I began simply with a little turkey, bland, then worked up to grilling chicken breasts with rosemary and garlic. Chicken was getting a little boring so I thought it was time to go big or go home and that was definitely the philosophy at Sweetie Pie's at the Mangrove in St. Louis. This famous fried chicken ands soul food joint, as seen on the Food Network's "Triple D" and the Travel Channel, was not a disappointment. I gorged myself on huge servings of perfectly tender yet crispy fried chicken, rich creamy mac and cheese, and boiled cabbage. The fact that they were filming a reality show for the new Oprah Winfrey Network while we ate there, just added to my delight.
Once I'd conquered my giant plate of fried chicken and soul food, it was time to move on to red meat. I made a great 7 layer greek dip from a recipe I found on the How Sweet Eats blog, one of my favorite, and made skewers to accompany the dish. The skewers were mainly different colored peppers and onions with a little steak then smothered in the dip; they were great! Next, I went to Arthur Bryant's famous BBQ institution in Kansas City, Mo. There I feasted on BBQ turkey as well as succulent, juicy ribs. Then it was time for the true challenge/euphoria: the burger! I knew my first burger experience needed to be great or I'd never want one again so I went to Annie Gunn's in Chesterfield, Mo. The whole restaurant really emphasizes local, fresh, and natural ingredients (the waitress went so far as to tell us the chickens for the wings were defeathered on site). So I ordered a big juicy burger made of their special blend of beef, with local cheddar cheese, homemade ketchup, and a brioche bun. NOW I know what I've been missing for the past 10 years! The burger was so good!
|Arthur Bryan't (left) and Annie Gunn's (right)|
I considered the burger the commencement of Eating Meat 101 however my work outside of class continues. In the week since that proud day (my mother and grandmother both bragged to their friends about my new meat eating) I have ordered meat several times in a few restaurants and I think I'm going to have veal picatta tonight. The best dish I've had so far, besides the first burger, would probably be the chicken potstickers at Nooshi in DC. I'm off to continue preparing in more practical ways for studying abroad next week.