Dimanche (That Means Sunday)

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Welcome to this edition of Dimanche (That Means Sunday), a roundup of things that caught my eye this past week.

This week went by quickly, which was good because I was looking forward to the weekend. On Friday, my boyfriend and I packed up the car and drove to Lake of Egypt in Southern Illinois. You’ve probably never heard of it but it’s a small lake right next to Shawnee National Forest and Garden of the Gods (pictured above). Garden of the Gods is full of bluffs and spectacular rock formations that are fun to climb. We enjoyed hiking around and seeing the country in early fall.

Going to Southern Illinois reminded me that there’s fun to be had right next door. I travel a lot throughout the year and I take weekend trips in Missouri, but I rarely cross over into the next state.

After spending some time in southern Illinois, I realized that some of the best destinations are the ones we overlook. The area has so much natural beauty. I could have spent a week there exploring, hiking, and lounging by the lake.

It’s going to be hard to go back to work tomorrow but at least I have the memories of this weekend to tide me over. I’m glad that I got away for a few days and spent some time in nature. I hope that wherever you are, you get an opportunity this fall to get outside and enjoy the season.

Without further ado, here is Dimanche:

I was happy to see that Nathaniel Reid was named a Chef to Watch in 2018 by Plate MagazineReid opened his eponymous bakery in Kirkwood, a quaint town in St. Louis, to widespread acclaim. Now he’s getting the national recognition he deserves. Read more about him and his career in this Plate story.

If you’re near St. Louis and you haven’t gone to Lake of Egypt, I’d highly recommend changing that soon. As I mentioned before, I stopped by over the weekend and it was beautiful. If you have a boat, it’s a great place to take it for a spin or cast a line. If you don’t, you can still fish from the shore. It’s a quiet, relaxing place to spend a weekend and it’s close to lots of good hikes.

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If you end up going to hike at Shawnee National Forest or Garden of the Gods, *definitely* stop at Bucketheads on the way back. My boyfriend and I saw it as we were driving to hike at Garden of the Gods. The restaurant specializes in “swamp cuisine,” which basically translates into deep fried everything. We got fried green tomatoes, fried crawfish, and fried corn fritters. The corn fritters were my favorite: crispy, sweet, melty…I’m tearing up a little just thinking about it.

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This week’s Dimanche is a little photo heavy because I enjoyed so much good food and took pictures of it all. Cue: my lunch on Monday at Parker’s Table. The very talented Jay Stringer made me a wonderful lunch that included a beans and greens soup, a prosciutto sandwich, and panna cotta with red wine-soaked pears. I’m still thinking about it days later. I’m definitely going to visit the shop again soon.

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I grew up seeing my mom buy Mary Engelbreit calendars, stationary, and magnets, so I’m familiar with her work. I had no idea though that she was politically subversive. Apparently, the St. Louis-based illustrator has started to make prints with liberal slogans. I love them all. Find out more about Engelbreit’s new work in this Riverfront Times story.

I really enjoyed this story about why some top restaurants are closing for dinner. For a lot of restaurants, it doesn’t make financial sense. But for others, the payoff in terms of employee health and wellness makes it worth it. Read more about what restaurant around the country are doing with altered hours in this Food & Wine article.

I’ve had my eye on Melbourne, Australia for a while so this city guide got my attention. The guide gives some recommendations for shopping and eating in the city, which basically sounds like heaven for liberal people who love coffee. Get the full guide in this Condé Nast Traveller story.

Last but certainly not least, the James Beard Foundation announced some new awards including one named for the late Los Angeles-based food critic Jonathan Gold. The award named for Gold, the “local impact award,” will honor food writers who are telling stories steeped in their region or city. Read more about the awards in this Eater story.

Enjoy your week! Here’s a song to get you started.

About Emily Wasserman

Hi! My name is Emily and I'm a writer based in St. Louis. If I was stranded on an island and could request three items of food, they would be avocados, Halloumi and chocolate croissants.
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