Tag - dining

Strauss Park Alive Festival Bringing 8 Weeks of Fun to Grand Center

Strauss Park Alive Festival Bringing 8 Weeks of Fun to Grand Center

Free Summer Fun & Great Food at Strauss Park Alive Festival

St. Louis, MO/June 25, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Have you been looking for fun and interesting ways to get out of the house and spend your summer days in the sunlight and fresh air?  If so, then you might want to mark your calendar!  Starting in early July and continuing through for the rest of summer, the Strauss Park Alive Festival at Grand Center promises to be an exciting arts festival in St. Louis this summer.

The festival at Strauss Park, 3534 Washington Ave., will have it all: public art (and local artist talks and guest painter sessions), live music (concerts and DJ collectives), community yoga, improv in the park, sand sculpting, and of course, great food!  Festival-goers can sample the wares of some of the city’s most popular food trucks, including the Nacho Pit, Sweet Divine’s Cupcake Truck, and Doughboy’s Wood Fired Pizza, as well as the many restaurants that call Grand Center home.

This is eight weeks of fun in the heart of the city.  Some festival highlights include the official Alive Kick-off Happy Hour w/ Hiro and Guest Painter Karen Jones on Wednesday, July 5th from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. (and each Wednesday evening throughout the festival), Tune and Trucks Tuesdays (live music and gourmet food trucks!), 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., and Chess in Strauss with the World Chess Hall of Fame each Monday afternoon at 3:00 p.m.  Every Saturday will bring live musical performances, and more.  And the best part, in my humble opinion—admission is free!

The festival’s schedule is as follows:

Week 1 (July 3 – 8)
July 3, Monday: Chess in Strauss w/ World Chess Hall of Fame (3:00 p.m.)
July 4, Tuesday: Tunes and (food) Trucks (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.), Improv in the Park (7-8:30 p.m.)
July 5, Wednesday: Alive Kick-off Happy Hour w/ Hiro and Guest Painter Karen Jones (4:30–6:30 p.m.)
July 6, Thursday: Dan Belcher, Sand Artist 1st piece. (2 days). Community Yoga (5–6:00 p.m.), Performance by Chris Ware (7:00 p.m.)
July 7, Friday: Soulition DJ collective in the Park (3:30–6:30 p.m.)
July 8, Saturday: Concert Series w/ Retro Boogie (Noon – 2:00 p.m.)

Week 2 (July 9 – 15)
July 9, Sunday: Chalk Mandalas in the Park w/ Sukanya Mani (Noon – 2:00 p.m.)
July 10, Monday: Chess in Strauss w/ World Chess Hall of Fame (3:00 p.m.)
July 11, Tuesday: Tunes and Trucks (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.), Improv in the Park (7–8:30 p.m.)
July 12, Wednesday: Hiro Happy Hour w/ Guest Painters (4:30–6:30 p.m.)
July 13, Thursday: Community Yoga (5–6:00 p.m.) Performance by The Midnight Company (Title & Deed, 7:00 p.m.)
July 14, Friday: Soulition DJ collective in the Park (3:30–6:30 p.m.)
July 15, Saturday: 3rd annual Park Jam (all day)

Week 3 (July 16 – 22)
July 16, Sunday: Melissa Allen, Aerialist (Noon – 2:00 p.m.)
July 17, Monday: Chess in Strauss w/ World Chess Hall of Fame (3:00 p.m.)
July 18, Tuesday: Tunes and Trucks (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.), Building Vanya (7-8:30 p.m.)
July 19, Wednesday: Hiro Happy Hour w/ Guest Painters (4:30–6:30 p.m.)
July 20, Thursday: Community Yoga (5-6 p.m.), StlFringe Press Preview (7:00 p.m.)
July 21, Friday: Soulition DJ collective in the Park (3:30–6:30 p.m.)
July 22, Saturday: Concert Series w/ Johnny Vancouver (Noon- 2:00 p.m.)

Week 4 (July 23 – 29)
July 23, Sunday: Campfire in Strauss Park (1p-9p TENTATIVE)
July 24, Monday: Chess in Strauss w/ World Chess Hall of Fame (3:00 p.m.)
July 25, Tuesday: Tunes and Trucks (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.), Improv in the Park (7-8:30 p.m.)
July 26, Wednesday: Hiro Happy Hour w/ Guest Painters (4:30–6:30 p.m.)
July 27, Thursday: Community Yoga (5-6 p.m.)
July 28, Friday: Soulition DJ collective in the Park (3:30–6:30 p.m.)
July 29, Saturday: Concert Series w/ NATO (Noon-2 p.m.)

