing beats the cooling chill of a frozen, blended cappuccino or macchiato.  So, when we went in search of the best coffee in St. Louis, we were looking for more than just my regular cup of joe.  We wanted to know where everyone could go for the best coffee offerings across the broader spectrum of coffee tastes.

What we found was an astonishing number of restaurants, shops, and cafes that offer great coffee.  We checked the customer reviews, to find the coffee sellers St. Louis diners like the best.  This top ten list includes coffee specialists across the metro area.  From Belleville to St. Charles, there’s a wealth of great coffee and espresso drinks to be found.  Topping the customer reviews is Alton’s only independent coffee shop, Maeva’s Coffee inside The Milton Schoolhouse.  Maeva’s Coffee is a unique endeavor, a 100% crowd-sourced and independently funded community project.  Maeva’s features fair-trade coffee and a signature espresso blend created for them by Goshen Coffee in Edwardsville.  They’re also well-loved for their internationally inspired quiche menu, and their seasonal beverage menu.  Right now, that includes refreshing choices like the Aztec (South American spice cacao in a blended beverage, with or without espresso) and the the non-caffeinated Cucumber Mint Spritzer (fresh cucumber mint puree carbonated with a dash of lightly sweetened tonic syrup).

North, south, east, or west, there’s a great place to find your favorite coffee drink near you.  Here are St. Louis’ favorites, the top 10 coffee shops in the metro area:

1. Maeva’s Coffee (4.74 stars/73 reviews) Alton, 1320 Milton Road, Alton, IL 62002, (618) 581-7510.
2. Coma Coffee Roasters (4.73 stars/50 reviews) Richmond Heights, 1034 South Brentwood Blvd, Richmond Heights, MO 63117, (314) 250-1042.
3. Comet Coffee & Microbakery (4.65 stars/255 reviews) Cheltenham, 5708 Oakland Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 932-7770.
4. Kitchen House Coffee (4.64 stars/56 reviews) Compton Heights, 3149 Shenandoah Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 732-0009.
5. Piccione Pastry Cafe (4.62 stars/295 reviews) The Loop, 6197 Delmar Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63112, (314) 932-1355.
6. Cafe Nova (4.58 stars/125 reviews) Princeton Heights, 5611 South Kingshighway Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63109, (314) 351-7443.
7. Pint Size Bakery & Coffee (4.51 stars/172 reviews) Lindenwood Park, 3133 Watson Road, Saint Louis, MO 63139, (314) 645-7142.
8. The Abbey Espresso Bar and Café (4.49 stars/75 reviews) Belleville, 5801 West Main Street, Belleville, IL 62223, (618) 277-8373.
9. Teaspoons Cafe (4.43 stars/95 reviews) Edwardsville, 2125 South Rt 157, Edwardsville, IL 62025, (618) 655-9595.
10. 2Schae Cafe (4.42 stars/181 reviews) DeBaliviere Place, 275 Union Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63108, (314) 361-5333.

There are thousands of places to get a cup of coffee in the St. Louis area, with dozens of great options in most neighborhoods.  So, it was no small feat to narrow our list to the 10 best coffee purveyors in the metro area.  We limited the results to establishments where coffee is a focus of the business—they might sell pastries, or sandwiches, but people also go there just for the coffee.  We then imposed our “minimum of 50 customer reviews” standard.  Still, there were a lot of terrific options.  With so many quality offerings, a lot of great places don’t make the top 10.  So, we wanted to highlight few unique coffee stops that are also worthy of attention.  We give Honorable Mentions to:

Lanai Coffee in Francis Park (4.59 stars/27 reviews) Saint Louis Hills, 5300 Donovan Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63109, (808) 446-9200.  An outdoor coffee shop in the heart of a south city park.  This charming stone cottage offers specialty coffee drinks (hot and cold), snacks, a cute patio, and even sports equipment.  This weekends only (Friday, Saturday & Sunday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) coffee shop also offers free movie nights and live music events on their lawn.

