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I’ll go again, and I don’t even like root beer

April 1, 2008
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Last week, we decided to take a family trip, since Dawn was on vacation and Ian was on spring break. We fired up the newly acquired Garmin nüvi260 and headed for one of my (easily) Top 3 favorite U.S. cities ever, St. Louis.

Now, I’m not really going to get into too much detail about our trip, since my brother and his family took a nearly identical trip just a couple weeks ago and recounted their adventures here, and also here. Suffice it to say, we went to the City Museum as well (ahhh, but did YOU guys pet the stingrays?! That was worth the price of admission, as far as I was concerned), we went up in the Arch as well, and I’m not sure if they went to the Zoo or not, but we did. Zoo members and all.

Giraffe StLZoo 3-28-08

I’m not attempting to try to “one-up” his family’s trip at all. I just wanted to mention a place we went that I feel was worth mentioning: Fitz’s American Grill & Bottling Works.

This is somewhere Dawn has been wanting to go for a while now.  I’d always been quite indifferent about going, simply because I don’t like root beer, and that’s the big hook about this place:  they make and bottle their own root beer and have been doing so for decades.  They just happened to be bottling the day we were there (they don’t do it every day, apparently), so it was cool that Ian got to at least see how root beer is bottled, if not really learn about it.  They have tours available; maybe we’ll have to do that next time.

At any rate, Fitz’s Root Beer was created in 1947 and its formula remains “a closely guarded secret” today.  The food was pretty darned good- I recommend the Breakfast Burger- and their handmade milkshakes rival anyone’s around here. (Though I still think the Orange Freeze is the gold standard among milkshakes until someone can knock it off its perch.)  And the root beer actually was more than merely tolerable.  I told Dawn that she saw me drink more root beer that day (4 mugs) than she’s seen me drink in the 12 years we’ve been together.  Then I got to thinking about it; I’m pretty confident that that was more root beer than I’d drunk in my entire 40 years prior to that day.  But it was pretty good, and I’m glad we went now.

Plus, the place is located in the Delmar Loop area of the suburb of University City, placing it right in the center of St. Louis’s Walk of Fame, which pays homage to St. Louis natives and/or sports, entertainment, and cultural dignitaries such as Kevin Kline, Ike & Tina Turner, Vincent Price, Joe Garagiola, Bob Costas, Charles Lindbergh, Maya Angelou, Mary Englebreit, and the late great John Francis Buck.  We didn’t really go too far along the walk, since the boys (and us too) were exhausted after a big day at the zoo, but we did happen to see Scott Joplin’s star.  That was kinda cool for a music geek like myself, as was the fact that Fitz’s is just down the street from the world-famous blues club Blueberry Hill.  Supposedly, rock legend (and St. Louis native) Chuck Berry still plays there once a month or so.

This is why St. Louis is one of my favorite cities (not that I’ve really been to that many, though).  There is so much to do, so much hidden away that you have to look for, that a month spent in St. Louis will likely not be enough time to take in everything you want to see, do, and experience.

And eat!

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2008 9:11 am

    We didn’t go to the zoo, but we did hit the Science Center twice. SC members and all.

    After the City Museum, we had dinner at Blueberry Hill. When we walked in, we were like, “What’s that smell? Oh, yeah… cigarette smoke.” The kids got a kick out of all the stars in the walk of fame. They wanted me to take a picture of the Miles Davis star.

  2. Johann permalink
    April 1, 2008 9:49 am

    That’s awesome! I hope I can get the boys to understand and appreciate the musical legends like Miles Davis, Scott Joplin, and even the classical composers, that paved the way for everyone else, like Ian’s beloved Hannah Montana.

    Although Ian has proclaimed a liking for Queen, of all bands…

    We noticed right away as well the fact that Missouri is not smoke-free. From the hotel lounge to the Hard Rock to Fitz’s, it was quite the shock after having gotten used to dining out without cigs being puffed in all directions.

    And good call on the Science Center- one can ne’er go wrong with a trip to the Science Center.

  3. April 9, 2008 8:32 am

    I definitely have to try out the root beer!! Another cool place is the toy museum. Check out http://www.explorestlouis.com for other ideas.

  4. Johann permalink
    April 9, 2008 4:35 pm

    Thanks, hon! Will do!

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