Surprisingly, many online sources consider grocery stores one of the best places to meet people. Even more surprisingly, online sources also consider grocery stores one of the best places to exchange money for food. Today's Groupon will give you plenty of opportunities to be surprised: for $15, you’ll get $35 worth of groceries at Straub’s Fine Grocers. This deal is good at all four St. Louis–area locations: Webster Groves, Clayton, Central West End, and Town & Country. While there is an online store, this deal is valid for in-store purchases only.
So established is Circle K Midwest that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Fresh Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including sandwiches, fruit cups, and fresh-cut vegetables. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with premium coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
John Viviano Sr. knew an opportunity when he saw one. His humble factory income could barely support one person, let alone his growing family, so the young Italian immigrant was inspired to open his own business. What began as a bleach-selling outfit headquartered in his bathtub quickly expanded to include a small storefront populated with gourmet Italian foods. By 1949 John needed even more elbowroom, so he moved his enterprise to its current location on the Hill and began wearing shirts with giant sleeves.
Retro album covers and movie posters overlook shelf after shelf of specialty sauces, olive oils, and pastas. The aroma of fresh cheeses, deli meats, and prepared foods flits through the air, further adding to the store’s old-world feel. In addition to providing stellar ingredients to local customers and buyers throughout the country, the family also shares and sells some of their own favorite recipes, including Mama’s tomato sauces, italian meatballs, and fool-proof risotto.
H. Teller Archibald opened the doors of the first Fannie May Chocolates in 1920, delighting the passing palates of Chicago’s LaSalle Street with exquisite chocolates that continue to tickle taste buds today. Though nearly a century has passed, Fannie May’s alchemists still rely on the same recipes as the first store, refusing to budge on quality even when faced with shortages during war times and the never-ending Gregory Middle School food fight of 1997. Renowned for sweetness and attention to detail, the chocolatiers’ treats stand as an institution of inventive eats, from the gooey pecan and caramel of their Pixies to the sunny, toasted-coconut-encased dark chocolate of their Trinidads.
Dessert is typically the concluding sweet note to a long, satisfying meal. At The In Spot Dessert Bar and Lounge, however, it’s the focal point. Rather than constantly churn out the same sweets, The In Spot's culinary team creates new desserts every night, which run the gamut from cupcakes and cheesecake to chocolate-covered strawberries. These sacchariferous delights complement the bar's cocktails, wine, and beer, as well as the kitchen's Southern-style late-night snacks such as Caribbean-style jerk shrimp. Feasts unfold in The In Spot's intimate, romantic interior, replete with black and white leather seating and comfy booths.
The sausage recipe didn’t start with Helmut and Henry Wanninger, but they were the ones to bring it across the Atlantic in 1965. Sons of a sausage meister, Helmut and Henry left their home in Bavaria and set up shop in St. Louis, where they began spicing, grinding, and casing sausages to the delight of the city’s southern neighborhoods, home to many German immigrants. The popularity of their encased meats continues today, though cousins Bob and Gerhard are now the master meatsmiths. These Wanninger descendants prepare more than 30 different Bavarian-style sausages, including multiple types of bratwurst, specialty sausages such as bockwurst and smoked liverwurst, and Landjager beef sticks. These specialties grace venues all over St. Louis, from Grant’s Farm to Gus’ Pretzels to the Egypt-themed alternate reality that exists on the other side of the Arch.
Bob and Gerhard also apply their expertise to other styles of encased meats, such as andouille and chorizo, and they happily process deer for hunters. In addition to manning the meat counter, the duo stocks the shelves with German goods such as Lowensenf mustards and breads from local bakeries.