The search for a workday lunch spot is not new. Case in point: Before turning his attention to baking in 1952, Duncan Hines traveled the back roads of the United States selling the services of a Chicago printer and cataloguing eating establishments where business travelers could expect to find a solid lunch at a fair price before heading back out to work.
Nestled at the quieter end of Delmar Boulevard in University City, Winslow's Home would undoubtedly belong on Hines' list; that's not because of the quaint, general-store ascetic but the dedication to the idea that food, sourced in-season, close to home and simply prepared is the best recipe for recharging the soul after a morning's labor.
To stay or to go, Winslow's Home offers up a lunch menu of "local favorites" - soups, salads and sandwiches that slowly rotate with the seasons. What's eating now? Slow-cooked brisket on rye, a grilled four-cheese sandwich and a hearty hunk of ciabatta with meatballs and melted mozzarella tucked inside.
What's not to be missed? A fist-sized pie - part pot pie, cupcake and pop-over - filled with shredded chicken, vegetables and just enough cream to bring the mixture together. Diners looking for an approach to the dish should carefully spoon though the top crust, scooping a bit of filling for the first few bites. After that, the dish is perfect for a knife and fork, with just enough flaky pie crust to outlast the filling and sop up the last bit of cream filling when you finish.
A quirky layout of tables and merchandise makes for moments where dining and commerce awkwardly mix, but the interaction of having people shopping around you just might result in the unexpected catching your eye, like, perhaps, a coveted "Recommended by Duncan Hines" sign that has to be hanging in the space somewhere.
Winslow's Home, 7213 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314.725.7559, winslowshome.com