Hello, My Name is Jenn (St. Louis, Part 1)

by Jenn (eating bender) on May 29, 2009

Hello, my name is Jenn.

I have a food blog.

I have been neglecting said food blog this week so as not to pull my hair out.

That said, I have missed you! I took my last final exam ever yesterday, and now I have just three more projects left in my college career. It’s a strange feeling, but I am looking forward to turning them in on Tuesday and spending my last two weeks focusing on friends instead of my grades.

There is so much I want to say, I don’t know where to begin! I had the most amazing time in St. Louis last weekend with my cousin Lisa and her husband. I took a lot of pictures and am going to spend the next few posts documenting my trip. I hope you enjoy!

Meet Me in St. Louis: Friday

Last Friday, I woke up extra early and caught the train to St. Louis. It was nice to have six hours to myself with no access to Internet – I found I was actually pretty productive! When I finally arrived, Lisa picked me up from the station and we immediately drove to meet my grandma and my aunt (Lisa’s mom) for dinner at a tapas restaurant: Modesto.

The restaurant was very modern and well-lit. I was intrigued by the mile-long menu with pretty much everything you could think of on it. It was my first time trying tapas. If you aren’t familiar with what a tapas restaurant is, I’ve included some information from their website below:

“Tapas are a time-honored and cherished part of Spanish cuisine. The tapa (from the verb tapar – to cover) originally was a slice of bread or cured ham placed over the mouth of a wine glass. As the popularity grew, so did the variety. In Spain, tapas are much more than a culinary delight – they represent a lifestyle – an opportunity to share good times with friends in an unrushed, carefree manner. We encourage you to do the same at Modesto.”

Basically, it’s a restaurant that serves tiny plates of food, so you order a bunch of different items and share everything with your table. We started out with a pitcher of delicious sangria roja.


Apologies for the flash – the lighting was pretty dim!

After looking over the menu, our group came up with a variety of items to try. Some of the pictures didn’t turn out, but everything was delicious. Here are some of the highlights.

1. Fresh bread with a kalamata olive tapenade (the spread was so amazing!!)


2. Aceitunas a la Sevillana (marinated Spanish olives)


The olives were marinated in a wonderful, tangy sauce and added quite a kick to the meal. Or, as my grandma would say, “it had a little wang to it.” Yes, my grandma really says that :)

3. Croquetas de pescado (creamy seafood croquettes with lemon)


These were fried and filled with a creamy seafood mixture. It reminded me a lot of crab cake. This was also my grandma’s absolute favorite dish of the evening.

4. Portabello mushrooms with a creamy cheese sauce (it was one of the night’s specials)


I can’t remember exactly what kind of cheese this was, but it was definitely in my top three favorite dishes at the restaurant. The portabello mushrooms were perfectly tender, and combined with a taste of the cheese sauce in every bite, it was a little slice of heaven.

5. Queso de cabra al horno (baked goat cheese with tomato sauce and mushrooms)


This dish was served with bruschetta-style crackers. You can never go wrong with goat cheese and mushrooms! It was also slightly spicy, which I loved.

6. AlbΓ³ndigas caseras (veal and pork meatballs with Manchego cheese and tomato sauce)


This was one of Lisa’s favorite dishes. I haven’t had meatballs in a long time – I forgot how good they are! The cheese complemented the flavor of the dish really well.

7. Patatas dos salsas (crispy fingerling potatoes with aioli and tomato sauce)


These potatoes were seasoned to perfection. Seriously, I love when other people make potatoes for me! I can never get mine to turn out as soft or as flavorful. These were both of those things.

8. Marinated shrimp (the second special of the night)


These shrimp were marinated in a butter and herb sauce. They were definitely high on my list of favorites because you can never go wrong with shrimp πŸ˜‰

There were also grilled chicken skewers with quince sauce and grilled hanger steak with Cabrales cheese and port reduction. They were both amazing, and the hangar steak was by far my absolute favorite dish. Unfortunately, the pictures were very blurry!

After our delicious meal, we left the restaurant and headed over to Ted Drewes, the infamous frozen custard stand in St. Louis. You really can’t go wrong here! I decided to go with the “Hawaiian” in preparation for my upcoming trip πŸ˜‰ It came with coconut, pineapple, banana and macadamia nuts. Holy yum!! This was one intense cup of deliciousness.


We sat around gabbing for quite a while and Lisa got a great video of all of us eating our custard. Then we said goodbye to my grandma and aunt and headed back to her house, where we lounged around for a while before heading to bed. The first night was jam-packed…but there was even more fun to come!

Stay tuned :)


I’m so sorry I haven’t been commenting lately. I really do miss you all and can’t wait to catch up once I’m done with school! Have a wonderful weekend!



