Tag - food

LouFest 2017 Will Bring Some Big Names to Forest Park

LouFest 2017 Will Bring Some Big Names to Forest Park

Weezer, Huey Lewis & the News Among LouFest 2017 Lineup

St. Louis, MO/May 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) LouFest 2017 – Summer music festivals have been a seasonal tradition in St. Louis for decades.  The city has offered residents everything from free symphony concerts in the park to day-long jam-fests that filled old Busch stadium.  LouFest continues in that tradition, with its eighth annual festival in Forest Park.  More than a concert, LouFest offers a two-day cultural experience bringing about 30 national acts to four stages, plus food, drink and more.  Listen Live Entertainment, which produces the festival has announced a partial lineup of acts who will play this year’s festival.

According to LouFest officials, the national acts headlining this year will include:

Cage the Elephant
Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats
Huey Lewis and the News
Marian Hill
Robert Randolph and the Family Band
Hippo Campus
The Record Company
Rainbow Kitten Surprise
Mondo Cozmo
Future Thieves

As is the annual custom at LouFest, several popular local acts will also perform. The list of local performers includes:

Jack Grelle
18 and Counting & the Only Ensemble
Beth Bombara
Mathias & the Pirates

Other names taking the stage include Ron Gallo, Jonny P, Harts, Jess Nolan, and Chris Bandi.  Additional acts will be announced May 30.  Festival organizers say they must hold off on naming them because of exclusivity clauses in some performers’ contracts.  There are also plans to honor St. Louis native Chuck Berry, who died in March.  Details will be made public at a later date, but officials say they plan their tribute to Berry will be something that lasts well beyond this summer’s festival.

LouFest 2017 will offer a lot more than music to festival goers.  The Market Square will showcase local artists.  The Nosh Pit celebrates St. Louis’ culinary excellence.  Festival organizers are still accepting applications from local restaurants and food vendors.  Also around the park, festival goers will find the Shock Top Beer Garden, featuring local and regional favorites from Faust and Shock Top to Goose Island Beer Company.  There will also be games and limited seating in the beer garden.  And the Cupcake Vineyards Truck will back this year, offering free samples and contests with a chance to win prizes.  Starbucks will be handing out samples of their coffee and protein doubleshot.  Whole Foods Market will team up with local makers, Perennial, to offer demonstrations on turning old t-shirts into reusable totes, festival headbands, and more.  There’s even a kids’ area.  LouKidz will offer family-friendly activities include music (daily performances by Robot+Bike), dancing, crafts, face painting and more from noon to 5:00 p.m. each day.

Unlike many of the summer concerts offered in St. Louis’ public venues, LouFest isn’t free.  Tickets went on sale at 9 a.m. Thursday.  A general admission ticket for the two-day event will set you back $95.  Kids 12 and under are admitted free with each paid adult.  One-day tickets will be available soon.  This year there are two tiers of VIP tickets.  The standard two-day VIP tickets are $350 and included shaded seating, complimentary food and drinks (including beer, wine, and specialty libations), reserved (air conditioned) restrooms, VIP parking (must purchase two VIP tickets), a VIP Lounge, and gourmet happy hour.  If that isn’t special enough, starting this year Platinum Tickets are available for $750.  The new Platinum Ticket includes a private lounge, private onstage viewing areas, complimentary catered meals and beverages, onsite concierge, and more.  Platinum Ticket holders will spend less time standing in line thanks to private entrances and exits.  Platinum VIP parking with shuttle service is also included.

This year’s LouFest at Forest Park will be Saturday and Sunday, September 9 – 10.  Festival gates open each day at 11:00 a.m. and close at 10:00 p.m.  For more information about this year’s event, including purchasing tickets and a list of what can be brought onto festival grounds and what can’t (no coolers), see the official LouFest 2017 website.  If you still have questions, contact [email protected].

St Louis Makes Major City List for Most Popular Healthy Eating Plans

St Louis Makes Major City List for Most Popular Healthy Eating Plans

Grubhub Announces Top Major Cities with Healthy Eating Plans

ST. LOUIS, MO/May 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Healthy Eating Plans – Grilling with family and friends, the ice cream truck jingle…summer break means a lot of fun in the sun, but it is also a three-month period when making the healthiest food choices is not always the easiest thing to do.  Even so, we know that healthy eating has all sorts of benefits for your body and your brain, as well as, helping you stay slim and allowing you to live longer.

Recent results posted of a new study by Chicago based Grubhub, the nation’ s leading online and mobile takeout food-ordering marketplace, unveiled some interesting facts about Americans relationship with foods.  They took a look at the most popular healthy eating plans and which major cities regularly partake in those eating plans.

