Urban Chestnut Brewery & Bierhall
I think my feelings about The Grove are best expressed through the photo below—current me versus what I would look like if The Grove was never revitalized.
As the number of places to eat, drink, and drunkenly eat keep growing, so does the weight of the average St. Louisan. There are plenty of places to talk about, but the one I want to talk about right now is Urban Chestnut’s Grove Brewery & Bierhall. I’m admittedly not much of a beer guy, so if you’re looking for insight into UCBC’s beers, leave now. I just care about eating.
A couple months back, the two masterminds behind UCBC’s food program, Andrew Fair and Jon Huntley, did a full revamp of the bierhall’s food menu. I had never eaten there before the update, mind you, so I really don’t know much about what it used to be—more German-inspired fare, it seems. It wasn’t until I started seeing friends posting and raving about their smash burger, pommes frites (french fries, idiot), and liege waffles that I smartened up and made my way in.
For those who haven’t been (and those who were too drunk to remember), the bierhall is an enormous space that feels a bit like the Winterfell’s Great Hall if it was placed in an old paper factory. With ample seating, a big patio, and somewhere between 25-30 beers on tap at any given time, it’s a great place to spend an entire day. Which is basically what I did with my girlfriend.
I think the dining game plan is pretty simple: you’re definitely going to want to get one of twice-fried pommes frites and either the smash burger or one of their sausages. You can go simple and classic with the fries—plain with dipping sauces—but why wouldn’t you splurge on poutine or the loaded fries with bacon, sour cream, haus whiz, and green onions?
As far as sausages go, I went with the bacon and beet on this particularly occasion, but the classic Zwickel brat made at G&W is, uh, a classic. The burger is styled after your standard diner-style smash burger: two patties, American cheese, pickles, special sauce, onion, lettuce, and a soft bun.
If you’re with a group or you’re just prolific eaters, I whole heartedly recommend starting with their warm pretzels and ending with a liege waffle. Speaking of liege waffles: why doesn’t St. Louis have more options for these? They’re amazing, though I haven’t met one that was better than Blue Bottle Coffee’s.
There are healthier options, like salads and grain bowls, but frankly, I’d just rather eat a bowl of french fries covered in cheese and loose a few weeks off my life. Living to 100 is overrated.
whipped salted butter, obatzda (German cheese dip), Bavarian mustard, radish
two patties, American cheese, special sauce, onion, lettuce, soft bun
Nueske’s bacon, sour cream, haus whiz, green onion
Beet & Bacon Sausage
Duroc pork shoulder, Nueske’s bacon, beet puree
Seasonal Grain Bowl
yeast waffles, sugar shell, dipping chocolate