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Make Valentine’s Day Special with Gus’ Heart Shaped Pretzels – Gus’s Pretzels

Gus' Pretzels, St. Louis, MO

Twisting History with Gus’ Pretzels

ST. LOUIS, MO/February 11, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Gus’ Pretzels – When most people think of the Benton Park neighborhood on St. Louis’s south side, they immediately think of the world-famous Anheuser-Busch Brewery nearby.  They should also be thinking about the area’s third generation family business, Gus’ Pretzels.

Pretzels are symbolic of the German American culture which has been so prominent in St Louis since the 1900’s.  A riveter by trade, Frank Ramsperger, began baking pretzels in his basement at 1820 Arsenal Street in 1920.  He sold them in school yards as a means to support his family.  In 1952, his son-in-law Gus Sr. purchased the bakery officially naming it Gus’ Pretzel Shop.

Gus Sr. and his family have been selling the pretzels ever since using the same recipe and same method of making the pretzels, including twisting each one by hand.  They’re made in an open kitchen so that visitors can watch the entire pretzel production process through the viewing area at different times throughout the day.

In 1980, Gus Jr. purchased the business from his father and since that time Gus’ Pretzel Shop has become a favorite St. Louis destination for both locals and visitors.  Gus Jr., along with his brother, David, has worked to expand the business from the small row house to the prosperous retail facility that it is today.

Third-generation pretzel twisters, Gus Jr. and David, are now grooming the fourth-generation, Gus III, to carry on the family tradition.  He came on board in 2008 and began providing new ideas. Gus Jr., David, and Gus III work with their team of bakers six days a week to provide St. Louis with these remarkable fresh pretzels.

Over the years, their shop and its items have evolved.  They still make their standard traditional German twisted pretzel, but the pretzel stick has become the preference of many of their customers.  They also offer pretzel sandwiches, party pretzels, and specialty dips and mustard’s.  They even offer Twisted Tuesday and Wurst Wednesday specials.

The shop, also now sells custom ordered chocolate covered hard pretzel rods and twists.  These are particularly popular for birthday parties, weddings or shower favors, holiday treats, school spirit celebrations and both, thank you and get well gifts.  The letters and numbers for their birthday and anniversary pretzels come in three sizes: 5, 15 and 18 inches.  The party pretzel twists come in two sizes: 12 and 18 inches.  And, if you don’t see the shape you want, then let them know and they’ll try to create it.

This Valentine’s Day holiday is a perfect time to give some chocolate covered hard pretzel rods and heart shaped twists as a delectable gift to show your affection for that special someone.  It’s also a great time to serve them at a Valentine’s holiday party.

Gus’ Valentine Special
Order 30 or more 5 inch pretzel hearts for only $1.00 each (regularly $1.25 each)
Offer valid February 9 – 14 only
Must be ordered in advance

Gus’ Pretzels

1820 Arsenal Street #5

St. Louis, MO 63118

Phone: (314) 664-4010

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.


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

Celebrate National Cookie Day with Warm Cookies – Hot Box Cookies

Hot Box Cookies

Hot Box Cookies is Giving Them Away!

St. Louis, MO/December 2, 2016 (STLRestaurant.News) – National Cookie Day is fast approaching and St. Louis’ favorite cookie delivery company is ready!  Sunday, December 4 is National Cookie Day.  The “holiday” was added to the official list of Food Days in 1987 and has been celebrated around the world since.  Columbia, Missouri-based Hot Box Cookies has been celebrating it since opening in October of 2008, and they’ll have warm cookies waiting for you this year too.

Hot Box Cookies was the dream child of then 20-year-old college student Corey Rimmel.  While he was a sophomore at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Rimmel got the urge for warm cookies one evening.  He told friends that he wished he could just pick up the phone or go online and order fresh cookies to be delivered, the same way he ordered pizza.  He began joking that he should start a company so he and others could get fresh cookies delivered, especially late nights.

What started as a joke, soon became a reality.  After careful research and networking with some business mentors, Hot Box Cookies opened its first store in Columbia, Missouri, but quickly grew.  There are now three additional locations, one in Lawrence, Kansas (which opened near KU in 2013), and two in the St. Louis area.  The CWE store opened in January 2015, and the newest location in Clayton turned the ovens on last summer.

Each location has a storefront where walk-in customers can get their cookie fix.  But the real magic of Hot Box is that you can order online or by phone, and for $3, they’ll bring warm cookies to you, even late nights!  Both St. Louis locations open at 10 a.m. Monday – Friday, and noon on weekends.  They’re open late too!  They’re open until midnight Sunday – Thursday, and until 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

In honor of National Cookie Day, Hot Box Cookies is giving away two free chocolate chip cookies from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.  To get them, just follow one of their social channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat.  Then make a post and tag Hot Box Cookies.  Order online or by phone, or drop by their Central West End store at 3 N Euclid Ave., St. Louis or the Clayton store at 9 N Central Ave., Clayton and claim your warm, yummy goodies!

