Sunday, August 1, 2010

Adventures in the STL (part 1): Soulard

Me and (one of) the Birthday Girl(s).

I never really appreciated St. Louis until I moved away from there.

I grew up, like many folks I suppose, in a suburb of a metropolitan area chock full of minivans and pleasant sounding street names.  It was the ‘80s:  HBO was new to the neighborhood, Duran Duran posters covered my wall, and summers were filled with going to the mall or wearing out my season pass to Six Flags.  In fact, my mom still lives in the house that I called home from kindergarten through my senior year of high school.

And all I ever talked about was getting out of the STL. 

A view of the market.
It wasn’t until I returned home to celebrate my mom’s (gulp) 70th birthday with J that I truly gained an appreciation for the city.  We spent the weekend dining in outdoor cafés in the Central West End, touring through Forest Park (home of the 1904 World’s Fair), hitting up the new Museum of Modern Art, and paying a visit to the amazing Soulard Farmers' Market.  If I recall correctly, that particular visit yielded a birthday dinner featuring fresh asparagus, bright red cherries and a particularly tasty grilled plum salsa served over salmon.

Soulard has been around for eons it seems and is a St. Louis tradition.  Open Wednesday through Saturday, it’s open air stalls are filled with merchants and local farmers selling their wares and freshly grown produce, herbs, and flowers.  It is a veritable paradise for Locavores:  those who attempt to eat exclusively from products grown locally.

Father B and niece, T
 I have returned to St. Louis for yet another round of birthdays and my (bigger gulp) 20th high school reunion, and this morning, accompanied by Mom, Father Beth, and my niece, I made another trip to that Old Faithful of Marketplaces.

T, P Dizzle, and Father B with birthday flowers.

If you find yourself visiting the Gateway to the West and are fortunate enough to have a kitchen at your disposal, I highly recommend paying a visit.  The sights, food, and smells will not disappoint.

Homemade pasta from Fazio's Bakery and Pasta.  J, I'm bring home some spicy red pepper linguine!

You can even buy glass that make you look and feel like an Italian model.

Incense that smells like...whuck?

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