Part 3: Sunday
After our late night, KM and I slept in a bit. PM, on the other hand, was responsible and got up to do some of his work. Color me impressed. Once KM and I got up and got moving, we decided to head out for brunch. KM and PM had been looking for a good brunch spot, and I think they’ve now found it.
MoKaBe’s does a great Sunday buffet brunch. I had been several times, but it had been many years, and I hadn’t been since their renovation/expansion. With the added space, they have expanded the buffet to add more delicious goodies. KM and PM are vegans, and MoKaBe’s menu and brunch buffet includes multiple vegan options, including vegan French toast on request! They both gave the French toast enthusiastic thumbs up. I had the stuffed French toast, filled with cream cheese and candied walnuts and topped with real maple syrup. After stuffing ourselves on juice, coffee (me), tofu scrambles, eggs (me), potatoes, fruit, biscuits and the aforementioned French toast, we headed home.
PM needed to do work, so getting out of the house so he could focus was necessary. KM and I took a long walk. After all that food in our yummy brunch, the long walk was just what we needed. KM and I walked to the Central West End for coffee and lots of talking and catching up. Again, this was the whole point of the weekend for me, to spend quality time with friends I don’t get to see nearly often enough. KM and I usually see each other at library conferences, but we’re both very busy so we don’t have time for anything beyond a quick dinner or to hug each other in passing between meetings. Ultimately we talked until we were hoarse!
When we got back, CC and JH stopped by to share their wedding plans (wedding in September) and catch up on all the happenings in their lives and mine.
The plan for dinner on Sunday was Schlafly Bottleworks. My only request for the weekend was a meal there. Such good food, and they have this dessert called Sticky Toffee Pudding that is just to die for. Bottleworks makes a point to use as many local products as possible, and with a good selection of vegetarian and vegan options like vegetarian meatballs for their pasta and pizzas (wood fired and oh so tasty!). They also have things like yummy Bison burgers (yes, I’ve had them) and pulled pork sandwiches that are huge and delicious. I’ve never been disappointed by anything I’ve eaten there, which is quite the achievement for any restaurant. Schlafly actually has two restaurants, the original Tap Room which has lots of pub-style food, and Bottleworks which is more of a family style atmosphere and a completely different menu. But they serve the Sticky Toffee Pudding at both locations because they’re known for it and it’s that good. So to honor my request, a bunch of friends gathered at Bottleworks for food and dessert.
I started with a field greens salad (to balance the dessert, otherwise known as the “food negation theory” courtesy of the Amateur Gourmet). The house salad at Bottleworks has this fantastic vanilla vinaigrette and is topped with goat cheese, toasted almonds, and garlic croutons. I asked for a half salad, which is still HUGE, so LC and I split it (see? we share!). The vanilla vinaigrette is just fantastic…I must figure out how to make my own. I followed the delicious salad with the Bottleworks mac and cheese. This is not mac and cheese from a box, this is the real deal. Creamy and cheesy with Monterey Jack, Mozzarella and Provolone cheeses. I paired my delicious dinner with one of their beers, the Winter Extra Special Bitter. I have a weakness for ESBs and bitter beers in general, and Schlafly makes great beer. I’m never disappointed by their brews. I just wish they shipped beyond Missouri and Southern Illinois (they limit to something like a 6 hour radius by truck!).
I saved plenty of room for the dessert, the entire purpose of the trip to Bottleworks, the Sticky Toffee Pudding. This is a British style pudding, a dense cake that is very moist. And rich. I’ve never been able to eat a serving of it all on my own, it has to be shared. And I don’t usually say that with dessert. I’ll share just about any meal, but I tend to be protective of my desserts. The pudding is topped with a warm caramel sauce, and served with fresh whipped cream on the side. Whipped cream so well made and creamy that it has been mistaken for a scoop of ice cream. This dessert is a weakness of mine. Just thinking about it makes me drool. It is so tasty. A friend, J, had never had it before. We forced him to try a bite and he was briefly speechless before remarking it “almost” reminded him what sex was like (I almost peed my pants laughing at that one!). But the Sticky Toffee Pudding is THAT good. I promise.
Look at that pool of caramel and mound of whipped cream goodness…
After some tearful goodbyes, we left Bottleworks. My flight left at 7:20 on Monday morning, meaning I had to be up at the horrific hour of 4:30am. So KM and I didn’t stay up too late chatting in the interest of getting some sleep. It was a fantastic visit. Everything I wanted it to be and more. I ate lots of really delicious food, and spent the entire time being with friends that I love dearly.
To all my friends in St. Louis: lots of love and hugs and I miss you all!