Gelateria Del Leone (4.79 stars/235 reviews) Tower Grove South, 3197 South Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63118, (314) 776-3500.  An Italian-inspired cafe serving house-made gelato, espresso drinks, and baked goods in warm, coffeehouse surroundings.  This is a community gathering place that also offers top tier food and drinks.

Sucrose Bakery (4.72 stars/46 reviews) St Charles, 700 South Fifth Street, Saint Charles, MO 63301, (314) 288-9176.  A hip, European-style pastry shop and cafe offering artisan espresso drinks, unique pastries, and custom cakes in chill surroundings.  The focus here is offering elevated fare using sustainable, locally sourced ingredients.  Even the coffee is from Blueprint and Coma.

Gelato Di Riso (4.61 stars/148 reviews) The Hill, 5204 Wilson Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 664-8488.  Charming gelateria offering fresh coffee, authentic gelato, and cafe fare in the heart of The Hill. The Affogato (fresh gelato “drowned” with a shot of espresso) is one of the best marriages of coffee and creamy goodness in St. Louis.

8th Annual Maplewood Coffee Crawl Tickets Going Fast

Maplewood Coffee Crawl

Only Afternoon Tickets Remain for 2017 Maplewood Coffee Crawl

Maplewood, MO/March 28, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Like most good things, Maplewood’s annual Coffee Crawl is growing.  Now in its eighth year, the Maplewood Coffee Crawl Saturday, April 1, 2017 will offer participants a chance to meet even more roasters and sample more coffee than ever before.  And like all popular events, tickets for this one are going fast.  But then, there can’t be many more pleasant ways to spend a sunny, crisp April Saturday than strolling throughout the city’s special business district sampling a variety of coffees (and pastries) from local roasters like Art House Coffee, Kaldi’s Coffee, La Cosecha Coffee Roasters, Stringbean Coffee Co., Tim Hortons and others.

This year’s event is being held in two sessions, a “Wake Up Call” from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. followed by an “Afternoon Buzz” from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Each session offers participants the chance to meet regional coffee roaster, watch demonstrations of the craft of coffee roasting, and sample a variety of coffee blends, as well as treats.  This is a self-guided tour with is billed as the region’s first and only walkable tour of caffeine.  It is a rain or shine event that includes strolling around historic downtown Maplewood, so dress appropriately.

This is a ticketed event, and participants must have a ticket to join the tour.  The morning session has already sold out, but tickets ($7 each) are still available for the Afternoon Buzz session.  They can be purchased online through the City of Maplewood website and will be available for pickup on the day of the event.

The following businesses will host an afternoon session featuring these roasters:

Schlafly Bottleworks will feature roaster: Kaldi’s Roasting Co.
Foundation Grounds will feature roaster: Blueprint Coffee
Boardwalk Waffles and Ice Cream will feature roaster: Ronnoco Coffee Company
La Cosecha Coffee Roasters, serving as both host and roaster
Great Harvest Bread Co. will feature roaster: La Cosecha Coffee Roasters
Stone Spiral will feature roaster: Riley’s Coffee Co.
Pie Oh My! will feature roaster: Park Avenue Coffee
The Living Room will feature roaster: Art House Coffee
Tim Hortons will serve as both host and roaster

Street parking is free.  There will also be free parking available in the Bellevue parking lot at Bellevue and Manchester, the Marietta parking lot in the 7300 block of Manchester, and at both Citizens National Bank parking lots at Manchester and Oakview Terrace/Marshall Ave. as well as along the west side of the bank building.  Although this is a walking event, it isn’t dog-friendly.  Participants are asked to leave pets at home.