Week 5 (July 30 – August 5)
July 30, Sunday: Bob Kramer’s Marionette Show in Strauss Park (noon-2 p.m.)
July 31, Monday: Chess in Strauss w/ World Chess Hall of Fame (3:00 p.m.)
Aug 1, Tuesday: Tunes and Trucks (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.), Improv in the Park (7-8:30 p.m.)
Aug 2, Wednesday: Hiro Happy Hour w/ Guest Painters (4:30–6:30 p.m.)
Aug 3, Thursday: Community Yoga (5-6:00 p.m.)
Aug 4, Friday: Soulition DJ collective in the Park (3:30–6:30 p.m.)
Aug 5, Saturday: Concert Series w/ Sweet n Low (Noon-2:00 p.m.)

Week 6 (August 6 – 12)
Aug 7, Monday: Chess in Strauss w/ World Chess Hall of Fame (3:00 p.m.)
Aug 8, Tuesday: Dan Belcher, Sand Sculpture #2, Tunes and Trucks (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.), Improv in the Park (7-8:30 p.m.)
Aug 9, Wednesday: Hiro Happy Hour w/ Guest Painters (4:30–6:30 p.m.)
Aug 10, Thursday: Community Yoga (5–6:00 p.m.), Performance by Chris Ware (7:00 p.m.)
Aug 11, Friday: Soulition DJ collective in the Park (3:30–6:30 p.m.)
Aug 12, Saturday: Concert Series w/ Retro boogie (Noon – 2:00 p.m.)

Week 7 (August 13 – 19)
Aug 13, Sunday: Chalk Mandalas with Sukanya Mani
Aug 14, Monday: Chess in Strauss w/ World Chess Hall of Fame (3:00 p.m.)
Aug 15, Tuesday: Tunes and Trucks (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.), Improv in the Park (7–8:30 p.m.)
Aug 16, Wednesday: Hiro Happy Hour w/ Guest Painters (4:30–6:30 p.m.)
Aug 17, Thursday: Community Yoga (5–6:00 p.m.), StlFringe opening Night/ Wellness Fair in Strauss Park (all day)
Aug 18, Friday: Soulition DJ collective in the Park (3:30 – 6:30 p.m.)
Aug 19, Saturday: StlFringe Family day in Strauss Park (all day), Cary Colman Jazz Trio (2–4:00 p.m.)

Week 8 (August 20 – 30)
Aug 20, Sunday: StlFringe in the Park
Aug 21, Monday: Eclipse Party, Chess in Strauss w/ World Chess Hall of Fame (3:00 p.m.)
Aug 22, Tuesday: Tunes and Trucks w/ musician Kristen Goodman (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.), Improv in the Park (7–8:30 p.m.)
Aug 23, Wednesday: Dan Beclher, Sand Sculpture #3 (Josephine Baker), Hiro Happy Hour w/ Guest Painters (4:30 – 6:30 p.m.)
Aug 24, Thursday: StlFringe in the Park (all day), Community Yoga (5–6:00 p.m.)
Aug 25, Friday: Soulition DJ collective in the Park (3:30 – 6:30 p.m.)
Aug 26, Saturday: Concert Series w/Johnny Vancouver (Noon – 2:00 p.m.)

Aug 27, Sunday: Melissa Allen (noon- 2:00 p.m.)
Aug 28, Monday: Chess in Strauss w/ World Chess Hall of Fame (3:00 p.m.)
Aug 29, Tuesday: Tunes and Trucks (11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.)
Aug 30 Wednesday: Closing Happy Hour w/ Hiro and Guest Painters (4:30 – 6:30 p.m.)

So, if spending time in the community surrounded by free public art, free fun and live entertainment, and great food sounds like something you want to experience this summer, then the Strauss Park Alive Festival at Grand Center is for you.  More information about Strauss Park Alive and other events at Grand Center, visit the Grand Center Arts District website.

Dave & Buster’s to Debut Exclusive Spider-Man Arcade Game Nationwide

Tremendous Year for Spider-Man Franchise Continues with New Arcade Game at Dave & Buster’s

DALLAS/June 17, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – In anticipation of the worldwide release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, in theaters July 7, Dave & Buster’s, the ultimate destination for fun, food, friends and games introduces a brand new Spider-Man arcade game created exclusively for the concept.

The new game, based on Spider-Man: Homecoming, is part of Dave & Buster’s new sourcing strategy that builds partnerships with some of the biggest brands in popular culture and supports the collaborations with world-class games and entertainment for our guests.  Developed by Adrenaline Amusements, the new game is a custom arcade conversion of Spider-Man Unlimited, created by Gameloft SE under license from Marvel, and utilizes assets specific to Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Only available at Dave & Buster’s, the game lets players swing through the streets of New York, and if successful, battle the evil super-villain, the Vulture.  It is everyone’s chance to be their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!

