These days, with so many specialized channels, television is a major way to learn about travel destinations. My favorite travel shows focus not just on travel, but on food destinations. As you may have figured out by now, I am extremely proud of my city's strong food culture. I am therefore very pleased when some of these places are recognized on national television.
In my first guest post, about eating challenges in St. Louis, I mentioned that the show Man vs. Food had visited and attempted to take down Crown Candy Kitchen's milkshake challenge. Adam also visited a couple of other favorites in that episode... Iron Barley (Which Guy Fieri also visited... see video here) and Pappy's Smokehouse. Both are popular among locals and worth a visit (just be prepared to wait... did I mention they were popular?). Here is a video of Adam from Man Vs. Food talking about his time in the Lou. It seems he also visited Ted Drewes frozen custard... a landmark to locals for decades.
One of my most trusted television food personalities is Alton Brown. I loved his travel show Feasting on Asphalt, in which he traveled across the country on his motorcycle. When he rolled through our Neck of the woods, he stopped at Alton, IL's famous Fast Eddie's Bonair. Fast Eddie's is a lively bar with cheap and tasty food.
Alton is just a skip over the river from St. Louis. Worth the short jaunt for the Chick-on-a-stick... skewered chicken drummettes that Alton Brown claimed to be the first chicken wings he had ever actually liked! When he passed through the city of St. Louis, Alton chose to highlight our plethora of tasty donuts. Read more about our donuts here.
BBC News ran a feature last year highlighting St. Louis' beer culture. See the video here. As the home of Anheuser Busch, this has always been a beer town. But now the scene is shifting, and craft beers are taking over. Craft breweries and brew pubs have been popping up like mad the past 10 years. To keep track, check out the excellent website STL Hops, and the local beer column Hip Hops. Evan Benn, writer of the Hip Hops column, also just published a book, Brew in the Lou, that is brimming with St. Louis's beer history, present and future. Great information!
While Guy Fieri grates on me (Anthony Bourdain likened him to Poochie from the Simpsons :D), I have eaten at several of the places featured on his show, Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives, and I have to say he hasn't steered me wrong yet. When he was in St. Louis he went to Sweetie Pie's, a fantastic soul food restaurant. Check out the video:
And for dessert...local cupcake shop Jilly's Cupcakes just won Food Network's Cupcake Wars! Cool! Who doesn't like cupcakes? People say the trend is dying, but so far I haven't seen proof.