Edibles & Essentials Doing Sandwiches Justice
ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Even when it’s not National Sandwich Day, Americans eat a lot of sandwiches. On any given day, at least half of us will seek out our favorite sandwich shop, smear a little PB&J on sliced bread, or fold last night’s dinner into a leftover roll. From the simple PB&J you slap together in your kitchen, to the artfully crafted culinary creations of chefs, sandwiches may be the ultimate comfort food. And everyone knows a good sandwich is more than the sum of its parts. Oh sure, great ingredients make for a better sandwich, but there’s as much to be said for the way you put those ingredients together, as for what you use.
Great sandwiches can be found at terrific little places across the metro area, but as it happens, one of the best places to get a truly great sandwich in St. Louis is also one of the newest restaurants in town. Customers give Edibles & Essentials at 5815 Hampton Ave. five stars. This small artisan cafe and market opened last fall to purposely bringing quality ingredients to the St. Louis Hills neighborhood. In fact, Chef Matt Borchardt says that’s his primary goal: delicious, gourmet food that people can actually afford to eat. A St. Louis native, Chef Borchardt has a an enviable resume that includes L’Ecole Culinaire in Clayton, Kirkwood’s Café Provençal, and Frazer’s Brown Bag in Benton Park.
The cafe’s menu rotates constantly, with only two items guaranteed to be available every day. One of those mainstay menu items is also a sandwich of sorts: the Banh Mi Taco. It’s pork belly, pickled slaw, hoisin mayo wrapped in a corn tortilla. It’s smoky, tart, crispy and satisfying. There are always other, more traditional sandwiches on the menu too. They rotate, but each is a delicious combination of high quality ingredients. Take the ham & cheese sandwich. It’s made with smoked ham, provolone, and whole grain bread, but Borchardt adds pears and mango chutney to take it to the next level. It’s the same with their BLT. They actually cure the bacon themselves, giving the sandwich a little extra deliciousness.
Edibles & Essentials also has a full bar, including a thoughtful wine list, a good selection of beers and locally made sodas. The second part of the name is “essentials,” after all!
Monday nights the cafe features a prix fixe menu. For a fixed price, diners can enjoy a three course meal, including choice of appetizer, entree and dessert from a special menu. Tapas Tuesdays feature a selection of small plates for very small prices. Selections generally run $3-5 and have included items like stuffed mushrooms, escargot, duck polenta, and shrimp rolls. Every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. they do brunch. There’s French toast and pancakes, but they also include lovely sandwiches like smoked salmon on brioche and their bacon sandwich (with bacon, fried egg, havarti, and hoisin mayo on ciabatta).
No matter what sandwich offerings are on the menu when you stop by Edibles & Essentials, you can be sure they will be made with top quality ingredients artfully assembled. Any sandwich you order will certainly be an appropriate salute to John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich. He’s the 18th century English noble credited with inventing the sandwich, and it’s his birthday we celebrate on National Sandwich Day each November 3rd.
But just because you dropped by Edibles & Essentials for a sandwich, that doesn’t mean you should skip the fried ribs. Seriously. They’re slow-smoked over cherry wood, then cut into individual bones, lightly breaded, flash-fried to order and served with Alabama (white) barbecue sauce. What’s not to love?
Edibles & Essentials Market Cafe
Owners: Matt and Mary Beth Borchardt
5815 Hampton Ave
Saint Louis, MO 63109
Saint Louis Hills