Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Verizon Installs Temporary Cell Sites For Mardi Gras 2016

Verizon has again installed temporary cell sites in Soulard for the biggest events of the 2016 Mardi Gras season.

Two temporary cell sites were recently installed and different locations in the neighborhood. The temporary sites are called COLT sites, or Cell on Light Truck sites. They support both 3G and 4G networks, according to a representative of the company.

Cellular telephone service is notoriously spotty for the big Mardi Gras events in Soulard, Taste of Soulard, Beggin' Pet Parade and the Bud Light Grand Party.

While we suggest you have a plan that doesn't rely solely on having cell service, these temporary sites have helped in years past. Also, make sure you show up to Soulard on Saturday with a full battery, it's not like there are just outlets all over for you to plug you phone in at.

How can you ensure you have a fun and safe time even if you don't have cell service?

If you are meeting friends, plan on meeting them at a set location at a set time. The intersections along Ninth are usually some of the more crowded points. We suggest 8th & Soulard, Allen & 10th or anything South of Russell as a meeting point.

That goes for when it's time to go home too. Don't get left behind or be the bad friend that leaves someone behind. We suggest planning on meeting around 6 or 7 pm at the latest to at least talk about your exit strategy.


Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What To Eat At Taste Of Soulard 2016

The menu is out for the 2016 Taste Of Soulard event happening this weekend. If you aren't familiar already with the event, you have really been missing out. $25 gets you a booklet with six food vouchers and one voucher good for a Southern Comfort cocktail. You then get rally your best buds together and form your own pub crawl through the neighborhood using your vouchers. The event goes from 11am - 5pm this Saturday (Jan. 30) and Sunday (Jan. 31). While the event is technically happening on Sunday too, many restaurants aren't participating on Sunday due to the traffic they experience during the Beggin' Pet Parade.

The list of offerings for Taste 2016 has been made available in advance of the event so that you can plan your attack before Saturday. I've combed the menu, made my color-coded map and now share with you six suggestions of places to hit as well as a few dessert ones.

These are submitted in no particular order and are by no means the only things your should shoot for. I have very particular tastes, meaning I don't like spicy foods and my choices reflect that.

2016 Taste of Soulard menu

2016 Taste of Soulard Suggestions


Old Man Sandwich

House-roasted brisket and corned beef covered in Swiss and Provel. Add horseradish and put in all on marble rye. It's amazing. 


Bacon and Caramelized Onion Flatbread

For many of us, Franco is a luxury that we don't get over to enough. Take this opportunity to visit and enjoy.

Molly's Bar

Nola BBQ Shrimp with French Baguette

If there's one thing Molly's does great, its Nola seafood dishes. 

Soulard Preservation Hall

Fried Hot Dogs

What kind of person could say no to this?

Twisted Ranch

Big Kid Mac and Cheese

You are doing yourself a disservice if you haven't dined at Twisted Ranch yet. Take this opportunity to try this delicious dish.

Epic Pizza and Subs

Slice of Cheese Pizza

I have enough of these so, believe me when I say to try it. It's also likely the most filling choice on the menu.


You're going to want to use one of your vouchers for a dessert option.the Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce at Soulard's is a personal favorite of mine. Also, you can't go wrong with mini cupcakes from Sweet Divine. You'd rather drink your dessert? Try a Red Bird with a SOCO floater at Tropical Liqueurs.

Ticket booklets are available at all participating establishments or online through Mardi Gras, Inc.

Looking for more of my ramblings about the 2016 Mardi Gras season? Check out this post I wrote for RealLifeSTL.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Mardi Gras 2016 In Soulard Begins With Tonight's 12th Night Celebration

The official 2016 Mardi Gras poster
Islanders will congregate tonight outside on Russell Blvd outside the birthplace of Soulard Mardi Gras for a highly anticipated announcement. At approximately 7 PM tonight, Mardi Gras Inc. Director Tim Lorson will emerge from the front doors of Johnny's at 1017 Russell. The crowds will hush as Lorson announces the Mardi Gras Board's decision. If revelers have their way, glorious words will emerge from Lorson's lips.

"The Board Has Decided That We Will Have Mardi Gras 2016", he will boom.

With those words, a joyous tradition will take place. Islanders, Mardi Gras revelers and other St. Louis dignitaries will march through the streets of Soulard singing the praises of the men who started the party, Bob Brinkman, Hilary Clements, Bill Coleman, Jim Rabbit and Bill Stubbs and the many who have kept it going in the years since. Barkeeps and restaurant owners will emerge from their establishments to give toasts to Soulard and the Mardi Gras season.

The parade will end at Rudy Commons in front of Soulard Market Park in honor of longtime Soulard and Mardi Gras friend Rudy Piskulick. More speeches will be made and the 2016 Rex will be crowned.

As the Soulard Mardi Gras flag is then raised over this glorious island neighborhood we call home, the 2016 Mardi Gras season begins in St. Louis. The next month will be marked with parades, concerts, a Family Winter Carvnival, parties and more. More than a few gallons of Bud Light and Southern Comfort Hurricanes will surely be consumed as well.

For more on the 2016 Mardi Season in St. Louis, check out this calendar over at RealLifeSTL.

