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Arby's slogan ("Slicing Up Freshness!") is no joke. A corporate-wide overhaul of the popular roast beef emporium's menu means it has more one-of-a-kind menu items than most places with a drive-through tend to offer, and they're at your fingertips in St. Louis on Voice Places. Best known for its slow-roasted and freshly sliced roast beef sandwiches, Arby's also features "Market Fresh" sandwiches, as well as an expanded list of wraps and garden salads, while still maintaining the same something-other-than-hamburgers principle launched by Boardman, Ohio's Leroy and Forrest Raffel in 1964. (Most folks think that the chain's name, a play on the initials "RB," stands for "roast beef." In fact, it's short for "Raffel Brothers.") Its lineup of sandwiches piled with hand-sliced ("by people, not by robots," the company boasts) roast beef was joined in the early 1990s by a Lite Menu that features three sandwiches and four salads under 300 calories.
Though its name is right out of an action/sci-fi flick, Area IV is actually a down-to-earth, delightful dive located on the western boundary of the Princeton Heights neighborhood. We couldn't help but notice a theme here: A staggering number of police badges line all four walls of the interior, the bartender looks like a cop and there's even a small party of off-duty lawmen hunched conspiratorially over a corner table. Although sports play on the television mounted above the bar, the real entertainment is found in the patrons. The bartender smiles and rattles a pair of handcuffs at a woman who ostensibly just told a lude joke. There's an infectious cheer in the air here. Just remember to mind your pints and quarts; otherwise, you might be leaving in a squad car.
"Turkey coma" takes on a whole new meaning at this Turkish/Mediterranean restaurant that relentlessly tempts. Appetizer platters are resplendent with salt-of-the-earth goodness, while main courses are typically beef or lamb over rice or couscous. While most of Aya Sofia's dishes bear a close-cousin resemblance to other Eurasian delicacies such as spanakopita and gyros, the staff is quite fluent at helping to decipher and navigate the menu as needed.
Upon entering Barney's Sports Pub, a favorite watering hole in the Lindenwood Park neighborhood, one immediately feels welcome. Something about the dim lighting, unassuming décor, cozy booths, friendly faces and the nostalgia of Kurt Cobain's voice filling the air does something to soothe the spirit. Sure, it's primarily a sports bar, but Barney's is a place where everyone can feel comfortable. Come as you are and order a drink and enjoy some good conversation without the usual fuss over finding the perfect outfit that comes standard with most nights out. With luxuries like a row of dart boards, a pool table, several televisions, a long-lost-friend's-basement-esque vibe, and (perhaps most importantly) cheap drinks, Barney's Sports Pub is the type of neighborhood haunt that you wish you had in your neighborhood.
The Bellacino's in the Hampton Village shopping center is part of the grinder chain started in 1998, with each location locally owned and operated. Its menu focuses on salads, pizza and grinders (natch), with a section devoted to lighter options that use fat-free mozzarella and fat-free mayonnaise. Not interested in the lighter side of life? Go for the "Bomber" -- thin-sliced rib-eye steak with mushrooms, green peppers, cheese, lettuce, tomato and "thick and hearty sauce" or the Italian grinder which is stuffed with ham, salami, sausage, mushrooms, onions, green peppers, cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
Big River Running Company is committed to being St. Louis’ running and walking resource. The personal service and individual fitting process at Big River is unlike that of your normal sporting goods store. Also unique to Big River is its unwavering commitment to give back to the sport. Runners and walkers of all ages and abilities come to Big River not just to buy apparel, gear and shoes but to socialize, to train and to be a part of a true running and walking community.
Ask proprietress, bartender extraordinaire and little old lady (named [what else?] Doris) where the best place in Saint Louis is to play darts, and she'll give you a slightly cantankerous look and tell you that you're standin' in it -- the Black Derby Saloon. And Doris wouldn't even be embellishing. With ten pristine, well-lit dartboards fastidiously lined against the south wall, plus a healthy supply of sturdy, no-nonsense steel-tipped regulation darts, the accoutrements in this Kingshighway hole-in-the-wall are enough to make even the most hardened of dart enthusiasts pirouette with glee. Pair them with good company and cold beer, and you'll have yourself a bullseye.
Located along Watson Road at Lindenwood Place, virtually in the parking lot of neighboring restaurant, Pietro's, Bono's Pizzeria dishes out an array of different pizzas and Italian fare. Bono's small size belies the variety of cheesy, saucy options within. The specialty pizza is a familiar comfort for St. Louisans, a crispy, thin offering with a sweeter sauce and blend of cheeses. Bono's menu, however, expands outside of south city's style into deep-dish pan pies and a hearty, thick crust. Local pizza-eaters can also wrap their hands around Bono's calzones or Long Island rolls - pizza dough rolled and stuffed with mozzarella and Provel cheeses and marinara sauce. Bono's also serves appetizers, pastas and sandwiches, including a meatball parmigiana covered in marinara, Provel and Parmesan cheese. Bono's holds a few tables and chairs but also offers carryout and delivery for local clientele.
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