To celebrate, Dave & Buster’s will be offering guests the opportunity to play three games free, including the new Spider-Man: Homecoming – and others like World’s Largest Pac-Man and Space Invaders Frenzy – with each $10 Power Card purchase or reload!

“The new Spider-Man: Homecoming game is a milestone for the Dave & Buster’s brand as it is a game-changer in the way we source and deliver games to our guests,” says Kevin Bachus, SVP of Entertainment and Games Strategy at Dave & Buster’s “We are passionate about offering our guests a unique experience they can’t get anywhere else, and now fans of the iconic Spider-Man franchise will have another way to celebrate their favorite Super Hero with a game that is as fun and exhilarating as the films and comics.  This game was made exclusively for Dave & Buster’s, and will be the only place to play it – ever!”

About Dave & Buster’s:

Dave & Buster’s Entertainment, Inc., headquartered in Dallas, Texas, operates 99 large-venue, high-volume Dave & Buster’s restaurant/entertainment complexes throughout North America.  Each Dave & Buster’s offers an impressive selection of high-quality food and beverage items, combined with the latest games and attractions.  Guests can play state-of-the-art simulators and games of skill they can’t play anywhere else.  Dave & Buster’s also provides a vibrant sports bar filled with massive screens, creating an ideal sports watching experience.  For more information, visit www.daveandbusters.com.  The exciting environment of the Dave & Buster’s complex also provides the perfect setting for corporate and group events.

About Spider-Man: Homecoming

A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.).  Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened. Directed by Jon Watts.  Produced by Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal.  Screenplay by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers, Screen Story by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley, Based on the Marvel Comic Book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko.

About Sony Pictures Entertainment

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) is a subsidiary of Sony Entertainment Inc., a subsidiary of Tokyo-based Sony Corporation.  SPE’s global operations encompass motion picture production, acquisition and distribution; television production, acquisition and distribution; television networks; digital content creation and distribution; operation of studio facilities; and development of new entertainment products, services and technologies.  For additional information, go to http://www.sonypictures.com.

Dave & Buster’s – St. Louis

13857 Riverport Drive

Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Phone: (314) 209-8015


Source: News provided by Dave & Buster’s – distributed by PR Newswire – published by STLRestaurant.News

June is Promising New Eats for St. Louis Diners

June is Promising New Eats for St. Louis Diners – STLRestaurant.News

New STL Restaurants and Breweries Opening in June – New Eats

St. Louis, MO/May 25, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) New Eats – As we wind our way into the unofficial start of summer in St. Louis, we can look forward to long days, warm weather, summer festivals, and several new restaurants!  June is historically a month of new beginnings, so restaurant openings seem all too appropriate.  And this year, June delivers the goods.  There will be new things to eat and drink, and terrific new places to enjoy them.

The King is about to be resurrected—the long-closed St. Louis restaurant King Louie, that is.  Matt McGuire, former director of service for Gerard Craft’s Niche Food Group, is in the process of bringing back his much-loved restaurant, now simply dubbed Louie.  The new 2,800 square foot eatery will occupy a portion of the shuttered Jimmy’s on the Park, at 706B DeMun Avenue in Clayton.  The esteemed King Louie had been known for sensational food and service.  The menu still isn’t set for this new Louie, but diners should expect Italian and French influenced American cuisine.  McGuire has said he’s hoping the new Louie will become a DeMun neighborhood mainstay, rather than a destination restaurant.  Louie is expected to open in June, but no date has been set.  There’s no website yet either.

A new craft beer and hockey bar is soon to open in Midtown St. Louis.  Work is underway to get Center Ice Brewery at 120 Olive Blvd. up and running by mid to late June.  The hockey-focused brewery is the brainchild of St. Louis entrepreneur and philanthropist Steve Albers, who founded two hockey tournaments to benefit Shutout Autism, playfully dubbed the Frozen Cup and the Melted Cup.  Before developing his own brews for Center Ice Brewery, Albers spent three years brewing with friends under the name Hat Trick Brewing.  Center Ice Brewing will be primarily a brewery and tasting room with 12 – 18 taps and 60 or more seats.  Since the brewery is right next door to Pappy’s Smokehouse and Southern, Albers doesn’t plan to make food.  Instead, guests will be able to order food in from the neighboring restaurants to enjoy with his beers.  Center Ice’s core beers will include Center Ice American Golden, Hop Shelf IPA, Puck O’ the Irish stout, and Raspberry Picker.  Albers has been video blogging the development of Center Ice Brewery on Youtube:

Steve Albers walks you through the latest developments and installations at Center Ice Brewery as he works to open his Midtown establishment by late June.

Taco Buddha is expected to open late next month at 7405 Pershing Avenue (Pershing and Jackson) in University City.  This taco-fusion spot will offer counter service with seating for 25 inside and another two-dozen or so outside.  There will be a taco-focused menu.  The plan is to offer all sorts of food stuffed into a taco shell.  There will be everything from Asian influenced chicken tandoori tacos to Texas-style breakfast tacos.  Taco Buddha was the name Kurt Eller used for his catering truck.  He and partner Erin McCracken will use it for their new brick-and-mortar restaurant too.  The new taco joint will make use of the unused kitchen behind Cursed Bikes & Coffee (which sells coffee, smoothies, and pastries, so doesn’t use a kitchen).  Initially, Taco Buddha will be open Thursday – Friday for breakfast and lunch, and Saturday for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Owners Kurt Eller and Erin McCracken plan to extend the restaurant’s hours to six days a week by October.  Eventually, they plan to apply for a full liquor license, making their little taco joint a hangout destination.

With longer days and shorter nights, plus new local restaurants, June is looking like a great month of beginnings for St. Louis diners.  Yay us!

A few Mothers Day specials in the St Louis area

A few Mothers Day specials in the St Louis area

Mothers Day Specials for 2017 in the St. Louis area

ST. LOUIS, MO/May 6, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Mothers Day is rapidly approaching.  It is a big day for restaurants as kids and families gather to treat mom rather than mom treating the family.  There are many options to choose from in the St. Louis area for Mothers Day. We have listed a few that we know of, but there are many more.

Restaurants in the St. Louis area that have announced specials are as follows:

Aya Sofia – 6671 Chippewa Street, St. Louis, MO (314) 645-9919 Featuring Mother’s Day Brunch or Dinner. Call for details or reservations.

Benedetto’s on Main – 16721 Main Street, Wildwood, MO (636) 821-3535 – Mother’s Day Brunch from 10 am to 3 pm for $26.95

Bishop’s Post – 16125 Chesterfield, Pkwy West, Chesterfield, MO 63017. Phone (636) 536-9404 – Featuring a Mother’s Day Brunch from 9 am to 2 pm and dinner from 4 pm to 8 pm.

Candicci’s Restaurant and Bar – 100 Holloway Rd, Ballwin, MO 63011 (636) 220-8989 – Featuring Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet from 10 am to 3 pm and dinner from 4 pm to close. Cost is $22.99 per person, children $8.99 and children 3 and under eat for free.

Charlie Gitto’s – St. Louis’ Favorite Italian Dining Experience – Mother’s Day Brunch from 10 am to 3 pm with three locations to choose from – Charlie Gitto’s on The Hill (314) 772-8898 – Charlie Gitto’s From The Hill (636) 536-2199 and Charlie Gitto’s at Hollywood Casino (636) 770-7663.

Cork & Barrel – 7337 Mexico Rd, St. Peters, MO 63376 (636) 387-7030 – Featuring Mother’s Day Brunch from 10 am to 3 pm and dinner buffet from 3:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

LaChance Vineyards – 12237 Peter Moore Lance, Desoto, MO 63020 (636) 586-2777 – Featuring Mother’s Day Brunch from 11 am to 2 pm.

Lucas Park Grille – 1234 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, MO (314) 241-7770 – Featuring Mother’s Day Brunch from 10 am to 3 pm. Cost is $35 per adult, $15 for children 5-12 and younger than 5 eat from free. Call for reservations.

Spiro’s – 1054 North Woods Mill, Chesterfield, MO (314) 878-4449 – Featuring Mother’s Day specials. Call for details!

Table Three – 16765 Main Street, Wildwood, MO (636) 458-4333 – Mother’s Day Brunch Buffet – Reservations Required – Adults $35 – Children 6 thru 12 cost $14 and Children 5 and younger eat for free. Seating times are 9, 9:30, 10:30, 11:00, 12:00, 12:30, 1:30 & 2:00 – Brunch Ends at 3:30

Talayna’s Italian Restaurant – 68 Four Seaons Shopping Center, Chesterfield, MO 63014 (314) 469-6650 – Mother’s Day Brunch till 3 pm with regular menu served all day & evening. Call for more details.

Trattoria Giuseppe – 5442 Old Hwy 21, Imperial, MO (636) 942-2405 – Call for details and reservations.

