Dining Tip: Order Another Dish Instead of Dessert

We Eat Stuff
‘Nduja from Salume Beddu

There once was a famous woman that once stated in an interview:

“I had just finished eating the most delicious steak in the world, and when the waiter asked me what I wanted for dessert I answered that I would like another steak.” — some famous lady

Christine has a sweet-tooth and loves luscious, creamy desserts, but Charlie has a fat-tooth and loves greasy, bacony, fatty affairs. When we eat out together it is not uncommon for Charlie to order what he refers to as a “savory dessert”, meaning something from the non-dessert menu as his meal closer.

There are a lot of options for a savory desserts in St. Louis: often you just need to look at the appetizers or small plates section to find something fatty and rich that isn’t also loaded with sugar besides steak:

Lobster “Ravioli” from Akar

Lobster “Ravioli” from Akar

Yes, these are meant to be an appetizer, but for a decadent experience that is more savory than sweet this is perfect. A whole lobster claw and a creamy, rich filling, plus the sriracha mango dip for a spicy, sweet kick and a crunchy, crispy shell.

Caviar Blintzes at Bar Les Frères

Caviar Blintzes at Bar Les Frères

There are some really superb desserts at Bar Les Frères, but these pancakes of luxury make for a perfect end-of-meal experience.

Salty, briny bursts of flavor nestled in tangy, crème fraîche, all resting in a tender, flaky, buttery, savory crêpe. A true treat that pairs perfectly with some fine sparkling wine or even with a nice digestif.

Gnocco Fritto at Acero

Gnocco Fritto at Acero

Some of our friends call these “meat doughnuts”, but no matter what you call them they are seriously delicious.

A flaky, airy pillow of fried Italian dough, impossibly thinly sliced prosciutto that literally melts in your mouth, and the perfect amount of salt on top to give it that extra touch of flavor. It’s a heavenly experience that calls for a one of the many fine amari they serve.

History Note:

“Gnocco” is a single Gnocchi, just like a “spaghetto” is a single strand of spaghetti. “Gnocco” means dumpling, and while we are used to seeing most gnocchi being potato-based in our local restaurants, they can be made from a wide variety of things, including just bread dough (the potato was a New World import to Italy anyhow…)

Lobster Turnovers at Sidney Street Cafe

Lobster Turnovers at Sidney Street Cafe

Imagine the creamy decadence of lobster bisque, and then imagine it all inside a buttery, flaky turnover. Big pieces of lobster, rich, savory goodness of the sauce, and that amazing crust. So good and so satisfying.

Tater Tots at Blood & Sand

Tater Tots at Blood & Sand

Tater tots for dessert? Yes, or at least these as they are no ordinary tater tots. They are so perfectly crispy on the outside and so super creamy on the inside that you might think they were cheese curds. These are also perfect for absorbing some of the booze if you’ve had too many of their amazing cocktails.

Avocado Toast at YellowBelly

Avocado Toast at YellowBelly

Before you label this as an example of Millennials going too far, hear us out on this one (besides that, Charlie is Gen-X). Perfectly toasted, savory bread, rich, creamy avocado, bright, citrusy ceviche, and a sweet, tangy mango yolk on top.

This is a culinary delight no matter what part of the meal it takes part in, plus the mango yolk kind of makes it desserty anyhow, right?

We know, we know, “Fish for dessert?”, you might say incredulously. In our defense, at least it is not like the much dreaded seafood soft-serve you would often see on Iron Chef.

Seriously, this toast is awesome and would be the perfect end to a meal.


Bacon at Final Cut

Yes. Bacon. Just order some bacon for dessert. Charlie has on multiple occasions. Yes, many places do serve candied bacon and bacon smothered in syrup, but we’re just talking about just some plain ol’ strips of bacon.

Okay, maybe not just any bacon. A lot of places now serve some premium stuff and/or cook it right in front of you with a blowtorch:

Clothesline Bacon at Grand Tavern

Bacon Wrapped Dates

Bacon Wrapped Dates at Mona’s (Now Closed)

Think it’s silly to just order bacon for dessert? Then some good bacon wrapped dates (a.k.a. Devils on Horseback) are a great dessert as well. When made right they are crispy, bacony, saucy, creamy, and cheesy.

Bacon Wrapped Dates at Olio

Toasted Ravioli

Toasted Ravioli at The Pat Connolly Tavern

A St. Louis staple and something you might consider ordering to finish off your meal. Tender fillings, crispy outside, sauce galore, parmesan, and maybe even a squeeze of lemon makes for a nice end to the evening. Another great option if you perhaps tippled too much and need something to soak up the alcohol.

In reality, the reason dessert comes last is because desserts are often too rich and sugary to be enjoyed on an empty stomach and can make further food seem less appetizing. Though, it must be noted, just as Charlie likes to order another meal instead of dessert, Christine is on team #dessertfirst and has been known to ask for a dessert menu upon arriving.

Hey, we all know what we want in life. Some of us crave sweet and some of us crave fat (though admittedly some of us crave both). The whole point of a meal is to enjoy yourself and enjoy the company around you, so c’est la vie and order whatever you feel like at the time.

Or, as Charlie often says when someone tells him that he simply must order something at a restaurant:

I’ll do what I want, OKAY!?”

Thanks for reading!

— Christine & Charlie

We Eat Stuff

Written by

Alternative Food & Beverage Media in St. Louis. The local hospitality writings of Christine & Charlie. All pictures are our own unless otherwise specified.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade