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St. Louis Restaurant News

Writer Susan Smith-Harmon

Celebrating National Cheese Lover’s Day – Monty’s Sandwich Co.

Monty's Sandwich Co.

The Great Grilled Cheese from Monty’s Sandwich Co.

St. Louis, MO/January 19, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – People worldwide have been making and eating cheese for nearly 8,000 years.  American’s each gobble up more than 30 lbs. of cheese every year.  And it’s no wonder, with about 900 varieties to choose from.  Whether it’s fresh cheese like ricotta, soft cheese like feta, hard cheese like Cheddar, or a blue cheese like Gorgonzola, it seems there’s a cheese for everyone.  Friday, January 20, 2017 is National Cheese Lover’s Day, and one of the best ways to celebrate is with an ooey, gooey, melty grilled cheese sandwich.  And one of the best places to get a really great grilled cheese is at Monty’s Sandwich Company, 200 North Broadway, downtown St. Louis.

As the name suggests, the folks at Monty’s are sandwich specialist.  When Steve May and Joel Williams opened Monty’s just over five years ago (Nov. 2011), the goal was to bring St. Louis diners a better, fresher sandwich—hand crafted with meats roasted in house, locally baked artisan breads, and produce that was hand-picked to insure the finest quality.  May and Williams wanted to elevate the humble sandwich to a meal worth seeking out.  They even named their shop Monty’s to pay homage to John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, who’s credited with inventing the sandwich because of his habit of requesting his servants give him his dinner between two slices of bread so that he wouldn’t have to leave the gaming table.

The hand crafted sandwiches, house-made soups, wraps and fresh salads at Monty’s Sandwich Company are top notch.  And their take on grilled cheese is multifold and delicious.  First, there’s the Adult Grilled Cheese.  They take three slices of fresh baked bread, add your choice of cheeses, encrust it with their house-made parmesan compound butter, and toast to gooey, cheesy perfection.  You can add bacon for $1.50.  Want something even more substantial?  Try the Carolina Grilled Cheese: BBQ sauced pulled pork they smoke in house and Monterey jack cheese grilled together on parmesan crusted artisan white bread.  Or try a Monty’s Melt: Salami, pastrami, roasted turkey, pepperoncini, banana peppers, and melted provolone on a baguette.  Then there’s the Bavarian Rhapsody, possibly the ultimate hot ham and cheese.  It’s ham and cheddar melted together on a pretzel bun and dressed with spicy mustard—served with a side of their house-made pepper cheese sauce!

Cheese is celebrated all over Monty’s menu.  There’s the St. Louis Cheesesteak, a local twist on the Philly classic.  Monty’s is made with shaved rib eye, grilled onions, mushrooms, and green peppers topped with melty provolone and served on an fresh baked hoagie.  Want a burger on National Cheese Day?  Their Patty Melt is another gooey, cheesy choice.  It’s a half pound of fresh Angus beef topped with grilled onions and plenty of Swiss cheese all melted together between two slices of fresh baked rye.  Get that cheesy sandwich with a side of their house-made potato chips or fresh cut fries—regular, parmesan, or atomic!

Monty’s is open 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday.  That means they also do breakfast, including scrambled eggs with cheese folded in!  Or have a breakfast sandwich like the Black Bean, Egg and Cheese, made with their house-made black bean patty, scrambled egg and Swiss cheese on toasted multigrain bread.  This fresh, handcrafted sandwich is a great way to start your day.  And if you’re going to celebrate National Cheese Lover’s Day, why not do it with a great, cheesy sandwich like the one’s at Monty’s Sandwich Company?  Because like they say at Monty’s, if you’re going to eat a sandwich, it might as well be a great one!

Contact Information:

Monty’s Sandwich Company
Owner: Steve May and Joel Williams
200 N. Broadway, Ste 110
Downtown
St. Louis, MO
Phone: (314) 241-7900

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Picture courtesy of TripAdvisor

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Fezziwig’s Wine & Fondue Party Postponed Due to Ice

Fezziwig’s Wine & Fondue Party

Tickets Still Available for New February Date – Fezziwig’s Wine & Fondue Party

O’Fallon, IL/January 16, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News)  Fezziwig’s Wine & Fondue Party – When gourmet food mixes with artisan goods and an enchanting setting, it’s a recipe for a lovely afternoon or evening affair.  Fezziwig’s Marketplace at 225 West First Street in O’Fallon, Illinois is a unique establishment.  At its heart, this charming boutique is a retail tea and wine shop, but to customers who’ve followed it from the original location in historic Lebanon, it’s so much more.  It’s part boutique, part event space, part cooking school, part pop-up restaurant, and part gourmet shop.  Fezziwig’s Marketplace is a culinary experience center, complete with cooking classes, wine tastings, special holiday parties, and events like Art in the Barn, Farmers & Artisans Markets, Barbecue & Blues Night, Beast Craft Grilling Classes, and loads more.

Fezziwig’s annual Winter Wine Tasting and Fondue party was supposed to be Friday, January 13th, but the icy weather that pushed into the metro area earlier in the day forced them to postpone it until Friday, February 10th.  The good news is that it hasn’t sold out yet! So the ice is creating a new opportunity to join in the fun!  Those who had tickets for the January 13th event can use them February 10.  Those who didn’t have tickets can still get in on the fun.  The $25 ticket includes fondues, nibbles, and samples of eight different wines.  Reservations can be made online through February 7th, or until it sells out.  This event sold out last year, so this extra chance to participate is a rare treat.

