Thursday, August 25, 2011

Best Weekend Ever: The LouFest Guide For Out-Of-Towners

Posted By on Thu, Aug 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM

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So, you're driving in for LouFest and all you really know about St. Louis is there's an arch, some dude who makes bangin' frozen custard, and the various tourist traps we're known for: the Landing, the Loop, Washington Avenue. But if you're convinced that there's more to St. Louis than the Cheesecake Factory at the Galleria, let us be your guide. Can't find vegan brunch in Hillsboro? Jonesing for a dive where there's a less than zero percent chance of line-dancing? Where's a dark, cheap bar you can head to post-fest and discuss the highlights and low points of the sweaty day, without being overrun by bachelorette parties and sports fans post-Rams or Cardinals game? Allow us to point you fine music fans in a few directions:

The official after-party scene: If you didn't know, Saturday's after affair is a bikeable distance from Forest Park on Manchester Road at the Gramophone. Questlove of the Roots and Bradford Cox of Deerhunter will DJ the event, along with local stars DJ Needles and 18andCounting. But you might want to plan ahead for this one. A little birdie told us it's gonna sell out in a hurry.

Sunday night's LouFest-approved after-party is another DJ set, this time at the Firebird with !!!'s Allan Wilson.

Too young for the bars and the after-parties? Your best bet is the funhouse wonder that is the City Museum. You're in luck, and if you aren't too exhausted from baking in the sun all day for a few hours of uninterrupted play, you can just make it to the converted shoe factory to blow off some steam, because our metropolitan treasure is open till 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.

There's another major festival in town this weekend: The Festival of Nations takes place in Tower Grove Park on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Last year's event drew more than 140,000 for the multicultural celebration of music, dancing, and of course, international cuisine.

If you're strapped for cash after dropping too many Lincolns on Schlafly brews during the festival, your best bet is to head to the south side of the city, where the PBRs come cheap and the company is pretty alright too.

The Silver Ballroom (4701 Morganford Road): Punk rock, PBR and pinball. It's just that simple. And by that, of course we mean life.

The Bleeding Deacon (4123 Chippewa Street): Cheap brews, low-key atmosphere, award-wining jukebox and a nice little beer garden out back for your chain-smoking pleasure.

Sandrina's (5098 Arsenal Street): A 3 a.m. bar that serves food until 2? Yes, please. Play shuffleboard or board games downstairs, or head to the second floor for pool and conversation.

The Hideaway (5900 Arsenal Street): An ancient man tickling the ivories in a bar where the barmaid may or may not put a hand-crocheted koozie on your Bud Light.

There's no better cure for a hangover like a leisurely brunch to refuel for the second day. And after all that beer, you're probably in the mood for something at least marginally healthy.

Local Harvest Cafe (3137 Morganford Road): This establishment specializes in (wait for it) local ingredients! They have vegan options on the brunch menu, as well as a bevy of carnivore-friendly items, like stuffed Kobe-style meatballs.

Black Bear Bakery (2639 Cherokee Street): Cherokee's own anarchist bakery and vegan/vegetarian breakfast place.

The Mudhouse (2101 Cherokee Street): This coffeehouse is a local favorite, not to mention one of the best damn places to eat in the city. Everything from the pastry case to the Parisian sandwich is to die for.

Or maybe you need some serious grease to cure Saturday's drunk and set the stage for the second day.

The Majestic (4900 Laclede Avenue): Within walking distance of Forest Park, the Majestic is a family-owned Greek restaurant and diner.

Uncle Bills (3427 Kingshighway): This legendary 24-hour pancake house is a must if you're into that greasy spoon, interior-from-the-'70s kinda thing.

Courtesy Diner (1121 Hampton Avenue): Another 24-hour diner where you can get a true St. Louis specialty, the Slinger: two eggs, hash browns and your choice of meat, slathered with chili. Be a good citizen and save this one for Sunday night, folks, lest you render a Porta Potty on the grounds unusable.

La Vallesana (2801 Cherokee Street): Locals swear by this newly reopened authentic Mexican eatery.

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