7260 Southwest Avenue
St Louis, MO 63143
After visiting the Magic House and hanging out in Forrest park for a while, we headed over to Schlafly Bottleworks to have dinner with some Memphis friends who were also in town for Spring Break.
As you can see, it is a very large place. Inside is the actual brewery, a bar, a large family-friendly dining area, and a store with lots of merch.
The weather was still chilly, so their amazing patio/beer garden was not open. I imagine it's the place to be when it's warm.
Schlafly's is THE local brewery in St. Louis, and it is what Chuck Skypeck modeled Bosco's after locally. It is pretty impressive inside, and I can definitely see how Bosco's grew from it. (If you've ever been to the Ghost River Brewery downtown, just imagine Bosco's being attached to it and you get a fairly close approximation of Bottleworks.)
The coolest thing about the Bottleworks is that they offer tours of the brewery about every hour. We unfortunately planned our visit for a Sunday, and arrived just after the last tour.
Once our friends arrived, we quickly and easily secured a table for seven--three adults and four wild monkeys (Satchel, 9, Jiro, 6, E, 7, and S, 5). There were several other families in attendance and since the dining room was well lit and separate from the bar area, I wasn't worried about disturbing any of the serious drinkers. However, I was interested in having a drink.
Warren and I, after consulting with the waiter, got a sampler. (The waiter told us it was equal to a pint and a half, which we considered a reasonably amount of alcohol to consume with food over a two hour period and still be able to drive our children safely back to the hotel.)
Our friend was not a fan of beer, so she went with a refreshing cocktail instead.
Warren started with the darkest beer and worked his way down. I did just the opposite.
The kids had been given menus to color and were pretty happily doing so, until our friend whipped out her kids' iPods. So naturally, we followed suit. I think it was probably the right move since we were outnumbered and interested in having an adult conversation. (I do normally have a no iPod/DS rule unless we are in for a long wait.)
When it came time to ordering food, I was torn between salads. I planned to do a half soup/half salad combo, but the waiter recommended the Sesame Tuna Salad ($11
Black sesame seed encrusted tuna medallions--seared, served rare--on top of our spring mix with sesame-roasted cashews and creamy sesame dressing.) which wasn't a half soup/half salad contender. But, I'd had a mini beer already and was feeling as though I should take his advice. My friend followed suit. It was a lovely salad, though I wasn't a fan of the creamy dressing.
Warren inexplicably went with the Veggie Chicken Enchiladas ($12 Match vegetarian chicken & cheese enchiladas with black beans, green chili sauce & rice blend). I failed to get a photo, but he seemed to enjoy them.
Schlafly's uses a number of local purveyors and has a pretty fantastic menu. Had I not been focused on my friend and drinking, I might have paid a little better attention to what we ordered. I probably would have ordered more too! (Hello Farmer's platter, bison nachos, and Bottleworks bacon sandwich!)
They didn't technically have a kids' menu but they did offer a kid’s version of their bison burger ($6, 4 oz. w/ Jack cheese on bun served with applesauce) and half size pizzas.
Three of the four monkeys went with the burger. For Jiro I asked if I could sub the applesauce for one of their other amazing sides--Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Sautéed Vegetables, Billy Goat Chips, Rice Blend, Smoked Gouda Gratin, Three-Grain Blend, Pan-Fried Corn, Slaw, Creamy Potato Salad and Grilled Asparagus--and was given the go ahead. I opted to get him the pan fried corn and my friend went ahead and ordered a side of grilled asparagus for the kids to share. Satchel asked for a pepperoni and artichoke pizza. It was awesome to have vegetables among our choices.
When the kids' food arrived, they all very agreeably stopped playing their games and got down to eating. They all pretty much polished everything off too. The corn and the asparagus were a big hit and the burgers must have been yummy because I never even got a bite. Satchel did save me a slice of his pizza and it was world's better than the kid's pizza Jiro got on our last trip to Bosco's.
Our bill came to $61.50, which is more than we usually spend, but totally reasonable considering both Warren and I had the beer sampler ($6.75 each). I coudl have easily dropped another $50-$100 in the merch store buying t-shirts and growlers of beer to bring home, but I controlled myself.
On our next visit to St. Louis, I definitely want to go back and try a few more things. And if it's nice, I definitely want to sit outside! Schlafly's has a second location near the City Museum downtown, but I'm not sure if the atmosphere is as family friendly.
And a quick note on the bathrooms--they may be the coolest bathrooms we've ever come across. They're large, clean, and eco-friendly. The toilets even have a special flusher for #1 and #2 which conserves water.
That's right--good food and educational!