Ellen Leaf-Moore and her husband Tim Moore established their business in an historic brick storefront in downtown Lebanon, Illinois in 2007.  Both have strong retail backgrounds.  His is in formal wear sales and manufacturing.  Hers runs from her family’s bridal business in Ohio, to William Sonoma in Atlanta, and then to general manager for Pottery Barn at Plaza Frontenac.  They both love food and fine things, so Fezziwig’s began as a boutique shop selling fine teas, wines, gourmet oils and vinegars, and the accoutrements of serving them.  Ellen’s exquisite taste is seen throughout Fezziwig’s merchandise selection.  She’s also one of the few people in the U.S. and Canada certified to teach and educate about tea.

Fezziwig’s moved to O’Fallon, Illinois in July of 2015 in order to accommodate more merchandise, more customers, more events, and add the culinary classroom.  Many of the classes are taught by visiting chefs.  Upcoming classes: Chef Joele Pinkerton will teach “Decadent & Delicious Valentine Desserts” Feb. 2 and Valentine Cookie Decorating Feb. 11.  Learn to make Dim Sum & Dumplings with Chef Shaine Khanamuenwai on March 5. Plus there will be pasta cooking classes; wine and chocolate classes; and more.  And of course, participants of each class get to eat their lessons!  Gift vouchers are available. Some classes and events have age restrictions, so check Fezziwig’s event calendar for details.

Fezziwigs has frequent events to allow gourmet food fans (experts and novices) to sample the many specialty and signature items they sell.  Each February, they hold “Olive You” Weekend right before Valentine’s Day.  It’s a chance for customers to taste an assortment of gourmet extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars.  This year’s event is Thursday, February 9 — Sunday, February 12 during normal business hours.

Fox 2’s Kim Hudson visited with Fezziwig’s owner Ellen Leaf-Moore during last year’s “Olive You” weekend.

Besides food events, Fezziwig’s offers more than 100 premium loose leaf teas, wines not found in other stores, plus gourmet foods—including the best selection of balsamic vinegars and extra virgin olive oils in the Metro-East.  And like the Charles Dickens’ character for which it was named, Fezziwig’s is all about celebrating food, family, and fun.

Contact Information:

Fezziwig’s Marketplace
Owners: Ellen Leaf-Moore and Tim Moore
225 West 1st Street
O’Fallon, Illinois
Phone: (618) 726-2230

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Grafton Oyster Bar Is New Cajun/Creole Contender from Old Favs

Grafton Oyster Bar

Letting the Good Times Roll Along the River – Grafton Oyster Bar

Grafton, IL/January 16, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – It’s not every day that lunch or dinner feels like a mini-vacation, but a short drive up the Great River Road to the Grafton Oyster Bar at 215 Water Street in Grafton, Illinois is like being transported to another world.  This oasis along the Mississippi is the newest venture of St. Louis’ perennial champs of Cajun and seafood: Broadway Oyster Bar. John and Victoria Johnson’s downtown St. Louis establishment at 736 South Broadway has been the top spot for seafood, as well as Cajun and Creole cuisine almost since it’s opening some 35-years ago.  They are the current leaders on both our customer review-based Best Seafood Top 10 and our Top 10 Cajun/Creole Restaurants list.  So it stands to reason that when they teamed up with Jerseyville native and BOB Executive Chef Brad Hagen to open Grafton Oyster Bar last March, it would be a sensation.  Customer reviews are still coming in, but so far, they’re giving GOB 4.1 stars (34 ratings), good enough for an honorable mention on our Cajun/Creole Top 10!

Grafton Oyster Bar sits right at the water’s edge, at the old Big Kahuna location. It’s actually at the marina, along the dock and floating on the water.  That means spectacular views of the waterway and both banks of the Mississippi River.  Add some party lights and a New Orlean’s vibe, and “laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll!)

As you might expect, GOB features many of the popular menu items from Broadway Oyster Bar, including oysters, gator, mussels, crab cakes, etc.  On the GOB menu you’ll find BOB’s famous Alligator Sausage and Shrimp Cheesecake and Shrimp Voodoo appetizers, with that enticing voodoo sauce.  And then there are the oysters of course!  Blue Point Oysters, Gulf Oysters, Char-Grilled, Fried, Rockefeller, Oyster Cardinale (with its rich Cajun crawfish cream sauce), and Bienville (baked with a spicy shrimp, Parmesan & mushroom cream sauce).  Can’t decide?  Order the Oyster Medley, a sampling of oysters Bienville, Rockefeller, and Cardinale all on one plate!  You’ll also find eleven tap beers, both local and import, along with a variety of mixed drinks and wine options.

