by Sarah Fenske
It was, of course, Walt Disney World that first insisted it's a small world after all -- and then the theme park proved it by bringing no less than eleven cultures and cuisines to life at Epcot Center.
But that giant sphere of a theme park in Orlando has nothing on St. Louis' South Grand corridor. With the two new restaurants slated to open there this spring, the six-block area boasts cuisines from thirteen different nations -- two more than Epcot, in an even smaller radius.
Take that, Disney World!
The famously food-fabulous neighborhood will celebrate its diversity on May 21 with the seventh annual "Dine Around," which lets adventurous eaters try various courses at restaurants on the street for a flat fee of either $30 or $35, depending on how early you get your ticket.
See the South Grand neighborhood website for more information.
For those keeping at track at home, South Grand's roster of international cuisines includes two soon-to-open restaurants -- Guerrilla Street Food, which serves the cuisine of the Philippines, and Brasilia, which will feature Brazilian food.
The other eleven?
Baida, which serves the food of Morocco
Basil Spice and the King and I, which serve Thai food
Cafe Mochi, which serves Japanese (in addition to Vietnamese)
Cafe Natasha, which serves food from Persia (now Iran)
Mangia Italiano, which serves Italian
Mekong Restaurant and Pho Grand, which serve Vietnamese cuisine
Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant, which serves Ethiopian
Qdoba Mexican Grill, which serves a fast-casual version of Mexican
Rooster South Grand, which serves French-inspired food
St. Louis Wok and Wei Hong Bakery and BBQ, which serve Chinese
The Vine Cafe, which serves Lebanese food
And wait, there's even more. City Diner serves up basic American diner food, and St. Louis Bread Company does the same with a more modern twist. If you count that, well, South Grand will be at fourteen different international cuisines once the two newbies open this spring.
At this point, the evidence is clear: Wannabe cultural tourists should cancel their trip to Florida and just pay a visit to South Grand. And, hey, we hear the price of admission is a whole lot cheaper, too.
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