My work travels recently had me spending the better part of a week in downtown St Louis. For those of you that aren’t already shaking your heads, there doesn’t really seem to be much in downtown, especially food-wise. Sure, some of the neighborhoods like Soulard actually have some nice restaurants, but downtown itself is mostly Hooters, TGI Fridays, and Max and Erma’s. Not exactly food paradise. But an appeal to the fine folks over at Chowhound.com led me to two places worth checking out that were near my hotel. One of them was Rooster, a small cafe that features a wide variety of sandwiches, breakfasts, and crepes. It’s a rather nice little cafe, which is rather surprising, since a large fraction of the street-level real estate in that part of town is vacant. I’m glad this place is an exception…
Where Offbeat Eats has been:
After our most succesful trip to Husavik for whale watching, we headed back down to the Myvatn area. It started to rain pretty heavily, but we still had a nice hike through Dimmuborgir. After seeing many cool lava formations, and be regaled with the stories of the Yule Lads. After some reading up on it from the various signs at Dimmuborgir, I learned that the Yule Lads are the result of a head-on collision between old Norse and Christian traditions: the Yule Lads are the sons of the mountain trolls (Grýla). Unlike the Grýla themselves (who search out and scare naughty children), the Yule Lads only come at Christmastime, and are more mischievous than anything else: they have names like door-slammer (Hurðaskellir), bowl-licker (Askasleikir), sausage-swiper (Bjúgnakrækir), and meat-hook (Ketkrókur, he looks down chimneys and steals roasting meat with a long hook). The supposed way to get the Yule Lads to leave you alone is for your parents to give you lots of clothing at Christmas. I swear I’m not making this up, this is from the signs at Dimmuborgir! But after all that hiking, we were again a bit wet, a bit tired, and really wanted some dinner. While Vogafjós almost lured us in again, we decided to mix it up and try another of the area’s (very few) restaurants, Gamli Bærinn, a pub located next to the Hótel Reynihlíð.