Thursday, August 18, 2011

Duck Room, Blueberry Hill

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I agreed to go the Duck Room one night after a St. Louis Blues hockey game. All I knew going in was that it is in the basement of Blueberry Hill restaurant on Delmar.

Walking down the narrow stairs into the basement, is like walking into another era. The low ceilings and brick and wood decor, make you feel like you're at one of the Beatles first performances at the Cavern club in Liverpool. What a great, intimate venue! So intimate that the majority of the audience, most of whom were over 40, felt comfortable enough to get up and dance. Naturally, we made our way to the tiny, crowded, dance floor as well. Concerts in the Duck Room are not for spectators, which is good since there aren't enough chairs for everyone to sit anyway. If you must have a seat, you need to get there pretty early. If it's a very popular show, e.g. Chuck Berry (the original duck walker himself), an hour ahead of show time is still not early enough.

The sound in The Duck Room has been perfected. It is neither too soft nor too loud. You can sing along without hearing yourself but your ears won't be ringing on your way home.

After my first experience at the Duck Room was so great I had to go back. I have since been to the Duck Room two more times, and had two enjoyable experiences. I highly recommend this place!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

City Diner (North Grand)

City Diner at the Fox on Urbanspoon
After seeing a show at The Fox Theatre, there is another spectacle to watch right next door. The City Diner, located right next to The Fox Theatre, is the perfect people watching venue. That's without even going inside! With its all glass walls, the diner likens a fascinating store window display when the sun goes down. After walking by the Diner for years, wanting to venture inside, I finally got the chance to see what it's all about.

The decor in the City Diner is a bit confusing. At first the colors, clean lines, and the light fixtures would suggest a modern theme. At the same time, the booths, star burst patterns, and geometric shapes are circa 1950's. There might be some parallels there, but when you throw in lava lamps that's when I'm stumped on the theme.

Admittedly I am a breakfast food junkie, so extra points were awarded when I saw the all day breakfast menu. My crew ordered the trio grilled cheese with fries, chicken strips with fries, the garden burger, and I had the Greek omelet. There was a fuss made over the grilled cheese, "oh it's the best!", and the fries. I didn't hear much about the chicken strips or garden burger so I will say they must not have been spectacular. My omelet was very good. It had spinach and feta and it came with a side of hash browns and toast.

The service we received left more to be desired. Our server was not friendly and our order took a very long time. To be fair, this was during the lunch rush. All in all, I think I will return to City Diner. Maybe for a late snack after a show at The Fox, or maybe just for some pancakes at midnight.