1 VeggieGirl May 29, 2009 at 11:08 am

Welcome back, Miss Bender :-)

2 ksgoodeats May 29, 2009 at 11:10 am

GO JENN, GO!! You’re almost done – YAHOO :)

Had a little wang to it? That’s what she said! Those potatoes look so good! Glad you had a great meal, can’t wait for the next recap!

3 Bec May 29, 2009 at 11:13 am

sounds like fun and that meal looks delic!

4 Erica May 29, 2009 at 11:14 am

Hey Jenn! I’ve missed you :) So glad you only have projects left- how VERY exciting. Good luck with the final push. loving this first St. Louis post. The Patatas dos salsas and the shrimp look freaking amazing.

5 sweetandnatural May 29, 2009 at 11:39 am

So much STL love! I love Modesto! The potatoes are awesome – definitely a good choice on your part. And Ted Drewes – oh Ted Drewes! Can’t wait to see what else you did.

Good luck finishing up school!

6 eatingbirdfood May 29, 2009 at 11:39 am


The tapas look amazing… and you’re pictures.. FABULOUS!

I’ve missed you – AND I’m totally excited that you’re almost done with all your school work!!

7 Judy May 29, 2009 at 12:00 pm

LOL! OMG! my Mom uses the same “wang” expression as your Grandma! and I thought she made it up! My Mom is probably the same age as your grandma so maybe it is a generation/Midwest thing.
Miss your posts, have fun!

8 Anne K. May 29, 2009 at 12:02 pm

That food looks great, and congrats on taking your last final! Good luck with the projects πŸ˜€

9 Pearl May 29, 2009 at 12:10 pm

awwww your grandma is so cute! a little wang to it. awww! hahaha!

10 Shannon (The Daily Balance) May 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm

I have missed you!!!
Those dished look amazing. I love going to restaurants and ordering a bunch of stuff to share — it’s the best way to really get a feel of the menu and eat a lot without actually eating a lot πŸ˜‰

11 Natalie May 29, 2009 at 12:23 pm

Any place that serves olive tapenade gets at A+ from me! All that food looks so good :)

12 Andrea (Off Her Cork) May 29, 2009 at 12:32 pm

Um, how much fun does that restaurant sound! Goodness! I want tapas! πŸ˜€ Glad you had a blast!

13 Jenn May 29, 2009 at 1:06 pm

would it be completely strange right now if i were licking my computer screen at the sight of your freakin’ delicious tapas?? not that i am or anything.. just curious. πŸ˜‰

hang in there with that work my busy bee! almost donezoooo

14 Erin May 29, 2009 at 1:28 pm

The end of the semester is so crazy, but in a good way! Enjoy your time and congrats on almost finishing!!

15 glidingcalm May 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

wowwwwwwww! that restaurant looks awesome Jenn! I loved seeing all the pictures and reading each description!!! I bet the meat skewers were amazing!!

I’m so glad you are staying positive, and I am so happy you are almost there!!! You’ve had quite the busy and stressful college experience this year and I really admire you for your persistence and work ethic!!!

Gluck with the last couple projects!!!

16 Alison May 29, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Glad to see you post again!
St. Louis looks fun. I’ve heard it’s a neat place to visit but not to live. Those seafood croquettes look wonderful.

17 Emily May 29, 2009 at 2:52 pm

i love tapas! those olives look amazing :)

congrats on the end of school!

18 Anna May 29, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Oooo you’re so close! Almost there! Good luck with the rest of your work.

19 Melissa S. May 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm

Wang!?!??! Hehehehehe!!! that is hilarious and i love it to bits! i totally need to start using that phrase…

and i don’t even know where to start on all that great food! by goodness it all looks delicious and so many different things you got to try!!! i’m envious!

I can’t wait to hear more about the weekend!!!! exciting times!

20 Briana May 29, 2009 at 6:29 pm

Yay for school being over, I can’t wait until summer is here for me. That restaurant looks amazing, especially the goat cheese/sauce dip. I’m glad to see you had a good time, and thanks for putting on about my recipe :) Have a great weekend!

21 karla522 May 29, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Lovely to hear about your trip Jenn! Looks like you had a blast (at least so far πŸ˜‰ ). Things are going well in NYC…I’ll be emailing soon with details, but you can also check out my new blog. Any suggestions would be fabulous!!

Now go knock out those last few weeks and have fun!

22 Mara @ What's For Dinner? May 29, 2009 at 7:16 pm

WELCOME BACK!!! So glad the test went well… Now that you’ve had tapas, we need to go to Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba in Chicago. Maybe a double date with the boys? That goat cheese stuff is one of my favorite dishes EVER! Can’t wait for SUNDAY!!!!!

