Death in the Afternoon – St. Louis, MO – Power Lunch

“So far, about morals, I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after.” – Ernest Hemingway, Death in the Afternoon

I’m a long time member of Blood and Sand and one of my greatest struggles is the distance between my home, my work, and that restaurant.  That same issue kept me from trying Death in the Afternoon, until I scheduled a PTO day for indulgence.

View of Death in the Afternoon from City Garden

View of Death in the Afternoon from City Garden

Death in the Afternoon is located in one of my favorite treasures of St. Louis, City Garden.  I was ecstatic when the owners of Blood and Sand took took over that location.  They are a lunch and brunch spot that takes full advantage of their view.  Their menu is ever changing but there are items for most palates.  I enjoy the nod given to some of my favorite Asian fare like the steamed buns and ramen.

Death in the Afternoon is located in one of my favorite treasures of St. Louis, City Garden.  I was ecstatic when the owners of Blood and Sand took over that location.  They are a lunch and brunch spot that takes full advantage of their view.  Their menu is ever changing but there are items to satisfy palates.  I appreciate the twist on some of my favorite Asian fair, such as steamed buns and ramen.

First up was the hummus.  With the addition of the roasted vegetables, this was definitely not your plain Jane hummus. Where was this idea of using zucchini on top while my family’s garden was exploding with extra produce???  As far as hummus goes, this version is a very solid offering.

hummus

Next up is one of my guilty pleasures:  Japanese steamed buns.  Remember my gushing over the pork belly buns that I devoured at Booker and Dax in NY?  Although these do not replace those in my heart, they have a lot to offer.  I went with two each of the pork belly and mushroom steamed buns.  They are served with a side of pickles and daikon carrot slaw.  I loved experimenting with the different flavor and texture combinations.  While I would order these again, they are on the pricey side at $5.50 a bun.

steamed buns

My last dish was the Cubano sandwich.  Who doesn’t like a sandwich that has multiple types of pork!?  Personally, I know that I have been craving one since I recently (finally) saw the movie Chef.  I know this isn’t a movie blog, but it’s a great watch if you love food.  Anyway, this sandwich didn’t disappoint.  The bread was crunchy, and you still have the prerequisite yellow mustard and pickles.

cubano

Death in the Afternoon is a great lunch spot with a view.  If you are lucky enough to work in the area, it’s a must.  I can’t wait to try the brunch and their Bloody Mary.  I would love to see what they could do with a banh mi as well.  Hint hint.

DITA 2

Dive 2 Five Scale:  4.  I think all the power suits and business lunches made me go with a 4 on this.  It has a trendy vibe in a great location.  It’s a little more than your typical lunch but as they say, you get what you pay for.

Booker and Dax, New York, NY – Mixology on a Whole New Level and Pork Bun Heaven

Another successful trip to NYC.  Lots of shopping, sight-seeing, drinks, and of course GOOD FOOD!. After listening to Dave Arnold talk last year at the High Tech Happy Hour as part of the NYCWFF, a trip to Booker and Dax  was added to my “must do” list.

Booker and Dax is a small bar attached to Momofuku Ssäm.  The main attraction here are the cocktails.  I suggest you find a seat at the bar so you can enjoy the attention to detail that goes into each creation.  It is unlike anything I have experienced anywhere else.  What makes these drinks special?  They use techniques you won’t see at your standard bar.  Things like liquid nitrogen to chill the glass, clarifying juice in a centrifuge, etc, are all common place.  It’s like having a bar in a chemistry lab.

Gin and Juice on left, Corsair garnished with a Miller High Life on right

Gin and Juice on left, Corsair garnished with a Miller High Life on right

Since Booker and Dax is attached to Momofuku Ssäm, their bar snacks are also something to behold.  While enjoying my drinks I saw several recommendations for the steamed pork buns on Foursquare.  Check out this slice of heaven:

pork buns

There really isn’t much to them, but this is officially my favorite thing I have eaten.  (Note I was reaching the bottom of drink 3 when I tried them 🙂 ).  They contained nice sized pieces of pork belly, cucumbers, scallions, and hoisin.  The pork belly doesn’t have the rind, so it is extremely fatty and decadent.  It melts in your mouth!  The cucumbers add crunch and helped neutralize the fat.   They were so good I had to order a second batch.

Booker and Dax is a great place to enjoy one-of-a-kind cocktails.  They have a small snack menu, but the steamed pork buns alone are worth the trip.  If you are a science geek like me, get there early before it gets busy.  Then get the bartenders talking about their experience using the centrifuge as well as how some of the cocktail ideas evolved.  It is guaranteed to be a great evening of drinks and food.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  3.  It’s a small space that really focuses on the drinks.  The music variety was intriguing.  I heard AC DC, U2, Blondie, and even Hall and Oates Maneater all in one hour.  If you are in NYC, you should add it to your “must-do” list as well.  This will be something I hit up on all future trips.

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