In 1910, fourth-generation German immigrant Alvin O. Eckert set up a small produce stand on a roadside in Belleville, Illinois. More than 100 years later, that roadside stand has flourished into the expansive Belleville plot of Eckert's Farm: a pastoral acreage where orchards surround a country-style restaurant, bakery, and handmade-custard shop. The Eckert family's sixth and seventh generations ensure this farm remains a true family affair. Sixth-generation member Jim Eckert is the chief horticulturist, and his cousin-once-removed, Chris, oversees retail operations and the sale of the farm's homegrown produce and spare scarecrow parts. Chris's sister Jill helms the food program, and his wife Angie oversees the Country Store and colorful Garden Center.
Throughout the year, visitors arrive on the Belleville farm's grounds for a range of seasonal activities, including peach-, apple-, and pumpkin-picking. During the summer, a concert series features live outdoor music on Friday and Saturday nights, and in the fall, staff lead bonfires and evening hayrides through the orchards. Inside the farm building, instructors teach cooking classes for adults and children, as well as a wine-pairing class.
Family-friendly activities also abound at the Eckert family's other two farms. The Grafton farm, where public apple-picking began in 1964, offers daily animal feeding and miniature golf. The seasonal Millstadt farm is home to a workshop, haunted hayrides, and an array of warm-weather children's attractions—including a 70-foot underground slide.
Downtown office workers and home dwellers can gamechange their lunch routine with today's deal: $10 worth of fresh sandwiches, salads, wraps, sushi, soups, drinks, and more at City Gourmet (formerly City Grocers) for $5, good for dine-in or carryout if you're racing against time to rescue the Vice President from a spectacular sinkhole.Follow @Groupon_Says on Twitter.
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.
When Chris and Micki first met, they quickly bonded over their shared love of food. Chris reminisced about the spicy jambalaya, the creamy crayfish étouffée, and the rice and beans of his native New Orleans, and Micki shared stories about growing up in her parent’s restaurant. Like shrimp and grits or onions and tears, the two were a natural pair. They got married and officially combined their culinary passions, forming their own restaurant, Who Dat’s Southern Food.
Guests are drawn into the shop by the wafting smells of spicily seasoned seafood, andouille sausage, and pulled pork that’s been slow-cooked with a dry rub for 10 hours. One weekend a month, they set up shop outside to have a southern boil, letting guests experience the sociability and great tastes of the south without meeting, befriending, and subsequently boiling Mr. Peanut.
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.
Douse your pasta in Popeye's main squeeze and fortify your New Year's resolution to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor with today's Groupon to Extra Virgin, an Olive Ovation. For $10, you'll get $25 worth of artisan oils and epicurean gifts at this gourmet market, which specializes in international and flavored olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, fine wine, and specialty foods and gifts. Impress snooty foodies with your impeccable palate, sneak unsurpassed flavor into your family's meals and collect the resulting plaudits, or give friends a holiday gift filled with tastiness.Repeat until stranger gets off bus or agrees to marry you.