Tag - Edwardsville

Sacred Grounds Serving Coffee & Vegetarian Fare on Main Street

Sacred Grounds Serving Coffee & Vegetarian Fare on Main Street

Veg-Friendly Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner at Sacred Grounds in Edwardsville

Edwardsville, IL/August 8, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – If you’re in the mood for a hot cup of joe with a side of eclectic atmosphere and maybe a slice of pumpkin bread, or a quick and affordable vegetarian-friendly bite to eat at a cozy study spot with your college buddies, then Sacred Grounds, at 233 North Main Street in downtown Edwardsville might just be right up your alley.  As a patron of Sacred Grounds, I’ve got to say that they are my new favorite vegetarian-friendly hang out in the St. Louis area.  After an old college friend introduced me to Sacred Grounds a few months back, I have been raving about them to all my friends—and now I’m going to rave about them to you, too!

Sacred Grounds has it all: a menu which caters to vegetarians while also not alienating non-veggie patrons (for example, my mother and grandmother ate a whole meal there and did not realize it was a vegetarian joint until I told them last week!), super friendly and helpful workers, and a cozy and artsy hipster vibe.  The exposed brick walls are hung with interesting and fresh local art; patrons sit at vintage, yet chic metal chairs and wooden tables; an old acoustic guitar leans in the corner, presumably for live music nights, but maybe just for decoration? (nobody is really sure of its true purpose, but everyone accepts it as a part of the atmosphere); mason jars, and a stack of classic board games.  It’s all a little strange, but in the best way.

Last time I was there, I ordered a slice of the pumpkin bread (moist and delectable) and a kale panini, which comes with melted cheddar cheese, sliced tomato, and perfectly blanched kale.  It was delicious—and only five dollars!  The DJ (just a girl working in the back with an iPhone hooked up to the speakers) was taking requests for “Diva Night” and I suggested Wannabe by the Spice Girls.  Although Sacred Grounds technically closes at 8:00 p.m., the workers told everyone still milling around the dining area that we were more than welcome to stay later.  I really can’t stress how polite, accommodating, and friendly the people who work there are.

Sacred Grounds’ owner Jenn Courtney does all the baking.  She gets started between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. each morning.  Courtney was taught the baking basics by her grandmother, but has been self-taught ever since, honing her skills through experience—from just doing it for more than 15 years.  And she’s accomplished some delicious things in that time.  Courtney has established numerous connections with local farmers, so that she can source as much produce as she can close to home.  The freshness shows in the quality of the small cafe’s offerings.  There’s a wide selection of fresh baked goods to choose from, along with paninis and wraps.  At breakfast, you’ll also find classic dishes like scrambled eggs, biscuits and gravy, and waffles with real maple syrup.

Although the coffee shop is in the heart of the downtown Edwardsville business district, they are open all day—from 7:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and serve breakfast, lunch, and early dinner every day of the week.  But, if you are less of a foodie and more of a caffeine-head, then Sacred Grounds has your back.  They are a coffee shop, after all, and what kind of coffee shop wouldn’t serve great coffee? Sacred Grounds sells gourmet coffee drinks (lattes, cappuccinos, iced coffee, etc.), as well as pour overs, (I’ve heard great things about their black coffee), and they have a nice selection of teas.

The cafe is filled with people of all ages, so it is not just a college kid hot spot.  This place is great for groups of friends to hang out, but it’s also very family friendly.  I have seen people of all ages enjoying everything Sacred Grounds has to offer—maybe I’ll see you there too.

Contact Information:

Sacred Grounds

Owner: Jenn Courtney

233 N Main Street

Edwardsville, IL 62025

Phone: (618) 692-4150

Taqueria Z Adds Spice to Edwardsville Restaurant Scene

Taqueria Z Adds Spice to Edwardsville Restaurant Scene

STL Area’s Newest Mexican Joint is Taqueria Z

Edwardsville, IL/May 29, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – The newest Mexican restaurant in the St. Louis area opened last November with the hope of creating quality Mexican street food for students at SIUE and others in the metro-east.  Taqueria Z was so well received when it opened that the first few times they fired up the grill, the little Mexican joint ran out of food.  And “joint” is the right word to describe this authentic taqueria in the heart of Edwardsville.  It’s a small cube of a restaurant at 109 East Park Street, in a rehabbed garage.  The place is clean, and has a definite Mexican vibe, but it’s small.  Takeout is a mainstay of business at Taqueria Z, but that may change now that the weather is warming up.  They have only a tiny counter space and a couple small tables for diners inside, but they have a nice patio with sail awnings and twinkle lights.  The restaurant’s creation comes from an unlikely pairing.

Mike Zanger brings the authentic Mexican know-how.  He visited Mexico for the first time at age 15, returned time and again, after falling in love with the culture and its cuisine.  He lived in central Mexico for a few years, where he learned how to prepare authentic tacos and chacos.  Now in his late 50s, Mike says starting the taqueria is his version of a “midlife crisis.”  Issues with his health (liver cancer and a transplant in 2015) spurred him to stop putting off his dream, and create the life he wanted.  Zach Miller brings business savvy to the partnership.  He met Mike at acoustic concerts hosted at the Zanger’s rural Edwardsville home.  It was there the two men struck up a friendship, and their they began making tacos together.  At 32, Mike is the owner and publisher of the Main Street Beat, an advertising publication for the local Edwardsville community.  He also owns an online-only business called Ziller Reptiles, that specializes in breeding and selling designer ball pythons and crested geckos.

