Friday, May 8, 2015

NGS2015: Dining Recommendations from a Local

The National Genealogical Society Conference is next week – May 13-16 in St. Charles, Missouri.

While the official activities begin on Wednesday, I know some attendees will begin to arrive on Monday and Tuesday for some local tours that are being offered.

There's a Cracker Barrel across the street from the Convention center, but attendees may be seeking some other dining options. The Convention Center's website has a list of local restaurants running from fast food to fancy dining. I'll assume everyone is familiar with the national chains. Which restaurants unique to the local area can I recommend?

I have lived in neighboring St. Louis County my entire life, and while I don’t dine often in St. Charles, there are several local St. Louis restaurants that have locations in St. Charles as well
  • Llywelyn’s Pub 
    • Are you looking for some Bangers & Mash, Shepherd’s Pie, Fish & Chips, Welsh Rarebit, or just a good hamburger? I can recommend Llywelyn’s. I am only familiar with their original location in St. Louis’s Central West End (Note: The CWE makes an appearance in Anne Rice’s Queen of the Damned). They now have seven locations, including one in Kansas City. The St. Charles location is just under two miles from the convention center.
  • Sugarfire Smokehouse
    • OMG amazing bbq. If you like bbq, don’t leave the convention without trying it. Three locations, with a fourth coming soon, and they’ve been around for less than three years. The St. Charles location is about 5 miles from the convention center. (I’m only familiar with their original Olivette location)
  • Little Hills Winery and Restaurant
    • Only one location. I’ve eaten here with friends, and had a great time. We went for the wine, stayed for the restaurant. Don’t remember a lot. Funny, that.
St. Louis Traditions
  • Imo's Pizza
    • St. Louis style pizza. A local chain. Nearest location less than two miles from the convention center. They deliver.
  • If it gets hot, and you are willing to drive a little further, I highly recommend stopping for some of Ted Drewes’ Frozen Custard - It is a St. Louis favorite. However, they’re 22 miles/30 minutes from the convention center.

I mention Little Hills above, but there are other wineries that aren't too far away. Here's a list of them. The ones in Augusta and Defiance, Missouri are about 30-45 minute drive from the convention center. The two I am most familiar with are in Defiance - Yellow Farmhouse and Sugar Creek.

Kosher and Kosher-Style?

Maybe you are headed to St. Charles, and wondering about the area’s Kosher options? Here’s a list of Certified Kosher eateries in the area. As you can see by following the link, there aren’t many, and they’re all in St. Louis.

The only certified kosher sit-down restaurant is Gokul (20 miles/30 min from convention center). That’s right, a vegetarian Indian restaurant. I’ve eaten there, and can definitely recommend it, but you won't find corned beef or chopped liver on their menu. I can recommend Kohn’s Kosher Deli for either of those, and more. (11 miles, 20 min).

However, if you’re looking for a good reuben sandwich (something Kohn's will not serve you), or don’t mind if you get your meal somewhere that has one on the menu, your options increase.

You'll find reubens on many restaurant menus, of course, but if you're looking for something authentic, my personal recommendations: Pumpernickels (10 miles/20 minutes from convention center) and Protzels (18 miles/25 minutes from convention center). Neither serves dinner.

Note: If you’re looking for a synagogue at which to attend services, here's a list. However, the only synagogue in St. Charles closed in 2014, so you will have to drive.

No comments: