I’ve been hearing a lot about St.Joseph Missouri lately both in magazines I’m reading and on ads on television, so when Mark asked how far south St. Joe was from Omaha (only 2 hours south), we jumped on that as an adventure. Mark is (was) a big fan of Walter Cronkite, and his museum is there. So off we headed.
First of all, the flooding that has devastated this area is still there and still abundantly obvious. The highway between Omaha and Kansas City has just recently reopened (hwy 29). There are still lakes in fields, water almost up to the interstate, parts of the shoulders of the road washed out, houses completely surrounded by water, lanes closed, silos full of grain crushed. It’s overwhelming to say the least. The unbelievable power of Mother Nature was evident.
The architecture of the homes when we arrived in St. Joe was fascinating. There were 1800’s brick homes, shotgun houses (like in New Orleans), craftsman houses, a few newer, but not many. There was a bridge under construction on part of the highway, so Waze (ever use that map app? It’s fantastic) took us through neighborhoods, which is my favorite way to see a town. I was surprised to see the general lack of care of yards and houses, it was depressing.
I use the map app and Yelp on my phone to find local restaurants to eat at, and after looking through many, I chose “Jakes, Steakhouse and Sports Bar”. The menu was appealing (American food) at decent prices $$, and the reviews were good. Jakes was a find, the service was great, the food was exceptional (pork tenderloin sandwich- my fave Midwest sandwich) and a Jake burger, both split in half and shared, along with broccoli (very fresh, steamed and properly seasoned), and the building was out of this world cool! This building was tall and brick and probably built in the 1800’s. With tall, tall ceilings and original wood plank floors. Initially built next to the stockyards, the beef still tastes that fresh.
Before we got to Jakes though, we parked down the block and stopped in “The Cafe Pony Expresso”. I’ve been stopping at coffee shops looking for stickers with their logos for Katie (she collects them). The young lady behind the counter was most impressive! She had recently purchased the shop, and unfortunately was in the process of changing the logo, so didn’t have any stickers. She felt so bad about disappointing visitors to town, she reached behind her and grabbed a coffee mug with her old logo and handed it to me, “here”, she said, “please take this, I feel so bad about not having a sticker.” Oh my goodness, so not necessary, but what amazing customer service! If you are EVER in St. Joseph, MO, stop in and grab a coffee, or at the very least follow her Facebook page. She not only has amazing coffee, and what looks to be wonderful homemade light fair, her Facebook page is fun to follow.
Next we decided to shop a little. The map showed a big downtown but just a few shop so we set out to check them out. The Mod Podge Boutique and Design Studio. was our first stop. Beautiful store with a lovely owner and her dad out front helping her (hanging out with her?). Mark and the dad had a lot to talk about while I browsed and found a lot to look at. I walked away with a new necklace and a throw over kimono, and there were three that I fell in love with but narrowed it down to one.
The second store was the “Manic Snail”, a high end paper store. Lots of lovely cards, notecards, notebooks, etc… they even provided a stamp for Mark when he bought a post card for his mom, and mailed it for him. There was also a home goods store down the street that we didn’t stop in, time to get over to see Walter C, and a vintage store, actual vintage store like you would find in New York City, that didn’t hold anything for us but was interesting to pop our heads in. Other than than, I’m sad to say that a lot of the buildings were not occupied or being used as storage.
I’m glad we stopped here, the memorial/ small museum at Western Missouri State University for Walter Cronkite was wonderful, the stores and restaurant we did visit were amazing, but a couple of hours is all that’s needed.