I didn’t happen to be in St. Louis on the Fourth of July, but I might as well have been, judging by how the Old Courthouse was decked out inside. Wishing a safe and happy Independence Day to all my American readers!
This post is part of an ongoing series called 66 Fridays, which explores the wonders of old Route 66. Click on the preceding “66 Fridays” link to view all posts in the series, or visit the initial overview post here.
Our first day on Route 66 was bookended with pit stops at iconic Mother Road road-food joints. We had our early-morning breakfast at Lou Mitchell’s just after sunrise, but by the time we reached St. Louis in the late afternoon, it was so hot and muggy that we were dying for a break to cool off. Enter Ted Drewes, to the rescue.
Ted’s recipe for frozen custard has been an icon since 1926, and the location on Chippewa Street has been a Route 66 fixture since it opened in 1941. There were plenty of treats to choose from, but we went with their classic mainstay, the Concrete. To anyone who has visited a Dairy Queen in the last thirty years, a Concrete will look just like ye olde familiar Blizzard. The Blizzard, too, was invented in St. Louis—but Dairy Queen will be the first to admit that the inspiration was Ted Drewes’s concoction, which predated the Blizzard by nearly thirty years.
I went with the fairly standard cookie dough flavor for mine, but the Tailor just about died of happiness when he saw they offered one made with pie cherries (his favorite, and an increasingly rare commodity—that’s a story for another day). We still had another eighty miles of road ahead of us that day, but we were refreshed and ready: nothing prepares you for pounding the pavement like a little scoop of Concrete.
Well, there are natural arches, and there are the man-made variety. Somehow, they both seem to attract my attention equally. In any case, you can bet that any arch that dominates the skyline as completely as the Gateway Arch does is going to be a star player in my sketchbook, any day.