Hot Block: Morgan Ford
An eclectic enclave just south of Tower Grove Park offers fine fare, after-dark fun and hip hidden treasures.
Im a small-town girl, geographically speaking, so I pride myself in my ability to recognize a good neighborhood nook when I see one. In St. Louis, one of the best Ive found is the emerging Morgan Ford Business District. Kitschy and perhaps just a bit left-of-center, Morgan Ford is an active neighborhood that hosts pub crawls, a street festival featuring local musicians and the PrideFest Pet Parade. The familiar cluster of corner pubs, local cafe?s and vintage shops are the perfect antidote should a bout of homesickness strike.
I start my trek optimistically, but the arctic-like wind chill on this day has plans to thwart my adventure. Luckily, Local Harvest Cafe? & Catering has fresh, organic fair trade coffee on the ready. Every day, Chef Clara Moore whips up delicious dishes using seasonal and mostly local ingredients at the Cafe?. Down the street, the independent Local Harvest Grocery is stocked with local produce, meats and dairy items as well as craft beers, local wines and even natural cosmetics and household cleaning products. I eagerly snatch up a few bars of Patric Chocolate, proudly made in Columbia, MO, my hometown.
Across the street sits Three Monkeys, a casual eatery that has some of the best pizza. No offense to die-hard devotees, but I prefer my pie sans Provel. Thats why I love Three Monkeys gourmet wood-fired version. They make their dough with olive oil, fresh yeast and sea salt and cover it with fresh toppings and whole milk mozzarella. The restaurant is well known for pizza, however the barbecue here is also a must-try.
Adjacent to Three Monkeys is Tin Can Tavern and Grille. With a location just west of my Downtown loft and a relatively new location a stones throw from where I attended Journalism School, Im no stranger to the Tin Can. The original Morgan Ford location has a comfortable, come-as-you-are vibe where friends and I gather over drinks (the requisite hipster brew, PBR, is just $1.75 a can!) and deliciously cheap eats. The mini corn dogs will change your life.
Morgan Ford is noy only known for its reat food, but also for its amazing vintage shopping. Admittedly, I lack the patience required to sift through heaps of other peoples old stuff, but the romance of unearthing a second-hand treasure gets me every time. I like to pretend Im a vintage-shopping ace, and at places like The Future Antiques and The Vintage Haberdashery, I can indulge my delusion freely. Jolie, owner of The Vintage Haberdashery, helps me find a pair of 1960s pearl and crystal clip-on earrings (that
are very Michelle Obama-esque) and another pair that I swear Ive seen on January Jones “Mad Men” character, Betty. All for under $30? Yes, please!
Local Harvest Grocery
The Future Antiques
Tin Can Tavern
The Future Antiques
The Vintage Haberdashery
Photo credit: Photos by Carrie Iggulden