Off The Beaten Path
Cant make it to Festival of Nations? Get your fix anytime at one of these four under-the-radar ethnic eateries.
The St. Louis culinary scene is rich with high-quality ethnic restaurants, from Italian to Vietnamese to Indian and then some. While some countries' cuisines definitely get the lion's share of attention from diners (and the press), there's plenty of delicious diversity to be had if the curious foodie looks hard enough.
Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant
Located on the south end of a bustling stretch of South Grand Boulevard in Tower Grove, Meskerem sometimes gets overshadowed by some of the bigger-name eateries on the northern end of the strip. But the menu here is as diverse and flavorful as any bill of fare we can think of, featuring plenty of dishes highlighting the spicy meats and veggies that are the backbone of Ethiopian cuisine. The use of silverware is generally eschewed, with the traditional sourdough injera bread used to scoop up bites instead.
3210 S. Grand Blvd., 314.772.4442, meskeremstl.com.
Grbic Restaurant & Banquet Center
Family-owned and operated, this restaurant in the Bevo neighborhood boasts a plethora of tastes from Bosnia and Eastern Europe. From goulashes and cevapiÛÓa traditional Balkan grilled beef sausageÛÓto schnitzels and spaetzle, this is hearty, comfortable home cooking at its best.
4071 Keokuk St., 314.772.3100, grbicrestaurant.com.
The very definition of “hole in the wall,” Webster Groves’ Dvin is almost completely obscured on a crowded row of storefronts on Big Bend BoulevardÛÓwith just a faded sign to draw passersby to the goodness within. Once inside, don’t let the dusty houseplants and mish-mash of garage-sale wall art fool you. There’s some delectable Russian and Armenian food to be had, from blini and borscht to golubtsy (aka stuffed cabbage rolls).
8143 Big Bend Blvd., 314.968.4000.
Everest Cafe & Bar
A comfy neighborhood joint nestled in the hip and happening Grove neighborhood, Everest serves up an expansive array of Nepalese, Indian and Korean dishes. The vibe is low-key and Ì_ber-casual, and the food runs the gamut from mild to spicy. The kimchi alone is worth the trip, and there’s also a lunch buffet for those who want to taste a variety of dishes. In addition to the vanguard Grove spot (4145 Manchester Ave., 314.531.4800), there’s also a Downtown location (711 Olive St., 314.621.8533) and a third space opening soon in Jefferson City, MO.
Multiple locations, everestcafeandbar.com.
Photo credit: Christopher Gibbons