Zach Miller spoke with BND.com last fall about some of the menu items at Taqueria Z.

In order to ensure the highest quality, everything is handmade from scratch using only fresh ingredients.  They don’t even have a freezer on the premises. And the menu at Taqueria Z is simple, with a few starters, tacos, chacos, quesadillas, and margaritas.  What’s a chaco?  It’s a Taqueria Z original—a taco with chihuahua cheese toasted on a fresh corn tortilla.  Tacos, chacos, and quesadillas are each available with a variety of craft meat options including carne asada, chorizo, pollo (free-range chicken) and al pastor (crisp-thin shavings of marinated, vertical spit-roasted pork.  Vegetarian options include mushrooms and poblano y papas (a combination of poblano chile peppers and potatoes).

There are six taps offering craft beer, including a Mexican brown ale that’s the result of a collaboration with Recess Brewery (307 N Main St, Edwardsville).  They also offer a selection of fine tequilas—even a signature margarita that’s made with just Corralejo Reposado tequila, cointreau, and lime juice.  It’s very simple, but exceptional.  They also offer non-alcoholic beverages, including bottled soda, both Mexican imports and locally produced varieties.  They also offer teas and locally roasted Goshen coffee.

Ironically, it’s never Taco Tuesday at Taqueria Z, because they’re closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  They are open Wednesday – Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., Friday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  On Sundays mornings, they offer Bloody Maria’s (like a Bloody Mary, but with tequila).  They also have a Sunday-only breakfast burrito made with poblano y papas, chorizo or a combination served in a rolled-up flour tortilla with eggs, Chihuahua cheese, rice, beans, cilantro, and onion.  Fresh, authentic Mexican food and a tequila-laced cocktail might be just the hangover cure Guy Beringer (inventor of brunch) had in mind!  Whether it’s Sunday brunch, drinks after work, or late night tacos, Edwardsville is eating up Taqueria Z.

Contact Information:

Taqueria Z
Owners: Mike Zanger and Zach Miller
109 E Park Street
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Phone: (618) 307-5018

Docs Smokehouse in Edwardsville Wins National Acclaim

Docs Smokehouse in Edwardsville Wins National Acclaim

Metro East BBQ Joint Makes “Best of the Best” List

Edwardsville, IL/April 26, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – There is no doubt that some of the very best barbecue in the country can be found in St. Louis.  Several of our local smokehouses have won national acclaim.  And now, a metro east favorite, Doc’s Smokehouse at 1017 Century Drive in Edwardsville has been named to the “Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America!” list by the National Barbecue News.  The widely read monthly magazine is dedicated to the sport and business of barbecue.

Doc’s Smokehouse is the first barbecue restaurant in the entire St. Louis metro area to be named to NBBQN’s annual “Best of the Best Barbecue Restaurants in America” guide, which is released each April.  To be eligible for the honor, a restaurant’s barbecue must be taste-tested, without notice or announcement, by an affiliate of the National Barbecue News.

Doc Richardson has been smoking meat forty years, including 10 years of competition on the pro circuit.  He and wife Susan spent two years developing and perfecting their special blend of rubs and sauces.  Over the years, Doc and Susan have won more than 200 barbecue awards, including a third place finish at the American Royal, the largest barbecue competition in the world.  They began catering in 2010 and opened their restaurant, Doc’s Smokehouse & Catering, in February 2014.  It has quickly become Edwardsville’s favorite barbecue joint.

Doc’s offers basic, solid barbecue with no pretension—slow-smoked meats and well-prepared sides, scratch-made with fresh ingredients.  Besides their award-winning St. Louis Spare Ribs, customers rave about their pulled pork, brisket, smoked chicken, turkey, and burnt ends.  The smoked chicken nachos are a favorite among customers, as are the mac ‘n’ cheese, corn casserole, baked beans, and sweet potato fries.  Dessert options change regularly, but they include an assortment of award-winning pies.

Doc’s Smokehouse & Catering is open Tuesday – Thursday from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.  They also offer catering for all occasions.

Contact Information:

Doc’s Smokehouse & Catering
Owners: Doc and Susan Richardson
1017 Century Drive
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Phone: (618) 656-6060

Andria’s Countryside Restaurant in Edwardsville

Andria’s Countryside Restaurant

Romantic Steakhouse Is Prime For Date Night

Edwardsville, IL/February 6, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) — Tucked into the woods on the eastern edge of Edwardsville is one of the best steakhouses in the St. Louis metro area.  Andria’s Countryside Restaurant at 7415 State Route 143 has been serving prime cuts to diners in the know for 28 years.  In fact, they were the first restaurant in the U.S. exclusively licensed to serve only USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef.  Beef of this quality is in limited supply (about 3 percent of all graded beef in the U.S). Even fewer restaurants know how to prepare it properly.  So Andria’s is worth the 30-minute drive from St. Louis.