Beside chocolate chip cookies, Hot Box has ten classic cookies available every day, including oatmeal, with raisins or chocolate chips, plus snickerdoodles, peanut butter, M&M, and monster cookies.  They also offer specialty cookies like red velvet and chocolate white chocolate. Buy them individually or by the dozen.  They’ll even deliver the milk for your cookies!  And there’s a secret to having those delicious, warm, chewy Hot Box Cookies any time, even outside their delivery area.  You won’t find it on their menu, but if you ask, they’ll sell you frozen cookie dough pucks so you can bake them yourself.  Don’t tell anyone, though. It’s a secret.

As if regular cookies aren’t celebratory enough, Hot Box also makes 12-inch cookie cakes.  These are decorated with frosting—including your special message—and can be gift packaged with cards, ribbons and even a balloon!  You can also have your cookies made into an Icing Sandwich (two cookies with icing sandwiched between them).  Or make it an Ice Cream Sandwich, with their deliciously creamy ice cream (Madagascar Vanilla, Gooey Butter Cake, and Salted Caramel) sandwiched between two fresh cookies of your choice.

If you don’t live or work in one of their delivery areas, you can still order online and pick up your cookies at your local Hot Box Cookies store.  What better way to celebrate National Cookie Day than with warm, delicious, chocolate chip cookies from Hot Box Cookies?  Did we mention that they’re free?

Contact Information:

Hot Box Cookies
Owner: Corey Rimmel
Central West End
3 N Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63108
Phone: (314) 899-0909


9 N Central Avenue
Clayton, MO 63105
Phone: (314) 899-0909

Original location:
1013 E Broadway
Columbia MO 65201
Phone: (573) 777-8777
Email: info@hotboxcookies.com


Affiliate STL.News article about Hot Box Cookies


Picture courtesy of – twitter.com/katherinekadlec


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

Chocolate, Chocolate…and More Chocolate at Bissinger’s


Bissinger’s Making the Holidays A Little Sweeter

St. Louis, MO/December 2, 2016 (STLRestaurant.News) If you’re overly fond of chocolate, then you’re going to fall madly in love with this place.  Their rich history of confectionary craftsmanship has prevailed for over 350 years.  The Bissinger family began securing their legacy in 17th century France.  Their legendary chocolate was relished by European nobility and heads of state.

According to versions passed down through the generations, Bissinger’s confections were a delicacy among prominent names like Napoleon Bonaparte and the Rothschilds.  The family was fortunate enough to be awarded the title of Confiseur Imperial (Confectioner of the Empire) by King Louis XIV.

In 1845, Karl Bissinger left France, bringing the Bissinger family secrets with him to America.  He opened the very first Bissinger’s kitchen outside of Cincinnati, and in 1927, his son, also named Karl, carried on the family tradition by opening his own kitchen right here in St. Louis.

And today, their chocolates are adored world-wide.  Their world-renowned collection of handmade gourmet chocolate confections are still made with the same timeless recipes, crafted in new and creative ways for all who appreciate a truly extravagant chocolate experience.  They are still using the magnificent large copper kettles for their unique chocolate making process.

There’s no more perfect time of year than the holidays, for enjoying wonderful sweet treats and giving them as gifts.  Bissinger’s has all kinds of festive Christmas goodies.  Besides being to shop on-line for the world-renowned collection of handmade gourmet chocolate confections, there are also three locations you can visit.

Their North Broadway location is the actual kitchen, factory, and event venue space.  The Carmel room is decked out with chandeliers and beautiful dark wood and makes for an elaborate get together.  They also do tours at that location Monday thru Friday.  The Central West End, Maryland Plaza location is unique café.  On Thursday’s after 7 pm, they offer “Paint Your Own Santa,” using a chocolate Santa, cocoa butter and food dye.  There is also a Frontenac location, and 2 Kiosk’s, one at the Galleria and one at West County Mall open thru New Year’s.

You’ll definitely want to check out the beautiful, festive goodies at all their locations.  There are Peppermint confections beautifully wrapped & ready to give!  They offer yummy Chocolate Peppermint Bark, Peppermint Marshmallow’s, Peppermint Pattie Bites, Chocolate Peppermint Bark, Hand decorated Holiday Mints.

