Food Affairs – Soulard, Saint Louis


While on a tournament tour with my daughter’s volleyball team, I was inclined to get the traditional road food of pizza and tacos. They are quick, easy, and cheap; and yes, I’m well aware that I am about to cheat on my diet.  No worries,  I’ll make it up next week when I’m working to fix my dietary transgressions.  However, for now, I’ve  decided to commit to the heinous act of deviating from a diet that I love and trust.  

I would first have to decide whether a delightful dish was worth it.  Is it made fresh? Are the ingredients grown and raised on local farms? And obviously, will it taste good? There are so many times when you just can’t know these answers in advance; and you don’t want to have regrets when the joy of what you thought would taste and feel good did not meet your expectations.  Other times you are well aware that your deliberate malfeasance will cause nothing but pain, but you don’t care!  You just want to appease the savage beast that is currently in charge of your fragile emotions.   So with all of this internal debate, how could I not be tempted to cheat when this part of St. Louis is prime for a food romance.

Perfectly situated right outside of historic downtown St. Louis.  The Soulard community is where college students and hipsters seem to elate in the Colonial and Victorian styled homes which span for blocks and are filled with some of the most unique markets, restaurants, and bars. 

My first thought was, what would the kids think.  I had been married to my diet for so long, I would hate for them to witness this moment of weakness.  Forget it, when would I get this opportunity again; and so I indulged myself.  First, I had the pleasure of tasting Mission Taco Joint uniquely styled tacos and burritos.  They teased me with tortillas that were full of textures and tastes that were the opposite of what you would typically find in over-the-counter bagged tortillas. And let’s not forget about the nice blend of peppers that was mixed with their delicious queso.   

Thoroughly tantalized, I was then treated with a flight of the most flavorful tacos.  They were built on shells that were just as delicious as the tortilla chips.  I felt no guilt.  This was delicious.  I cheated on my diet and I didn’t care,  all I wanted to do was lean back into my chair and take in all of the flavors that I just experienced.  Shortly afterward, I would find myself back in the hotel room taking a nap to recover from my escapade.  But it wouldn’t be long before my urges would lead me to another breach of my commitments.

Later the next day, I found myself seduced by the appeal of another fallacious food.  I had been smart to stay away for the past few months, but the call of something slightly exotic made me come back.  Yes, it was pizza.  And as you can tell I have had past affairs with pizza; some good and some bad, but this was different.  Pizzeoli Wood Fired Pizza was so appealing with delicious wood fired pizzas and a bar to help add additional flavor to an already variety of flavors present in their unique variety of pizzas.  With vegetarian and neighborhood inspired menu items, I was cautious to choose one to finally calm the animal within. Nevertheless, I could not choose just one.  So I invited my family to share the taste of three carefully crafted pies.  Whether it was the Pepper Peddler pizza, or the Soulard pizza, or even to the Bluenote Louie pizza;  I was surrounded by a perfect trifecta of flavors.

Nonetheless, filled with shame, I packed up my family and left the town that I was falling in love with.  Although I plan to visit St Louis again, it would not be anytime too soon.  With my diet on the brink of collapse, I had some soul searching to do to figure out a way to make amends.  Given the number of years that I have stuck with my diet, I’m sure that I can just work it out, or just work out.  Nonetheless,  I will always remember the time I shared with my love of food in Soulard.  Au revoir, Soulard!  Until we cross paths again.