Step into Winslow’s Home and you’re immediately transported to another time. Part all-American general store, part mouthwatering bakery, part marble-tabletop restaurant, Winslow’s has redefined itself over the years, always maintaining the common denominator of deliciously fresh food. We know you already know about Winslow’s from our Spoonie Awards survey, but I was lucky enough to speak to the owner, Ann Lipton, last week to hear more about the restaurant’s unique history and keys to success.
Lipton explained, “Winslow’s started as a market and general store. It was never intended to be a restaurant. Initially, I wasn’t even allowed to have seating!”
Winslow’s customers have significantly influenced what this St. Louis landmark has become. Before Lipton was allowed to offer seating, people just brought in chairs from wherever they could find them to enjoy Winslow’s delicious baked goods and homemade meals. There was no menu, but just a few dishes written on a whiteboard each day.
Lipton had a very specific vision of what she wanted Winslow’s Home to look like when she opened it in 2008. The economic recession four months later caused her to adapt very quickly to what she heard her consumers wanted, as well.
“The seating has been part of our customer’s desires, clearly, since the very beginning. I allowed Winslow’s to grow from there,” Lipton said.
In a word: the menu is mouthwatering. Options range from a fried egg breakfast sandwich (cue foodie hysteria if paired with bacon and avocado) to herbed butter grilled cheese with caramelized apples. For Lipton, commitment to sourcing integrity is a must.
“If it had a face, you have to know where it came from,” Lipton said bluntly.
The food celebrates what’s local and in season, which means emphasizing plant-based dishes come springtime. Lipton is currently lobbying for a green salad trio: legumes dressed three different ways. She also has her eye on taking fried calamari off the menu since it seems to clash with Winslow’s fresh take on modern American cuisine.
Not to be missed are the coma-inducing pastries. All are baked fresh daily, including the headliners: goat cheese cookies (creamy and dense) and chocolate shortbread cookies (sprinkled with giant snowflakes of salt). Aside from the famous chocolate chip cookies, easily the size of an outstretched hand, you won’t find anything too big. Lipton’s philosophy when it comes to Winslow’s pastries is simple: “If the flavors are outstanding, you shouldn’t have to hide behind larger portions.” We couldn’t agree more.
So what’s next for Winslow’s Home? Having just gone through a series of changes (the position of executive chef was recently eliminated), Lipton doesn’t forsee major shifts in the near future. The focus now is on improving the customer experience.
“Winslow’s customer base is remarkably democratic. It’s just as common to see a group on walkers as it is to see people from out of the country. St. Louis is segregated, but Winslow’s attracts a wide spectrum. It’s wonderful.”
The most important question: who, or what, is Winslow? Lipton paused for a minute and laughed, “I just liked the name.”
Address: 7213 Delmar Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63130
Hours: Monday 7am-3pm, Tuesday through Friday 7am-9pm, Saturday 8am-9pm, Sunday 8am-4pm