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The Blue Note used to be a movie theater, and it feels like it, with plenty of floor space, a high-set stage, and tiered seating for the less physical in the crowd. Its reputation is the thing of music myth, and the storied stage continues to draw big names that would rather play a guaranteed college crowd than take their chances in St. Louis. It's a haul, but at the end of the night, the Blue Note is more than worth the drive.
A Columbia institution since the Chester A. Arthur administration, Booches is a legend among residents and expatriates - not to mention burger aficionados everywhere - for its tasty burgers and cheeseburgers. The burgers aren't that big, by today's standards, so you might want to take your server's advice and order two (at least). No secret here, just simple, beefy brilliance. So good you won't even mind that you can't order fries or onion rings. Be sure to check out the old-school pool and snooker tables and the rows of cues padlocked to the wall. Note: In true, old-school fashion, Booches is cash only.
St. Louis diners who have never managed to master Starbucks' sizing system will find Cold Stone Creamery's similarly challenging; the ice-cream chain eschews small, medium, and large in favor of "Like It," "Love It," and "Gotta Have It" sizes. Once the portion is picked, patrons can concoct their own creations from super-premium ice cream flavors like vanilla, cake batter, chocolate, strawberry and coffee, plus a kaleidoscope of toppings: nuts, brownies, cookies, candy, and even chunks of pie crust. The Creamery's ice cream engineers will scoop your selections onto a frozen slab and deftly fold in the toppings, ensuring that you won't have to hunt very far with your spoon for another hunk of cookie dough. Voice Places has Cold Stone Creamery down cold.
One of four St. Louis-area locations of the nationwide chain, this location, like the others locally, now offers a small-plates menu, which includes kabobs, hummus and different takes on fries (truckstop fries, for example, are covered in chipotle cheese sauce). Beyond the small plates, which, if successful, will be introduced at all Houlihan's across the country, the menu covers much ground, with entrees ranging from enchiladas to build-your-own burgers to almond-crusted tilapia.
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