Yesterday I was leafing through this week's Review (our area's Catholic newspaper) and came across an editorial about supporting immigrants and refugees in the area. There was also a sidebar list of specific ways to get involved. The very last one was to support an immigrant-owned business or restaurant, suggesting a good place to start would be one of the ethnic restaurants along South Grand, which is considered the International District of St. Louis. I mentioned the idea to Hubby Tony, and had barely finished my sentence when he said "Let's do it." An adventure was born.
South Grand is only six blocks long, but it's filled with a wide variety of restaurants and shops. Before we left the house we did some research to find out if there was a church in the area, and were pleased to find out that St. Pius V parish was at the southernmost edge. Their 4:30 Mass fit perfectly into our plans.
We decided to get there early enough to do some shopping before Mass, attend church, then go to dinner. As we left the house mid-afternoon a light drizzle started falling. We briefly thought about changing the plan, but decided to be adventurous. The rain stopped, but as we pulled into the church parking lot it started again. Tony grabbed an umbrella from his car and we started walking north. (The drizzle stopped five minutes later. Glad we stuck to the original plan.)
As we strolled up and down the street we looked in all the store and restaurant windows and tried to narrow down our dinner choice. A large portion of the world's cuisine is represented on South Grand. In addition to USA "eats", you can also find food from Brazil, Ethiopia, France, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Persia, the Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, and Viet Nam. For good measure, there are two Vegan restaurants and a couple of dessert-only places. After we'd browsed through an ethnic grocery store, a used book store, a Fair Trade shop, and popped into a half-dozen restaurants to look at the menus we had a short list to ponder.
After church it was time to make a decision. We decided that Moroccan sounded good. It was. My Cucumber Salad had diced cucumbers tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. Tony tried the Harira, a traditional Moroccan soup that contained beef, lentils, chick peas, and vermicelli. It was hard to narrow down my entree from among all the choices, but in the end I ordered the Artichoke M’Kally, which had several fried artichoke hearts on top of a vegetable medley that had been cooked in a fantastic tomato sauce and topped with olives and slivers of feta cheese. Tony got the Vegetable Couscous, which had large pieces of vegetables and chick peas on top of a bed of couscous.
When we came out of the restaurant it was drizzling again. By the time we'd walked three blocks the drizzle had turned into a steady rain, and we ran the last block to the car in a downpour. By the time we got in the car we were soaked. The adventure and good food made the inconvenience worthwhile, though
Five years ago today: Polished Piggies Redux