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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A brief, but enjoyable trip back to St. Louis

I took the train in on Wednesday, leaving at 1:45 p.m. from New Orleans. I arrived in Carbondale, Illinois at 3 a.m. on Thursday morning.

I left at 11:00 p.m. on Saturday night. So, when I say brief, I mean brief.

That doesn't mean I can be kept from urban/small business exploration in my short time.

Here are some random observations and experiences--

  • I went, finally, to Local Harvest Cafe for some breakfast. I ordered a pretty basic eggs and bacon type sandwich, but felt good about it since they support local farmers with everything on their menu. Oh yeah, and it was yummy! I'll have to return for lunch the next time I'm in town. Decor-wise, I was totally impressed. It's everything a cafe should be. Intimate, cozy, inviting...the tin ceilings were amazing and I loved the artwork (which paid homage to the building's historical commercial tenant (heating and cooling, I believe?)).

  • The city looked extraordinary clean in most parts. Keep up the good work not littering, guys.

  • I took my mom, aunt, and older brother to Murdoch Perk for some coffee because we were in that neighborhood doing some shopping (Nature's Aglow, people, I told you it was a wonderful place for gifts!). Let me just tell you upfront: I had the best hummus that I've ever had in my life at Murdoch Perk. Go NOW if you want creamy, somewhat spicy, delicious hummus, along with warm, soft, ever so slightly crisp pitas. Yummy.

  • I went to the Wedge on Bates and Virginia. It's a nice space and it's got good pizza. I didn't check the upstairs out, but it looked like they had a pretty good business for being so new. My mother loved the pizza so much she ordered one to go for later.

  • I also checked out Sasha's on Shaw, the new wine bar. The long storefront literally glows from the street with all of the lighting in the place. Like many wine bars, it's a perfect place to go if you want to both have some drinks and some conversation (no overly loud soundtrack in the background). The place is essentially split into two halves--one is non-smoking too! I'm actually not a wine person, and so opted for a vodka drink, which was excellent. It looks like their menu includes pizzas and light fare to accompany the wine. There's also a beautiful garden in the front of the building with outdoor seating. Just a word of advice: if you go, don't try to pry the front gate open to get in the place! The entrance is located at the southwest corner of the building! Overall, I was totally impressed. The place brings a wonderful vibe to Shaw.

That's all for now. It's finals week, and I have a 15-20 page paper, a presentation, and a final all due by Tuesday. Wish me luck!


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