What a difference a few years make.
When Pi Pizzeria first opened on the far eastern edge of the Delmar Loop in 2008, Barack Obama's favorite pizza joint was an anomaly -- one of the only ambitious restaurants in a sea of cheap college eats and more Thai restaurants than you could ever possibly dine at. It was followed the next year by Ranoush, which served delicious Syrian food, but both were the exception to the neighborhood's culinary ethos, not the rule.
Fast forward to today. Not only is Pi in the middle of a thriving commercial district that's spread far east of the neighborhood's original boundaries -- but the Loop has so many hot restaurants, it's getting its own food tour.
That development comes courtesy of Savor St. Louis. After hosting food tours of the Central West End for the last two years, the two "chief tasting officers" who host Savor St. Louis' walking tours have chosen the Loop for their first expansion.
The three-hour tours kick off Friday, June 5, with stops at six restaurants. Neighborhood pioneers Pi Pizzeria and Ranoush made the cut, naturally. They're also joined by three newbies -- Salt+Smoke, Tom Schmidt's acclaimed barbecue restaurant; Seoul Taco, the Korean taco-truck-turned-restaurant; and Piccione Pastry, the traditional Italian bakery that opened in 2013.
The sixth stop? Fitz's, naturally. The Loop mainstay opened in 1993 and has outlasted, well, more Thai restaurants than anyone could possibly eat at.
Tour-goers will make a stop at each restaurant -- and they're not just learning (although that's part of it). They're also eating. As Carrie Zukoski, a spokeswoman for Savor St. Louis, explains, each restaurant provides "a healthy-sized sample that, by the time the tour is concluded, is an ample and satisfying progressive lunch. Along the tour, people also learn history and interesting anecdotes about each area."
Tours cost $15 for children age 7 and under, $30 for kids ages eight through twelve and $48 for adults. Call 314-669-1326 or see SavorSaintLouis.com for more information.
Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at [email protected]
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