Tucker’s Place West – 14282 Manchester Road, Manchester, MO (636) 227-8062 (one block east of 141) Featuring Maine Lobster Dinner and Steaks for Mother’s Day – Opens at 2 pm on Mother’s Day

If you are a St. Louis restaurant you are welcome to email us or call (314) 808-1870 and give us your details about your Mother’s Day specials and we will add it to our list.

Laylas and The Grove

Laylas and The Grove

ST. LOUIS, MO/April 26, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) St. Louis is an ever developing and expanding city. Often this entails re-branding an historic district, The Grove is a perfect example of the city’s growth.  The Grove used to be known as Adam’s Grove and, in the 1950s, it was a busy commercial district for the city.  For years after, Adam’s Grove fell into decline as businesses moved into the downtown area and upkeep on the area was poorly maintained.  The Grove area received its’ first wave to revitalizing investments in the 1980s, starting first with Attitudes Night Club.  In 2009, a group of property owners founded The Grove Community Improvement District (CID).  CID’s main goal is to strengthen the area’s businesses, residential community, and entertainment.  On December 4th, 2015 approval was granted from the Missouri Housing Development Commission to begin development creating affordable housing.  The development incorporated contemporary design and green building into the building of 50 garden apartments and town-homes.  After decades of growth and development, The Grove has become an eccentric area full of diverse cultures and exciting events.

Layla is a restaurant located in the heart of The Grove.  It embodies the cities vision for this area, by offering entertainment, delicious food, and local art.  Layla offers its patrons entertainment most nights of the week.  They are often the host of fundraising events, live bands, and the last Wednesday of each month is designated Simpsons Trivia Night, where you can show off your Simpson’s knowledge and win big!  Layla’s has so much more than entertainment, they are St. Louis’s only restaurant to offer Shawarma and gourmet burgers.  Layla’s menu is filled with options like falafel fries and three types of homemade hummus to choose from.  They have eleven mouthwatering hand dipped milkshakes ranging from Strawberry or Mango to Gooey Butter Baklava or Feel Like Bacon Love!

Layla’s hours of operation are Monday through Friday 11 am to 11 pm, Saturday 10 am-11 pm, and Sunday 10 am-10 pm.  The restaurant holds happy hours from 4 pm-7 pm, Monday through Friday.  For more information on upcoming events visit Layla’s Facebook page or follow them on instagram at @laylastl.  For discounted lunch look for Layla on Groupon, currently offering $20 for $12 or $40 for $24.


4317 Manchester Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63110

Phone: (314) 553-9252

Email: [email protected]


Monday thru Friday: 11 am-11 pm
Saturday: 10 am-ll pm
Sunday: 10 am-10 pm


Author: Caley Johnson


Works Cited:

“About.” About – The Grove STL. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. <http://thegrovestl.com/about/>.
Layla. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2017. <http://laylastl.com/>.
Perlmutter, Larry. “Adams Grove on the Rise.” Rise. Larry Perlmutter http://www.risestl.org/media/2016/01/rise-web-logo-no-slogan-2.png, 30 Dec. 2015. Web. 25 Apr. 2017

Leaving it to the Diners – St. Louis’ Top 10 People’s Choice

St. Louis’ Top 10 People’s Choice Neighborhood Restaurants

ST LOUIS, MO/December 28, 2016 (STLRestaurant.News) We always hear a lot about what the food critics say about which restaurants we should frequent but what about the diners themselves?  After all, isn’t that who really matters in the end?

OpenTable, the San Francisco-based online restaurant reservation service thinks so.  Their website evaluates 400,000 new diner reviews every month to find the best overall restaurants around the world.  In a recent article they ranked the top ten neighborhood restaurants chosen by local diners.

St. Louis’ Diners Top 10 Favorite Neighborhood Restaurants:

1. Candicci’s Restaurant & Bar in Ballwin
2. Frazer’s Restaurant & Lounge in Soulard/Benton Park
3. Demun Oyster Bar in Clayton
4. Tavolo V in The Loop
5. Yemanja Brasil in Soulard/Benton Park
6. Vito’s Sicilian Pizzeria & Ristorante in Grand Center
7. Atlas Restaurant in the Central West End
8. 612 Kitchen & Cocktails in Kirkwood
9. Herbie’s Restaurant in the Central West End
10. Bar Italia Ristorante in the Central West End

Candicci’s Restaurant & Bar, came in at #1 is known for their fine Italian cuisine, which got more than a few fabulous compliments from customers in numerous OpenTable website reviews.  Frazer’s Restaurant & Lounge took the #2 spot.  They serve cuisine driven by palates all over the world.  French, Moroccan, Italian, Mexican and Cajun are just a few of those different cultural flavors.


