There are things I’ve eaten in my life that blindside my heart and stomach, and I dream about them long after the meal is over. A recent trip to St. Louis and completely random stumble upon Blues City Deli is exactly that. In true tourist form, I grabbed the trendy and I’m sure fully sponsored magazine from my hotel room, and started driving around the city. Neighborhoods that looked interesting on paper were plugged into my google maps, and I drove like an 80-year old woman three Bloody Mary’s into her Sunday morning bridge game.
As I drove up and down the streets staring at houses and trying to determine my next destination, I found myself at a stop sign with the smell of smoked meats in the air. I circled the block and decided the food gods had pointed me there for a reason. As I stared at the sandwich board, I realized I was the only one in line but in a restaurant with every seat taken. I’d soon watch waves of people come and go, enforcing my suspicious this place was, well, totally badass. The man behind the counter was helpful despite my wavering, and laughed and chatted while inside I was dying from personal pressure to do this visit right. He helped me land on the Delta Bayou, and to this day, I still want to hug him. I enjoyed my sandwich while standing along the wall, taking in the art work, live music posters and all indications that I am on the Blues Highway.
Other highlights included: Comet Croissanterie and Creamery, that nearly knocks you over with the smell of butter from their flaky croissants when you walk in the door, then smooths you over with flecks of vanilla seeds in dense foam on their lattes. The vintage flare Saratoga Lanes that throws you back to $.10 draws and sticky bowling shoes so quickly you can almost see the cigarette smoke hanging above the checkerboard floor.