Saturday, April 9, 2011

Confessions of a Food Network Junkie

I admit it...I'm a Food Network Junkie.  Tripe D (Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives), Chopped, Food Feuds, Iron Chef America and the latest I'm hooked on Restaurant Impossible.   There are other shows I'll look at on Food Network, but these are never miss, make sure they're DVRed just in case something unexpected comes up.
Triple D has been to St Louis twice.  Once to showcase Sweetie Pie's and once for the Iron Barley.  My personal pick between the two restaurants is Sweetie Pies.  Their chicken wings, catfish, mac and cheese and yams are hard to beat.  They put the SOUL in soul food.

 Iron Barley was a disappointment.  I had the Lumberjack which consisted of two monster pork chops.  The chops were great...However, the barley eas seasoned with red pepper flakes...and seasoned unevenly.  There'd be the correct amount and then all of a sudden a  big chunk of red pepper would set your mouth on fire. My wife had Schnitzel & Spaetzle and she found it to be exceptionally greasy. For dessert, we had a banana Blaster which is a frozen banana cheese cake. It was very good.  However, for taking one bite of it, they charged us an extra $2.95 for sharing.  All together the bill was just over $50 for lunch. We did order two of the more expensive items on the menu...but still pricey for lunch.
Tonight, we celebrated Chris' (my wife) birthday by going to a Restaurant Impossible site Meglio's Italian Grill and Bar. Chef Robert Irvine  had made over the restaurant decor , menu, and trained the wait staff in two days and $10000.  We figured this was either going to be very good or very bad after watching the show...and all I can say is WOW!!!!  There were six of us in our party: My brother and his wife, my nephew and his significant other, and Chris and me. We were all blown away by the food.  Our party had:

  • bacon double cheeseburger pizza (double bacon, double beef, jack/cheddar)
  • bronzino trapini    (pan seared fillet, herbs, shallots, capers, marinara, tuscan potato hash) 
  • chicken speidini     (breaded sautéed chicken, lemon butter garlic sauce, long grain and wild rice) 2 orders          
  • chicken alla cacciatore     (braised chicken, tomatoes, herbs, mushrooms, fennel, gnocchi)   
  • cowboy stromboli   (seared ribeye, braised beef, chicken, mushrooms, marinara, trio of cheeses, herbs)
    toasted ravioli     a St Louis favorite- re-visited

     Here in St Louis, we are used to frozen ravioli in all restaurants.  It seems like the norm.  This ravioli appetizer was fantastic.  It was fresh baked...fresh ingredients...and huge.  Their were three raviolis per plate.  However, it would have taken 3-4 of their frozen counterparts to make one of these. 

    Our waitress found out  we were celebrating Chris' birthday. She brought out a peach cobbler with ice cream. The cobbler had a polenta topping to add texture and it was simply divine.  We left stuffed...and with plenty of leftovers. It's a little pricey for a Grill and Bar...but worth every penny...and the menu had widely priced items. 

    I'm going to have to diet before going to any of the other establishments that have been featured on Food Network...However, it will be worth it.

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