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 gastroLAB Café at Confluence Kombucha

Confluence Kombucha

A Tasteful Fusion of Art, Food, and Adventure – Confluence Kombucha

St. Louis, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – The newest restaurant in the Grove will be new to St. Louis diners in more ways than one.  Confluence Kombucha at 4507 Manchester Road opened its gastroLAB café in September.  The gastroLAB is the playful, food side of the business.  So far, the innovative small plates and snacks are a big hit with customers.

The gastroLAB’s menu is both elegant and simple.  Chef William Pauley’s creations are expertly prepared vegetarian luxe, at a very affordable price.  The food is fresh, with a sophisticated Asian influence, and downright delicious.  Vegetarians, vegans and omnivores will find something to love on the menu, which changes regularly.  In the playful style of the cafe, gastroLAB’s menu is divided into four categories: drinks, curiosities, compositions, and sweets.  The first and last are self-explanatory.

The name “Curiosities” winks at the adventurous style that underscores the entire business.  It includes interesting choices like coconut yogurt with sesame; beautifully marbled tea eggs; variations on kimchee—including tomatillo & corn, or Korean melon & patty pan squash, and a half-dozen others.  There’s a nice variety of nukazuke (vegetables and fruit fermented in rice bran or nuka).  This week you’ll find cucumber, apple, turnip, and radish with jackfruit seed butter and rhubarb jam.  There are also pickles (brined veg & fruit).  This week’s selection includes beet, blueberry, green papaya, bitter melon, mushroom, pineapple core, sunchoke, cactus, cauliflower, and watermelon rind.  A curious variety, yes?

“Compositions,” as one might have guessed, are composed dishes (entrees) that stick to the inventive vegetarian theme.  Again, the menu rotates weekly, generally including dishes based on seasonal ingredients.  Among the choices this week you’ll find Jackfruit prepared with lime, herbs, crispy shallots, and tomatoes; Tempeh with pickled beets, honey, tahini, and fermented greens; and Kimbap Tacos, made with slices of fresh kimbap (sushi’s cousin), roasted seaweed, brown rice, kimchee, and seasoned vegetable.  Hey, they had me at tacos.

And just because it’s vegetarian, doesn’t mean you should skip dessert!  Why would you with choices like Pear with chestnut, coconut, apple cider, currants, dates, and pistachios?  There’s a certain promise of decadence with a dish called Nut Butter Cup.  The gastroLAB’s is a delicious, healthy tryst with raw cacao, almond, peanut, coconut sugar, and turmeric.  Even their Raw Cacao dessert is made with mushroom, maple syrup, coconut oil and ashwagandha (a super immune-boosting, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-stress, sleep-inducing, and antibacterial herb).  So who doesn’t love dessert, especially when it’s delicious and good for you?

Just because you can count on everything on the gastroLAB drinks menu being potable, that doesn’t mean you’ll find a mundane selection of offerings.  The simplest drink on the menu this week is fresh coconut water.  There’s also wild harvested chaga tea (mild mushroom tea with a hint of nuttiness and vanilla); pineapple aluá (a lightly fermented Brazilian drink made of pineapple, brown sugar and clove); wildflower honey jun (fermented with green tea and raw honey); and a variety of hot teas.

The kombucha brewing operation is still in the works.  That’s because the folks at Confluence Kombucha are brewing it using traditional methods, so it contains a small amount of naturally occurring alcohol, which means they need special permits to make and sell it.  On October 7th Confluence Kombucha received federal approval to brew and sell kombucha.  The City of St. Louis just approved their brewer’s license.  Co-owner Julienne Villarini says they expect to get state approval in the next week or so.  Villarini says once that happens, they’ll start selling their kombucha creations right away—something that could happen as soon as the first week in December.

For the uninitiated, kombucha is sweet tea fermented with yeast cultures and beneficial bacteria, to create a fizzy drink that’s lighter and a little less effervescent than soda.  It’s become popular for its tart applesque flavor, and its purported health benefits (claims range from detoxification benefits, to help with digestion, sleep, and weight loss).

Confluence will offer six varieties on tap including some newbie-friendly choices like pineapple-turmeric, plum blossom-elderberry, and rose-honeysuckle-vanilla (a good first choice, since it hits the vanilla notes rather strongly, making it kind of like a tart cream soda).  For something more exotic, try the hibiscus-jasmine flower-juniper berry or one of the seasonal flavors which will rotate regularly.

The gastroLAB at Confluence Kombucha serves lunch (11 to 3) and dinner (5 to 9) Weds – Sat, and lunch on Sunday.  When the weather is nice, the patio they share with Urban Chestnut’s Research Brewery is a comfortable place to sample the gastroLAB’s elegantly prepared dishes.  It’s a popular spot for lunch, and there’s no doubt it will soon make an excellent spot to sit and sample kombucha.

