St Louis Grub

What an amazing week of fun eats!  St Louis (actually Edwardsville, IL, but who’s keeping track?) will always be my home.  So many friends, family, and fond memories are tied to that city that it will never stop having that special place in my heart.

With that said, one of my favorite things about going home to St Louis?  My parents treat us to some GREAT meals!  That was absolutely true this last week!  I know I posted random pictures, but I thought I might add a few details for you all in case you’re ever in the area!

Bristol Seafood Grill

My parents took us out to Bristol for lunch the day after Christmas.  They had spoken very highly of it, but little did I know what a treat I was in for!

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The meal started with that delicious looking cheddar buscuit for everyone.  My kind of bread service!  They were served to us fresh out of the oven still on their tray.  Yes, please!  And of course, we were offered seconds 🙂

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For my meal, I went with a Power Lunch option of Caesar salad and spicy tuna sushi roll.

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The Caesar had the PERFECT dressing (my favorite) that wasn’t too sweet but also not too fishy.  It included a Parmesan crisp on the side that I ate silently because I didn’t want anyone else to know just how delicious it was!

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And of course, the sushi…which is what I was craving.  The roll was small, but packed of flavor (SPICY!).  You can kind of see the yellow sauce on the roll to the far left, yum!


It could have been the fact that I drank wine with lunch, never do.  But I LOVED this meal!  The food was all perfect, and while the service was a little slow/odd, but nothing that majorly affected the meal.

Charley Gitto’s

For my Dad’s birthday dinner, they took Zach and I out to Charlie Gitto’s in the Hollywood casino in St Charles, MO.   My family and I have been here multiple times for nice meals, and like always, we were not dissapointed :).

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We started the meal with a great bottle of red wine



That stuff goes fast between 4 people!

And then Zach and I split a small chopped salad to start our meal.



Oh my lord I’d go back just for this salad.  It was amazing.  I wish it wasn’t so dark, this salad was beautiful AND flavorful.  We went with a Parmesan dressing, and let me tell you.  Yum.


I went off my norm for my entree and got a seafood ravioli with a lobster sauce.   I don’t normally order seafood pasta because the flavor of the fish can be overwhelming for me — but this was a perfect balance of flavors and fresh pasta.


As always, the services was impecible, minus some bad coffee, really it was a perfect night.


Ahhh I miss home already 🙂

Question of the Afternoon: What’s your favorite hometown fancy dinner spots?


A Jara Christmas

I hope everyone has had an amazing Christmas/holiday filled with lots of love, family, and good food.  Because let me tell you, that is exactly what mine has been full of.


Zach and I made it to Saint Louis after the ungodly wake up hour of 1 AM on Christmas Eve.

Actually  . . . I didn’t need to get up that early, but I woke up at about 1245 and couldn’t go back to sleep.  So what did I do?  I got up and ran.



I hit up the apartment gym for a quick and very easy 5 miler.  Let me tell you — it was kind of weird to be walking to the gym HEARING my neighbors still up from the night before, but I guess you do what you gotta do.

My stomach was NOT happy with my decision to run on 3 hours of sleep, but otherwise the run went well.  I rocked out to some NSYNC Christmas music and just went into auto pilot.  By the time I got back up the the apartment at 2 AM, I had plenty of time to Christmas snuggle with the animals before waking up Zach.

We were out the door by 315, and at DIA before security, TSA, and Southwest staff were even in the building.  It was weird.   Our 615 flight went off with out any problem, I downed a latte and Larabar, and crashed on the plane.  Before I knew it, we were on our final descent into St Louis and with my Mom :).

I felt off most of Christmas eve, but had a great time with family and enjoying the holiday.   I shocked myself and made it until 10 PM — when I QUICKLY snuck away from the party and crashed.

Christmas Morning

Our morning began about 730 — with some wrapping and prepping still to be done.  I got another quick 3 miler in before presents . . .  I know, I’m crazy.  My family reminded me of it.

But by the time we were sitting down enjoying our coffee and Bailey’s, I was one happy girl.  As always, I had an AMAZING Christmas full of amazingly thoughtful and fun gifts.  Including my favorite:

A NEW IPhone 5!!

I’m already obsessed.  I quickly jumped on INSTAGRAM  (follow me!) and will be using it regularly, don’t you worry :).  The rest of our Christmas included me enjoying a GREAT Christmas breakfast from me and my dad:

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Fresh fruit, eggs, and some english muffins.

We then relaxed the afternoon away — I had some fun with my Iphone radio on the treadmill, then the family went and saw American Hustle (Great acting, GREAT music, but a little long).

By the time we got home from the theatre at 8, I was all about a bowl of left overs and cake.  Yum :).

Post Christmas

Zach and I slept in until almost 9 AM (blissful) before getting up and enjoying some coffee with Mom while we waited for it to warm up.

Zach pulled me out of my treadmill FUNK and got me outdoors in the balmy 35 degrees.  Together we did a little under 5 miles (4.85), of which I followed up with a bit of hill work in my neighborhood.

Dear LORD you lose outdoor endurance FAST when you get used to the treadmill.  Thanks, Babe for pushing me to get back outdoors!


We were well rewarded by my parents with a GREAT lunch at Bristol Seafood Grill in Creve Cour.  Umm — hello yum.

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Our meals started with one two of these amazing cheddar biscuits.  Seriously delicious.  Why do seafood restaurants always have the best biscuits?

For my lunch I went with a lunch combo of caesar salad and a spicy tuna roll.

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And now, I’m sufficiently full and relaxing until heading out with some friends tonight 🙂

And maybe eating more chocolate 🙂  Always room for chocolate.

Question of the holiday — What was your favorite present?