Dining together for the first time, Chancellor Andrew D. Martin told Anna Gonzalez, the new vice chancellor for student affairs, that St. Louis has a world-class dining scene.
Gonzalez was skeptical. A self-identified foodie (she lists it between “vice-chancellor” and “mom dog” on her Twitter organic), Gonzalez had lived in and visited the world’s major food destinations. How could Saint-Louis be comparable?
“Let’s just say my expectations weren’t that high,” Gonzalez recalled with a laugh. “But I am happy to say that Chancellor Martin was right. Not only does St. Louis have many great restaurants, but there’s so much variety – good, inexpensive food, fine dining, cuisine from all over the world.
Now it’s Gonzalez’s turn to educate the newcomers. During Bear Beginnings orientation in August, she and Martin took freshmen on a food tour of the South Grand neighborhood, where they dined at Steve’s Hot Dogs, Tacos of Terror and Salve Osteria and shopped at the beloved grocery store Jay’s International Foods.
And this month, Gonzalez launched the food blog, “Good Eats with Chancellor Martin and Dr G,which will feature a variety of restaurants and the people behind them. If schedules allow, Gonzalez and Martin hope to visit a new restaurant every few weeks and share photos and recommendations. Their first trip was to Uncle Bill’s creperiethe southern St. Louis landmark that Martin frequented as a doctoral student.
“Uncle Bill’s is perfect for nights out (or study sessions!) and will satisfy any cravings you might have for classic home cooking,” Gonzalez wrote.
In addition to budget-friendly options, the duo will also recommend hip bistros and destinations for special occasions when visiting parents want to spoil their bears. Martin recalls the arrival of culinary pioneer Gerard Craft and his avant-garde restaurant Niche in 2005. Soon, more and more chefs were hitting the town, launching innovative cafes, cocktail lounges and food stalls. trucks.
“This incredible community of chefs has helped reactivate parts of the city and propelled the local food scene to national prominence,” Martin said. “Danny Meyer, New York restaurateur and former parent of WashU, now considers St. Louis one of the most exciting food towns in the country.”
Martin also credited the entrepreneurial spirit of St. Louis immigrants for the area’s wide variety of dining options.
“St. Louis has again and again really embraced immigrant populations, whether it was Vietnamese in the 1970s or Bosnians in the 1990s or Afghans today,” Martin said. “These people brought their food with them and have enriched the food scene here.”
Gonzalez hopes the blog will inspire students and their families to explore different neighborhoods and meet locals in St. Louis.
“One of the best ways to get to know a community is through its restaurants,” Gonzalez said. “Food brings us together. During the pandemic, we have really learned how important these spaces are in building community and that the people who prepare and serve our food are truly “essential”. Going out to share a good meal isn’t just fun, it’s a way to honor that job.