Or you might prefer the North Pole selection with Place Setting Santa’s, a 3 lb. Centerpiece Santa, Chocolate-Covered Christmas Cookies, Foil Ornaments and Caramel-Filled Presents, Christmas Characters or an 8 oz. Hand-Painted Saint Nick.  Whether you choose the Young and Young at Heart Collection or decide on just the Stocking Stuffers, there’s a special gift for everyone. So make someone’s holiday extra special and sweet with a “melt in your mouth” gift from Bissinger’s.

Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier Locations:

  • 32 Maryland Plaza – (314) 367-7750
  • 1600 N Broadway – (314) 615-2400
  • 1701 S Lindbergh Blvd #285 – (314) 432-0604


Picture courtesy of CWEScene.com


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



Spend the Night in a Chocolate Shop – The Chocolate Affair

HIGHLAND, IL: (STLRestaurant.News) – Some people fantasize about swimming in a big pile of money, others dream of spreading their arms and soaring above the clouds.  I dream of chocolate. Dark, milk, white, malted, salted, spiced: it’s all good.  Some days I wish I could eat, drink and sleep chocolate.  Imagine my joy when I discovered I could! And you can too, at The Chocolate Affair at 801 Ninth Street in Highland, Illinois.  That’s because this isn’t an ordinary chocolate shop.  It’s also a bed & breakfast, specializing in chocolate dreams.

At The Chocolate Affair and Tibbetts House Bed & Breakfast, you can literally spend the night inside a candy store!  The Tibbetts House is a 100 year old historic home nestled in the heart of the picturesque small town, of Highland about 30 miles east of downtown St. Louis.  There’s even a town square and a two-screen movie theatre (The Lory) just a block away.  The Chocolate Affair takes up most of the first floor of Tibbetts House.  The bed & breakfast takes up the rest of the house.  There are three guest rooms, each with private baths.

When you book a chocolate retreat at this unique bed & breakfast, you can count on a comfy room, and lots of chocolate!  It begins when you arrive.  They’ll greet you with warm chocolate chip cookies and hot cocoa.  In your room, you’ll find fluffy robes and slippers, and of course, a basket of chocolate goodies!  During the night, you can sneak downstairs and sample the handmade chocolates straight from the case.  Really!  They give you the keys to the candy case!  In the morning, wake to the smell of chocolate and freshly brewed gourmet coffee.  Your continental breakfast will include strawberries and chocolate fondue, and fresh, hot “Triple Chocolate Mess” cake.  Plus, you’ll get some chocolate treats to take home too!  They have packages available for ladies nights, bridal parties, and couples retreats!

At its heart, this is a gourmet chocolate shop, specializing in handmade confections.  Some customer favorites include the truffles, chocolate dipped potato chips, s’mores (made with fresh marshmallows), butter creams, chocolate dipped caramels, and caramel patties (turtles).  The premium ingredients and attention to detail make these fine chocolates exceptional.  The variety is extensive, and includes some sugar free candies too.  You can buy a single item, or mix and match to create your own customized box!  One of the Chocolate Affair’s more unique offerings is the chocolate covered wine bottle.  They’ll triple dip the bottle of your choice with a dark chocolate, drizzled with white and packaged in a clear bag with a beautiful bow.

The Chocolate Affair is open Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Besides specialty chocolates, they also sell specialty teas, foods and drink mixes, as well as gift items made by local crafters and artisans.  You’ll find handmade jewelry, cloth goods, ceramics, soaps and soy candles.  There are also note cards, hand-stitched items, and hard to find seasonal items.  They can customize a gift basket for you including artisan goods and chocolate.

Their “Death by Chocolate” parties may be the ultimate ladies’ night out—two hours filled with all things chocolate.  Indulge in candies, chocolate chip cookies, Triple Chocolate Mess Cake and Fondue.  Finish the party in the chocolate shop sampling from the candy cases and crowning one lucky lady the “Chocolate Queen”, complete with a magic wand to remove all of the calories from the chocolate!  It’s no wonder customers reviews give them 5 stars.  The Chocolate Affair lets you live out our chocolate dreams.  They’ve got a golden ticket waiting for you.

Contact Information:

The Chocolate Affair & Tibbetts House Bed and Breakfast
Owner: Jennifer Libre
801 Ninth Street
Highland, IL 62249
(618) 654-9340



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


pie oh my

Maplewood Shop Still Proving Pie’s Not Just for Thanksgiving! Pie Oh My!

MAPLEWOOD, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) – Every day is a good day for pie.  That’s especially true if the pie is made from scratch, and filled with creative, scrumptious goodness.  At Pie Oh My!, 2719 Sutton Blvd, in downtown Maplewood, their goal is to put “a little love in every crust.”  It’s been that way since Jane Callahan opened the shop in 2012.

It’s been just over six months since Callahan announced she was selling her pastry shop to longtime employee Melennie Lorence.  The change in ownership officially taking place March 31st, and there were a few bumps getting the paperwork ironed out.  Lorence used that time to make a few decorating changes to the shop, but otherwise, very little has changed.

