Steeped in a rich history that includes incarnations as a general store, a dance hall, and a stagecoach stop, Dreamland Palace dates back to 1875. With more than a century of laughter and good times embedded in its walls, the well-loved building exudes cozy German charm with its architecture, decor, and most important of all, cuisine. Beer steins and the occasional cuckoo clock line the walls of the cottage, and low-hanging Tiffany-style lamps illuminate aromatic plates of wurst, often accompanied by savory cabbage and potato pancakes.
Brock Ruma tapped into his own family recipes to create his restaurant's classic deli menu of hot and cold sandwiches, pastas, and sides. In addition, his chefs prepare their own versions of St. Louis specialties including toasted ravioli, thin-crust pizzas loaded with Provel cheese and DiGregorio’s sauce, and replicas of the Arch made with toothpicks.
Gallagher’s Restaurant is awash in Waterloo and St. Louis history from its foundation on up. Situated in a building built in 1870 with its original bar intact, the eatery is full of artifacts collected by owners John and Susie Gallagher over two decades. The balcony and bar feature original railings from the 1908 McKinley Bridge, the booths are made out of pocket doors from the Chase Park-Plaza Hotel, and the tables are repurposed bowling lanes from the old Bee Hive Bowl. To construct their masterpiece, the Gallagher family poured their own efforts into the building, doing almost all the physical labor themselves with help from their nephews, five sons, and other family members.
Inside that history-laden interior, servers bustle around with plates of hearty American fare and juicy eight-ounce burgers. Smoke-cured pork chops claim myriad state fair accolades for their glaze of sweet and sour peach sauce, and the chefs carefully stacks burgers with shiitake mushroom sauce and brie or an enchanting combo of cayenne candied bacon with cheddar or blue cheese. Every Sunday, the restaurant serves fried chicken dinners that were judged the best in the area by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which noted the flavorful blend of spices in the batter.
Pairs cruise around The Ridge Golf Course's scenic tree-lined fairways in a four-wheeled conveyance, trying their hand at the par 3 through par 5 holes while carefully avoiding hazards. Located on the site of an old farm, the 18-hole playground provides a vintage, homey backdrop to four hours of meandering play. After finishing tee-projectile sessions, duos can refuel stomach supplies with a $10 credit at the Log Cabin Restaurant. Set inside a 240-year-old wooden dwelling, the eatery serves up homestyle cooking to links-rambling souls in need of a good meal to celebrate accidentally hitting that defunct Soviet satellite.