Serendipity and hunger collided tonight. I stopped and had dinner at Urban Eats (http://www.urbaneatscafe.com/ ) at 3301 Meramec (yes it is just east of Grand). What makes this fall in the Serendipity catagory is that this awesome little eatery is just a few blocks from my home. I have driven by the place several times in the last couple of months and said to myself and whomever I was with, "I want to eat there, but they are never open." Tonight on my way to some undecided eatery on Grand, the open light was on and after an unauthorized u-turn on Meramec, I was there.
Urban Eats is the sort of place everybody wishes was in their neighborhood. It is clean, bright, and has that special exotic smell of spices and fresh coffee that sucks me in every time. At first I thought that I had made a mistake, it was the unknown menu with the smiling server trying to help me decide what I wanted which made me nervous. I hate high pressure ordering. But once I took a deep breath and listened to John (owner and chef), it became clear that the u-turn was worth it.
The cafe is like an upscale panera location. They give you the option of breads (panini, wrap, or flat bread), protein (veggie, turkey, chicken, or Italian meats), and extras (spreads, sauces, more veggies, and of course cheese). The only thing that costs extra is if you want bacon. I ordered a flatbread pizza with Italian meats and mozzarella. I knew as soon as the plate sidled down in front of me it was gonna be good. The thought just kept running through my brain, "I could, nom, walk here, nom nom, from my house."
Fellow knitters and other friends be prepared I am going to try and make you eat here soon. It was really tasty and did I mention in my not so upscale neighborhood. And my pocketbook was in fact not so distressed by the time dinner was over. I paid for two flatbread pizzas, an ice tea, and a smoothy all for under $17. My smoothy drinking companion was so very busy slurping down her banana / strawberry concoction that she didn't even look up to tell me how good it was. I had to get this info on the way home.
While there I meet 3 of my neighbors and the owners Kya and John. It was like hanging out with old friends. John and Kya delighted me with their insistence that this venture was not to make money, but to improve the business community in Dutchtown and by doing so improving the neighborhood as a whole. I thought thank you Urban Eats and don't worry I will be back.