How did St. Louis rank? The Gateway to the West came in at No. 7.  Data shows that in 2016, 53 percent of its orders included more food related to popular eating plans than the rest of the country.  According to Grubhub, the most popular healthy eating plan in St. Louis is gluten-free.  It is the fifth-most-popular healthy eating plan nationwide.

Grubhub analyzed orders related to the most popular healthy eating plans in the U.S. such as paleo, raw, juice cleanse, vegan, gluten-free, low-fat, Mediterranean and keto diets.  By using a combination of dietary tags and delving into foods that align with specific eating plans, they were able to analyze order data from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2016, for its study.

Results from this study shows that Paleo reigns supreme in order data showcasing the dominance of popular healthy eating plans nationwide, including city-by-city.

Below find the Most Popular Eating Plans Nationwide, the Top 10 Major Cities that participate most in healthy eating plans, and the Most Popular Eating Plans in Major Cities:

Most Popular Eating Plans Nationwide:

1. Paleo
2. Raw
3. Juice cleanse
4. Vegan
5. Gluten-free
6. Low-fat
7. Mediterranean
8. Keto

Top 10 Major Cities Participating in Popular Eating Plans:

1. Seattle — orders 309 percent more foods related to popular eating plans
2. Portland, Ore. — orders 154 percent more foods related to popular eating plans
3. Dallas — orders 140 percent more foods related to popular eating plans
4. Chicago — orders 94 percent more foods related to popular eating plans
5. San Francisco — orders 74 percent more foods related to popular eating plans
6. Los Angeles — orders 66 percent more foods related to popular eating plans
7. St. Louis — orders 53 percent more foods related to popular eating plans
8. Austin, Texas — orders 44 percent more foods related to popular eating plans
9. Las Vegas — orders 27 percent more foods related to popular eating plans
10. San Diego — orders 22 percent more foods related to popular eating plans

Most Popular Eating Plans in Major Cities:

Miami — juice cleanse
San Jose, Calif. — vegan
Seattle — gluten-free
Dallas — paleo
Houston — paleo
Austin, Texas — paleo
Phoenix — gluten-free
Minneapolis — gluten-free
Portland, Ore. — gluten-free
Las Vegas — vegan
St. Louis — gluten-free
Nashville, Tenn. — juice cleanse
San Diego — vegan
Atlanta — gluten-free
Los Angeles — vegan
San Francisco — low-fat
Boston — low-fat
Chicago — vegan

South Grand’s 9th International Dine Around

Eating Your Way Up and Down South Grand Blvd.

St. Louis,MO/May 11, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) — It seems there’s always something special happening along South Grand Avenue in South St. Louis.  There are neighborhood movie nights, seasonal festivals, and a seemingly endless array of food-centric celebrations.  But then, the South Grand neighborhood is home to some of the best international restaurants in the city.  So, every year, South Grand hosts the acclaimed International Dine Around.  The event, now in its ninth year, gives diners a chance to sample small plates, desserts, and drinks from 20 select restaurants and cafés along a five block stretch of South Grand.

This year’s South Grand International Dine Around is set for Thursday, May 18, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  Tickets are picked up at registration between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on the day of the event. Registration will be at Ritz Park, 3147 South Grand Blvd. between Mangia Italiano and King and I Restaurant.  Each participant gets a pack of five tickets that can be exchanged for items from the restaurant’s set Dine Around menus.  The tickets can be used for any combination of menu items from any combination of participating establishments.

Here’s how it works: purchase tickets online ($30 per person) or at the event ($35 per person).  Pick your tickets and the menu at Registration.  Then go to the first restaurant you wish to try and take a seat (some restaurants will have booths and seating out front).  Present your ticket to your server and order your small plate, dessert, or drink from their Dine Around menu.  You may also purchase additional items at the restaurant if you like.  Your server will bring your order.  You eat the delicious food, and then move on to your next restaurant! (Don’t forget to tip your servers!)  Small plates and drinks must be served and consumed at the restaurant or café.  The exception is St. Louis Juice Press, which will package drinks in to-go cups.  Desserts can also be ordered to-go.