We'll see you at 7 PM tonight in front of Johnny's. Be sure to bundle up.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Brewery Lights 2015 Opens November 19

The annual Brewery Lights celebration at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery kicks of tomorrow night, November 19. MLB Hall of Famer and St. Louis Cardinals great Ozzie Smith will be on for the ceremonial "flipping of the swtich".

Brewery Lights will run from November 19 to January 3 at the historic Brewery in south Soulard.

For more on the holiday celebration, check out this post from RealLifeSTL.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Spend Back To The Future Day at iTap

You live under a rock if you didn't know that today is the day that Marty McFly traveled to in Back to the Future Part II. In honor of Back to the Future day, International Tap House is showing Back to the Future Part II on their patio tonight. The movie will start at 8pm and their will be specials on canned beers from Tallgrass Brewing Company.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Purina Pet Adoption Event Saturday October 17

Wondering what that big tent is for in Soulard Market Park? I was too so, I found out what's going on.

Tomorrow (Saturday Oct. 17) from 10 am - 4 pm Purina will be hosting an event with several local animal shelters inside that very tent. The Purina Better Together Adoption Event will be the company's first adoption event where they will be "introducing cats and dogs to their potential new families".

The website notes that adoption fees and polices will be set by the individual adoption groups and pets will only be adopted to qualified homes. There will be a designated stroller parking area on the event grounds, but strollers will not be allowed inside the tents.

Among the groups participating will be Gateway Pet Guardians, Open Door Animal Santuary, the Humane Society of Missouri, Tenth Life and more.

Check out the Next Door event posting.

The Facebook event posting.

Or the Purina event posting on their website.

Be sure to RSVP to Purina's Better Together Adoption Event.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Now Open: Twisted RAnCH

It was way back in March that George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine first informed us that we were getting a ranch-themed restaurant here in Soulard. The seemingly crazy, ridiculous asinine idea quickly gained traction with foodies around the country. Eater did a story on the project. Deadspin's Foodspin wrote a piece that painted an idea that every dish would have ranch dressing poured over it and ended with "Don't Go To Missouri". I'll admit that I thought the concept was crazy and at times didn't think the team would be able to work.

When news broke that Twisted RAnCh's chef quit during the soft opening. When that chef said the owners "didn't know what they were doing". Each day when I walked out of my house and saw the building still dark, I thought that this crazy-ass idea was never going to work.

I am very happy to say I was wrong. Twisted RAnCH is a very pleasant surprise and a great addition to the Soulard neighbiorhood. While some of the challenges that owners Jim Hayden and Chad Allen have forced them to scale back a traditional full opening, we can all be thankful that food is coming out of the kitchen at the corner of 8th and Soulard and drinks are flowing from the bar.

Twisted RAnCH is open daily from 11am - 3pm for lunch and from 3pm-6pm for Twisted Happy Hour Tuesday to Saturday.

Twisted RAnCH's menu has been scaled back a bit from their previous plans, but still features some stellar treats.

On my first visit, I had the Ranched St. Louis Gerber. While this is supposed to be a St. Louis thing, I had never had it before. I like meat and cheese so I was very happy with a pile of ham topped with melted provel cheese.

On my second visit I decide to go with the Garlic Ranch Burger. It was delicious. A good-sized burger that was cooked well and served on an enjoyable bun. Both sandwiches were served with a very sizable amount of french fries The fries are seasoned well and come out just the right amount of crispy. I'm not all that much of a fry person put my neighbors rave about these.

Other sandwiches I have heard great things about are the Rotisserie Chicken Salad served on a croissant, the Ranched Meatball Sub the Grilled Cheese and the Turkey Bacon Ranch. As far as entrees go, I've only tried the Fried Mozzarella Sticks and they were awesome. It's nearly impossible to find handmade mozzarella sticks around this town, but these apparently are. The cheese is covered in Ranch-seasons panko bread crumbs before being deep-fried. They are then served with the Pesto Ranch for dipping and garnished with some crispy prosciutto on the side.

While originally just being open for lunch, Twisted started being open for happy hour this month. The Twisted Happy Hour from 3pm -6pm Tuesday to Saturday and features a scaled-down snack and drink menu. I went with toasted raviolis and a Brisket Slider. Although the t-ravs aren't made in-house like they had originally planned, I was pleasantly surprised with the dish.I believe six came on the plate with a side of Ranch Marinara for $4. The t-ravs were your standard restaurant ones and a little over-cooked but for the price I was definitely happy. I was very impressed with the $4 Brisket Slider. The generous portion of meat was well-cooked, the sauce was good and it was topped with an onion ring that paired perfectly. A larger brisket sandwich is a fairly recent addition to the lunch menu and also comes topped with onion rings.

Twisted RAnCH features an extensive list of signature cocktails with names like the Twisted Mule, the 8th & Soulard and more. While I haven't sampled these myself, I have heard great things.

The list of ranch sauces at Twisted RAnch seems endless. At last count, I believe it's 14, but it may now be 15 with the addition of JalapeƱo Popper. The sauce offerings range from Buffalo to Roasted Garlic to BBQ to Cheesy Bacon to Sunny in Fetadelphia.

Go check out Twisted RAnCH for yourself and let me know what you think.

Look for dinner hours to be added in the next few weeks.

Check Twisted Ranch out on Facebook.