Contact Information:

Confluence Kombucha gastroLAB
Owners: Julienne Villarini & Chef William Pauley
4507 Manchester Avenue (The Grove)
St. Louis, MO 63110
[email protected]


Dinner Theater

Dinner with a Side of Comedy, Mystery, or Burlesque! Dinner Theater

ST. LOUIS, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Dinner Theater – The phrase “dinner and a show” conjures up all sorts of images.  It can be as simple as musicians playing unobtrusively in the corner of a restaurant, as immersive as mystery dinner theater, or as elaborate as medieval feasting.  In St. Louis, a wide variety dinner shows pop up throughout the year, everything from food truck-music festivals to Shakespeare in the Park.  Four of the most popular dinner shows are in full swing, some opening their special holiday shows this week.  Each is offering a unique evening out.

Probably the best known is the Bissell Mansion Restaurant & Dinner Theatre, 4426 Randall Place in North St. Louis, (314-533-9830).  All this month and through December, the Bissell Mansion presents “It’s A Wonderful Death”, a parody of Frank Capra’s classic “It’s A Wonderful Life.”  In their version, the cantankerous Mr. Potter is found murdered.  You’ll meet the residents of Bedford Falls, as the play unfolds and the audience helps to solve the case.  You can be part of the cast, by asking for a “starring” role in the show, or just sit back, relax, and guess “whodunnit.”  Tickets for the Bissell Mansion Participatory Murder Mystery include a 4-course meal (appetizer, salad, entree and dessert).  Evening meals also included two glasses of white wine.  Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:00 pm., with a Sunday show at 2:00 pm.  Tickets are $54.95 per person in November ($56.95 in December), and must be reserved in advance, by phone.

Another popular choice is the Lemp Mansion Restaurant & Inn, 3322 DeMenil Place in the Benton Park neighborhood of St. Louis, (314-664-8024).  The Jest Murder Mystery Company at the Lemp Mansion Restaurant has also begun performing their holiday show.  This year it’s “Dickens of a Killing!”  The comedy mystery centers on the murder of Ebenezer Scrooge.  The suspects are a who’s who of Charles Dickens’ characters.  Tickets for the interactive comedy-mystery show are $52.95 per person, including a three-course meal with wine.  The show runs every Friday and Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. from now through January 7, 2017.  Reservations are required and can be made by phone or online at www.lempmansion.com.

A once familiar downtown St. Louis favorite is back for a limited engagement in a new venue!  The Royal Dumpe Dinner Theatre has moved to The Lodge at Grant’s Trail, 4398 Hoffmeister Ave. (Lemay) in South St. Louis County, (636-933-9057).  At “the King’s Hunting Lodge,” you will step back into 16th century England for an evening of medieval madness with King Henry VIII and his bevy of wenches.  The comedy show is an interactive night of bawdy merry making and song!  The Royal Dumpe claims to be the longest running show of its kind in the U.S. Since this is their fourth decade of feasting, they may well be.  But it almost wasn’t so.  The Royal Dumpe Theatre closed last spring when their landlord sold the building on North 2nd Street that had been their home.  At the new location in South County, they won’t hold weekly shows as in the past.  In fact, there are only two dates listed on their website: December 4 & 15, 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.  With the new location comes a new menu and a change in pricing.  At the new venue, the $49.50 per person price includes dinner, the show, all drinks, parking, taxes, and even the gratuity!  There’s a link to buy tickets online at www.royaldumpe.com.

For something completely different, check out the burlesque show at the Boom Boom Room at 500 North 14th Street in downtown St. Louis (314-436-7000).  Modeled after a 1920’s speakeasy with a modern twist, customers describe the dinner and cocktail shows as “classy with divine debauchery.” The venue is intimate, with a limited number of seats.  On Friday and Saturday nights they offer two-hour dinner shows.  Tickets for the Friday night show, “Cocktails, Cuisine & Corsets” cost $14.99, plus $14.99 each for the two-course dinner (salad & entree).  On Saturday it’s “Dinner Von Tease” at $21.99 each for the show, plus $29.99 each for a four-course dinner (salad, fish course, entree, dessert).  Tickets can be purchased online at www.theboomboomroomstl.info.  Both shows feature singing, dancing, burlesque, cirque and more to keep you thoroughly entertained.  Since the venue is downtown, be prepared to pay for parking at one of the two nearby garages.

All of these dinner theaters have limited seating, so reserving your place well ahead of your planned night out is recommended.  No matter whether you want a raucous whodunit, a bawdy medieval feast or something else entirely, these establishments are serving up dinner and a show.  It’s a whole evening of entertainment like nothing else.