Balance Coffee & Tea Is Brewing New Life into Old Belleville Depot

Balance Coffee & Tea, Belleville, IL

Belleville’s Newest Cuppa Is Balance Coffee & Tea

Belleville, IL/March 1, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – There’s something new brewing at the old Belleville train depot.  A brand new a coffee roastery and café opened February 20th in the historic building.  Balance Coffee & Tea at 732 South Illinois Street is filling a culinary void left downtown after St. Louis Bread Co. and Junction Coffee closed last year.  Balance founder Marshall Morris grew up in Belleville and Columbia, Illinois before going to work in the railroad industry.  His work eventually took him to America’s unofficial coffee capital, Seattle, Washington.  That’s where Morris, after 15 years, got out of the railroad industry and learned the coffee trade.  So when he decided to head home and open a coffee roastery and café, the old train depot in Belleville seemed a natural fit.  The now beautifully restored building dates back to 1927, when it served the Green Diamond Line for Illinois Central Railroad—the same company that gave Morris his first railroad job.

Morris learned his new trade inside a Seattle coffee house that operated a number of cafés and it’s own roastery.  That gave him the chance to learn the coffee making business from bean to cup.  He quickly moved up from barista to coffee educator—the in-house expert charged with training staff, and educating customers.  While in Seattle, Morris founded his roasting business, Balance Coffee & Tea, and began selling his small batch, artisan beans online.  In Belleville he’s blending and roasted beans right in the back of the shop.  To call him an artisan, small batch coffee roaster, is not understating it.  His Mill City 1K coffee roaster does 2.2 lbs. of beans at a time.  That’s a maximum output of about 13 lbs. an hour.

Balance Coffee & Tea owner Marshall Morris spoke with the Belleville News Democrat about opening his new coffee shop and roastery at 732 South Illinois Street in Belleville.

Those house-roasted beans are excellent for many brewing methods such as a Chemex, pour over, AeroPress, French press, and even a drip coffee machine.   Just let them know which, and they’ll grind appropriately.   Their fresh roasts are sold in coffee caches—80g packages of their beans, pre-ground for ease of use.  You can have them delivered (via US Postal Service), or pick them up right in the shop.  And of course, the coffee and espresso drinks sold in the shop are made with those same beans.  They’re also commercial cold brew nitro coffee and tea suppliers.

Some of the most popular offerings at Balance include their Belleville Blend, which is made with a blend of three beans, and the Average Joe, a double blend that is their darkest roast.  These are coffees everyone can appreciate.  Balance also offers single-origin coffees that rotate with regional coffee growing seasons.  At various times, customers will find coffees sourced from Honduras, Ethiopia, and Columbia.  Another coffee treat Morris believes customers will crave, especially as it gets warmer, is the cold brewed nitro coffee.  For those who’ve never tried one, it’s cold coffee on tap that’s been infused with tiny nitrogen bubbles, giving the coffee a foamy texture, like beer.  Nitro coffee lovers say it’s creamier and richer than regular iced coffee, and slightly sweeter than your average cold brew too.  Morris makes it himself, and even provides it to commercial customers for resale.

Besides coffee, customers will find a nice selection of their tea blends, including a mint green tea, a spiced chai tea, and black mango tea.  There are plans to further develop their tea offerings as the business progresses.  Café customers will soon find a full line of pastries too—from another new(ish) metro-east business, Lizzy Bob’s Bakery in Fairview Heights; and quiche from the baker at Our Coffee House Cafe in Columbia.

Balance Coffee & Tea is open 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday – Sunday.  After March 7th, artist and yoga instructor Nicole Shanks’ will hold Yoga & Coffee at Balance Coffee & Tea.  Each Tuesday from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m., $15 will get you an early morning yoga class and coffee from the cafe!

Morris says he a lot of factors came together to lead him back to Belleville.  It was a chance to come home, a chance to bring an incredible coffee experience to his home town, and a chance to help nurture the culinary and artisan community here.  Cafe customers will notices the works of local artists on display (with more to come).  Morris says future plans include offering coffee tastings at the cafe and live music on Fridays.  Eventually he wants to develop a roasting plant and nitro brewery in Columbia.  For now, he’s focused on making the best coffee he can for a metro east community thirsty for a great cuppa.

