Lenny's menu (click here for St. Louis and here for Webster Groves) is a favorite for its premium deli meats, chicken and tuna salad made from scratch, signature hot pepper relish, and hearty portions. A regular-sized Lenny's club, which costs about $6 (prices vary by location), is 7.5 inches long and has about half a pound of meat and cheese. The large versions (around $9–$10) are 15 inches long and have a pound of proteins. These humongous hoagies are heavy enough to keep your body on the ground during one of St. Louis's many gravity outages.
Almost 100 years ago, Peter J. Oberweis found himself with a surplus of milk. Rather than throw it out or freeze it into popsicles, Peter began selling it to his neighbors, an endeavor that was so popular that he began a milk-delivery service in 1927. Fast-forward to today, and Oberweis Dairy still delivers glass bottles of creamy milk to doorsteps. The small family-owned dairies that produce milk exclusively for Oberweis pledge never to use artificial growth hormones, therefore imbuing craft cheeses, super-premium ice cream, and yogurt with fresh, unobstructed taste. Oberweis partners with other like-minded companies to deliver such items as certified-humane Phil’s Fresh Eggs, Chuckanut Bay Foods cheesecake, and Connie’s Pizza to homes or to sell them at the company’s various retail locations.
Fortel's Pizza Den was founded more than 30 years ago by pizza enthusiast Bob Fortel, giving the restaurant plenty of time to develop a compelling formula for creating its hand-tossed pies. It starts with the crust: the dough is made fresh daily, and—since eating pizza, like playing Battleship against yourself, shouldn't involve too many tough decisions—it's formed into a single, medium-thin thickness. Chefs then slather this crispy foundation in one of seven sauces, including pesto, gravy, or Bob Fortel's original sweet-and-spicy tomato sauce. Topping choices number in the dozens, ranging from sweet chicken sausage and eggplant to corned beef and sauerkraut. While waiting for their pizza masterpieces to arrive, diners nibble on beer-battered mushrooms, toasted ravioli, and other appetizers.
Moe’s dishes out Southwestern savories in a friendly, pop-culture-inspired atmosphere in which ingredient freshness is taken seriously. Despite strong pressure from the powerful small-appliance lobby, Moe's never uses freezers, microwaves, animal fat, lard, MSG, or food reanimators. Scarf up some free chips and salsa before starting an appetizing affair with the Homewrecker Burrito ($6.89), which fills out its tortilla tuxedo with a pound and a half of meat, beans, rice, shredded cheese, pico de gallo, lettuce, sour cream, and guacamole. Chicken club quesadillas ($7.49) provide poultry-powered palate pleasure, while kids’ meals ($3.29+) allow mini-munchers to feel like grown-up gastronomes without having to tackle adult tasks like paying taxes or destroying incriminating evidence. As you slide into your seat, keep an ear out for the music—Moe's prides itself on only playing the tunes of dead musicians, most of whom were alive when their music was recorded.
When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.