Join them for the Comfort Food Fest this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, January 14–15.  The menu will be chocked full of Cajun comfort food, including a decadent Lobster Pot Pie: A rich cream based sauce with the holy trinity of vegetables, baby red potatoes, fresh sautéed lobster and Cajun seasonings.  It’s finished with a light, garlic cheddar biscuit crust.  You’ll also find Cajun Seafood and Andouille Lasagna on the menu.  It’s the ultimate five layer lasagna with crawfish tail meat, shrimp, lobster, Andouille sausage, fresh mushrooms, spinach, ricotta, their spicy red sauce, and a four cheese blend.  And Crawfish Mac ‘n Cheese may be the perfect marriage of Cajun and comfort.  It’s a velvety three-cheese casserole made with Rotel tomatoes, apple wood smoked bacon, and sautéed crawfish tails.  You’ll also find spicy chicken & biscuit sliders (with sweet potato waffle fries), pot roast (with garlic mashed potatoes & gravy), Southern fried chicken, bacon-wrapped Cajun meatloaf, and the Ultimate Grilled Cheese (Apple wood smoked bacon, cheddar, mozzarella, gruyere, and provolone melted between two thick slices of Texas toast, and finished with garlic aioli, fresh tomato, and basil).

Other upcoming events include The Grafton Winery Wine Dinner at GOB on Wednesday, January 25th.  The four course dinner featuring Grafton Winery inspired dishes, and five different local wines.  Reservations are required by calling (618) 86-3000. Seafood lovers will adore GOB’s Scallop Festival on the weekend before Valentine’s Day, February 11 and 12.  It makes a great date night!  And of then there’s the Mardi Gras Celebration on Saturday, February 25th.  There is nothing quite like letting the good times roll along the riverbank!  GOB will have all the beads, Mardi Gras-inspired dishes, and hurricanes you can handle!  They’ll also have live music and a Gulf oyster eating contest!

This time of year Grafton Oyster Bar is open Thursday – Sunday from 11:00 am to 11:00 p.m.  They’ll resume regular hours (Tuesday – Sunday) on March 1st.  Once it warms up a bit, seating on the riverside balcony will resume too.  Fresh air, the sound of water lapping and live music, fresh seafood, a cold drink, and a great sunset view.  A trip to Grafton Oyster Bar really is like a sojourn in party paradise, right across the river from St. Louis.

Contact Information:

Grafton Oyster Bar
Owners: Chef Brad Hagen; John & Victoria Johnson
215 Water Street
Grafton, IL 62037
(618) 786-3000

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Picture courtesy of EdGlenToday.com

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Quincy Street Bistro Is a South City Classic

Quincy Street Bistro, St. Louis, MO

Locally Inspired Food and Drink – Quincy Street Bistro

ST LOUIS, MO/January 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – St. Louis is a metropolitan area rich in culinary variety and innovation.  The chefs and restaurateurs here are adventurous, bold, and inventive, offering the kind of hospitality you can only find in the Midwest.  Nowhere is that more true than the city’s south side. And no one blurs the lines between clever cuisine and homespun comfort like the folks at Quincy Street Bistro at 6931 Gravois Ave. in the Princeton Heights neighborhood of South St. Louis.  It’s a family-owned business that’s part of the re-surging South-side.

Mike Enright bought the 100 year old building at the corner of Gravois and Quincy Street in 2009 and began rehabbing it with the help of his brother Patrick and nephew Matt. He and wife Sue opened Quincy Street Bistro in 2011.  With the help of their son-in-law, 2014 James Beard Rising Star Award semifinalist Chef Rick Lewis, the Enrights developed a menu of instant classics—all locally inspired, regionally sourced, and made from scratch.  Lewis has moved on to his own place, Southern (in Midtown), which opened in 2015.  The current culinary team is led by Chef Birk (Matt Birkenmeier), who took over the kitchen in October 2016.  Chef Birk continues to emphasize the use of local, organic, and sustainable ingredients whenever possible.

That dedication to quality shows in the finished dishes. QSB’s menu is loaded with creative takes on comfort food classics.  On their apps menu, for instance, you’ll find Hog Head Toasted Ravioli.  It’s the crispy, St. Louis classic filled with smoked “hogs head” and served with green tomato marinara, gremolata, and parmesan.  They only have two salads on the menu, but when they’re this good, that may be all you need.  The Garden Salad is a fresh combination baby greens tossed with mozzarella, parmesan, red onion, cucumber, and radishes.  Add chicken to make it a meal.  Their Grilled Caesar is a delicious combination of grilled romaine, shaved parmesan, and their seasoned breadcrumbs, dressed with classic Caesar dressing.  The fresh, quality, locally sourced ingredients are appreciated by QSB’s customers.  So much so, that their reviews put Quincy Street Bistro on our Best Salads in St. Louis Top 10 (at #7)!  No wilted lettuce and stale croutons here!

QSB’s sandwiches echo that same comfortably delicious, local spin, including a bologna, cheddar, and sunnyside egg combo called the Southsider. Customers also love the fried Catfish Po’Boy, and “A Mighty Fine Grilled Cheese” which combines herbed goat cheese, gruyere, red onion jam, and thyme butter on toasted peasant bread.  There’s also a solid burger selection, including the Lou Burger, a beef burger topped with marinara, provel, and a super-sized toasted ravioli on a brioche bun; and the Hog Burger, a combination of beef and pork, with pimento cheese and caramelized onions on a Kaiser roll.  The “Home Cooked Suppers” include the Buttonwood Farms Roasted Chicken (made with free range chicken from Buttonwood Farms in California, Missouri); Glazed Meatloaf, laced with bacon and topped with crispy onions and house glaze; and rotating specials that use various cuts from whole hogs from local farms.