Contact information:

Balance Coffee & Tea
Owner: Marshall Morris
732 South Illinois Street
Belleville, IL 62220
Email: [email protected]

“Offering Coffee, Food, and Hope in St. Louis”

coffee

More than Coffee for a Cause

Ballwin, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) Any morning you drive by, it’s business as usual at More than Coffee, the tiny drive-thru coffee shop in Ballwin.  Owner, Sam Malek, a devote Christian, is making a difference in his community, “one cup at a time.”  Sam teaches workers with mental and physical disabilities, the skills they need for future employment.

Sam has overcome his own share of adversities, being born with cerebral palsy and overcoming 31 operations.  He started “More Than Coffee” in 2003, and his creation is still going strong.  Since first opening, Sam has successfully helped close to 80 physically and mentally challenged individuals obtain gainful employment in the community.

The shop now also serves homemade bakery items baked fresh every day.  Some of the favorites are the cinnamon coffee cake, gooey butter cake, peach cobbler, and all kinds of cookies.  They also serve breakfast and lunch sandwiches, chicken and noodles and many other items.  They also handle lunch catering, and even if you can’t make it in or happen to live out of town, you can still order Sam’s Famous coffee in bulk through the website.  It’s made especially for him by a local St. Louis coffee grinder.

More Than Coffee also contributes to a variety of charities with its proceeds; to date Sam has helped more than 40 local charities with his coffee based ministry.

Due to his failing health, the Extreme St. Louis Charitable Foundation recently raised enough money to take over the day to day operations, so Sam could still manage the shop but slow down.  Eventually, due to health issues he will have to step down but for now, Sam is simply thrilled to know that his dream and all his good work will live on.

Watch Sam’s Story: http://www.hectv.org/watch/impact/may-2016/23355/coffee-for-a-cause/

Contact information:

More Than Coffee
14240 Manchester Rd.
Ballwin, MO 63011
636-591-3333

SUBTERRANEAN COMA DINNER

COMA DINNER

Coma Coffee & Subterranean Homemade Food Team Up For Event

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Collaborative Pop Up Dinners are not a new idea.  Most major metros have at least a few memorable events.  St. Louis is no exception, but the Subterranean Coma Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016 may the first that is based on coffee, and fully locally sourced.  The three course dinner will be prepared by Subterranean Homemade Food and served at the Coma Coffee Shop, 1034 South Brentwood (University Tower) in Richmond Heights.

Coma Coffee opened its first cafe in the ground floor of the University Club Tower back in August.  They’re part of the “third wave of coffee,” which treats coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, rather than a commodity.  It’s high quality and artfully roasted from single-origin beans.  Coma currently uses beans from El Salvador, Ethiopia and Colombia.  They roast and prepare them using brewing methods that rotate every few weeks.  Customers will find cold brews, espressos and drip coffees.  Coma Coffee owners, brother and sister, Corbin and Macy Hotlzman tapped coffee vet Chad Denney (VB Chocolate Bar and Kaldi’s Coffee) to craft their signature brews.  Denney has said they’re using methods aimed at showing off the flavor profiles of the different growing areas.  The shop features a daily pastry selection along with all of the coffee drinks one would expect: espressos, cappuccinos, Americanos, lattes and chais and many drinks feature their house-made syrups.  Their signature drinks include the COMA (espresso with vanilla ice cream) and the LYFE (pomegranate juice with a shot of espresso, served over ice).

But the Subterranean Coma Dinner is about more than just coffee, although it will feature in each course.  The meal will be a collaboration among local food artisans, chefs and farmers featuring local and sustainable ingredients.  Subterranean Homemade Food and Coma Coffee have developed a menu that uses coffee in each course.  It will also use fresh produce from Freshki’s in Glen Carbon, Illinois and Moonlight Farm in Jefferson County, Missouri.  The meat will come from Farmer Girl Grassfed & Pasture Raised Meats in Warrenton.  The cheese is made with milk and cream from Rolling Lawns Farm in Greenville, Illinois. Even the beer is local and artisan: they’re using Earthbound Beer from South St. Louis.  Their goal: All local.  All small.  All sustainable.  All awesome.

