Songbird Is Destined To Be St. Louis' Breakfast Go-To Spot

Janie's Mill rye biscuits with house-cured salmon, creme fraiche, dill micros and sieved egg.
Janie's Mill rye biscuits with house-cured salmon, creme fraiche, dill micros and sieved egg. MABEL SUEN

Songbird

4476 Chouteau Avenue, 314-781-4344. Thurs.-Fri. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sun.-Mon. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (Closed Saturdays for the Tower Grove Farmers' Market; closed Wednesdays.)
The Combo $11. Breakfast tamale $10. Steak and eggs $13• Curbside pickup only

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Songbird's take on steak and eggs is St. Louis through and through. In place of a generic t-bone, Meyer and Miller pair two fried eggs with a nine-ounce Newman farm pork steak and cheesy grits. There is no Maull's to be seen on this plate, though; instead, apple compote adds just a note of sweetness to the pork, giving the dish a lovely brunchtime feel.

click to enlarge Breakfast tamale filled with cotija cheese, topped with stewed black beans, cilantro crema and a fried egg. - MABEL SUEN
MABEL SUEN
Breakfast tamale filled with cotija cheese, topped with stewed black beans, cilantro crema and a fried egg.

Meyer and Miller credit one of their cooks, Chino, with the breakfast tamale; he should receive an award for such an example of breakfast glory. The cotija cheese-filled masa serves as the base for a deeply rich and savory black bean stew. There's just a whisper of spice on the finish, though you can amp that up with Songbird's piquant hot sauce (recommended). Cilantro crema and a fried egg crown this outstanding dish.

Songbird's collaboration with Sump goes beyond just coffee service. The Sump coffee poundcake is a wonderful, almond flour breakfast treat that's nutty and subtly sweet. Served with housemade coffee jelly and luscious coconut cream, this is exactly what you want to pair with Sump's first-class coffee.

Hopefully, diners will be able to linger over a slice of that poundcake and a cup of coffee on Songbird's patio soon. Meyer and Miller envision the small restaurant as a combination of takeout and dine-in service, with limited seating indoors and a bit more outside on the sidewalks that line the side of the building. In the meantime, however, they've absolutely mastered curbside, not just in terms of accuracy and ease of ordering, but in how well their food translates to takeout. Dishes are beautifully packaged with the same care as if they were being plated for white-tablecloth service, and the food is flawlessly cooked. Case in point, the yolks on every egg I ordered were still runny when I went to eat them roughly twenty minutes after they were packed up — no small feat, but would you expect anything less from the people who've made their name by giving us breakfast-sandwich perfection?

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