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Food & Drink

Best Late-Night Munchies 

Chris' Pancake and Dining

If you've got 4 a.m. munchies, you're going to have to hit one of the city's standards -- Courtesy, Uncle Bill's, South City Diner. And at 4 a.m. you're really just looking for grease and salt, and maybe a little syrup (mmm, syrup). OK, maybe a side of bacon, too. But we're the type of after-hours freaks who prefer slipping out of our engagements around 12:30 a.m. for a little "midnight brunch" -- or, as is commonly known, "munch." Munch is a sort of pit stop, a refueling, on the way back out into the night. You're not done, you're just pacing yourself. And there's only one place to get a decent munch in St. Louis -- in fact, it's the munch standard: the Country Omelette at Chris' Pancake and Dining.

Holy mother of God, man. We wouldn't trade a dozen sliders and cheese fries for this beast: Shredded cheddar is sprinkled on top of a wicked sausage gravy, which is poured over the omelette itself; there must be at least be four eggs. Inside are a fistful of lightly grilled onions, lots of them; two bales of shredded potato (yes, inside) along with a hefty chunk of sausage (yes, sausage both inside and out.) Those of you worried about a having a heart attack at a young age are advised to forego the interior sausage -- there's enough sausage in the gravy alone for all but the heftiest trucker, and that added sausage grease will still be lubricating your esophagus next Thursday. But you're drunk -- and you're no veggie pansy -- so go for all that sausage, nearly a pig's worth. You can just skip breakfast and lunch tomorrow. (Note: We advise ordering the Country Omelette as though it were a shared dessert -- in some circles, it's eaten as a dessert. Split it among the group and order some OJ, and you're set.)

Now, you've got your choice of pancakes or toast. Go for the pancakes, duh, for maximum value. It's like a bonus entrée. They come with a Granny Smith-size scoop of butter, and you'll need all of it. Go ahead and order a side of bacon, because nothing absorbs sausage gravy like bacon (and, remarkably, vice versa). Wash it all down with a Red Bull espresso, and it's off to the marathon.

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