When you pull up in front of Andria’s Countryside Restaurant, you might feel like you’ve taken a wrong turn into someone’s driveway, but don’t turn around.  The restaurant is in a converted ranch house on a five-acre partially wooded spread.  Inside you’ll find a comfortable ambiance that customers describe as “classy, but not stuffy.”  Andria’s was just named one of the 21 Most Romantic Restaurants in Illinois by the lifestyles website Only In Your State (Dec. 10, 2016).  So this is a terrific date night restaurant, for Valentine’s Day or any special night.

The beef at Andria’s is the star.  This is a steakhouse, after all. It comes from Niman Ranch, which raises cattle hormone free and antibiotic free from birth.  Every steak is expertly cut to order at Andria’s, and then perfectly cooked.  Everything is made by scratch too by the expert culinary team led by Executive Chef Jeremy Kosydor.  They use only the freshest ingredients, even growing many of the herbs, vegetables, and fruits right on the premises.  They also use locally sourced products from their neighbors at Meyers Farm and Liberty Apple Orchard.

If you’re starting with an appetizer, you can’t go wrong with the baked Brie.   The buttery cheese is wrapped in puff pastry with a berry chutney, apples, and garlic toast.   The Garlic Parmesan Fries are also a tasty (and budget friendly) choice, but might be a bit too garlicky for date night.

Diners on nearly any budget can enjoy a good wine with dinner at Andria’s.  They offer an extensive selection of Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and other varieties, mostly from the U.S. West Coast, and at varying price points.  With 100 different kinds of wine, and a wine cellar that holds 5,000 bottles, there’s always a great bottle to pair with your dinner.  They also offer about 15 labels in half-bottles, making some very good wines more affordable.

For a first class dinner, you can’t go wrong with any of the steak cuts.  This is Prime Certified Angus Beef, after all.  But the New York Strip is an excellent choice because this cut really shows off the difference between a Prime cut and lesser quality beef.  You can add the sauce of your choice from their sauce menu (on the steak, or on the side).  Some of the sauce choices include the Sophia Sauce with sautéed shrimp and portabella mushrooms in a crab cognac cream sauce; or opt for the Blue Cheese crumbled with a port wine reduction; or perhaps their classic Béarnaise with red wine and tarragon reduction.  Of course a meal you share might be the more romantic choice, so the Chateaubriand fills the bill nicely.  It’s center cut filet mignon, herb roasted potatoes, seasonal vegetables, and roasted shallot sherry demi-glace for two.

If you want steakhouse service, but aren’t in the mood for beef, then Andria’s pasta and seafood selections should fill the bill.  They make a lovely shrimp scampi served over linguine that is both delicious and affordable.  Their sesame encrusted yellowfin tuna with miso honey vinaigrette is also highly regarded by customers.  Whatever you have for dinner, be sure to save room for dessert!  You won’t want to skip Andria’s fresh, homemade desserts.

And then there’s the Lounge menu.  The Lounge is a corner of Andria’s where the ranch house’s garage would have been.  If seated in the lounge, you can order from the full menu, including the lounge’s almost secret menu of absolutely delicious apps, soups, salads, and sandwiches.  So it’s a bit more casual, and also more affordable.  If ordering from the Lounge menu, start with the Four Onion French Onion Soup.  It’s the perfect, warming combination of sherry caramelized onions in a beef broth with baked focaccia croutons, mozzarella, provolone and asiago cheeses.  Yes, it’s oniony date night, but you really shouldn’t pass up soup this good.

The sandwich offerings include prime rib, fish, Italian roast beef, and burgers—not just any burgers.  These are house ground prime steak, charbroiled, and basted with Andria’s sauce, then dressed four ways.  The Steakburger comes with sharp cheddar and spicy garlic mayo.  The Black and Blue is blackened and topped with blue cheese and a port wine reduction.  The Applewood Smoked Bacon Burger has bacon, caramelized onions, Swiss cheese, and that spicy garlic mayo.  And the Mushroom and Swiss Steakburger is topped with Andria’s sherry and mushroom cheese sauce.  If you’ve never had one, you may not be aware of the difference prime beef makes in a burger too.  These are date night worthy.  But to have one, you have to request a table in the Lounge, since the Lounge menu isn’t available in the rest of the house.

Andria’s Countryside Restaurant opens for dinner at 5:00 p.m. Monday — Saturday.  Reservations are accepted until 8:45 p.m. And reservations are strongly recommended for dinner any night, but they’re required on weekends and especially holidays like Valentine’s Day.  If you want to bring your sweetie to Andria’s for a romantic Valentine’s dinner, you should make reservations well in advance to assure you will have a table for that special night.  This is one of the most romantic restaurants in Illinois, after all.

Contact information:

Andria’s Countryside Restaurant
Owner & GM: Craig Tarpoff
Executive Chef: Jeremy Kosydor
7415 State Route 143
Edwardsville, IL 62025
Phone: (618) 656-0281