Thursday, June 24, 2010

Meet me in St. Louis...for fried ravioli and olive oil tasting.

I was in St. Louis for a business meeting last weekend. Most of the time I didn't leave the hotel, but I was able to get out for dinner with a client, watch a Cardinals game, and make a quick stop at a store that specializes in olive oil.

Yes, it was hot and humid, but sitting in the stadium and watching the Cardinals win was fun -- and fascinating.  I was completely suprised by the fan support -- probably 80% of the fans were wearing red shirts in support of their team, and there were lots of families there with young children (also in red -- I even saw some babies with painted red hair!)  I really felt like baseball was America's favorite pastime -- it was a completely different feeling from the Yankees and Mets games I've attended -- this was really a community out to have fun together. Maybe it's because the stadium is downtown, or because you can see the infamous Arch from the stadium. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it was a really great experience and makes me want to go back!

Ok, I'll admit that I did NOT eat the fried ravioli at dinner. I thought about it -- I felt like I should do it just so I could write about it, but I couldn't bring myself to order it.  It was popular all around me, and my dinner guest swore that it was good (but she didn't order it either.)  So if any readers have eaten it, please weigh in!

While I was out for a quick walk around my hotel, I saw a little shop called Extra Virgin, and of course, it caught my eye! Then I saw a sign for "daily olive oil tastings" and I jumped right on it. I walked into a very charming little shop that specializes in -- you guessed it -- olive oil; There must have been 40 different bottles of oils, plus some vinegars, lined up along one counter. There were little tasting cups, as well as pieces of bread and toothpicks to make tasting easy. I tried a wonderful oil with a strong peppery flavor, I dipped some bread into a lighter oil with a mix of spices, and I sampled a passion fruit vinagrette. Wow, it was all wonderful! In addition to the bottles of oils and vinegar, the shop sells nicknacks, cookbooks, and a variety of foods and condiments made with oil and vinegar. And the best part? They have a website and they ship! Check out the website at (Don't you just love the name?)

Of course, while I was out and about in St. Louis, my family was having a miserable weekend.  Kate sprained her knee in class on Friday (and I had to take her to the emergency room on Sunday to get x-rayed and to get a brace and crutches), Glen had a major toothache (and had an emergency rooth canal on Monday morning), and Dash was under the weather on Saturday night (when I got home.)  So, I have to ask myself, why did I take an early flight home????


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