Milque Toast

The celebrated food writer M. F. K. Fisher (1908–1992) called milk toast a “warm, mild, soothing thing, full of innocent strength.”  Spell this place “Milk Toast” or “Milque Toast” – it’s pronounced the same and, my first visit will be the first of many, regular planned stops because I enjoyed myself completely.  Totally “my kind” of place.

the arrival!Parked in front.  The place is small, but WONDERFUL.  Got the camera out to show you my first – parked – view.  It was easy enough to find,  Highway 44, to Jefferson Ave., maybe two and a half blocks, on the east side of the road.

Comfort Cuisine!It says “Comfort Cuisine.” . . . I was ready to check it out.

The place is teeny-tiny.  There’s a community table and two, or maybe three other places to sit along the wall.  It’s friendly and colorful.  i walked up to the counter and asked if it was too early for soup.  (Yes, I really like soup.)  In unison, three people behind the counter said, “It’s always a good time for soup.”  Then one lone voice said, “We encourage soup for breakfast.”  I wasn’t really That Early, but – I would enjoy soup for breakfast . . . and, not that you asked, but I’ve enjoyed “breakfast for dinner” countless times.  Haven’t you?

you're gonna like itFun and colorful, the kitchen is small, but what they deliver is mighty.  There IS a chalkboard with ideas about what’s available, which wasn’t yet current for my Thursday visit.  There’s also a nice paper menu that explains the basics, BUT, it’s even better when you simply ask what’s cookin’ and you see smiles on the faces about to serve up something yummy.  They are proud of what they have to offer, and I agree, it’s something super satisfying.

There is an outdoor seating area, so on warm enough days, people will be able to gather in larger groups and have elbow room.  While I was there it was fun to share and listen to others . . but, I’m just like that.  Kinda simple in style and wander around solo-style – so i can pay attention to  Wonder All Around.

milque toastYes, I’m sitting THAT close to the wall across the way with three extra spaces. Someone placed a colorful back pack on one of the chairs . . . super cozy, but then it’s easy to hear all the happy goin’ around.

my first milque toast mealHere’s my first ever meal at Milque Toast.  It’s a delicious bowl of Tomato Herb Soup, with a thick slice of toasted multi-grain bread generously slathered in butter.  I also have a cup of coffee (beverage of choice since I was a kid.)  It was so tasty, I could hardly wait to get home and share with friends about this fantastic lunch discovery.  I’ll return, in fact, chances are this will become one of my favorite places.

Milque Toast – 2212 S. Jefferson Ave. – St. Louis, MO – 63104

yum!

Ice in the Loop! (dragon? get camera)

Ice carving at Fitz'sTuesday Morning, and it’s Frigid.  I’m always in the Delmar Loop Area because we have Story Time at Subterranean Books.  I tend to arrive in the area early and enjoy a cup before walking down the street.  These guys caught my eye and i simply had to share.  Ice in the Loop!

That's Right! An Ice Dragon!That’s Right!  No matter how cold it was, I was determined to get a photo of this Dragon.

Ice carving Demonstration at Ftiz'sIce Visions gave a performance outside Fitz’s and these guys were left over, standing on top of the brick border that surrounds Fitz’s delivery area.  This event was part of the annual Ice Carnival.

Ice in the Loop!It had to be a splendid celebration this year, because it was Cold.  The past couple years, i think there was plenty of fun to be had, and it was crazy comfortable, I doubt people even had to wear coats, it was so warm.  This year, however – our cold days landed on the preferred date, so people could shiver and enjoy.

Fitz’s makes fabulous root beer.  Their motto is, “If it wasn’t better, we wouldn’t make it.”  Its fun to walk by and listen to families laugh together.  There’s always a lot to enjoy, and discover in The Loop neighborhood.

Ice?  Not Often..

Jazz Ensemble Market

Jazz Ensemble Market is an easy trip across the Mississippi River.

Jazz Ensemble Market & CafeRide any metro-link train headed across the river from Missouri to Illinois and get off at Emerson Park Station, which is the third stop.  The scenery becomes interesting along the way and, once you arrive, you’ll notice the clean station, with little shops and a walking bridge, in case you need to get to the other side of the highway.  BUT, You won’t need to go any distance at all for fresh coffee, friendly faces, local produce and the opportunity to support a  Dream Come True.

 


Your first glimpse happens as soon as you step off the train.  The market sits right on the corner.  A tiny stroll across the street and you are there.

