Tag - pizza

Imos’ Named One of the Best Pizzas in America

Imos’ Named One of the Best Pizzas in America

Tasting Table Picks Imo’s Pizza as One of the Best Pizzas

St. Louis, MO/May 23, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Best Pizzas – Every pizza lover within 100 miles of the Gateway City is familiar with the classic thin-crust pizza dubbed St. Louis-style.  And we all know “the square beyond compare” that is the granddaddy of St. Louis-style pizza, Imo’s.  Now, this iconic St. Louis pizza company is getting some national props.  The editors at the foodie website Tasting Table have included Imo’s pizza on their recently published article The Best Pizzas in the Country.  The list span coast to coast and included everything from deep dish to Neapolitan, chewy New York Style and St. Louis’ unique thin crust.

The Imo’s crust is a puzzle to East Coast pizza lovers, who can’t seem to grasp the concept.  While pizzas born in New York or New Jersey are all about the flavor and texture of their chewy, hand-tossed crusts, Imo’s thin crust shifts the focus to the incredible toppings.  The editors at Tasting Table describe it this way, “Unlike most other styles, the Saint Louis version swaps yeast for baking powder in its crust, which yields a cracker-like consistency reminiscent of saltines in the best way possible.”  Am I the only one who’s tired of reading/hearing this crispy, delicious crust described as a “cracker” crust?  A saltine’s got nothing on this crust, which is crispy, but more akin to unleavened flat-bread than any cracker ever made.

The editors at Tasting Table also seemed to appreciate the unique qualities of Provel® cheese, which tops all Imo’s pizzas.  The much-maligned, processed cheese is a blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone, but with it’s own savory flavor.  It was invented by Costa Grocery (now Roma Grocery on the Hill) in collaboration with the Hoffman Dairy Company of Wisconsin (now part of Kraft Foods) in the 1940s specifically for use on pizza.  The inventors were looking for a white cheese that would melt really well, but not be stringy they way mozzarella is when diners bite into it.  Provel has a buttery texture at room temperature, and a low melting point, allowing it to spread gooey goodness all around the toppings.

One thing the Tasting Table article didn’t mention was the other toppings that go into an Imo’s pizza and helped this mom-and-pop shop grow to around 100 stores over the last 50+ years.  St. Louis-style pizza is also known for its rich, slightly sweet tomato sauce, and Imo’s version is no exception.  When the crust is this thin and crispy, the sauce becomes the foundation of flavor, so it has to deliver just the right balance of sweet tomato and aromatic seasonings.  Then, unlike the pepperoni world of other pizza places, an Imo’s Deluxe is topped with Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, green pepper, and the crispiest bacon found on any pizza.  This combination of toppings makes Imo’s Deluxe pizza really special. (Sure, you can get pepperoni too, but this is Imo’s signature pizza.)

The secret to holding all those toppings, which go edge to edge, is in the cut.  Imo’s may not be the first thin-crust pizza in St. Louis.  And it’s certainly not the first to use Provel cheese, but Ed Imo, a tile-cutter by trade, who founded this iconic pizza company with his wife Margie in 1964, made the square, or tavern-cut pizza famous in St. Louis and the surrounding area.  By cutting the pizza into three-to-four-inch squares, the thin crust is able to stand up to the heavy toppings.  This cut also has an amazing side-effect, pizza corners.  Yes, with a square cut, the round pizza has little triangle-like corners offering a crispy tidbit with a smear of sauce, a smattering of cheese, and a bite of sausage and bacon. It’s the two-bite, go-to piece for pizza lovers in the know.

The Imo’s story goes like this: Ed and Marge Imo, who were Catholic, had a habit of ordering pizza at 11:30 p.m. on Fridays and going out to pick it up, so they could have meat on their pizza as soon as the Friday fast ended at midnight.  One night, it occurred to them that it would be even better if they didn’t have to venture out so late, and could have their pizza delivered to them.  It was a stroke of genius.  The Imo’s opened their pizzeria at Thurman and Shaw Avenues, offering delivery of their favorite, South St. Louis-style pizza to their neighbors.  Pizza delivery was a new and welcome concept in St. Louis in 1964.  And we’ve been devouring this square-cut, thin-crust, Provel-topped pizza ever since.  It really is a St. Louis original, and arguably one of the best pizzas in America.

