We FINALLY made it! Route 66 may be charming, kitschy and endearing but not the fastest route to the “Lou”, just an FYI. St. Louis, you always impress me with your historic architecture, your “lower-than-Chicago” prices, your delicious food and for once, your weather that was not hot AF! So looking forward to a trip where I’m not literally swimming in ball soup the entire time.
And while bae is away (at a book sale for work) this boy as it play. So I hit up downtown St. Louis solo via the light rail. Now I won’t blow smoke up your ass and say downtown St. Louis is the most exciting place. However it has gotten significantly more interesting each time I have visited. Derelict commercial structures are being converted to apartments and condos, bringing people (life) back to the city center. So how much foot traffic is there downtown? I’d say comparable to the West Loop of Chicago on a Sunday. Not super busy but there are definitely people about (so don’t be scurred now) But…….enough about that! A boy has to eat a hearty breakfast right? (one cannot survive on Gooey Butter Cake alone) So onto breakfast! Since I’m somewhat bougie and I love me some history, I’m off to the famous and restored Magnolia Hotel (formerly the Mayfair Hotel) for a bite to eat at Robie’s.
And by bite to eat, I mean my absolute FAVORITE vacation breakfast….. Eggs Benedict. I have no idea why this has become my go-to vacation breakfast food, but it has so you’ll have to deal with my bougie ass. Robie’s in the Magnolia Hotel is stunning. Lovingly restored and lit by beautiful stained glass windows that date to the hotel’s opening in the 1920’s. To think in this room(the former Mayfair Room) ate the movers and shakers of St. Louis.
And movers and shakers they were! Though not even considered a major city anymore, especially after being overshadowed by it’s western neighbor (Kansas City) The Lou was once a powerhouse on the Missipisppi, hosting such notable event as the St. Louis World’s Fair (officially known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition) in 1904, which gave the world the ice cream cone, iced tea and cotton candy (y’all wonder why I get fat when I come to STL, for realsies)
St. Louis aside from culinary history also has some other, less flaerring history, namely the verdict handed down to Dred Scott, the slave who had the audacity to try to sue the government for his freedom and was sadly denied his request. This shameful decision took a whooping 11 years to finally be made and ultimately hastened the beginning of the Civil War. Today the Old Courthouse is an educational gem providing not only information about Dred Scott but also St Louis and Missouri history; plus it’s free! Go soak up some cultural you uncultured bitches!
Hours: Open everyday (excluding holidays) from 8-4:30
And of course no visit to the Lou’s downtown would be complete without stopping to see the Gateway Arch. I swear, the best time to see this beauty is during a weekday, when lines don’t exist and you can frolic across the lawn barefoot without stepping on a tourist.
I must admit though, St. Louis is hot in the summer time (today not being as hot as it has been in the past when I was here in August but still pretty toasty) . Not only hot AF but humid AF as well (and me without my fan) Lawdy! I’m getting those vapors. I think I earned a drink(or 3). Onto Union Station for the two H’s, History and Hooch!
The Grand Hall, probably the loveliest of hotel bars I’ve ever been to. (yes, even beating the Palmer House bar in Chicago) You literally can get sloshed surrounded by the work of Louis Sullivan. The views are truly breathtaking, the alcohol is pretty cheap (top shelf rum and coke for $8, yes I will take another!) and during the afternoon, service incredibly quick. This Cuba Libre (rum and coke to you basic bitches) was needed after walking roughly five miles downtown in 80 degree heat.
I’m still in awe on how lovely this place was
I swear, that’s the fanciest entryway to the men’s I ever did see! This hotel really did spare no expense when it came to restoring this national landmark. The men’s room even had flowers in it! Da fuq? I was going to take a photo of the classiness but some man walked in and I thought it might seem a bit odd (on vacation I do try to blend in and be normal 😉 )
And now I need more cake in my life. Park Avenue Coffee is where it is at. You can get a wide variety of Gooey Butter Cakes—73 in fact! So you can blame the weight gain and possibly future diabetes on these lovely folks. With so many choices what is a boy to do? Well I went classic (basic bitch) GBC and opted for traditional. It’s literally an orgasm in your mouth of creamy, buttery, sugary goodness. Their coffee is pretty bad ass too. Despite the name being Park Avenue (their originally location is on Park Avenue in the Lafayette Square neighborhood) there is an outpost located in the heart of downtown at 417 N. 10th Street Saint. It’s incredibly roomy with comfortable seats, pleasant vibe, and several much needed outlets for my quickly dying phone. Score!
Lastly, I strolled down the very historic and lovely Lindell Boulevard to see St. Louis’ famed basilica (I am a former Catholic school boy after all!) Unfortunately the basilica was closed for the day but I will be back tomorrow to repent my sinful ways.