Restaurant Review – SqWires

Oh dear dear dear… I know what many of you are thinking. “Did Emily fall out of love with her food blog?” The answer is no. I am still very much in love. I’ve just been rather busy. That said, neglecting my blog is not acceptable… and for that, I apologize.

Since I haven’t had time to get out much, I’m going to reach back into my archives and talk to you more about an experience from the past.

It’s like a blog-time-machine. Yippie!

This magical time warp is focusing on a not-so-recent trip to a little place called SqWires here in Lafayette Square.

SqWires is a restaurant that used to pose as a Western Wire Factory (hence the use of a W in the name—see what they did there?); for that reason, it is a totally unique building and provides a fantastic eating experience. When you walk in and look around you get a definite “loft” vibe from the establishment—cement floors, brick walls, tall ceilings, and unique art. Combine that look with live music and a constant hum of happy customers… you’ve got a winning atmosphere.

Now. Let’s talk food.

Here’s my grade for SqWires:

Presentation: A-
Taste: B
Price: C

Now, I know that I am usually pretty easily pleased. But there is just something about SqWires that doesn’t seem to match up–and that rubs me the wrong way. The food always looks very pretty (maybe it’s the excellent lighting in the restaurant) and it usually tastes pretty good (albiet lacking what I call real flavor punch [*kapow!*]), but the price is just a little high for me.

I mean, a good-but-not-great plate of food should not cost $14 or more (which is where most of their dinner entrees land). In my opinion at least.

I honestly believe that SqWires’ “unmatched” quality just throws me off. If you’re not sure what I mean… then, here’s the breakdown. If the food only cost $10, then I would be more forgiving of the food. OR if the food was exquisite then I’d be much more willing to pay $18 for it. That’s my rationale–so when the two don’t match up, I feel disappointed in the meal.

To give an example of the food… on this particular visit to SqWires, I got the eggs benedict with potatoes.

Let’s take a moment to think about eggs benedict— grilled strip steak, spinach & poached eggs topped with traditional hollandaise on thick sliced ciabatta.

Hollandaise, people.

That should be a meal that you can’t stop eating because it’s so decadent. Unfortunately, I remember liking the rosemary potatoes more than the cream sauce covered eggs. How is that possible?

All of that said… I will admit that I continue to return to SqWires. Why do you think that is?

I’d have to say that it is the environment (and the close proximity to my house). There’s always good music and laughter echoing throughout the building. The service is always friendly and pretty quick. The food is good enough. I just wish I could get in the kitchen and tell the chef not to be afraid of spices… and talk to their owner and tell them that lowering their prices just a tad might not kill them. With those minor changes, maybe I’d become their most regular patron.

So, have you eaten at SqWires? Do you agree or disagree? Do you think I should try again (because I probably will)? What makes an eating experience great for you? (I know I know… so many questions! [Now, answer them!])

Until next time… happy eating!

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  1. Just had lunch there yesterday and was left with the same feel. The roasted veggie sandwich I had was good, but just lacked some spice or punch. The atmosphere was great, we ate outside on the patio, loved the private feel with the hedge walling you off from the street. Much better than their old outside dining area on the side of the building. Okay service, loved that the tables outside were spread far apart so it felt very private. But the chef needs to use a little less restraint in seasoning!

  2. Erika

    I love Sqwires. Always have, always will. The atmosphere is great. My parents lived in the lofts and so we ate at the restaurant a lot. Good memories with my family who no longer live in St. Louis. I don’t go there much because I can’t pay their prices. I do always enjoy their food though.

  3. Two things.
    1. Is that a pat of butter on those grapes????
    2. Eggs benedict with strip steak??? I’m confused.

    Great service + Great food = yes…I’ll pay what they ask and say it’s worth it.
    Great service + Good food = yeah…I’ll pay it but I’ll grumble. Just like you. I’d go back…grumbling, and salt and pepper the hell out of the food.

    They must be doing something right. Try a different dish next time. Figure out what their specialty is. Get a burger. Have the soup. Go for drinks and dessert. They are pulling customers for a reason. You’re also paying for atmosphere and staff. Not bad as you say the service is good. For me, great service allows me to forgive a lot of other problems. BUT…St. Louis has a lot of options so if people love to go there, there’s a reason.

    • Hehe, That is a piece of pineapple, not a pat of butter. And yes, even I feel like I want to go back to SqWires, I just am not sure why since the food has never been that great.

  4. AP (Aunt Patti)

    First, I like the new grading system. *claps*

    I’m sad for the eggs benedict as that is a fantabulous dish if done correctly. The addition of steak and spinach intrigues me. I might have to work that up in my home kitchen (not a gourmet home kitchen, but…eh).

    Ambiance reminds me of Lambert’s-Home of the Throwed Rolls, prices do NOT and no fried okra—is that a faux pas to mention another restaurant in a blog review of an eatery?

    Lastly, can we put in requests? Can you do some summer salads? *puppy eyes* Or is salad considered a side and not REAL food? *giggles*

    P.S. The keyboardist is overdressed.

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