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Bissinger’s

A few more holiday gifts to consider

At The Vino Gallery, 4701 McPherson Ave.,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery crave the cup Bissinger's

How about a gift that keeps on giving for as many months as you desire? Alex Head, proprietor of The Vino Gallery, has started a Wine Club, which is sure to make your favorite someone bubble over with happiness.

There are two categories to choose from: Classic, $35 a month for 2 bottles of wine valued at $20 each, and Reserva, $75 a month for 2 bottles valued at $40 each. On the order form, see below, there is a wine preferences section so Alex and his staff can match your tastes with the perfect bottles from their collection of small batch wines from all over the world.

Wine Club members also receive 10% off purchases, 15% off cases (12 bottles), and 15% off at Vino’s Wine Bar.

Check Vino Gallery’s website for more information or follow this link to get a gift membership started.

At Bissinger’s, 32 Maryland Plaza,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery crave the cup Bissinger's

There are lots of last-minute gifts to choose at Bissinger’s CWE location including, clockwise from left: a keepsake holiday house filled with a 17-piece assortment of Bissinger’s hand-made candies, $30; 4″ milk chocolate Santas wrapped up with a big red bow, $5; Hand-painted Saint Nick, $19; A bag of foil-wrapped solid chocolate holiday presents, $25; old-fashioned Nonpareils, $29; and center, an 8-piece dark chocolate peppermint crème collection, $13.

Visit Bissinger’s website for hours and more gift ideas.

At The Cup, 28 Maryland Plaza Rear,

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery crave the cup Bissinger's

Any combination of delicious holiday cupcakes from The Cup would be an easy choice for your holiday gathering. There’s a gingerbread cupcake decorated with a tiny gingerbread man cookie that’s topped with whipped cream frosting, and a delicious-looking “raspberry beret” beauty too, $2.95 each, $33 per dozen.

Limited edition cupcakes are $3.45 each (take a peek at these on the website), and check out gluten-free flavors too. The cupcake stand in the photograph is available for rent, and The Cup has lined up several delivery services too. What could be more convenient than that?

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Shop News  The Vino Gallery crave the cup Bissinger's

The Cup has expanded its gift selection to include party decorations, and nestled among them are old-fashioned Christmas stockings,$6.95, and an assortment of holiday-themed tea towels, $6.95, too.

Enjoy the holidays everyone!

Bissinger’s celebrates 95 years in CWE with expanded operation

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

As it celebrates its 95th year in the Central West End, Bissinger’s, 32 Maryland Plaza, has expanded its operation to include breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Handcrafted by Bissinger’s” is now open 7 days a week, starting at 7 a.m. on weekdays, 8:30 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. on Sundays.

On a recent visit, manager Matt McCarthy said the company saw an opportunity to showcase its catering operation, 23 City Blocks, by broadening the menu at the CWE location. Nick Miller, formerly of Harvest, is the chef. The website states that 23 City Blocks is the owner and operator of Handcrafted by Bissinger’s.

Years ago I wrote a post about a visit to Bissinger’s candy-making facility when it was located in The Grove. Here is a link to that post which includes the history of the founding family whom Napoleon Bonaparte named “Candy Maker of the Empire.” The original CWE shop was at 4742 McPherson Avenue, where Candle Fusion Studio is now located. At that time, the candies were hand-dipped in the back of the shop and the smell of chocolate as you walked in the door was intoxicating.

In 2014, Bissinger’s extensively renovated an industrial building that once housed another St. Louis candy company, Switzer’s, at 1600 N. Broadway. The large building now contains corporate offices, a beautiful event space—The Caramel Room—the candy-making operation (which is available for tours), and 23 City Blocks Catering Company.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

Breakfast offerings at Handcrafted by Bissinger’s are baked fresh daily and are available all day, or until they sell out.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

The quiche of the day when I visited was mushroom, spinach, gruyere, applewood smoked bacon, goat cheese, carmelized onion, cheddar and country ham, $9.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

Lunch is available starting at 11 a.m. “Go Havsies” (pick two) features several choices including a delicious brisket sandwich and equally delicious quinoa kale salad, $12.  Croques Monsieur with a side of house-made chips (or fresh fruit salad), top, is $11.50.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

Thick chocolate chunk and chocolate overdose cookies are $2 each.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

At 4 p.m. stop in for Sharables & Desserts.  That might include a charcuterie platter, $14.50, cheese and jam, $12.50, a selection of flatbreads, $9.50 to $11.50, and desserts.  Bissinger’s chocolate hazelnut tart is $9.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Food and Drink Services Shop News Uncategorized  The Caramel Room Maryland Plaza Harvest Handcrafted by Bissinger's chef Nick Miller Bissinger's 23 City Blocks Catering Company

McCarthy said that Cocktails and Mocktails (see menu above) are “prepared ‘bottom up’ with the same love and care as the handcrafted chocolates.” Of course, the world-renowned chocolates are available any time of day at Handcrafted by Bissinger’s.

Here is a YouTube video I found on Bissinger’s website featuring its chocolate-making operation at 1600 Broadway. CWEnder Dr. Laura Coletti Mann makes an appearance in the section that was filmed in the CWE store.

Handcrafted by Bissinger’s, 32 Maryland Plaza, (314) 367-7750, Mon. to Thurs., 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Fri. 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Snapshots from 4th of July Children’s Parade: 1981 and 2014

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children  Straub's froYo Fourth of July Children's Parade Bissinger's

Thanks to CWEnder and photographer extraordinare Barbara Martin for sending the snapshot of the 1981 Fourth of July Children's Parade as it traveled east on Maryland Avenue to Euclid Avenue. 

In the background you'll see signage for Cookies, Cookies & More and Hirschfeld Antiques which occupied the building where Kingside Diner is now located.

Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children  Straub's froYo Fourth of July Children's Parade Bissinger's

Now a few of those who were babies in 1981 are bringing their own children to the neighborhood event. A 2014 photograph shows Barbara and Bud Martin with daughter Zooey, her husband David and baby Gigi.
Nicki's Central West End Guide Events, Sightings For Children  Straub's froYo Fourth of July Children's Parade Bissinger's

The parade has grown over the past 36 years to include many more neighbors and friends of neighbors. The 2015 Fourth of July Children's Parade begins at 10 a.m. tomorrow at Euclid and McPherson Avenues. A fire truck from the neighborhood's Engine House 28 will lead the parade to the Maryland Plaza fountain for face painting, balloon animals, froYo, a Bissinger's treat and lemonade from Straub's.

Please join the fun. All are welcome.