567 Melville Ave. on the Delmar Loop,
University City, MO 63117
Price Range: $4-8
Just off of the Loop near Blueberry Hill, Boosters Cafâ€š is now up, running and waiting to greet its first customers.
Opened this summer, Boosters offers a casual, relaxed dining experience at low prices.
Entering the cafâ€š, it was easy to tell that Boosters is not a chain. The dâ€šcor is warm, clean and comfortable with buttery yellow walls that display photos of St. Louis landmarks. From the beginning, our dining experience was full of charm.
After looking around a bit, it became clear that certain aspects of the restaurant were still in the works. Although there was an “order here” sign typical of chains like Bread Co. or Chipotle, there was no large menu posted near the sign.
This led to some brief confusion until my friends and I were handed to-go style menus and told to take a seat at one of the tables. Our server was young, nice and friendly, asking us things like where we went to school. A woman who appeared to be the owner looked on smiling and asked about what we’re studying.
Boosters Cafâ€š focuses on breakfast, served from 7-11 a.m., and lunch, which is served from 10:30 a.m. till 10 p.m. This restaurant’s menu is simple, composed of mostly classic offerings with some unorthodox touches mixed in. While some may crave more variety, I found the Booster’s approach to be a pleasant change from the massive menus that seem to have become the norm. Breakfast items include such standards as eggs, bacon, toast and pancakes “from scratch.”
One breakfast specialty is the scrambler: three eggs scrambled with cheese, onion, and sweet peppers, sautâ€šed potatoes, whole wheat toast or an English muffin and either bacon or sausage. The scrambler is served with homemade syrup and salsa-and all of this for $6.50. Crepes with cream cheese and mixed berries are also offered for breakfast.
Lunch items include sandwiches and soups. I tried the prosciutto ham sandwich, which was served on soft ciabatta bread and topped with pears and brie cheese. Arguably the most unique item on the menu, the sandwich was savory without any of the strong flavors overpowering each other. All sandwiches come with a house salad, broccoli cauliflower salad, cole slaw or chips. I opted for the house salad and took the advice of our waitress in ordering the garlic lemon dressing. The salad came with crisp romaine lettuce, red peppers, onions, grapes and walnuts. Though the menu claims that the salad also includes fresh baby spinach, I unfortunately did not detect any in my dish.
The garlicky lemon flavor of Boosters homemade dressing perfectly complemented the richness of the walnuts. While I wouldn’t say that the dressing was too strong, I should warn that there were visible pieces of garlic in it and the flavor did not escape me for a while.
It should also be noted that the house salad is the only salad actually available as an entree. However, there is a choice of four dressings, and salmon or a chicken breast can be added to the dish for an additional fee.
Five other sandwiches are offered at Boosters, including turkey, ham, beef au jus, barbequed pork and tuna salad. Though such options sound standard, Boosters manages to mix them up a bit. The beef au jus is slow-roasted with pepperoncini and served on ciabatta or whole wheat bread with horse radish sauce on the side. The tuna salad is made with eggs, grapes, water chestnuts, and lemon.
Boosters also offers two soups: carrot-ginger soup and vegetarian potato leek. My friend tried the carrot-ginger, which had a tangy, sweet, homemade flavor.
My friends and I were unable to try any of the cafâ€šs delicious-sounding desserts on our first visit, but I look forward to returning and trying out some of the tempting offerings. Selections include warm berry crepes, mixed berries with fresh cream or yogurt and the “Ebony and Ivory,” a chocolate cake layered with vanilla ice cream.
Though the menu at Boosters does not go on for pages and pages, this new little restaurant has a lot to offer in terms of flavor and ambience. If you’re in the mood for a sandwich but are sick of hitting up Bear’s Den and Bread Co., check out Boosters for some yummy food and a little hometown friendliness on the side.
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