Stepping Out: Culpeppers
For college students, there are three important things to consider when eating out: how good the food is, how cheap it is and how much you can take back with you to put in your fridge. There are few places that satisfy all three of these criteria, and Culpeppers in Central West End is one of them.
Culpeppers is a down-home, American restaurant complete with big screen TVs showing every possible game inside. There’s also a full bar for diners to sit, chat and order drinks.
Like any inexpensive American-style restaurant, Culpeppers offers an extensive menu that is sure to please the pickiest palate, as evidenced by the restaurant’s slogan, “Food for the rest of us.” From hot wings to ribs to seafood, Culpeppers really does have it all.
I went to Culpeppers for this past Parent’s Weekend with my grandparents, who wanted to make sure I wasn’t starving in college. After much contemplation, I decided to order the gourmet turkey sandwich, while my grandparents ordered French onion soup in a bread bowl and the house salad.
Sure, we chose basic items from the menu, but they were still flavorful and delicious. My turkey sandwich came on sweet, whole-wheat bread with just the right amount of mayo to make the meal really pop. The sandwich came with my choice of either steak fries or waffle fries, and with my indecisiveness, I decided to get half and half. Both styles of fries were thick and hearty and complemented the sandwich very well.
In stereotypical fashion, my grandparents insisted that I try their French onion soup. I’m from California, the land famous for its clam chowder in bread bowls, so I was at first hesitant to try this St. Louis version. From the outside, it looked like the bread bowl was slightly burnt and that the onion soup consisted of nothing more than layers of melted cheese. When I dug in, however, I was surprised to taste a rich and sweet onion flavor.
Any soup can be prepared by Culpeppers in a bread bowl, and I highly recommend it because the contrast between slightly burnt bread and soup is great. When they finished their soups, I made sure to scrape up the bottom of the bread bowls, which had soaked up the sweet, soupy remnants.
My grandfather’s salad was standard, yet, just like everything else at Culpeppers, the portion was huge. It also came with cubes of American cheese, which I thought was an interesting touch to the typical salad.
While none of us were able to finish our meals (they are still currently sitting in my refrigerator), my grandparents insisted that we get dessert. We decided to split the brownie sundae between the four of us, which was a great choice. The dessert came complete with a huge scoop of vanilla ice cream and was drenched in chocolate sauce. Needless to say, it was very rich and is a dessert that must be split among a party.
On the whole, Culpeppers is a great casual American place to go to with a large group of friends. Everyone is sure to find something they love and that they can take home to enjoy for days to come.
Culpeppers, Central West End, 300 N. Euclid Avenue