Daily Archives: April 6, 2012

Ted Drewe’s is a step back in time

(photos by Phil and Sherry Roberts)

If you have a sweet tooth and are interested in historic icons like Route 66, no visit to St. Louis would be complete for you without a stop for an ice cream treat at Ted Drewe’s Frozen Custard, 6726 Chippewa St. That’s in the St. Louis Hills neighborhood.

Ted Drewe Sr. reportedly started making honey-sweetened frozen custard with a carnival, then opened his first ice cream store in Florida in 1929.

A store on Natural Bridge Road in St. Louis opened in 1930 followed by a store on South Grand Boulevard in 1931. The family opened a second south side stand, the current Chippewa location, on what then was Route 66, in 1941.

According to the firm’s website,, “By 1958, the south side stands were all that remained.”

We visited the historic Chippewa location and weren’t disappointed with the product or the service.

Ted Drewe’s offers a variety of sweet treats, listed on a sign on the side of the building. They include Cardinal Sin, All Shook Up and Terramizzou. (Get it? Mizzou?) They are made with vanilla ice cream plus the flavorings and toppings people order to go with them.

The place is best known for a specialty called a concrete, which ranges in price from $2.30 for a mini to $5 for a large.

Concrete is Ted Drewe’s custard blended with numerous ingredients and served in a cup with a spoon and straw. It’s so thick the spoon won’t fall out if the cup is turned upside down, which servers willingly demonstrate.

Customers come and go in a steady flow at this place, and there’s a large lot with plenty of free parking. There are also benches on which you can sit to enjoy your treat on a pleasant day.

Copyright 2012 by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises.

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St. Louis Zoo is the best deal in town

(Phil and Sherry Roberts photos)

Arguably the best deal in town, admission to the St. Louis Zoo ( is absolutely free!

That’s right. You can view up to 18,000 animals from 700 species without spending a dime.

Sure, there is a hefty charge if you park in one of the zoo’s two parking lots. But the zoo is located historic in Forest Park and, if you arrive early enough, you can park free on the adjacent streets if you wish.

And sure, zoo concessions are pricey, but you can leave a picnic lunch in your car if you want and take a break from your zoo visit to walk out and enjoy it. Because admission is free, going back and forth is not a problem.

There are fees for some individual zoo attractions but, if you desire, you can spend an enjoyable day at the zoo by just visiting the free attractions.

If you do decide to buy food and drink or souvenirs inside the zoo or if you do decide to pay admission to an added attraction, rest assured that your money is going to a worthy cause. All proceeds support the zoo’s conservation programs.

We started our zoo day with an enjoyable $5 mile and a half miniature train ride to get an overview of the grounds.

The 90-acre zoo is divided into various zones.

At the new Stingrays at Caribbean Cove, guests are encouraged to dip their hands into a saltwater pool to allow bonnethead, white-spotted bamboo and nurse sharks, cownose rays, southern stingrays and horseshoe crabs to safely touch them.

River’s Edge is a mythical waterway through four continents featuring Asian elephants, cheetahs and hippos.

At Red Rocks, lions, tigers, zebras, giraffes and antelope live in natural settings.

The Wild showcases bears, penguins, gorillas and other animals that, according to the zoo website, “climb, swim and swing through some of the seemingly inhospitable places on the planet.”

If you enjoy history, take in Historic Hill, one of the oldest parts of the zoo.

There’s a cypress swamp inside a 1904 Flight Cage and the buildings that house birds; monkeys and lemurs; and reptiles and amphibians have a 1920s Spanish architectural flavor.

Copyright 2012 by Phil Roberts, Creative Enterprises.

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