"Good food makes you want to stand up and give someone a hug."
Yesterday Kevin picked us up from the St. Louis Media Forum so we could get another taste of the local cuisine while we were in town. We stopped by Sump Coffee where I got to taste the complex and slightly acidic glory of their Kyoto coffee. Then he took us over to his place, Sidney Street Cafe, and gave us a tour. It's a beautiful place that makes you want to curl into a seat with a nice glass of wine and settle in for a great meal. Amaya's not quite ready for fine dining dinners yet but we thoroughly enjoyed seeing the front and back of the house. Kevin showed us everything from the vegetable beds in the parking lot to the salumi hanging in the cellar. It gave us something to anticipate the next time we come back.
After that we headed over to Bogarts, a barbecue institution. As we passed by looking for parking we could see the line snaking out the front door and down the block. No matter, we found a spot and joined the queue. As we neared the front door Chef Skip Steele wandered out to check the line. He came over to see Kevin as we entered the building. They chatted amiably while Amaya entertained herself looking at all the people as she soaked in the atmosphere. Shortly thereafter we were handed cups and shooed towards a table where Skip and his wife treated us to one of the best barbecue meals we've ever had. We happily ate until we couldn't possibly fit in one bite more. Kevin boxed up the leftovers to take back to the restaurant. Meanwhile Amaya slipped a rainbow colored Bogart's t-shirt over her dress and twirled in circles in front of the restaurant window.
Kevin uttered the memorable words above as we were finishing up our meal and it struck me immediately. A great meal served by warm hearted and generous souls makes you feel as though you've already been hugged and you have an overwhelming need to share the love. All of our meals in St. Louis have felt like that, delicious food served by and shared with truly wonderful people.