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The Shaved Duck, Cathedral Basilica, Soulard (St. Louis, MO)

This afternoon's exploration brought to you by a late lunch at The Shaved Duck

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We walked in the front door and the guy at the bar said "You just made it. The kitchen stops serving in 4 minutes." 

Whew! We found this place on Yelp and it had great reviews and sounded like a cool neighborhood joint that we should try.

We ordered half a rack of baby back ribs with a side of jalapeno creamed corn, and a pulled pork flatbread (small, thin-crusted pizza-like dealie…with apple, crispy bacon, and Vermont white cheddar) and a couple of iced teas. The ribs were perfect and in our opinion, a little bit better than Pappy's the day before, perhaps. (Controversial, I know.) The pulled pork flatbread was delicious! They also had a couple of sauces on the table: a Carolina mustard sauce (good, fine), a Kentucky bourbon BBQ sauce (really good), and a mango ginger BBQ sauce (incredible!!). Neither of us is easily swayed from the traditional spicy BBQ sauce, but this one did it. 

Their dinner menu looks fabulous as well.

As were were finishing up we noticed a poster and some photos from Diners Drive-Ins and Dives…apparently they were JUST on it and the episode aired for the first time on October 29th. Cool! We'll have to see that one!

Our next stop was the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. I'd read about the incredible mosaic interior but nothing I'd read prepared me for just how shocking and stunningly beautiful the interior of this Basilica was. 

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I (again) took far too many photos, but wow, wow, wow…just look at this place:

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Just about everything you see (besides the columns on the left, and the pews, and the floor) is mosaic. There are 41.5 million pieces of glass in over 7,000 colors. The shiny yellow/gold pieces are glass glazed with several kinds gold leaf which results in a very rich, reflective golden surface. Fantastic.

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LOOK at these colors!!

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Stunning, isn't it? Downstairs there's a Mosaic Museum that details the building of the Basilica and the installation of the mosaic work, which began in 1912 and was completed in 1988. That's 86 years!

This is a piece of detail they have in the Mosaic Museum:

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Anyway. Awesome.

We left the Basilica and headed over to explore the Soulard area and the historic Soulard Farmers Market. The market isn't open on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday (bummer, because today's Tuesday) but it was cool to see even though we didn't get to fill our bags with local produce. This market has apparently been around since 1797 (!!!) 

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The Soulard area is pretty interesting: picturesque, filled with cool little bars, galleries, and restaurants, and much of the architecture dates back to the mid- to late-19th century.

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A couple of random photos from our exploration today: The Grove District sign

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The Eat-Rite Diner. Hmm. I kinda don't think so. Might be Good, but probably is not Rite.

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