a blog about food and fun in the saint louis area

Monday, January 14, 2013

Lola for Crepes

Shrimp and Grits

I first came across Lola when looking for a restaurant within easy walking distance to the Peabody Opera House prior to the Train concert. Yelp led me to the location which is a bit out of the way unless you really know where to look. I have since made a return trip. As you walk in you gt the feel of a typical bar and grill with a large bar, a good-sized stage, and a scattering of tables and chairs. The menu immediately caught my attention with a heavy dose of crepes and several interesting main dishes. On our latest venture, we ordered two appetizers - the Surf and Turf Sliders and the Creole Crispy Crepe. The sliders resulted in a .500 average. The Turf was a typical burger and cheese slider with little to brag about. The Surf, however, was a delicious crawfish crab cake with cajon aioli and mixed greens. THAT was a homeroom. Our entrees included Chicken and Waffles, the Delilah Crepe, the Carmen Crepe, and BBQ Shrimp and Grits. This was the second time ordering the Chicken and Waffles because Lola does this one perfectly. The chicken is crispy with a golden crust and moist white meat inside. The waffle has a similar crisp exterior and a soft, savory center. The syrup tasted like maple with a hint of vanilla and some other flavors we could not quite pinpoint. In all, a wonderful dish. The crepes are definitely stars here as both were devoured by everyone at the table. The Delilah is filled with shrimp, crab and tomato confit, while the Carmen has tenderloin, Boursin cheese and wild mushrooms. Top notch on both of these. The final entree was the BBQ Shrimp and Grits with large shrimp glazed with a sweet and tangy bbq sauce and cheesy grits yielding the perfect texture.

Champagne Cocktail
Both times I have been there the restaurant has been almost empty, so I asked our waitress if this was typical. It seems that Lola packs them in at night for various bands and DJ's and an extensive cocktail menu ... and extensive it is. Behid the bar are large drink menus featuring a wide assortment of "mocktails and fauxtinis," champagne cocktails, martinis, "lofty libations," Cognac/Armanacs, beers and wines. It is obvious where the priorities lie, and it does not seem to be with promoting the wonderful food they have to offer. I have not been here at night, so I cannot attest to the evening vibe. This place could easily be winning some awards with the local foodies if management pushed their food as heavily as the drinks (winner of Riverfront Times' Best Cocktail in St. Louis in 2011). Overall, Lola is a wonderful, yet unknown, foodie destination.

Ratings Summary-
Yelp: 3.5 (out of 5)
Urbanspoon; 78% likes
OpenTable: 4 (out of 5)
Google: 19 (out of 30)

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