The Veggielante has had it up to here with people bitching that St. Louis restaurants are vegetarian unfriendly. Sure, we'd like to see more restaurants offering more meatless dishes, but there are excellent choices out there if you take the trouble to look for them. We're not here to proselytize about greening up your diet. Our only motive is to spread the word about places where you can order good grub that ain't got no meat. To enhance your reading experience, we've settled on a handful of criteria we'll use to suss out a restaurant's vegetarian friendliness.
Destination: Crow's Nest (7336 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-781-0989)
Cuisine: Pub Food
See Also: --Hearty Vegetarian Italian Fare at Tavolo V in the Delmar Loop -Louisiana-fied Cajun and Creole Vegetarian Cuisine at The Kitchen Sink -Zone In On Imaginative Fast-Casual Vegetarian Fare at Sauce on the Side
Overview: Owner Mike McLaughlin opened the Crow's Nest in 2011, shortly after closing his other restaurant, the Bleeding Deacon Public House, in south St. Louis. McLaughlin didn't completely leave The Bleeding Deacon behind, bringing some of the restaurant's dishes to The Crow's Nest.
Random Note: To our delight, Gut Check's server was Al Swacker of KDHX's "The Greaser's Lunchbox."
Highlights: One of the Crow's Nest more popular starters is the truffle frites ($8). Leave out the bacon, and you get waffle fries doused in dill-truffle gravy. Unlike the restaurant's smashed-potato gravy, the truffle gravy is vegetarian.
The Crow's Nest's grilled cheese is another favorite, and comes with your choice of one of the restaurant's $3, vegetarian-friendly sides. We opted for the garlic-herb smashed potatoes without the gravy. The sandwich brings cheddar, mozzarella, apple compote and honey between two pieces of pugliese. The grilled cheese will run you $8.
The Crow's Nest Winter menu also has a veggie burger, and a number of vegetarian-friendly appetizers and sides, and their Sunday "Metal" brunch.