Always Up For A Little Pizza

logo3-newSo we went out last night to Onesto Pizza & Trattoria in the South Hampton neighborhood of St. Louis proper before Vikki had some dental work done today.  What a great little place!

It’s the only commercial entity on the whole block but looks like it definitely belongs to the neighborhood. The decor was outstanding and was unlike any strip mall location can hope to offer. The coolest things were the tin roof (painted red!) and the Star Wars figures all over the dining room we were seated in. It was a little hot out so we didn’t sit on the patio, which was large enough to almost double the inside seating capacity.

We started with the Mozzarella Impanata, which was basically a couple chunks of cheese, battered and fried. The batter was light and the cheese was perfectly done, making for one of the best appetizers we’ve recently had, outside of Mexican cheese dip…

Vikki got a calzone for her entre and it came out perfect. The crust was light and tasty and the filling was chock full of the veggies and such Vikki had ordered.

I ordered a small pizza with pepperoni as the only topping. The crust was tasty and, at first, I thought there was too little cheese and sauce. Turns out it was that first piece. The rest of the pizza was almost perfect!

Again, Onesto’s is part of St. Louis Originals, which means we have a bigger stake in going there as we know the restaurant is locally owned and operated. This is from the St. Louis Originals homepage:

“The St. Louis Originals exists to promote dining in local independent area restaurants, to provide diners with a unique local flavor and to raise awareness of independent restaurants both locally and nationally.”

So yes, we will definitely go back to Onesto’s to try more of their Italian fare and enjoy the wonderful atmosphere. And hopefully I won’t have a ginormous lunch that afternoon!


Continuing on with the old reviews, here’s the second Ford Ranger review I have done:

2001 Ford Ranger

Ford Updates Its Ranger Line

by James E. Bryson

Once upon a time, there was a big car company that wanted to make a better truck for the masses. That company worked hard and kept its loyal following up to date with the most current features, and fed the public’s hunger for good-looking, well handling small trucks.

The princely Ranger pickup line has given Ford Motor Company plenty of reason to beam with pleasure whenever they mention its name, as it is the best-selling small tuck. It also is a popular vehicle for fleets and small-business people.

For 2001, the Ranger line has been updated with new features and a slightly different look. The interior, which was a friendly and comfortable place before, gets a new 60/40-split bench seat and a six-disc in-dash CD changer. Ranger interiors always have been filled with nice materials, comfy seats with good cloth and, on XLT models at least, good instrumentation.

The cloth-covered seats of our tester were comfortable and the fabric clung when the corners came hard and strong.

The front fascia has changed for 2001: The grill is more subdued than last year’s (it doesn’t bulge out so far) and there’s a body-colored surround rather than chrome. The headlights also have been revamped. They are now jeweled units with an integral turn signal in the same space as last year’s lights. It all looks more upscale and expensive. Overall, the new look is a refreshing departure from past iterations.

There are many new features worth mentioning across the whole 2001 Ranger line, here are just a few:

First off, Ford is offering more standard equipment on Rangers, with fewer options packages. They have reduced the total from 330,00 possible build combinations to just 184 and are calling this approach “targeted product offering.”

Second is the Edge model, which is slated between the XL and XLT trim packages. This monochromatic-colored version was designed to appeal to “young, active-lifestyle customers who want a vehicle with a distinctive appearance at an affordable price.” The Edge comes with a washable textured vinyl floor for those young active people to be able to hose out the mess they might make out in the woods or on the trail. It harkens back to the old days when all you could get for flooring was vinyl mats.

Our red tester, an extended-cab XLT 4X2 with the big 4.0-liter SOHC V6, came well equipped and nicely appointed.

We were impressed with the power of the SOHC V6, which replaces the OHV 4.0-liter. The difference is the lack of pushrods in the new motor, making actuating the valves more precise for better control of the combustion process.

In two-wheel-drive trim, though, it was easy to spin the wheels and make a lot of racket with this much power at hand. This new engine to the Ranger line generates 207 horsepower and 238 lb.-ft. of torque. Traction seemed decent on dry pavement, but on wet roads we had our hands full trying to motivate.

The five-speed automatic transmission shifted smooth and sure, especially under hard acceleration. Under normal driving conditions, it shifted more smoothly, making you almost forget its even there. Ford has done a good job on this transmission; it puts power to the pavement in a smooth, seamless fashion.

Stopping is another good point for Ranger. With standard four-wheel ABS and electronic brake force distribution (this system adjusts rear brake pressure to optimize stopping distances depending n vehicle load), we stopped on a dime every time and never felt any fade after repeated stops from highway speeds.

The structure of the four-door extended cab seemed to have been beefed up for 2001. Compared with last year’s truck, this one definitely flexed less, making us feel safer because the body felt stronger.

This is also the quietest Ranger we’ve driven. According to a press release, Ford has employed the gentleman responsible for quieting the Lincoln Town Car to perform the same magic on the Ranger. He has done a good job at quelling noise, vibration and harshness in the 2001 Ranger.

Interior materials were top-notch. We really liked the interior color Ford calls Prairie Tan. It was a shade of brown that looked like sandstone and had a rich hue that gave the interior a welcoming feel. It was a nice departure from the standard gray or black. The seat cloth was nice to the touch but gripped well when we took corners quickly.

One interesting detail of note from the 2001 Ranger press kit: Ranger will be at least 90 percent recyclable by weight. Approximately 10.5 percent of its plastic parts and about four percent of its non-rubber content will be made from post-consumer recycled material. This includes the accelerator pedal, snow shields and engine fan shrouds. The air cleaner cover and tray contain 30 percent post-consumer recycled material, up from 25 percent in the previous model.

All this, coupled with low-emission vehicle status for all Ranger engines, means Ranger is one Earth-friendly ride.

In XLT trim, like our tester, Ranger comes with many standard items, including power windows, locks and mirrors; remote keyless entry; tachometer; driver and passenger airbags; SecuriLock anti-theft; power rack and pinion steering; short-long arm front suspension; and 15-inch chrome wheels with P225/70RX 15 tires.

If we were to purchase our tester, we would pay $21,450.00. this includes the six-disc in-dash CD changer ($270), tubular aluminum bed extender ($195) and a destination charge of $585.

For the price, Ranger still is one of the most popular trucks in the nation. And with the features, look and price that Ranger customers demand, Ford is sure to have the best selling compact truck for many years to come.


And now, the car of the day:

This is the Dodge Kahuna and it was first shown at the 2003 NAIAS.

Dodge Kahuna 1

It’s a “woodie” and is something they really should have built as it’s another in a long line of great design exercises that have never hit market.

Dodge Kahuna 2

‘Till we meet again…

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James E. Bryson

Cars make the world go 'round!

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