Our trip to St Louis this time was nostalgia time. We went to Soulard Market, Tower Grove Park, and other landmark (as in very old) places. One of the places we had never visited other than a drive-by, Crown Candy Kitchen, became a lunch stop. A genuine landmark, Crown Candy Kitchen has been “A St Louis Tradition Since 1913”.
Harry Karandzieff from Greece and his best friend Pete opened Crown Candy Kitchen 106 years ago with the dream of creating an environment to enjoy their not-so-slenderizing creations. It probably still looks very much like it did way back then, but the individual juke boxes at each table haven’t worked since the 1990s according to our waitress, uh, waitperson. The service and the food were impeccable, and the 4th generation following Harry is now involved in this operation.
Crown Candy Kitchen still makes its own chocolate candy and ice cream. Since we visited the week before Easter, chocolate rabbits were hot items. I asked our server about their best selling candy, and she said without hesitation, “Heavenly Hash. We can never make enough of it.” Ruth immediately bought some to take to a graduation the following weekend. It didn’t last long. “Favorite ice cream?” I inquired. Ozark Black Walnut was the unexpected reply. “Most popular order?” “BLT”, she said with confidence. I asked her to pose for a photo and the result is below. She didn’t tell me that the menu calls it the “Heart-Stopping BLT” with thick-sliced bacon. Ruth had the Reuben and I had the Turkey Sandwich instead. Both were noteworthy. Prepare for Crown Candy Kitchen (CCK) to be packed.
CCK is a step-back-in-time kind of place with lots of antique signs. North of downtown, it’s in a neighborhood that has seen worse times but is recovering. “Think you can drink 5 malts in 30 minutes??? Our policy since 1913: anyone who can drink 5 (five) malts in ½ (one-half) hour gets them Free!!! (not available when busy),” Crown Candy Kitchen’s menu challenges. I didn’t even try….because the place was so busy.
PS The Blox candy above sells for $8 a pound.