Crown Candy Kitchen
1401 Saint Louis Ave
St Louis, MO 63106
We first heard of Crown Candy Kitchen on Man vs. Food. We were not interested in doing any crazy milkshake challenge, but we liked the idea of going to a local institution. It was a short drive from the hotel in a part of town that is seemingly deserted (Old North St. Louis). Crown Candy--and maybe a bank--seemed to be the only place in business.
We arrived just before noon on Sunday, and were able to get the last booth available. (It's a seat yourself kind of place, and by the time we had our menus there was a line out of the door.)
Satchel (age 8), who was still exhausted from our two trips to the City Museum the day before, was barely keeping it together. "I feel like my legs could disintegrate," he noted.
When you walk in, the first thing you'll notice is candy. They weren't kidding about that.
I was able to convince Jiro (age 6) that he could have some candy AFTER lunch. (When I realized how pricey it was, I was later able to convince him to get a treat elsewhere.)
Behind the candy is the soda fountain, and old timey booths make up the rest of the space which was built in 1913. It was very Wiles-Smith minus the pharmacy. The walls were lined with clippings and cartoons, and everything felt very homey. I especially liked the mini juke boxes on the table. (They were just for decoration, but the song titles provided a good chuckle.)
The menu was pretty limited--sandwiches and shakes for the most part. I was hoping for a good burger, but went with what they had. Turkey club for me, Reuben for Warren, Ham & Cheese for Satchel, and Grilled Cheese for Jiro. They all came with chips and a pickle. Warren also got a chocolate malt and Jiro asked for a cherry shake. (Satchel was under the impression he'd be able to eat a sundae after finishing his lunch.)
Our waitress, Breanna, was very nice and got our orders in right away. The shakes came out very fast and again reminded me of Wiles Smith, due to their enormity.
I had planned on only having a sip, as did Satchel, but it was clear that this was going to be a team effort.
Jiro repeatedly rubbed his tummy and said, "So good."
As we sipped, we easily understood why the food won in the Man vs. food episode. Five malts would kill you.
While we waited for the food, Satchel asked us a million questions about Daylight Savings time. (We "sprang forward" the night before.) Needless to say, it made me feel stupid and gave me a headache. Or maybe that was the milkshake.
Speaking of the shakes--they pretty much ruined our appetites. By the time the food arrived, I don't think any of us was hungry, but we did our best.
The sandwiches, like the shakes are massive. They're grilled, which makes them really yummy (and fattening).
If we were smart, or had agreeable children, we would have let them share a sandwich. Likewise, Warren and I could have easily shared. In the end, the kids ate their chips and a few bites of sandwich. I forced myself to eat half of mine.
Turns out, Warren ended up with a BLT instead of a Reuben. It took me awhile to get Breanna's attention, but once I did she happily sent it back for a replacement. Unfortunately, the replacement came about twenty minutes later. Suddenly our quick bite to eat was turning into an ordeal. I had to eventually let the kids play on their iPods just to pass the time.
Warren's additional wait time did give him the advantage of working up a bit of appetite. He polished off his entire sandwich, much to my amazement.
Once he was finally done, I wasn't sure if Breanna was going to bring us a check, or if I should pay at the counter. Again, it took me awhile to get her attention, but once I did, we managed to settle up fairly quickly. Our bill was $29 plus tip, which was reasonable. (We could have easily spent half that if we shared.)
I'm glad we went and experienced Crown Candy Kitchen. I'm not sure we'll venture back though unless we're craving giant milkshakes...or a little girl made of chocolate.
A final note--I did visit the bathroom, which was a one seater. Clean, but definitely no room for changing a diaper.