Hold On To Your Po Boy At Railshake!

HIGHLAND, IL: (STLRestaurant.News) – Where can you go to get a New Orleans style po boy, fried alligator tail and remoulade, homemade potato chips and a more than respectable craft beer selection?  Follow the tracks to Railshake, 504 Walnut Street in Highland, Illinois!

Part gastropub, part good old fashioned tavern, the Railshake sits in an historic brick building right next to an active railroad line.  The building dates back to 1856 when it was built as a hotel for the railroad.  As such, it’s always had a bar.  Railshake owner Teffy Beard says the bar back in place now in the restored interior is the same one that was in service in the 1850s.  The decor is a combination of clean, modern design in rustic wood and brick surroundings.  It’s reminiscent of the kind of place you’d find in Soulard, which was the plan when the building was restored and Railshake first opened in 2013.

The menu has a decidedly Cajun/Creole slant to it.  They offer boudin balls, jambalaya pasta, muffaletta (made with country hard salami and smoked ham, then topped with olive relish and provel cheese).  You can get real alligator tail, breaded and fried and served with spicy remoulade.  Their po boy sandwiches feature your choice of deep fried crawfish, gator, or shrimp and they’re topped with a crispy, sweet slaw.  They even have gumbo, red beans & rice, and etouffee.

Besides Cajun/Creole cuisine, you’ll also find the kind of food you’d expect at a top rated bar & grill; cheeseburgers, fries, steak and sandwiches, but they’re done Teffy’s way, with a nod to extra flavor.  Consider the Railshake take on grilled cheese for instance.  It’s a triple-decker with smoked Gouda sauce, Provel and American cheeses melted together on buttery sourdough.  It’s vegetarian friendly, unless you add their crispy, thick-cut bacon, which you can, and you should.

Even more than the food, and friendly service, Railshake may best be known for their extensive craft beer selection which rotates seasonally.  They have 18 beers on tap—all craft beers, except for Stag, which is a local favorite.  They also have a wide selection of bottled beers, bar drink specials and local craft sodas.  Enjoy your drink at a table with your meal, or chill at the bar and your beer chills too, thanks to a built in frost rail.  There’s also a three-season patio overlooking the railroad tracks.  And if you’re lucky a train will rumble by and you’ll get the chance to feel how the place got its name!

Railshake is open Monday – Thursday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. to 3 a.m.

Contact Information:
Owner: Teffy Beard
504 Walnut St
Highland, IL 62249
(618) 651-4900



St. Louis’ Smoked Poultry Expert Is Four – The Gobble Stop Smokehouse

CREVE COEUR, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) The Gobble Stop Smokehouse – In the Midwest, it’s not too hard to find good pulled pork or barbecued beef, but have you ever had smoked turkey ribs or fried corn?  Then you’ve probably never eaten at Gobble STOP Smokehouse, 1227 Castillon Arcade Plaza (Fee Fee Road and Olive Blvd.) in Creve Coeur.

This family-owned and operated smokehouse is all about smoked, barbecued poultry.  You won’t find pork or beef or fish on the menu, and you won’t miss them.  You will find smoked barbecued turkey and chicken paired with both traditional and innovative comfort foods.  Instead of short ribs or spareribs, they’re smoking turkey ribs.  Or try the smoked turkey tips and award-winning chicken wings.  Whether it’s a chicken Philly sandwich or classic smoked turkey drumstick, everything is seasoned with their signature rubs and spice blends.

Pair up the smoked poultry of your choice with traditional sides like baked beans, cole slaw or corn on the cob.  Or dip into their selection of their unique offerings like sweet potato fries, fried corn, fried green beans or collard greens.  They do sandwiches, salads and fresh cookies too.  Ever had a banana white chocolate chip walnut cookie fresh from the oven?

DeMarco Howard knew he needed to do something new after being laid off.  So, he went to culinary school at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.  Then with the help of his brother DeMones and other family members, he opened Gobble STOP Smokehouse in 2012.  That sense of family and community flavors everything they do.

So what better way to celebrate the restaurant’s four-year anniversary than as part of the 4th annual “Brew in the Lou” festival at Francis Park?  The October 15th fundraiser (1-5 p.m.) benefits the Lutheran Elementary School Association of St. Louis.  And it’ll be a great opportunity to gobble up samples from “the Lou’s” smoked poultry experts.

Contact information:

Gobble STOP Smokehouse

1227 Castillon Arcade Plaza

Fee Fee Road & Olive Blvd.

Creve Coeur, MO 63141

Phone: 314-878-5586