The 16-tap beer selection at Quincy Street Bistro includes a nice array of craft beers that showcases the wares of local breweries.  You’ll find lagers, IPAs, ales, and stouts from brewers like Civil Life, 2nd Shift, 4 Hands Brewing, Urban Chestnut, Schlafly, and others.  They also have Stag (a south city favorite) on tap.

The bartenders at QSB have a repertoire of clever and delicious cocktails like the Gravois Sideswipe, a refreshing blend of Plantation Grande Reserve Rum, orange liqueur, fresh lemon juice, and simple syrup. Or how about a Southside Screwdriver?  It’s a cocktail of Maker’s Bourbon, local maple syrup, OJ, and Angostura bitters.  For something uniquely QSB try their signature “Pickleback” shot—a shot of Crop Circle Moonshine chased with their house-made pickle juice.  Or try their barrel aged cocktails, like the Manhattan.  It’s made with Bib & Tucker Small Batch Bourbon and Dolin Rouge Vermouth that are smoothed to perfection after a month of aging in oak barrels.  They also make a mean Sazerac, the cognac-based, official cocktail of New Orleans.

Quincy Street Bistro is open Monday – Thursday from 11:30 a.m to 10:00 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 11:30 a.m to 11:00 p.m.  They’re closed on Sundays. QSB has begun offering “Industry Nights” on Mondays (when many local restaurants are closed) with half-price apps, plus discounts on burgers, sandwiches, and entrees.  Craft beer, well drink and other bar specials too.

Another classic event from this comfort food eatery and bar is a special brunch called “Kegs & Eggs.”  This first come-first served event has customers lining up down the block for a.  The next Kegs & Eggs is Saturday, March 11, 2017 (the weekend before St. Patrick’s Day).  Join them from 9:00 a.m. to noon and help raise funds for St. Patrick’s Center, the local nonprofit that provides housing, employment and health programs to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.  It promises to be a great meal for a great cause!
Contact Information:

Quincy Street Bistro
Owners: Mike and Sue Enright
GM: Darin Heisler
6931 Gravois Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63116
Princeton Heights – South City
Phone: (314) 353-1588

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Picture courtesy of Quincy Street Bistro

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Skip to Malou at HIRO Asian Kitchen

HIRO Asian Kitchen, St. Louis, MO

Asian Comfort Experts Host Filipino Pop-Up – HIRO Asian Kitchen

ST LOUIS, MO/January 13, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – One of St. Louis’ favorite Asian Fusion restaurants is HIRO Asian Kitchen, 1405 Washington Ave. in downtown St. Louis. HIRO Owner and chef Bernie Lee has created a unique menu that blends fresh, authentic Asian fare with comfort food in a sleek, boutique-style restaurant that is beautiful and inviting.  This is an Asian restaurant that does award-winning brunch every weekend.  HIRO’s brunch blends the traditional flavors of Taiwan, Japan, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and the islands of southeast Asia with classic brunch offerings, like waffles.

That fusion of fresh Asian fare and comfort food makes HIRO the perfect venue for the ultimate Asian comfort food: Filipino Cuisine.  With pork and sweets as mainstays, it’s the “Southern” cooking of Southeast Asia.  And it is delicious, savory, sweet, and catching fire across the U.S.

Fortunately for St. Louis diners, some of that fire has lighted at HIRO.  Chef Malou Perez-Nievera, the creative force behind the highly acclaimed food blog, Skip to Malou, is cooking at HIRO.  She’s the Chef de Filipino who created HIRO’s Saturday Filipino Brunch menu featuring such tasty treats as Tap-Silong, a sweet soy and garlic infused beef sirloin; Toci-Silong, smoked pork belly tocian (think bacon) marinated in pineapple juice and sherry.  Then there’s the fried chicken and spaghetti—crispy, spicy, Filipino fried chicken.  It’s everything you want fried chicken to be, and then some.  And if you’ve never had Filipino-style spaghetti, then you’re in for a treat.

The creator of that amazing dish has been doing a series of Filipino pop-up dinners at HIRO.  The next one (and last on the schedule) is Monday, January 16, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.  Each Skip to Malou dinner has had a theme.  This one is Kamayan Night.  The term “Kamayan” comes from the Tagalog word kamay meaning hand.  This special Filipino way of eating uses no utensils.  Eating with your hands is part of the local culture in the Philippines and has been tradition for generations.  This is the inspiration behind Kamayan Night at HIRO.

Malou’s cooking is a creative combination of traditional and modern Filipino Food.  She will prepare a scrumptious array of foods served on a long table lined with banana leaves.  There will be no forks, knives, or spoons!  Diners will eat kamayan style, with their hands.  This will be a brand new experience for some, and it’s sure to be a most memorable dining experience.

Tickets for Kamayan Night at HIRO are $55 each and can be purchased online through brownpapertickets.com.  If you can’t make it, you can check out some of Chef Malou’s culinary creations at brunch on Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at HIRO Asian Kitchen.

