This post right here goes out to anyone living in chesterfield, eating at chains like first watch and bread co. all the time.
Why are you doing that?
I know what things used to be like out in Chesterfield—all chains, all day. Getting off 64/40/Whatever at Boone’s Crossing still means being surrounded by Red Robin and whatever Gene Simmons’ restaurant is called. Times have changed (somewhat). There are other options! Like Russell’s, located at Clayton and Baxter where Rick Jordan Chocolate and Bread Co. used to be.
This outpost of Russell’s is the third location—the first is in Fenton, and everyone knows about the one on Macklind. For the uninitiated, it’s a breakfast and lunch spot with tons of pastry and cake options, with nearly everything being made in-house. Wouldn’t you rather have a muffin made that morning, rather than in some factory hundreds of miles away?
Since this has become my go-to spot for meetings that take place out west, I’ve had the chance to eat my way through a good portion of the menu, which is evident by my clothes feeling a little bit tighter every day. Breakfast options are solid—I like to grab a glass of their cold brew or nitro coffee, then settle in with one of their breakfast sandwiches and a pastry to share. The cinnamon roll is enormous and served warm (there are some places in town that serve theirs room temp, which is shameful) with cream cheese icing on top, letting it melt down into all the nooks and crannies while you debate who should get the first bite. As far as morning sandwiches go, I love the Sunrise on Sourdough (scrambled egg, sharp cheddar, smoked bacon), while my girlfriend prefers the Fried Egg (fluffy bun, fried egg, spicy mustard aioli, smoked ham, Swiss cheese). I haven’t really ventured out beyond those two and sweets, but I saw a guy eating the maple chili glazed fried chicken and jeaously thought, “there’s a guy who isn’t going to have a productive day.”
The lunch menu is sizable, like your mom, with something for just about anyone. Burgers, salads, beer, grilled sandwiches, wine, cold sandwiches, soups, cocktails. Everything one could want for lunch. Think of it like a not shitty Bread Co., with talented, happy cooks working there. For me, there is one absolutely clear winner, though: the beef and sharp cheddar sandwich. Goddamn, I think Chesterfield is home to my two favorite beef sandwiches in town (this and Annie Gunn’s French dip). Chef Russ slowly braises chuck roast in red wine, pulls it apart, then tops it with garlic mayo, caramelized onion, and aged white cheddar. Then the whole thing is grilled so the bread is nice and crunchy. The pro move is to upgrade your side to crispy breakfast potatoes and ask for some of their creamy horseradish on the side, because no beef sandwich is complete without it. Dip those potatoes. Dip that sandwich. Go home happy.
I’m going to do a separate post on the Russell’s group sweets, but some quick things you should know: their carrot cake is ridiculous, and they have a rotation of something like 16 types of gooey butter cakes—which many say is the best in St. Louis.
TL;DR: Russell’s is probably a lot like what Bread Co. was when it started: a homey spot for coffee, breakfast, or lunch, where practically everything is made in-house from scratch. Stop going to chains. Support a local business.