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Savor St. Louis

Good till the last bite. The Berkley deep dish pizza from Pi Pizzeria.

Good till the last bite. The Berkley deep dish pizza from Pi Pizzeria.

I am an absolute believer that every single person looking to visit a city (or get to know their area better) should embark on a culinary tour. For the cost to take part, you’re getting anywhere from three to five samplings of fabulous restaurants, getting behind the scenes access to restaurant staff and then history on a location. Not convinced yet? You never leave hungry or without a brain chock full of new knowledge, not to mention the cost is a lot less than a night out on the town for two people. Even if you’ve lived in an area, these tours are a far cry from the usual touristy attractions. An absolute must for foodies, time crunched individuals, visitors to the area, locals wanting date night, or just a fun day out and about, this is something not to miss!

Savor St. Louis Food Tours is a company that newly started giving tours in the Central West End of St. Louis this past year. Heralded by Jennifer (Smith) Schmid and Susie Smith, this family is no stranger to St. Louis or the food scene.  The family itself has a passion not only for spreading the St. Louis gospel, but also that of the culinary treasures found in their neighborhood. The family owns and operates the Royale, a very retro, but utterly cool locale hangout (which I’m now dying to try) which is also located in the Central West End.

The private residences of the Central West End of St. Louis.

The private residences of the Central West End of St. Louis.

Just another private residence of the Central West End, which included many homes built for the 1904 World Fair.

Just another private residence of the Central West End, which included many homes built for the 1904 World Fair.

The gated entrance to just one of the many private streets in the Central West End.

The gated entrance to just one of the many private streets in the Central West End.

Like most culinary tours I’ve embarked on, this tour showcases some hidden gems but also places to not miss when you’re in St. Louis. Even though these places are ones in which you can visit on your own, the tour itself gave a wonderful recap on the rich history found within the Central West End too.  I came into the tour very biased thinking there wasn’t a whole lot more to learn about the area, and boy did I get humbled quickly. While Jennifer and Susie led the beginning and end of our tour, their friend and colleague Margaret Kelly quietly gave her recap on the bizarre stories of old, but of modern day happenings in and around the neighborhood. Margaret has lived in St. Louis for many a years, but is known by practically everyone in the Central West End. She was a waitress at the iconic Duff’s where she nonchalantly recounts her time with Hollywood stars on their visits to town.

Our lovely tour guides for the day, from left to right, Margaret, Susie and Jennifer.

Our lovely tour guides for the day, from left to right, Margaret, Susie and Jennifer.

I loved the care that each of the stops played into the tour, helping to design specific tastings for the tour (some of the items we sampled weren’t even on the regular menu and could only be had by taking part in the tour). Many of the restaurants even mixed things up on the tour so while you may be sampling one thing from Bar Italia one day, the next tour would be having something completely different. It’s absolutely one of the better ideas I would have for out of towners- you don’t have to feed them and you get entertainment to boot.

The Porchetta "Louie" which is Dressel's Public House take on what would be the Philly cheese steak of St. Louis. This sandwich includes herb roasted pork, rapini, peperoncini and provel on a toasted baguette.

The Porchetta “Louie” which is Dressel’s Public House take on what would be the Philly cheese steak of St. Louis. This sandwich includes herb roasted pork, rapini, peperoncini and provel on a toasted baguette.

Pub chips from Dressel's Public House served with a large vat of malt vinegar.

Pub chips from Dressel’s Public House served with a large vat of malt vinegar.

Dressel's Public House includes decorative elements from a variety of passions that the owners have including surfing and a Wales influence.

Dressel’s Public House includes decorative elements from a variety of passions that the owners have including surfing and a Wales influence.

Bowood Farms is open for business.

Bowood Farms is open for business.

Bowood Farm has plots of land dedicated to urban farming which sells local produce to neighborhood locals, but also gets put to use at Cafe Osage.

Bowood Farms has plots of land dedicated to urban farming which sells local produce to neighborhood locals, but also gets put to use at Cafe Osage.

Cafe Osage's unique dining which was within the old factory in which Bowood Farm is enclosed.

Cafe Osage’s unique dining which was within the old factory in which Bowood Farms is enclosed.

A Brie-L-T courtesy of Cafe Osage which included applewood smoked bacon, tomato jam, brie and arugula.

A Brie-L-T courtesy of Cafe Osage which included applewood smoked bacon, tomato jam, brie and arugula.

A lemon balm spritzer courtesy of Cafe Osage at Bowood Farm.

A lemon balm spritzer courtesy of Cafe Osage at Bowood Farms.

Bowood Farms and their restroom sign, pretty clever!

Bowood Farms and their restroom sign, pretty clever!

Bowood Farms unique urban landscape and nursery.

Bowood Farms unique urban landscape and nursery.

Bowood Farms custom teak doors leading into their urban nursery. Margaret stands by just to show you how huge they really are.

Bowood Farms custom teak doors leading into their urban nursery. Margaret stands by just to show you how huge they really are.

Bowood Farms use of space includes mesh screens to help vegetation thrive while shading and cooling the inner building.

Bowood Farms use of space includes mesh screens to help vegetation thrive while shading and cooling the inner building.

Pi Pizzeria locations each include their own flare based on the neighborhoods in which they live.

Pi Pizzeria locations each include their own flare based on the neighborhoods in which they live.

The Central West End pizza from Pi Pizzeria, only found at this location which includes mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula, goat cheese, grape tomatoes and red onions.

The Central West End pizza from Pi Pizzeria, only found at this location which includes mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula, goat cheese, grape tomatoes and red onions.

The Berkeley deep dish pizza at Pi Pizzeria made with their special cornmeal crust.

The Berkeley deep dish pizza at Pi Pizzeria made with their special cornmeal crust.

A plate of patate e fagioli which includes arugula, roasted red peppers, black olives, potatoes and green beans in a zesty lemon vinaigrette from Bar Italia.

A plate of patate e fagioli which includes arugula, roasted red peppers, black olives, potatoes and green beans in a zesty lemon vinaigrette from Bar Italia.

Bissinger's signature cocoa logo.

Bissinger’s signature cocoa logo.

Bissinger's iced chocolate with a hand crafted marshmallow, an exclusive Savor St. Louis Food Tour feature.

Bissinger’s iced chocolate with a hand crafted marshmallow, an exclusive Savor St. Louis Food Tour feature.

Bissinger's tasting plate of their vanilla caramels.

Bissinger’s tasting plate of their vanilla caramels.

After our three or so hours spent with the group, I feel like I left with some amazing contacts and some good friends of who to enjoy St. Louis more.

To full plates and eating your tarte out….. get yourself on the Savor St. Louis Food Tour!

Not a bite to spare.

Not a bite to spare.

Written by Tarte Chic

Author Kat Nielsen (formerly Kat Wojtylak) is a creative type with an immense love for food. She maintains a day job handling marketing and brand support to various companies while enjoying her evenings and weekends writing recipes and blogging all about her culinary experiences.

Comments (One comment)

  • KATHLEEN SENGER
    August 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    Wow!

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