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Dinner in St. Louis with preteens, please advise

Dinner in St. Louis with preteens, please advise

Jun 2nd, 2008, 09:10 PM
Original Poster
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Dinner in St. Louis with preteens, please advise

I am taking a group of six fourth and fifth graders on a mission trip to St. Louis in July and need a place to eat dinner on a Tuesday night. We are staying in Florissant and will spend the afternoon touring science museum and arch and need to work in a dinner meal somewhere before heading back to our center. I am not familiar with St. Louis at all and although I have a tourism book, I would rather hear from someone local or familiar with the are about where to eat. We will want to get in and out in a hour or so and spend around $10 per kid. Please advise!
bethmac is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 07:31 AM
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CAPH52 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 08:03 AM
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Steak 'n' Shake. They are located throughout St. Louis. Sit-down 'restaurants', simple places with good burgers, chile, fries, excellent shakes. Definitely would please the youngsters, and be casual so no problem if they are a bit loud.
PeaceOut is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 08:32 AM
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I take high school students on mission trips
They like to eat at fast food places that we don't have at home. WI doesn't have Sonic or Waffle House or White Castle so everyone is happy to eat at any of those.

If you have ANY free time, consider going to the City Museum in St Louis. It's near downtown. It's like a giant playground made from recycled materials. Kids climb and crawl through 3 story tubes and into caves. I guarantee that it would be a highlight of your trip. It's really like nowhere else.
eileenleft is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 08:36 AM
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I believe there's a Panera Restaurant downtown. They are good & will be under an hour and under $10. Menu is soup, salad, sandwiches & desserts.
Panera, if you're not familiar with it, is a regional chain that started in St Louis. You order at the counter & they call your name to pick up your food.
eileenleft is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 10:30 AM
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If you don't live in one of the five or so states that have Steak n Shake, I highly second that recommendation.

Also agree that Panera is a good suggestion. But are they called St. Louis Bread Company in St. Louis? Or is that another, very similar, chain?
CAPH52 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:17 PM
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Just got back from taking 80 middle school kids for the weekend to ST.Louis. We went with the city museum instead of the science they loved it. Saw lots of grade school tours there. You can eat there also.
irish3 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:34 PM
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Yes, Panera started as St. Louis Bread Company, and is still called that in St. Louis. It may be just the thing for hungry teens. Although, I don't think there is one anywhere near the Arch or in downtown, and the ones sort of near the Science Center aren't really that close. (one on Brentwood at highway 40. one in the Galleria mall, one in Richmond Heights near Clayton Rd and Big Bend intersection)

You could go to the Boathouse in Forest Park. Close to the science center, not too expensive. On one of the parks' man made lakes, you can rent paddle boats. Don't go during prime time dinner, especially if it's a nice night.

Or try Talayna's. It's 2 blocks north of the History Museum in Forest Park on Debaliviere. Decent pizza.

From the Science Center website:
Food Court hours of operation & menus

Pizza Hut:
Monday -Thursday 10:30am-5pm, Friday 10:30am-6pm, Saturday 10:30am-5pm, Sunday 11:30am-5pm
Fast Tracks:
Monday - Saturday 11am-4:30pm, Sunday Noon-4:30pm Click here for the menu
Fizz Factory Snack Bar:
Monday -Thursday 9:30am-5:15pm, Friday 9:30am-8:00pm, Saturday 9:30am-5pm, Sunday 11:30am-5pm
Mom's Lunar Cafe: (summer only)
Monday -Thursday 11:30am to 2pm, Friday - Sunday 11:30am - 3pm

City Museum is a great idea. But there isn't really affordable food near there. I think there is a sandwich shop inside the museum.

I do not second the Rigazzi's recommendation--sorry.
Liz5959 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 12:59 PM
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Our excellent Zoo is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m every day, Memorial Weekend through Labor Day, is a short drive through Forest Park from the Science Center, and is free admission. www.stlzoo.org/

You can take the kids to a cafe in the zoo, not too far from the entrance, see things on the way, and stroll out. Reasonably priced and obviously kid friendly menu.
stokebailey is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2008, 01:05 PM
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The City Museum is unique, amazing, the essence of imaginative, but will run $12 apiece, cutting into the dinner budget maybe. They do have a sandwich shop.
stokebailey is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 05:12 AM
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When I was in grade school and we took fieldtrips to the Zoo or Science Center we always stopped at the Old Spaghetti Factory on the Landing. The food was good and they easily accommodated a bunch of grade schoolers without any problems. You may have to make reservations in advance though.

There is a cafe at the Science Center but the food is mediocre so I would skip it. The Boathouse was a good suggestion, in Forest Park and close to the Science Center.

tcreath is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 08:44 AM
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Yes, tcreath, Old Spaghetti is a good idea, fun for kids. Walking distance north of Arch.
stokebailey is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 10:19 AM
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How about Fitzs Rootbeer Restaurant?

No_name is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 12:12 PM
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Fitz's is in the Delmar loop, not near the Arch or that convenient to Florissant. It's not far from the Science Center. However, I think it may end up being above the $10pp limit, especially if they want to eat and do root beer floats. And the bottle machine are never on when I'm there. I don't know if they have a viewing schedule.
Liz5959 is offline  
Jun 5th, 2008, 08:45 PM
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. We do have Steak and Shake, but it still might work. I will take a look at the links posted. I continue to hear great things about the City Museum, but I am concerned that the admission is $12 and we've got just shy the number for a group discount. We have a good Zoo here in Memphis, albeit not as good as St. Louis, but these kids have been to zoo many times and being preteens, they won't be as psyched about that. I will double check my budget (who knows what gas will be--yikes!) and do my best on the City Museum. I was thinking since the science center is free, even if we are only there two or three hours, we'll still get "our money's worth." There actually is a St. Louis bread downtown, and while I like it, I am not sure about the 5 graders. It might be a little soup/salad-ish for their taste? I think I am going to shoot for either Boathouse or Old Spaghetti. We have a Spaghetti Warehouse downtown but their health ratings are always hideous (Memphis tourists, beware!) and the kids would probably like that. I don't want to have to pay to park more than once or twice, so the fact that some things are in walking distance is nice. Thanks!
bethmac is offline  
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