23 Nate May 29, 2009 at 7:47 pm

Bout damn time! I was worried sick, Bender. Enjoy the Lou.

24 Heather Eats Almond Butter May 29, 2009 at 8:07 pm

Tapas – yeah, yum, but TED DREWES….Ahhh, one of most favorite places in the whole world, and I LOVE the Hawaiian concrete! I’m totally drooling right now.

So glad you have fun in St. Louis Jenn. Such a fun city!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. :)

25 Kristie May 29, 2009 at 8:13 pm

I love Tapas. They are always beautifully presented and always completely delicious! Although I’ve only had it a few times and they never had quite the amazing selection of eats that you got, wow!

I’ve never heard of frozen CUSTARD before but that sounds absolutely completely amazing and it’s now my mission to try some at SOME point in my young life!

Congrats on being ALMOST DONE! YAY πŸ˜€

26 Sarah May 29, 2009 at 8:30 pm

I don’t know what frozen custard is, but I wants some.

Glad you are back Jenn, I’ve missed ya!

27 Marianne May 29, 2009 at 8:41 pm

Tapas is always fun if you have a good group to go with who are adventuresome and want to try alot of dishes. And the sangria is a perfect compliment πŸ˜€

Good luck on those final projects for school. Very exciting.

28 lilveggiepatch May 29, 2009 at 9:09 pm

You are sooooo close to being done with school, Jenn! I’m so proud of you, and I’m glad you’re getting out and having some fun! I love tapas… I’m a big fan of lots and lots of little tastes!

29 Caroline May 29, 2009 at 10:42 pm

SO happy to hear from you Jenn!
Every part of this post is scrumptious, but that frozen custard sounds amazing. Question: is that the place I’ve seen on the Food Network where they turn the cup upside down before handing your custard to you (to prove how thick it is)?
I am revealing how much time I spend watching the Food Network…

30 homegirlcaneat May 29, 2009 at 11:37 pm

Tapas is how we do girlfriend! I love taking little bites of everything and sharing…so social and fun! As much as I was loving the dinner food..the custard is why I am REALLY commenting. It looks amazing!! I have such a sweeeet tooth!

Good luck on finishing everything! I believe in you suga!

31 bobbi May 30, 2009 at 1:30 am

We miss you too JEN!!! ALMOST DONE :)

32 Emily May 30, 2009 at 6:24 am

Sounds like a great trip! Glad you got to see your family. It’s nice to know that there’s a train between St. Louis and Chicago, especially since I’m moving there next year but have tons of friends in the Chicago area. :-)

It looks like I’ll have to visit Ted Drewe’s, too!

Congrats on being done with finals!

33 Lindsey (Mrs. LC) May 30, 2009 at 8:20 am

What a fun time in St. Louis! I’ve been missing you and your posts so I really enjoyed this little recap! You’ll be done with those last three projects in no time and be DONE with school!

34 jenngirl May 30, 2009 at 8:28 am

Glad you were able to update!! Wow that restaurant sounds amazing, it had me at sagria roja!! πŸ˜‰

35 brandi May 30, 2009 at 5:58 pm

so close to being done!!! I LOVE that your grandma says “has a little wang to it” – that cracked me up :)

36 Rachel May 30, 2009 at 8:39 pm

OH.MY.GOODNESS. Ted Drewes! My immediate family and I live in Seattle, but all our relatives live in the St. Louis area. I remember going to Ted Drewes many, many times when I was a little thing. Thanks for the memories! :)

37 Emily May 31, 2009 at 10:50 am

Welcome back! All of that food looks DELISH! Finish off school strong! πŸ˜€

Speaking of giveaways, I am hosting one too!

38 Hannah May 31, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Love it!
I go to Washington University in St. Louis, and Modesto is one of me and my friends favorite restaurants – I’m a huge fan of the potatoes, we always get like 4 orders!
Can’t wait to see where else you go in St. Louis!

39 Sharon June 1, 2009 at 9:19 am

Hello hello!!! =D
Love your super awesome yummy eats! Everything looks great!

40 april June 1, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I missed your posts! glad to see your back!

41 Lara (Thinspired) June 2, 2009 at 4:37 am

Don’t worry Jenn, you’re not the only one neglecting your food blog! I’m so glad you see a post from you though :) St Louis sounds like a fun city. I’ve actually never been for tapas, would you believe that?! Your photos really make me want to go though!! :)

42 Fitzalan June 3, 2009 at 12:30 pm

You really can’t go wrong at a Tapas place if you are a foodie now can you?! Multiple bites of multiple different types of food…it is near foodie heaven!

Happiness Awaits

43 traveleatlove June 5, 2009 at 7:56 pm

I just did a post on a recent trip to Spain on my blog. . . but your tapas photos are MUCH better! :) Yummmmm

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