Florissant Gets its Slice…of Mario’s Pizza that is.

Mario's PizzaIn the St. Louis pizza debate, Andrew Mark Veety once preached about what he thinks ruined pizza in America: the cardboard pizza box.  Before the Church of Pizza fizzled out after but one pizza, it was a point he’d wanted to tackle.  His plan had been to consume a pizza in-house on each visit, but also order one to go to see how it held up when eaten the way most pizzas in America are consumed: delivered.

It’s a good point, really.  Pizza by the pie–or slice–should be eaten in a pizzeria or pulled from the oven in your own kitchen.  To stuff a pizza into a cardboard box to steam away or, in the case of slices, stuffing pizza onto several paper plates and then forcing the whole thing into a white plastic bag for consumption elsewhere, is a crime.

But more than that, it’s sad that the classic American pizzeria, with its moderately priced pies, has faded away.  As a kid I fondly recall many a post-game celebration in pizzerias where graffiti-clad wooden booths lined the walls, red and white checkered tablecloths covered the tables, and each had its prerequisite video-game room stocked with Froggers and Ms. Pac-Mans in the early days, and Castlevanias and Spy Hunters–a game at which I am particularly adept at–in the later ones.

Those days are long since gone, however, and convincing people

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The Downtown Restaurant Week Question

stlbites fistOn my forum, frankiefau–who we’ll assume works for the company that puts on Downtown Restaurant Week because he’s asked a similar questions before writes:

For good or not, Downtown Restaurant Week returns Aug 22-28.  I have posted both Clayton and Downtown Restaurant Weeks on here before.  This time, i would like to hear what you guys think of the concept.  A value, a benefit, good menus or just go away and quit posting here?

This year, I’ll bite…

The idea–getting people to go out and try new spots in the city they might not normally frequent–is great.  The problem lies in the fact that most of the restaurants that participate, in the central downtown area, don’t deliver at any price.  An American Place was, literally, the only restaurant that has ever participated that many had any interest in dining at in the past.

Throw in the blatant marketing behind these events with brands like, Stella, Terrazas, and Pearl Vodka, and it’s a pass for most people that are truly food enthusiasts rather than “foodies” waiting for the next Guy Fieri show to debut.

Speaking for myself, the one restaurant I have some interest in dining at on this years list is Prime 1000.  But then you look at the menu and it’s not representative of why you’d want to go to Prime 1000 for real: steak.

Think about that.  They’re a steakhouse that has pork belly, chicken and shrimp as the entree choices.

So the reality is that most of these restaurants simply approach these nights as another day of doing business with a menu that should cost $25 vs a promotion that gets butts in seats–at a discount–in hopes that they might return at full price another time.  It’s like that time Arthur Clay’s showed up at Taste of St. Louis serving pork steaks.  That was a money grab if ever I saw one, and I loved that restaurant.