The Subterranean Coma Dinner begins at 6:15 p.m. with cocktails that blend Coma’s cold-brew with a select beer from Earthbound Brewing.  The three-course dinner will follow at 7:00 p.m.  The first course will be a salad of beets roasted in coffee beans, handmade ricotta, and watercress with a lemon espresso vinaigrette.  Keeping with the theme, the entree is coffee-braised pulled beef with sweet potato medallions and a buttermilk biscuit with red-eye gravy (a traditional Southern gravy that’s a rich, salty, smoky pan sauce made from cold coffee and pan drippings, usually after frying up ham).  The meal will come to a coffee climax with a dessert of cappuccino and shortbread topped with coffee mascarpone and coffee glaze.

If you haven’t bought a $40 ticket, you’d better act fast.  Seating is limited to just 25 people.  Tickets are available through BrownPaperTickets.com.  There is a $2.39 service fee for each ticket, but they can be self-printed, delivered via mobile device, or held as Will-Call at no extra charge.  The Subterranean Coma Dinner is an over 21 only event.

Contact Information:

Coma Coffee
Owner: Corbin and Macy Hotlzman
Coma Coffee Shop
1034 South Brentwood
St. Louis, MO 63117
(314) 250-1042

and

Coma Coffee Roastery
4013 Papin Street
St. Louis, MO 63110
[email protected]

THE LIVING ROOM COFFEE AND KITCHEN

Serving Customers and Building Community – The Living Room Coffee and Kitchen

Maplewood, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Cool things are happening in Maplewood.  Local residents are well aware of the wealth of nifty little shops and cafes that call their community home.  One of those cool little cafes is the Living Room Coffee and Kitchen at 2808 Sutton Blvd.  It’s the culmination of five years of socially responsible efforts that began with Arthouse Coffees, an independent, small batch coffee roaster created to find a sustainable job for a person with disabilities.  Arthouse soon added to its mission, purposefully becoming a way to connect with a whole new community of people.  Just about two years ago (December 2014) Arthouse Coffees opened the Living Room, a coffee shop and bakery in the old Black Cat Theater.  The Living Room is an extension of the Arthouse mission.

Just like its parent, the Living Room does everything fresh and from scratch.  From the delicious baked goods, to the all-day breakfast and lunch menus, and the Arthouse Coffees they serve, everything at the Living Room Coffee and Kitchen is created with care and community in mind.

Besides a full range of Arthouse Coffees, the cafe also serves a variety of herbal teas from their Maplewood neighbor, Re-Trailer Teas, and single estate teas from Spirit Teas.  The Living Room is open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday — Saturday, and Sundays 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Their fall menu is in full swing now, and features classic combination in dishes like the Autumnal Salad: mixed greens topped with roasted butternut squash, balsamic vinaigrette, chèvre, spiced pumpkin seeds and pickled red onions.  The fresh bread served with it takes this salad over the top.

At breakfast, you’ll find the granola jam parfait layers cultured yogurt with blueberry jam and fall-spiced granola made with walnuts, cranberries, and pumpkin seeds. It’s light, sweet, and creamy, with a warm, spicy edge that’s just right in cooler weather.  And Benny’s Eggs is a simple, delicious twist on Eggs Benedict: two soft boiled eggs and bacon on baguette with their “faux” hollandaise sauce.  It comes with a side salad, making it, perhaps, the ultimate brunch dish.

The cleverness of the menu is matched only by the deliciousness of the food at the Living Room.  For instance, ever had French Nachos?  That’s a pile of crostini chips smothered in sautéed mushrooms, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, gruyere cheese sauce and then a little dressed green salad.  How come no one ever thought of that before, right?

Even a simple roast beef sandwich at the Living Room is an elegant feast.  Theirs is expertly roasted, layered on asiago focaccia (which they bake themselves), and then topped with white cheddar, pickled red onions, lettuce and horseradish cream.

Prefer vegetarian?  Try the roasted zucchini sandwich.  It’s a baguette loaded with roasted zucchini, fresh mozzarella, tomato jam, pesto yogurt and arugula.  They toast it, so it’s all warm and toasty and gooey.