Places to Gather with Friends

Places to gather with friends

Inside you’ll begin to sense how special the place is.  This is neighborhood planning that may set a standard for the future.  This is a non-profit place were people can gather, locals are employed, neighbor serves neighbor, the food is nutritious and locally grown.  There is a cozy cafe.  “Regulars” make themselves at home, grab their personal coffee cup from the shelf and share the news of the day, along with a joke or two.  There is a cozy fireplace, television, Wi-Fi, a great view and plenty of good choices on the menu.

Mixed Use BuildingThe market is part of a mutli-use facility, including two hundred senior living apartments and is working to develop a community garden.

Jazz Ensemble Market Neighborhood This is a place in East St. Louis, with a happy story and people feel safe.

I asked about the words, “Jazz Ensemble.”  The title was chosen because East St. Louis was known for terrific musicians.  No one asked me, but if I were an “up and coming musician,” or a teacher with a music program, or an established performer willing to give back to a community.  I’d begin booking events, right there, on the sidewalk, and invite the public to cheer and support Hopes for a Bright Future.

Multi-Use Facilityjust sayin’

Jazz Ensemble Market, 1001 North 13th Street, East Saint Louis, Illinois, 62205

618-857-8215

Piccione!

Phenomenal Pastries, Friendly People,
is just the Beginning when treat yourself (and your friends) at Piccione!

Inside Piccione you’ll see Huge Glass cases filled with fresh
Italian Pastries with a 21st Century Attitude.

“Their chefs create recipes from scratch, in small batches,
using the best possible ingredients, you can really taste the difference.”

Creations are light, and variations are offered
vegan, sugar free, gluten free
are some of the possibilities
every option tastes great.

Okay, don’t take my word for all this,
here’s what other folk say:

“How would you describe Piccione’s creations?
 Easy – Simply sublime sweets preped to perfection.” 
Richa T. (Yelp!)

 “I love the fact that Piccione offers an ala carte small plate option that won’t break the bank or your waistline (unless you order all of the menu…). I’m wary of making this post, because the crowds were minimal last Sunday when I went which meant for no line and a quiet, peaceful atmosphere to enjoy breakfast. But good is good, and I thought Piccione did a great job with their offerings and everyone should know about it.”
CaloriesSTL

“Hit the spot!. Waiting for a show at the pagent and spotted Piccione, owners mothers maiden name.
Let me see, I’ll take a cannoli, Baci, coconut macaroni and pecan butter and a coffee.
like it we’ll enough, I’ll take a pound of cookies to go!
STLFoodsnob

TripAdvisor Ranking #30 of 2609 restaurants in Saint Louis
Most Recent Traveler Reviews
Jun 23, 2015: “Phenomenal!!!!”

They ALSO offer soup, paninni (sandwiches,) Frittata (wonderful egg dishes)
and even home made chips.

Piccione is on the corner of Delmar and Skinker in University City.
You’ll easily spot the bright red awning with little bird tracks.
Get close enough and you’ll see through the windows
cannoli, cakes and cookies that seem to be inviting you inside.

It’s a locally owned shop named after Grace (“Nonna”) Viviano Piccione.

Her last name, Piccione, means pigeon, pronounced Pa-CHO-nee.
The little pigeon logo you’ll see is in her memory.

You may have heard that Delmar Blvd. is a little congested because preparations are being made to install the new trolley project.

That’s true, but don’t let that keep you from visiting.
There is parking in the area,
or you can ride public transit from any direction and reach Piccione.

The Delmar Station for the “Red Train,” two and a half blocks east,
The Skinker Station for the “Blue Line” five blocks south,
and if that walk is uncomfortable, you can get off the train,
walk to the curb and catch #16 or #2 bus,
Both take you directly to Piccione.
There is also # 97 bus that tours the entire length of Delmar Blvd.
So, transportation is covered.

On special days, like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter,
they have fantastic Brunches, served community style.
Everyone sits at long tables where neighbor meets neighbor.
People try to smile and chew politely
trying to converse, nod their heads and request seconds at the same time.

If you arrive on a Thursday morning, you’ll see tables with paperwork spread out, colorful people working on laptops and calling out to one another. The Regional Arts Commission has discovered this place. Artistic meetings and interviews take place around muffins, coffee, or a special Piccione breakfast dish. The place is alive and with the up-and-comers in our region.

When school is in session, there are half off specials and any given evening the place will be packed with the college crowd, purchasing bakery boxes of goodies to enhance study time.

Every weekend the pastry chef creates new flavors for cannoli.
These creations are available during weekend hours only.

This summer Piccione is dedicating ten percent of bakery sales to a different charity each week.
They call the program
Pastries with a Purpose.

Lately Piccione has started offering Tuesday Specials,
like half off cannoli from 7 to 9 PM.

Piccione, corner of Delmar and SkinkerPiccione
6197 Delmar Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63112

(314) 932- 1355