Contact Information:

HIRO Asian Kitchen
Owner: Chef Bernie Lee
Chef de Filipino: Malou Perez-Nievera
1405 Washington Ave
Downtown
Saint Louis, MO 63103
(314) 241-4476

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Picture courtesy of HIRO Asian Kitchen

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Spare No Rib Is a Top 10 Fusion Restaurant

Spare No Rib

Serving Tacos & BBQ in New Digs – Spare No Rib

ST LOUIS, MO/January 11, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Fusion restaurants come in all different varieties; the key similarity being that they are a blend of bold flavors, interesting ingredients, and cooking methods that cross culinary lines, spanning continents and even oceans.  St. Louis is rich in fusion concept restaurants.  Here you’ll find Asian fusion, Korean-Mexican fusion, Japanese-Thai, Vietnamese-Mandarin, Mediteranian-Halaal, Vegetarian-TexMex, and even a joint that serves up barbecue and tacos.  That’s the winning combination you’ll find at Spare No Rib at 3701 South Jefferson in St. Louis’ Gravois Park neighborhood.  Customers just love them, so much that Spare No Rib is #4 on our most recent list of the Top 10 Fusion Restaurants in St. Louis.  The rankings are based on customer reviews.

One look at SNR’s menu and it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.  You’ll find simple, tasty starters like fresh tortilla chips with three house salsas.  Or get them with their chorizo queso dip or guacamole made fresh to order.  Customers rave about their corn fritters with spicy ranch.  These are deep-fried pillows of sweet corn goodness served with a spicy, (and they mean spicy!) ranch dipping sauce.

The Barbecue-Latin American fusion includes the sandwich menu, with its pulled pork sandwich and chorizo burger.  But the highlight of the sandwich menu may be The Honest Burger (good quality beef, perfectly cooked and seasoned with salt and pepper).  It’s everything a burger should be.  One of the best features of SNR’s sandwich menu is that every sandwich comes with a side of their hand-cut fries.  They may be the simplest thing on the menu, but they are surely one of the most popular.  They’re just potatoes that have been washed, and hand-cut (by an actual human) that same day, then fried to crispy perfection, and seasoned with salt and pepper.  They’re so good you can order a whole basket to share.

The tacos are a reason to go all by themselves.  They’re $3.50 apiece, and simply delicious.  Each is built on a platform of two crispy, corn tortillas and dressed with house-made sauces that just take these tacos over the top.  The selection includes chorizo, cachete (braised beef cheeks), caritas (pork belly & shoulder), fish (battered, fried tilapia), chicken, lamb, pork tenderloin & fennel, carne asada (steak & grilled onion), veggie, and The Rib Taco.  It’s a fusion dish of succulent rib meat pulled from the bone and piled on crispy corn tortillas with their signature sauce, cilantro, and onion.  Or opt for the SNR Plate and sample the barbecue and the tacos.  For $16 you get two meaty ribs, plus any two tacos, and a side.  Or skip the taco, and just have SNR’s barbecued ribs.  Get a half-rack along with baked beans, slaw and cornbread for $17.  Whatever you order, everything is fresh and made from natural ingredients, with no fake sugars or artificial flavorings.

The drinks menu is almost as much fun as the food!  The beer list is extensive and impressively approachable.  Even novice craft beer fans can easily find what they’re looking for.  The list is divided by beer type.  The lager section includes the familiar Bud, Bud Light and Bud Select.  But there’s also Abita Purple Haze and Sudwerk Hop Lager.  The list also includes pilsners, amber & brown ales, tripels, IPAs, sours & saisons, wheats, porters, stouts, cervezas (Mexican imports), and a few varieties in larger bottles that are perfect for sharing (think Corona Familiar and 2nd Shift El Gato Grande).  Another interesting thing about the beer menu at Spare No Rib is that they’ve listed the alcohol content, so diners know up front if they’re ordering something a little stronger than the 4.2 percent by volume found in a Bud Light.

But beer is only part of the beverage menu.  You’ll also find hard cider and cocktails that go particularly well with tacos and barbecue.  There’s a house margarita, caipirinha and black mojito.  There’s also their Mexican Mule, a classic blend of tequila and Fever Tree Ginger Beer with a splash of fresh lime—a zippy, refreshing drink that will go with whatever food you order.  You can, of course, have a Fever Tree Ginger Beer (sold in 1/2 liter bottles).  Or choose one of the other non-alcoholic options including Jarritos Mexican sodas (pineapple, lime, or mandarin), a selection of San Pellegrino waters, Mexican Coke, Sprite, and Fanta (made with real sugar), and IBC Cream Soda.

Back in October 2016, Spare No Rib moved from their original location at 2200 Gravois Avenue (next door to Hodak’s in Benton Park).  In 2015 they began doing pop-up breakfast/brunch on the weekends at that location.  It was so popular that it grew into it’s own restaurant lovingly dubbed “Egg.”  So owner Lassaad Jeliti moved Spare No Rib to the larger 3701 South Jefferson site (across the street from Sump Coffee).  Now there are more tables, including outdoor seating when the weather warms up, and plenty of parking!  Spare No Rib in Gravois Park is open Tuesday – Thursday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.  There’s also a satellite SNR location in the Central West End at #13 Maryland Plaza (in the Bar Italia lounge).  It’s a nice spot for lunch if you’re in the neighborhood.