New this fall: The Living Room is serving a series of special dinners.  Like the pop-up dinners they have hosted in the past, seating is limited.  Unlike their past collaborative efforts, they are creating the entire event this time.  The first of these dinners, playfully tagged “Dinner Series I: Autumn,” was a BYOB, vegetarian affair held for 18 people on November 5th.  For $50 each, diners enjoyed an autumn themed meal of French Onion Soup, Sweet Potato Gnocchi, and Mushroom Polenta with grana padano, Chocolate Espresso Torte and Baked Brie, dressed with apple cider syrup, date chutney and pistachios.  There’s no word yet what will be served at the second Dinner Series I event, but I think a winter theme is a safe bet.  Whatever the menu, you can bet it will be fresh, clever, and scrumptious, and tickets will sell out quickly.  Pretty cool.

Contact Information:

The Living Room
Owners: Chris Phillips and Nate Larson
2808 Sutton Blvd.
Maplewood, MO 63143
(314) 899-0173
[email protected]

THE ART OF COFFEE MAKING – PICASSO’S COFFEEHOUSE

Picasso’s Coffeehouse

Enjoy the Moment at Picasso’s Coffeehouse

ST. CHARLES, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) Pablo Picasso is considered one of the greatest and most influential artists of the 20th century.  He spent hours perfecting the intricate details of his work.  So too, does Picasso’s Coffeehouse, a locally owned independent coffeehouse in St. Charles.  Established in 2003, they strive to make each coffee visit an unforgettable experience.
With the big chains like Starbucks and Kaldi’s taking the country by storm, Picasso’s is a breath of fresh air.  Their main focus is their locally roasted small-batch coffee, which they’ve crafted to perfection.  But this trendy coffee shop offers much more.  Its 50- bottle wine selection, house-made pastries, and evening appetizer plates, makes it so much more than your typical average java hangout.

There are two locations, and each has a bit of its own personality.  The Main Street location is tucked in the heart of historic St. Charles, and the second location is at The Streets of St. Charles on Beale Street.  By day, they serve numerous local micro-roasted coffees, daily in-house baked goods and fresh bakery items delivered daily from local LaBonne Bouchee Bakery, extraordinary Pablo’s real fruit smoothies, and light lunch foods such as Grilled Paninis and fresh salads.

And by night, it’s a whole different story. In the evenings, you can enjoy a wide selection of wines, liqueurs, and craft and import beers.  Delight in an appetizer plate with a famous Picasso’s Masterpiece Martini, or try a slice of espresso flavored gooey butter cake with an after-dinner coffee.

The Main Street location also features Open Mic night on Thursdays from 7 pm–midnight, and live entertainment on Friday and Saturday night beginning at 8 pm.  The Beale Street location has quiet acoustic and drink specials on Thursday night’s from 6 pm–9 pm.  No matter what time of day or night you choose to visit, a trip to Picasso’s Coffeehouse is a trip well worth making!

Contact information:

Picasso’s Coffeehouse

101 N Main Street

St Charles, MO 63301

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Thursday and Friday 6:30 a.m. – midnight
Saturday 7:30 a.m.– midnight
Sunday 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

650 Beale Street

St. Charles, Missouri 63303

Hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 6:30 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Thursday and Friday 6:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Saturday 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday 7:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

ST LOUIS’ SUBURBAN HOTSPOTS

suburban hotspots

The Best Internet Cafés in Your Own Backyard – Suburban Hotspots

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Suburban Hotspots – Who doesn’t love a snug little cafe with good food and drink, pleasant surroundings, and free Wi-Fi?  Whether you just need to get out of the office or home office for a few hours, meet with a client or contractor, or simply need to get online when your Internet goes down, a Wi-Fi hotspot fills the bill.  In major urban areas like St. Louis, coffee shops and cafés abound.  But where do you go when you don’t want to drive into the city?  There are the big corporate chains of course, but St. Louis’ suburbs are also rich in options, with unique, independently owned spots offering their own special blends of coffee, comfort and work-friendly ambiance.

