Have you ever walked down Main Street in Festus? If you haven’t, you really should check it out sometime.
The historic Main Street is lined with beautifully preserved 19th-century buildings filled with cool little shops and boutiques. But it’s not the architecture you notice first—it’s the wonderful smells coming from the numerous eateries adorning the fairway. The number of places to eat on Main Street is staggering: The Corner Cup Micro-Bakery, Pogolino’s Pizza, Pine Mountain Mercantile, Twin Cities Best Kept Secret, The Brick Bistro, and Main & Mill Brewing Company. There are even luxurious dining options like the Petit Paree and Four Brothers Mead. Main Street Festus is open for business—now with delivery options, too!
We took a stroll around Main Street with Barb Lowry from the City of Festus to get the lowdown and to try some of the local fares—it was a delicious day!
Ok, time to loosen the belt and get to work.
The Corner Cup Micro-Bakery
First up was a visit to The Corner Cup Micro-Bakery. The second we walked in, I was hit with a wave of mouthwatering smells: freshly baked goodies like scones, muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and pies, as well as all kinds of coffee and drinks.
The cozy micro-bakery was nestled in an antiquated but quaint storefront and boasted outdoor seating, too. Owners Carolyn and Amanda told us to not wait too late in the day because they sell out every day—everything is baked fresh daily. Did I mention how good it smelled in there?
Pogolino's Pizza & More
Next stop, Pogolino's Pizza & More. Since 1970, Pogolino’s has served up great pizza and other Italian favorites on Main Street. We stopped by to try one of Barb’s favorites: Pogolino’s Original Potato Treats. Pass up pizzas like the Pogolino Clown Special or the Italian Stallion for an appetizer? Well, just this time! The pizza looked just as good as it smelled!
Twin Cities Best Kept Secret
Afterwards, we headed to Twin Cities Best Kept Secret. We had a hard time deciding among the generous menu: toasted ravioli, mozzarella sticks, breaded mushrooms, sandwiches, salads, hot dogs, soups, and chili, just to name a few!
If that already doesn’t sound great, they offer brownies, cupcakes, creme horns, carrot cake, muffins, and cookies for dessert!
Pine Mountain Country Mercantile
Next, we popped into the Pine Mountain Mercantile. There’s not a ton of information online about Pine Mountain Mercantile, but this hidden gem is worth the visit. The store was bursting with the aromas of fancy soaps, bath bombs, candles, sweets, ice cream, and lunch items.
The Mercantile is just what you would expect for an old-time mercantile. We went straight for their star witness: their sundae. It was hand-scooped heaven.
The Brick Bistro & Brew
Then we indulged at The Brick Bistro & Brew. They offer a unique menu of homemade goodness including soups, salads, sandwiches, and pizza.
Not to mention, they have a great selection of adult beverages, ice-cold beer in bottles and on draught, smoothies, and Mississippi Mud Coffee for lattes, iced coffees, cold brew, espresso, and frappuccinos.
The space was open and bright, making it a gorgeous place to have lunch! The grilled cheese sandwich was crazy good.
Main & Mill Brewing Co.
At Main & Mill Brewing Co., we checked out some handcrafted beers and American pub fare—holy cow, did we ever!
Since opening at the corner of Main Street 2014, Main & Mill Brewing Co. has been serving up handcrafted beers and delectable burgers. What makes their menu stand out are the beer products cooked into each dish. There was no way we would skip out on the Beer BBQ Nachos!
We feasted on tri-colored tortilla chips with beer-braised pulled pork, bacon, BBQ sauce. We topped it off with IPA-infused onion straws, ale-infused cheddar, fresh pico de gallo, and sour cream. What were they thinking? This thing was a monster that could feed four adults for just twelve bucks. They even infuse the cheddar with their own beer. That’s right, they brew their own beer on-site.
We tried their English Mild and relished its light, caramel taste. And we didn’t stop there! We reveled in their Dark Wheat with its coffee flavor, the CBS Lager with its smooth caramel flavor, and the Session Season with a—get this—bubblegum aftertaste. But my favorite of the day was Clyde’s Ale and its strong, fruity taste—mango, I think.
Then they brought out the jaw-dropping Hangover Burger: two Mississippi Mud Coffee-rubbed burgers, bacon, smoked gouda, and a fried egg, all stacked on perfectly toasted brioche bread. Again, what were they thinking making such a wonderful mammoth of a dish? We paired it with their specially mixed bloody Mary, a secret recipe from the bar manager. You guessed it—they threw everything but the kitchen sink in this bad boy. It was spicy with a super BBQ flavor.
We forged on to the Petit Paree to get a taste of steak. Opened in 1960, today the Petit Paree is owned and operated by the Tetrault family. With Parisian charm and exquisite decor, the Petit Paree offers an incredible dining experience paired with high quality, freshly prepared, gourmet meals close to home.
Nothing is left to chance at the Petit because service, food, and atmosphere are always 5 stars on Main Street. We had no choice but to try the legendary bacon-wrapped filet mignon straight off the Petit Paree charbroiler.
It did not disappoint. We don’t really have to talk about the wonderful smells in this place—if we do, I’ll get hungry again!
Four Brothers Mead
Our last stop was Four Brothers Mead to try some mead, of course! What is mead, anyway? Well, mead is an alcoholic beverage made from honey and water via fermentation with yeast. It is usually mixed with spices, fruits, or grain to further enhance the flavor. Mead predates all other alcohols as it can occur naturally in the wild in beehives that take on rainwater.
Though the fermentation and aging process is similar, the biggest difference between wine and mead is that mead is made using honey rather than grapes. While the flavors of grape wine depend on the variety of the grape and the vineyard conditions, the flavors of mead depend on the type of honey and what is added to the honey. Mead made from local honey showcases the flavors of the region’s unique flora, as well as the meadmaker’s creative craft.
Though mead was originally brewed in ancient China, India, and Greece, it is commonly associated with the Northern Germanic Tribes, which eventually became the Norse Vikings, Saxons, and Celts. The brothers at Four Brothers Mead want to take mead back to its ancestral German roots as the drink of the heroes and gods. The pub is so cool on the inside, and it’s worth the visit just to check out the place.
...a brotherhood forged in blood, sweat, and steel.
Four Brothers Mead was founded by, as the name suggests, four brothers: Dan and Joe Luck, Chris Schulte, and Bryan Becker.
Dan Luck explained, “One’s a brother by birth. One’s a brother-in-law. The other brother is a brother in arms. We have all served our country with honor, respect, and resolve. Like many veterans, we share a bond tighter than most biological families—a brotherhood forged in blood, sweat, and steel.”
So if you are hungry and ready to get out there again, maybe a trip to Main Street is just what the doctor ordered.
Written by T. Smugala