Thanksgiving 2016. I couldn’t wait to cut the sweet potato pie. There was a spoon nearby on the counter, so I just scooped out a heap and ate it. I never once used a knife or fork to eat it. I scooped and scooped until it was gone. Took a couple of days, maybe 36 hours to be exact, but I tore that pie up.
Two months ago, I received a Facebook inbox message from my friend Sharon. She shared that someone she’s known all of her life was also living in St. Louis and that he’s a chef. Sure, my eyebrow shot up and my heart leaped. Chef. Cleveland. Chef.
I hardly knew ye, Rustic Goat. Actually, I never had a chance to know you at all. Bummer. Friends told me the food was great as were some of the events. By the time, I decided to go there, something happened to close you, you re-opened, and now…this. Patois Eatery and Social Lounge.
One night a friend who was dating a man across the river in Illinois invited me out with them. We went to a juke joint. I’m not sure where I first heard of juke joints, but this one in the backwoods of East St. Louis did not fail my young imagination.
Twenty-one virginal food and spirits experiences. My food tastes came of age here, which makes sense given I was barely out of my teens.