Last week we examined the best Wi-Fi cafés in St. Louis proper.  (Shout out to The Mud House Coffee & Kitchen in St. Louis’ Benton Park neighborhood!)  Then we found the best places to get your Wi-Fi fix in the Metro-East.  (Answer: Maeva’s in Alton!) Just as in those cases, our analysis of the best suburban hotspots west of the Mississippi is based on customer reviews.  And again, we made it a point to look for the best independently owned places in different communities surrounding the City of St. Louis.

Topping the list, we head to the Old Webster Groves Business District, to the Webster Groves Garden Café at 117 East Lockwood Ave.  Customers gave them 4.5 Stars for their warm, friendly service and relaxed casual cafe atmosphere.  They also appreciate WG Garden Café’s commitment to providing great coffee and baked goods, while keeping their impact on the environment minimal.  The café sells only organic, fair trade coffee which is roasted locally by La Cosecha Coffee Roasters in Maplewood.  All of the packaging they use is compostable or recyclable.  To complement the coffee, they’ve partnered with La Bonne Bouchée, who provides them with a rotating selection of fresh pastries every day.  They’ve even planted a garden out back, with the hopes of eventually incorporating fresh herbs and vegetables into their spring smoothies and teas.  WGGC is open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.  They’re closed Sundays.

There are several independent Wi-Fi cafes in St. Louis County.  These are the best according to customer reviews:

  1. Webster Groves Garden Café, 117 E Lockwood Ave., Webster Groves (314) 475-3490 (4.5 Stars)
  2. The Wolf Café, 15480 Clayton Road, Ballwin, MO (636) 527-7027 West St. Louis’ (4.5 Stars)
  3. 6 North Café, 14438 Clayton Road, Ballwin, (636) 527-0400 (4.5 Stars)
  4. Karma Coffee, 15801 Manchester Road, Ellisville, (314) 475-4104 (4.5 Stars)
  5. Perk It Up, 5526 Telegraph Road, South St. Louis County, (314) 845-6613 (4.5 Stars)

So where can you find a great coffee shop/café with lighting fast Wi-Fi and a comfortable vibe in the outer suburbs?  Well, customers in St. Charles County picked Picasso’s Coffee House at 2786 Muegge Road in St. Charles, (636) 447-4515 as their top spot.  Customers gave them 4.5 stars for their warm and friendly service, artistic vibe, delicious coffee and tea drinks, and their scrumptious pastries.  They now have a second location at 1650 Beale Street, in the new Streets of St. Charles development.

Here are the best Wi-Fi cafes in the outer suburbs:

  1. Picasso’s Coffee House at 2786 Muegge Road in St. Charles, (636) 447-4515 (4.5 Stars)
  2. Bike Stop Café, 701 S Riverside Drive, St Charles, (636) 724-9900 (4.5 Stars)
  3. The Bridge, 3257 Domain Street, St. Charles (New Town), (636) 724-9921 (4.5 Stars)
  4. Xpresso Coffee House, 1351 Jefferson, Washington, MO (Franklin County), (636) 200-3390 (4.5 Stars)
  5. Roasted Bean Coffee Shop, 441 Main Street, Troy, MO (Lincoln County), (636) 775-2566 (4.5 Stars)

Since we were covering such a large geographic area with this best of list, there were a few places that didn’t make the list.  (Hey, we had to draw the line somewhere!)  These spots would make any top 10 in their local communities, so they are still well worth noting here.  Honorable Mentions go to:

  1. Mario’s Donuts & Café, 2786 Muegge Road in St Charles (636) 447-4515 (4.5 Stars)
  2. Tony’s Donuts & Bakery, 6045 Howdershell Road in Hazelwood (314) 395-1886 (4 Stars)
  3. VB Chocolate Bar at 5326 Hwy N in Cottleville, (636) 352-1139 (4 Stars)

It should come as no surprise that the top hotspots are as varied and interesting as the communities that surround St. Louis.  Each has a personality all its own, plus great food, friendly service and fast, free Wi-Fi. So wherever you are in the metro area, there’s a terrific Internet café as close as your own backyard!

