When you visit the Missouri Historical Museum, you get a two-fer: fine exhibits and a whimsical gift shop. If you visit the upstairs cafe for a snack or Sunday brunch, well, you’ve got the makings of a winning trifecta.
On a recent Sunday, I joined out-of-town friends for brunch at the new Cafe St. Louis (formerly Bixby’s) reopened in August under the management of Java Plus. The company has two cafes, that serve breakfast and lunch, one downtown and another in Clayton.
Their museum location emphasizes fast, but fine food. Some such venues can be loud, flashy and cramped. Not so with Cafe St. Louis. Its comfortable seating and panoramic view of Forest Park makes for relaxed dining, especially during a Sunday brunch.
A Menu with a View
We took a warm, sunny seat in the window and settled in for a cozy repast away from the hurly-burly of holiday shopping. I noticed that the menu includes a section for St. Louis Favorites, with such signature items as Ted Drewes ice cream, gooey butter cake, Hill-style subways, Gus’s pretzels, and Dubuque coffee.
It wasn’t yet noon, so my friends went with the Sunday brunch menu. I leaned more towards a midday meal and ordered the Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich and soup du jour. The chicken wasn’t deli meat, but honest-to-goodness slices of cooked chicken breast. The veggie soup, which in some places can have weird seasonings, or none at all, was as near to homemade as I’ve had anywhere.
We didn’t have time to view the museum exhibits, though it would be worthwhile to see the current showings: World War I and St. Louis; Muny Memories; and St. Louis Rogues’ Gallery.
A Gift Shop Stop
Despite the time crunch, I stopped briefly in the gift shop. Having a museum membership, that gives a 10% discount is incentive enough to browse. I’m especially fond of their scarves, which I find irresistible and reasonably priced. I bought the scarf shown below. Had to do it. It matched my outfit and earrings so perfectly!
Yes, there are more than a few reasons to be an active, supporting member of the museum.
Cafe St. Louis. Missouri Historical Museum, Forest Park, 5700 Lindell. Open: Daily 10a-2p (full menu); 2p-4p (limited menu); Tue 10a-2p (full menu); 2p-7p (limited menu). Sunday Brunch: 1a-3p.