Contact Information:

Spare No Rib
Owner: Lassaad Jeliti
3701 Jefferson Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63118
Phone: (314) 354-8444

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Picture courtesy of Spare No Rib

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Premium Juice Bar is Sips Cafe in Clayton

Sips Cafe, Clayton, MO

Making It Fresh, Natural & Nutritious – Sips Cafe

CLAYTON, MO/January 10, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – January is the month when most of us try to get our daily diet and exercise routines back on track.  Even if you’re not a resolution-maker, you may be looking for healthier offerings after weeks of rich and sometime decadent holiday eating.  That’s where Sips Cafe at 7818 Forsyth Blvd in the heart of Clayton can help.  Sips is a premium juice bar, so everything is fresh, everything is good for you (and the planet), and everything is vegetarian.  Sips owner Sharon Hall is focused on satisfying your juice, smoothie and coffee needs.

Sips only offers 100-percent cold pressed, slow juice.  This method of juicing retains more nutrients because fruits and vegetables aren’t shredded with blades, which exposes the produce to air and heat which speeds up oxidation—meaning nutrients are lost in the process.  Cold pressing also yields more juice from the produce than with a traditional centrifugal juicer.  Because of this, pressed juices have more fiber and even a little protein, meaning you get a bigger health boost in every glass.

Sips offers a variety of flavor and nutritional combinations, depending on what you want and need.  Each begins with a cucumber base, with the add-ins defining them.  The King of Greens is the top seller.  It’s a delicious blend of kale, green apple, celery, cilantro and lime, and it’s crazy healthy!  The “Can’t Beet It” mixes tangy pineapple and with antioxidant rich beets.  The Zinger combines green apple, ginger, and lime for a refreshing and zippy drink.  And the Clayton Carrot takes the orange vegetable to new flavor heights with the help of green apple and ginger.  Sharon is happy to create a custom blend for you.  And she can help you customize a personal detox regimen, creating the cleansing juices you’ll need.

For those of us who just can’t live without a cuppa Joe, this Clayton café offers a cup we can feel good about.  All of their coffees are locally roasted and Sips offers only original fair trade espressos drinks and pour overs.  What’s a pour over?  It’s the ultimate in custom, hand-crafted coffees.  A pour over is made by grinding just enough coffee beans for a single cup of coffee, so you can customize the blend any way you want.  The fresh ground beans are placed in a cone brewer with a filter, and hot water is poured over the beans, brewing a single, fresh cup of coffee.  They do gourmet hot chocolates too! Get them in Classic coco, Mexican, Chai Coco, and Mint!

Sips Cafe is also a great spot for a smoothie.  All of their smoothies are all made with whole fruit, organic juice, and just enough water to blend.  Hall supports chemical free, local farmers to ensure that the fruits and vegetables they use are as natural and healthy as they can be.  Some things you won’t find on the Sips menu: anything made with high fructose corn syrup, added colors, or artificial syrup.  There isn’t even any ice in the smoothies, which rely on the fruit itself for thickening.  It just doesn’t get any cleaner than that.

Sips Cafe is open 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday – Saturday.  They’re closed Sundays.  Now, a stop at Sips is even more convenient with the addition of a “grab and go” cooler.  It’s stocked with juices that have been pressed and blended fresh that day.  Just grab the one you want and use the convenient quick pay box for cash purchases.  Then you’re on your way!

So now there are no excuses.  You can add a healthy boost to your day with a quick stop at Sips in Clayton.  You can even indulge in your favorite coffee drink or sweet creamy cocoa, and still take better care of yourself, during resolution season, and beyond.

Contact Information:

Sips Cafe
Owner: Sharon Hall
7818 Forsyth Blvd
Clayton, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 727-4747
sipsinclayton@gmail.com

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Best Salads in St. Louis

Best Salads in St. Louis

The Top 10 Spots for a Healthy Plate of Leafy Greens – Best Salads in St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, MO/January 9, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Best Salads in St. Louis – Some folks only eat salad when they’re on a diet. Some eat one every day.  There’s no disputing the nutritional benefits of a healthy plate of leafy greens.  Even when you add salty, fatty, tasty embellishments like cheese, bacon, and dressing, a salad just feels good for you.  That’s because it is.  The vegetables in salads are good sources of fiber.  Add brightly colored vegetables to those leafy greens for a pop of antioxidants and vitamins.  Add nuts, seeds or beans to get a boost of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol and keeps blood sugar balanced.  Stick to an olive oil-based dressing and you add omega-3s, even if you have a little cheese on it!

This time of year, many people resolve to take better care of themselves, including eating a healthier diet or losing a little weight.  And so we turned to salads in all their crispy, green glory.  It’s relatively easy to toss a healthy salad at home, but where do you go for a great salad when you go out?  Just because you want to eat more veggies, doesn’t mean you can’t eat out.  The majority of restaurants around St. Louis offer salad on the menu.  Some are quite good, while others are practically inedible, flavorless clippings of bland lettuce, dried out carrot shavings, and maybe a stale crouton.  Yuck.

Eating healthy shouldn’t be torture.  And finding a great place to get a terrific salad shouldn’t be a major expedition.  Fortunately it’s not.  We turned to customer reviews to find the best salads in St. Louis for you.  We limited the list of salad specialists to those with at least 20 customer reviews.  Turns out there are some pretty good restaurants that make salads so good, they stand on their own!