Pie Oh My!  is still the place to go in Maplewood and one of the very best in the St. Louis area for made-from-scratch pies.  You’ll find both traditional flavors like apple, cherry, and banana cream, as well as more creative options like apple-green-chili and lemon-lavender.  They’re still using the very best ingredients, like fresh fruit, Missouri pecans, and maple syrup from Vermont.  The beer in their oatmeal walnut pie is Schlafly Oatmeal Stout.  The chai in their pear chai pie comes from Traveling Tea, a shop at the other end of the block.

Besides the creative varieties of pies they make, like chocolate bourbon pecan, strawberry basil, and St. Louis-style gooey butter pie, the small, cheery bakeshop also makes quiche and empanadas.  Yet one of the most unique features of Pie Oh My! is the variety of sizes available.  There are four: slices of full-sized pie, whole five-inch deep dish pies, individual sized tarts, and cute little minis.  Slices, tarts and minis are available for walk-in customers at the shop in a variety of flavors that rotates weekly.  This week it’s pear apple cranberry, cherry custard, pecan cranberry (new), maple chess (new), and pumpkin walnut crumble.  You can check their website to see the flavors offered each week.

They do sometimes have full-sized pies available for purchase in the shop, but depending on demand, they also sell out very quickly.  The good news is you can order whole pies, or an assortment of individual-sized pies in advance through the website!  They do request that you place your order at least a day or two ahead of time, so they have time make sure they have the fresh ingredients needed to make your pie.  With Thanksgiving (also called pie day, by some), a little extra notice would probably be a good idea.

All this handmade, flaky-crusted goodness comes at a very reasonable price.  At present, full sized pies run $21-26.  The five-inch pie (enough for 2-3 people) is $10-12.  Individual slices of pie are $4, with tart-sized pies at $5, and mini pies at $3.

The dining area inside the shop is tiny, but the store is wheelchair accessible.  Pie Oh My! is open Tuesday – Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.  They’re closed Sunday and Monday.

Contact information:

Pie Oh My!

Owner: Melennie Lorence

2719 Sutton Blvd.

Maplewood, MO

Phone: (314) 704-4416

Email: info@pieohmystl.com


Old Town Donuts

Making Fresh Donuts for Nearly 50 Years – Old Town Donuts

FLORISSANT, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) — Fall is in full swing in the St. Louis area. Baseball season is over.  The leaves are turning.  The smell of pumpkin spice is in the air!  And nowhere is that more true than at Old Town Donuts!  Both the original Florissant shop (508 South New Florissant Rd.) and the Cottleville store (3941 Mid Rivers Mall Dr.) are serving up a seasonal favorite: pumpkin spice cake donuts.  And their regular customers will tell you, no matter when you go to Old Town, the donuts are always fresh.

Old Town Donuts has been a fixture in Old Town Florissant since it was founded in 1968.  After nearly 50 years, this family business is still going strong.  That let them open a second shop in 2014, in Cottleville.  Despite competition from national chains, they’re still the number one donut shop in Florissant.  In fact, the shop is frequently listed among top tens around St. Louis.

In September 2016, theCultureTrip.com listed Old Town Donuts as one of the top ten restaurants in Florissant.  That’s the same month they made the STLResaurant.News list of Top 10 Bakeries in St. Louis.  (They were number two!)  That list was based on reviews of 63 bakeries and pastry shops around the metro area.  In 116 reviews, Old Town Donuts had a 5 Star rating.

A look at the way they make their donuts, and it’s not hard to see why.  Their donuts are all made by hand.  At the original Florissant location, they’re making donuts 24-hours a day, seven days a week, so the donuts are always fresh.  All of the fillings, toppings and flavorings are made right there in the shop too.  With adventurous combinations, like caramel-bacon long johns, and tried-and-true favorites, like hand rolled cinnamon rolls or gigantic apple fritters, they’ve got a fresh choice for everyone, even your dog!  That’s right.  Bring your four-legged friend up to the shop, and they’ll give it a free donut hole!

The Cottleville shop is open daily from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.  The Florissant shop is open 24-hours a day, and they’re making fresh donuts right this minute.  Both shops offer quantity discounts for churches, schools, offices, etc.  Besides donuts, they also make muffins, cookies, pastries and bagels.

Contact information:

Old Town Donuts

Original Florissant Location:
508 New Florissant Rd.
Florissant, MO 63031
Phone: (314) 831-0907
Open 24 Hours

Cottleville Location:
3941 Mid Rivers Mall Dr.
Cottleville, MO 63376
next to St. Charles Community College
Phone: (636) 447-0907
Open Daily 5am-9pm



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