GETTING YOUR WI-FI FIX IN THE METRO-EAST

wi-fi

The Best Internet Cafés in the STL Area East of the Mississippi – WI-FI

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – When we compiled the data behind our article on the Best Internet cafés in St. Louis, we noticed something odd. None of the top ten hot spots was in the metro-east.  In fact, they were decided focused in the more central parts of the St. Louis area.  That makes a certain amount of sense, since they’re based on customer reviews, the top ten are in the places where the largest numbers of people live and work.  So we wondered, where do people who live and work outside of the metro hub go if they’re need a quick bite, a good cuppa joe and fast, free Internet?

We approached the research a little differently this time, compiling customer reviews by region, and even by city.  We focused on the metro-east for this article, but since that’s a nine-county area with about a million residents, we made it a point to look for the top spots in different parts Illinois side of St. Louis.

Topping the list is Maeva’s at 1320 Milton Road, Alton.  They are Alton’s only independent coffee shop with free Wi-Fi.  Maeva’s Coffee is a unique endeavor.  They’re a 100% crowd-sourced and independently funded community project.  Maeva’s is built inside a larger revitalization project, the historic Milton Schoolhouse.  That project houses their incubator kitchen where all of Maeva’s baked goods are created.  Maeva’s also features fair-trade coffee and a signature espresso blend created for them by Goshen Coffee in Edwardsville.

Since Maeva’s is a community project, it’s not surprising that they host a number of community events.  Their next event is an open neighborhood exchange inside the public hallway at The Milton Schoolhouse on Tuesday, October 25th from 5pm-8pm.  Maeva’s is inviting you to bring your art, goods, your garage sale stuff, your extra produce, etc!  Come mix, swap, and sell with your friends and neighbors!  In November they’re hosting a “Mud Party” to showcase a select group of talented potters, and a “Latte Art Throwdown” with a pay-what-you-can donation entry fee benefiting The Nature Institute.  With all this going on, it’s no wonder Maeva’s earned five-stars and tops our list!

The list is based on stars, with everyone in the top 10 earning 4.5 to 5 stars.  The list is then ranked by the number of reviews, since a higher ranking among a larger pool of reviews is a pretty good predictor of consistently high quality products and service.  The following top-10 list is by no means exhaustive, but it should give you a good start if you’re looking for a great Internet café in the metro-east.

1. Maeva’s, 1320 Milton Road, Alton, IL (618) 581-7510 (5 stars)

2. Adam Brothers Coffeehouse, 110 South 2nd Street, Greenville, IL (618) 664-9575 (5 stars)

3. Brickstreet Brew, 220 West St. Louis Street, Lebanon, IL (618) 537-4492 (5 stars)

4. Teaspoons Café, 2125 South Rt. 157, Edwardsville, IL (618) 655-9595 (4.5 stars)

5. The Abbey Espresso Bar and Café, 5801 West Main Street, Belleville, IL (618) 277-8373 (4.5 stars)

6. Sweet Katie Bee’s Cupcake & Coffee Bar, 212 East State Street, O’Fallon, IL (618) 622-9930 (4.5 stars)

7. 222 Artisan Bakery, 222 North Main Street, Edwardsville, IL (618) 659-1122 (4.5 stars)

8. The CoffeeHouse and Salon Systems, 1333 Central Park Drive, O’Fallon, IL (618) 624-6343 (4.5 stars)

9. Bean Tree Café, 219 South Main, Waterloo, IL (618) 939-5330 (4.5 stars)

10. Kool Beanz Café, 1316 Niedringhaus Ave, Granite City, (618) 877-5730 (4.5 stars)

One thing we noticed when compiling this list: there seems to be a natural correlation between the availability of quality Wi-Fi cafés and the presence of colleges and universities.  It’s not surprising, but something worth noting, especially if you’re looking for a comfortable place to get online outside of the St. Louis metro area.

Later this month look for a follow-up article on the best Internet cafés in the St. Louis suburbs west of the Mississippi!