Topping the list is Sauce on the Side at 7810 Forsyth Blvd. in Clayton.  (They also have locations at 411 North 8th Street in downtown St. Louis, and 4261 Manchester in the Grove that are also highly regarded).  This place specializes in calzones, but they make terrific salads too.  Freshness is key to the quality at Sauce on the Side.  The owners believe using ingredients that are as fresh as possible, made in house, and sourced from local suppliers.  They make all of their salad dressings, bastes, and dipping sauces in house daily.  They offer six creative, fresh, seasonal salads every day.  There are options like the Strawberry Fields (spring mix, strawberries, feta, red onion, sage, mint, candied walnuts, dressed in their white balsamic vinaigrette) or the Smokehouse (butter lettuce, corn salsa, pancetta, smoked, cheddar, pear tomatoes, basil, and their own BBQ ranch dressing). With food this fresh, you can’t help but feel good!

Here’s the full list of the top 10 restaurants to turn to when you want a salad that doesn’t feel like you’re missing out:

  1. Sauce On the Side (4.5 stars/154 reviews) Clayton, 7810 Forsyth Blvd, Clayton, MO 63105 – Phone: (314) 833-5426
  2. Bella Vino Wine Bar & Tapas (4.5 stars/103 reviews) St. Charles, 325 South Main Street, Saint Charles, MO 63301 – Phone: (636) 724-3434
  3. The Gyro Company II (4.5 stars/56 reviews) South County, 5496 Baumgartner Road, Saint Louis, MO 63129 – Phone: (314) 499-4939.
  4. Dixon’s Smoke Company (4.5 stars/23 reviews) Midtown, 3674 Forest Park Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63108 – Phone: (314) 833-4161
  5. Iron Barley Eating Establishment (4.0 stars/327 reviews) Carondelet, 5510 Virginia Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63111 – Phone: (314) 351-4500.
  6. Crushed Red (4.0 stars/201 reviews) Clayton, 8007 Maryland Ave, Clayton, MO 63105 – Phone: (314) 725-8007
  7. Quincy Street Bistro (4.0 stars/183 reviews) Princeton Heights, 6931 Gravois Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63116 – Phone: (314) 353-1588
  8. YaYa’s Euro Bistro (4.0 stars/160 reviews) Chesterfield, 15601 Olive Blvd, Chesterfield, MO 63017 – Phone: (636) 537-9991
  9. Sugarfire Smoke House (4.0 stars/152 reviews) Downtown, 605 Washington Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63101 – Phone: (314) 394-1720
  10. The Wolf (4.0 stars/126 reviews) Ballwin, 15480 Clayton Road, Ballwin, MO 63011 – Phone: (636) 527-7027

Honorable Mentions:

A couple of local restaurants beloved for their salads actually had five-star reviews, but not quite enough reviews to put them into the top ten.  Still, their customers really seem to love them, so they are worth checking out! Honorable mentions go to:

The Greek Kitchen (5.0 stars/15 reviews) Ellisville, 15939 Manchester Road, Ellisville, MO 63011, (636) 686-7200.

3-S’ Soups Salads Sandwiches Bistro (5.0 stars/5 reviews) Berkeley, 8573 Airport Road, Saint Louis, MO 63134, (314) 524-9202.

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

An OpenTable Neighborhood Gem to Close – Atlas Restaurant

Atlas Restaurant

Atlas Restaurant in Debaliviere Place Announces End

ST LOUIS, MO/January 9, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – It’s a sad day for St. Louis diners.  One of the best restaurants in the city has announced it is closing.  Atlas Restaurant at 5513 Pershing Ave. in St. Louis’ Debaliviere Place neighborhood will close next month.  They were unable to negotiate a new lease.  At the end of business on January 5, 2016, restaurant management posted the following announcement on the Atlas Facebook Page:

To all of our friends, families and patrons of Atlas Restaurant ~

We are extremely sorry to share the news that Saturday, February 18th will be the final night of service at Atlas Restaurant.  We’ve been so lucky to have taken the helm at Atlas for nearly seven wonderful years and are very thankful to our loyal patrons.  We want to thank each and every one of you for all you’ve done for us, and for not only being our guests but becoming our friends and family.  We felt we would be remiss not to offer the next several weeks for diners to have a chance to visit us a final time or two.  It has been an honor and privilege to work with our staff at Atlas and we are grateful for their loyalty.

Simply put, we have been unable to find an agreement to extend our stay on Pershing.  Life does what it does and now it is time to find a new path.  As for us, we will consolidate our efforts at Avenue Restaurant in Clayton where – if you drop in – you may well see some familiar faces from your evenings at Atlas.

So there it is– a moment full of delicious memories, twangs of sorrow and bright hopes for the future.  We would like to extend our deepest gratitude and best wishes to you all.

Atlas has been a local favorite, and was consistently listed as one of OpenTable’s top 10 “Neighborhood Gems.” Users of the San Francisco-based online reservation service gave the upscale casual restaurant 4.5 stars.  Chef Alberto Ahuatzi’s menu was inspired by the cuisines of France and Italy, with contemporary American flourishes.  If you have been meaning to try Atlas, but haven’t had the chance, you should take the closing notice as an opportunity to do so.  The artfully created dishes will fill you with joy, and then a tragic sense of loss, as they will be gone all too soon.  Make a reservation, so you don’t miss your chance.

Restaurants like Atlas don’t come along every day and this neighborhood gem will be missed by many in and around the west end of the city.  You won’t find the menu repeated at their other venue, the Avenue at 12 North Meramec Ave. in Clayton, but you will find the same genuine hospitality and a different, but still delicious blend of French, Italian and Contemporary American cuisine.  You’ll also find breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day, a full bar complete with Happy Hour specials and weekend brunch! It isn’t Atlas, but it is still good.

