St. Louis Restaurants of Yesteryear
July 19, 2021 11:02 AM   Subscribe

Lost Tables and its companion site Lost Dishes chronicle the history and recipes of influential and iconic former restaurants in the St. Louis, Missouri area, complete with oral histories, photographs, and menus.
posted by jedicus (19 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
wow this list makes me feel young... i only know of a handle of these. excellent recipes though!
posted by zsh2v1 at 11:05 AM on July 19

I just discovered this site last week. I remember a number of the restaurants (including my beloved Cicero's and Magic Pan) and remember my parents going to others for fancy occasions. Great fun.
posted by dlugoczaj at 11:10 AM on July 19 [3 favorites]

Holy moley there are a lot of names here from before my time, but I definitely ate at the Bevo Mill as a kid (I think that was my first taste of rouladen, which quickly became a favorite), and Casa Gallardo was definitely a staple of my childhood.

The history of Casa Gallardo mentions Casa Gallardo Grill, which was for me the high point of that franchise. The food there was a step up from the regular CG experience. One of the big selling points was that they made their tortillas all day, so you could always get a little container of freshly made tortillas (with an assortment of salsas and honey butter) and could just nosh away on those. Delicious, and my friends and I often annoyed waiters by ordering batch after batch of tortillas.
posted by factory123 at 11:35 AM on July 19 [1 favorite]

This is amazing... I am so excited to rediscover a Pratzel's hamentachen! Many a Sunday afternoon spent looking at cookies and pastries in their bakery, lots of bagels for breakfast in the morning.

Casa Gallardo goes down in history as the place where the theater kids went after they got kicked out of Dick Clark's American Bandstand restaurant at Northwest Plaza for being too rowdy at a cast party.
posted by honeybee413 at 1:58 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]

Oh this is a big nostalgia hit. Thank you for sharing this; I have to send Lost Tables around to my family!
posted by Monochrome at 2:24 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

The story of Fatman's Sub Shops is the story of American small business getting run over by big business but still continuing on. It's gripping.

So is The Mikado, with the proprietors being forced from their homes in Los Angeles and shipped off to St Louis. With the differences in property price appreciation, they could be titans of industry now, vs St Louis that lost like 40% of it's population since the 1950s.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:31 PM on July 19 [3 favorites]

My niece works in an Italian place in St Louis that so impossibly old-fashioned that I'm amazed it's not featured in Lost Tables. It feels like something out of Police Squad
posted by scruss at 3:09 PM on July 19

I miss Saleem's, where garlic was king.

...because garlic is king.
posted by aramaic at 3:09 PM on July 19 [6 favorites]

Wait, Saleem's is closed? :(

My employer took us to eat at 94th Aero Squadron not too long after I moved to St. Louis. I had a filet mignon, which was the first meat I'd had in 7 years. That was kind of a weird experience.
posted by Foosnark at 3:24 PM on July 19

Wait, Saleem's is closed?

Yeah, back in 2009, but it was replaced by a Syrian restaurant called Ranoush that isn't far off.
posted by jedicus at 3:34 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

This was a fun trip down memory lane for me. I lived in St. Louis from when I was
born until I was 13, then moved out of the country. I remember we would be having
an extra special brunch if we went to the Casa Gallardo's in South County on Sundays
(I lived in Oakville). I have only visited St. Louis a few times since I left, and it really

My last memory of Casa Gallardo's was the day after I got married. Me, my wife,
my sister and her husband were looking for a place to eat in nearby Merrillville, IN.
And all be damned, they had a Casa Gallardo's there. Of course we ate there.
posted by Chocomog at 4:10 PM on July 19 [1 favorite]

I wondered if the Posh Nosh wasn’t interesting enough to be listed as Lost - but no, instead it still exists!
posted by clew at 4:36 PM on July 19

It's been years since I've even visited St Louis. Cicero's and the basement bar will always have a special place in my heart. I was just the right age. I could have been at that Uncle Tupelo show.

Kind of disappointed they don't have the old Talaynas location near Wash U. That place had some otherworldly atmosphere.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:51 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]

A lot here for somebody who spent so much time on the early 90s Delmar Loop, but also an 80s kid who loved my family’s trips to Casa Gallardo and lived several years in an apartment near Carl’s Deli. Thanks, Jedicus!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:09 PM on July 19 [2 favorites]

As a native Marylander, this recipe saddens the core of my soul.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:52 PM on July 19

This is great stuff! My father grew up in St. Louis (though sadly died in 2014), but I passed this on to my St. Louis cousins, and my cousin Bob says he remembers a good many of these.
posted by gudrun at 4:37 AM on July 20

I will always miss Duff's - I haven't lived in STL, but a couple of hours away, and it's the nearest real city. We always went to Duff's when we were in town and had time. (right next door to the also late lamented Kopperman's, of course.)
posted by Occula at 9:08 AM on July 20

This is old-school Best of the Web: a super deep and lovingly-built site dedicated to a niche interest. And holy cow does it scratch an itch I didn't know I even had. I grew up in South County and went to grad school at Wash U so there's a ton of these places that are near and dear.

My grandpa LOVED Dohack's and dragged us there for lunch on summer weekdays.
My grandma LOVED eating French Onion Soup at Famous & Barr's restaurant.
I went to high school with an Amighetti and dated a girl I met an all night lock-in (??) at the 94th Aero Squadron.
We went to Nantucket Cove to celebrate after high school graduation.
We had lunches at the Fatted Calf and The Parkmoor in grad school, and we had drinks at Duffs and Cicero's.
I took my wife on proper dates to Monarch and Bobby's in Richmond Heights.
We drank wine and ate small plates at Riddles in the Loop.
I learned about the boondoggle of "business dinners" at a drunken evening at Busch's Grove.

Thanks for this, Jedicus. It was terrific fun to revisit these places.
posted by AgentRocket at 9:35 AM on July 20 [3 favorites]

So many great memories collected here. Makes me really miss St. Louis! My wedding reception was at Bevo Mill, we ordered our wedding cake from Lubeley's, we started our last bar crawl before leaving St. Louis at Monarch the day after they announced they were shutting down. Phil's BBQ was my husband's childhood favorite spot. And, of course Casa Gallardo was a huge deal! I have anecdotes about nearly half of these places. The St. Louis food scene really is amazing and continues to shine.

And, Jedicus, my extended family owns Ranoush, which I really love. I do have very fond memories of going to the loop in high school and eating at Saleems, which seemed so exotic to a St. Peters girl.
posted by fyrebelley at 9:56 PM on July 20 [3 favorites]

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