All of the restaurants and cafés participating in the 9th Annual South Grand International Dine Around progressive dinner are located on South Grand Blvd. between Arsenal and Humphrey Streets.  This year’s menu offers a wide variety of dishes that virtually span the globe:

Small Plates:

  • Lemongrass – Sesame or sweet and sour tofu
  • Mekong Restaurant – Lemongrass beef kabob with egg roll
  • Baida Restaurant – Artichoke M’Kally: Whole heart artichoke, fried, and served with vegetables cooked in a fennel tomato sauce then topped with feta cheese and olives
  • Basil Spice Thai Cuisine – Crab Rangoon: cheese stick wrapped in rice paper, then deep-fried
  • Mangia Italiano – Mushroom Ravioli
  • Wei Hong Bakery & BBQ – Honey glazed BBQ pork and pot stickers (your choice steam or fried)
  • Guerrilla Street Food – Salmon Kinilaw Tacos: raw salmon dressed in coconut vinegar, red onions, mango, radish, cucumber, black sesame seeds and a butter lettuce taco.
  • Pizza Head – One slice of regular cheese pizza with vegan pepperoni
  • Sheesh – Turkish Kibeh: 2 pieces of fried balls of burgul, stuffed with ground beef and walnuts
  • City Diner – Beef Philly: grilled beef topped with sautéed mushroom, onion, peppers and swiss cheese served on baguette.
  • Brasilia – Tostado de Camarao: shrimp sautéed with garlic and olive oil and topped with a bobo yucca sauce. Served over toasted French bread.


  • The Gin Room – Gimlet with freshly muddled lime & botanical gin
  • The King and I Restaurant – Strawberry Margarita
  • St. Louis Juice Press – 12 oz cold-pressed juice, your choice of carrot apple ginger, pineapple orange ginger, watermelon, cucumber pineapple, or green ginger.
  • Tree House Vegetarian Restaurant – Mojito with basil mint
  • Meskerem – Ethiopian honey wine


  • The Vine – Sampler: coconut dates, pistachio baklava and namura (cake)
  • Rooster South Grand – S’more Crepe: house made crepe with cookie crumbs, marshmallow and dark chocolate
  • Tower Grove Creamery – Regular size waffle cone or cup
  • Gelateria Del Leone – Medium Gelato

The 9th Annual South Grand International Dine Around is presented by the South Grand Cultural Alliance whose mission is to attract people to work, live and play on South Grand Blvd. through community development, marketing/branding, programs and events.  For more information and a link to purchase tickets, visit www.southgrand.org.

Contact Information:

South Grand Cultural Alliance
3115 South Grand Blvd. Suite 350-B
Saint Louis MO 63118
(314) 772-5750

Get Ready to Celebrate the 9th Annual Taste of Maplewood 

Get Ready to Celebrate the 9th Annual Taste of Maplewood

Come Out For a Fun Time at the 2017 Taste of Maplewood Street Festival

MAPLEWOOD, MO/May 10, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Along with springtime comes enjoyable festivals and one that’s just around the corner is the 2017 Taste of Maplewood Street Festival.  The annual event is a culmination of Maplewood and Richmond Heights’ most prominent restaurants, their unique specialty stores, and some of their most cherished boutiques.
In its ninth year, this exciting event is diverse and unique, shining a spotlight on the culture and character of the businesses in the area.  The Taste of Maplewood Street Festival is the perfect event for shoppers, food aficionados and music lovers!  Restaurants will be selling their popular foods and drinks, and boutiques will be presenting their merchandise on the street and under tents.

In addition, attendees will enjoy live entertainment on two separate stages throughout the day.  And for the 4th year in a row, there will be celebrity judges on hand voting on which business has the finest offerings.  Categories for participating restaurants in the 2017 Taste of Maplewood Street Festival are Best Savory, Best Sweet Tooth and Best Cocktail.

Celebrity Judges will be:  KSDK News Anchor, Pat McGonigle, Social Media Guru & Former Host of Food Talk STL radio show, David Craig, & Gus Gus the Fun Bus’s, Mike Arnold.  A few of this year’s registered venders are Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream, Kakao Chocolate, Know Gallery of Fine Art, PRP Wine International, Sole Shine Barefoot Massage Therapy, The Blue Duck and Traveling Tea.

So, be sure and put Saturday, May 20, from 12:00 p.m. to 9:00 pm on your calendar for the “9th Annual Taste of Maplewood.”  The event is free and full of yummy bites, awesome sights and great sounds!

Below is a list of the live musical entertainment:

Main Stage:

12:00-2:00 p.m. MRH Blue Devils Rhythm and Blues Band

3:00-5:00 p.m. Power Play

6:00-8:00 p.m. SuperJam

Community Stage:

12:15 p.m. Studio Forte

1:10 p.m. Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation, St. Louis Teen Finalists

2:00 p.m. Jazz Jubilee Swing Team

2:45 p.m. Maplewood Hoop Crew

3:00 p.m. Tommy Wasiuta

3:30 p.m. Eye of Horus

4:15 p.m. Kazoux

4:30 p.m. Compass Improv

DATE, TIME & LOCATION: 2017 Taste of Maplewood Street Festival Saturday, May 20, Noon to 9:00 pm Sutton Boulevard, South of Manchester Road

Free to the Public!

For additional information go to http://midcountychamber.org/programs-events/tom2017/

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

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: [email protected]


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


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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]