Contact information:

Atlas Restaurant
Owner: Brian Carr
5513 Pershing Ave.
Debaliviere Place
St. Louis, MO 63112
Phone: (314) 367-6800

And

Avenue Restaurant
12 North Meramec Ave.
Clayton, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 727-4141

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Picture courtesy of Atlas Restaurants’ website

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top 10 Cajun/Creole Restaurants in the St. Louis Area

Top 10 Cajun/Creole Restaurants

Authentic N’Awlins Flavor Customers Love – Top 10 Cajun/Creole Restaurants

ST LOUIS, MO/January 8, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – St. Louis may be a few hundred miles up the Mississippi River from New Orleans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get great Cajun and Creole cooking right here.  We’ve asked St. Louis diners before where to get the best, most authentic taste of N’awlins in the Gateway City.  With the ever changing restaurant scene in St. Louis, and since we were looking for a good cup of gumbo to warm up in this frigid weather, we thought it was time to check the customer reviews once again.

We set a few limitations, as we usually do, only including local, independently owned restaurants: no out-of-town chains.  In order to make the top 10, the restaurant had to have received at least 50 reviews.  The resulting list contains many of the same names as past “Top 10 Cajun/Creole” lists.  But there are few new ones too!

For instance, Broadway Oyster Bar has been the top rated destination for authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine since our first Top 10 list in this category.  But then they’ve been local favorites for almost as long as they’ve been serving up fresh Gulf shrimp and po’boys.  But then “BOB” owners John and Victoria Johnson have spent the last 35-years bringing great food and music to guests at their downtown St. Louis restaurant.  They also recently topped our list of the best seafood restaurants in St. Louis.  Their menu includes all the New Orleans favorites from Shrimp & Grits and Lobster Po’ Boys to oysters, which they do ten different and delicious ways!  And don’t forget their legendary Alligator Sausage & Shrimp Cheesecake app.  There’s nothing else quite like it anywhere.

But there are some newcomers to our Top 10 list this time too.  Taytro’s Bar & Bistro in Festus was the only restaurant on our list to match BOB’s 4.5 star rating.  This family-owned restaurant has all the crawfish, shrimp, jambalaya, gumbo, po’boys, and red beans & rice you could want.  They also make a killer brown sugar and garlic glazed pork chop, and down home good bread pudding!  Besides cold beer on tap, they also have a pretty terrific wine list.  They serve up live music on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and they’ve cooked up some special magic for their annual Mardi Gras party February 25th.  Diners in the Festus–Crystal City area have grown to love Taytro’s.

Here are the top 10 Cajun/Creole restaurants in St. Louis, according to customer ratings and reviews:

1. Broadway Oyster Bar (4.5 stars/870 reviews) Downtown, 736 South Broadway, Saint Louis, MO 63102 – Phone: (314) 621-8811.
2. Taytro’s Bar & Bistro (4.5 stars/99 reviews) Jefferson County, 343 North Creek Drive, Festus, MO 63028 – Phone: (636) 931-1880.
3. Ragin Cajun Piano Bar (4.3 stars/60 reviews) Alton, 210 West 3rd Street, Alton, IL 62002 – Phone: (618) 433-9119.
4. BB’s Jazz Blues & Soups (4.2 stars/215 reviews) Downtown, 700 South Broadway, Saint Louis, MO 63102 – Phone: (314) 436-5222.
5. Evangeline’s Bistro and Music House (4.1 stars/210 reviews) Central West End, 512 North Euclid Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63108 – Phone: (314) 367-3644.
6. Gulf Shores Restaurant and Grill (4.0 stars/474 reviews) Creve Coeur, 12528-A Olive Blvd, Creve Coeur, MO 63141 – Phone: (314) 878-3306.
7. Riverbend Restaurant & Bar (4.0 stars/96 reviews) Richmond Heights, 1059 South Big Bend Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63117 – Phone: (314) 664-8443.
8. Molly’s in Soulard (3.8 stars/271 reviews) Soulard, 816 Geyer Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63104 – Phone: (314) 241-6200.
9. Hwy 61 Roadhouse & Kitchen (3.7 stars/377 reviews) Webster Groves, 34 South Old Orchard Ave, Webster Groves, MO 63119 – Phone: (314) 968-0061.
10. Boogaloo (3.6 stars/335 reviews) Maplewood, 7344 Manchester Road, Maplewood, MO 63143 – Phone: (314) 645-4803.

Since we limited the top ten to restaurants with 50 reviews or more, a couple of highly rated restaurants didn’t quite make the list.  Both of these metro-east eateries feature authentic New Orleans style food, great service and great venues.  The both have 4-star ratings or better, just not quite enough reviews to make our list.  Our Honorable Mentions go to:

Grafton Oyster Bar (4.1 stars/34 reviews) Grafton, 215 West Water Street, Grafton, IL 62037 – Phone: (618) 786-3000.
Railshake Brewery (4.0 stars/48 reviews) Madison County, 504 Walnut Street, Highland, IL 62249 – Phone: (618) 651-4900.

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Picture courtesy of St. Louis Restaurant Review

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Copyright 2016 St. Louis Media, LLC d.b.a. STLRestaurant.News.  All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.