Contact Information:

Imo’s Pizza
Founders: Ed and Margie Imo
Imo’s Pizza Executive Office
800 North 17th Street
St. Louis, MO 63106
Phone: (314) 822-0443

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Picture property of St. Louis Media, LLC

Have a Slice of Humble Pie: Ladue’s New Pizzeria

Have a Slice of Humble Pie: Ladue’s New Pizzeria

New Ladue Pizzeria is Serving Up Humble Pie

St. Louis, MO/May 16, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Humble Pie – Just in time for a spell of beautiful, summer-like weather in St. Louis, a new pizzeria offering outdoor-only seating has opened in Ladue.  Humble Pie at 9783 Clayton Road in Ladue has been open about two weeks, offering fresh pizza with for takeout, delivery, and patio dining.  The new pizzeria occupies the spot left vacant when Red-L Pizza closed last November.

Humble Pie owners, husband and wife, Mark and Jessica Lucas are no strangers to hungry St. Louis County denizens.  Their Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium shops in Richmond Heights (1170 S. Big Bend Blvd.) and Des Peres (11656 Manchester Road) have been local favorites for their big, inventive sandwiches made with fresh ingredients (some of which they grow themselves) and perfectly crispy, house-made chips.

The Lucas’ commitment to creating real food made with locally sourced, fresh ingredients and without unnecessary additives is carrying through to their new pizzeria.  The pizzas at Humble Pie are made with small batch, organic dough, then heaped with fresh, wholesome toppings. There are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options too.  This healthier approach to pizza means there are delicious creations that diners can also feel good about.

Diners can choose from their crispy, thin crust, or their thicker, Sicilian-style crust. At lunchtime, they offer pizza by the slice.  The rest of the time the price is based on crust type and size, with three price points: 12-inch thin, 14-inch thin or half pan Sicilian, and 18-inch thin or whole pan Sicilian.  There’s also a 10-inch gluten-free crust available for $2.00 more.

Pizza purists will appreciate menu classics like the Humble Margherita with it’s organic red sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, drizzled with olive oil and a dash of pink himalayan salt.  They also offer some creative combinations like the Presto Pesto with fresh pesto, red peppers, artichokes, chicken and fresh herbed goat cheese; the BRIEzy with Brie cheese, granny smith apples, dates, fig balsamic, and fresh arugula; plus pizzas made with sliced Brussels sprouts and bacon, or barbecued cauliflower.  And diners are free to select their own combination of toppings from lists that include all the classics like Italian sausage, pepperoni, green peppers, and onions, plus less conventional choices like marinated artichokes hearts, hot cherry peppers, chopped peanuts, fennel, salmon, organic tofu, and falafel, plus fresh herbs.

The selection doesn’t stop there. Humble Pie offers several cheeses, which diners can mix and match as they desire.  There’s the house’ classic-style mozzarella, plus fresh mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, a pepper jack-mozzarella blend, vegan Daiya mozzarella, fontina, brie, feta, and goat cheese.  The menu includes dozens of options for vegetarians and vegans, each indicated with a small leaf icon (vegetarian), and a circled leaf (vegan).

Besides pizza, diners will find bread sticks, garlic sticks, meatballs, and organic, baked “smashed taters” which can be served plain, or topped like a 12-inch pizza.  The nine offered salads can be ordered as halves or whole salads.  They come in clever combinations like the Herb-A-Voire, a combination of fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, mint, parsley), mixed greens, toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, and dried cherries with a citrus champagne vinaigrette; the Humble Caprese with marinated, grilled zucchini, heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil with basil oil and a balsamic drizzle; or the Lux Lox with a spinach- arugula mix, smoked salmon, herbed goat cheese, capers, cucumber, hardboiled egg, pickled red onion, and lemon-dill yogurt dressing.

There’s also a kids’ menu with options like pizza, baked chicken strips, mac & cheese, as well as pizza bread grilled cheese and pizza bread PB&J.

Dessert includes a selection of small pies (1–2 servings) in flavors like Vegan Mexican Chocolate, with a hint of cayenne, cinnamon, silken tofu, and vegan chocolate in a coconut graham crust.  There’s also the Gimme S’More made with hazelnut chocolate ganache and marshmallow fluff, plus salted caramel apple, and blueberry lemon.  They also make pie pops, which are like really small, two-crusted pies on a lollipop stick.  And their signature granola bars, playfully dubbed “The Humble Square.”  It’s a crunchy, sweet combinations of pumpkin seeds, flax, unsweetened dried cherries, mini chocolate chips, rolled oats, sunbutter, flour, and maple syrup.

Humble Pie is open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.  Keep in mind, they offer takeout and delivery ($10 minimum), and the only seating is on their patio.  But when the weather is as nice as this week’s, that’s plenty.

Contact Information:

Humble Pie
Owners: Jessica and Mark Lucas
9783 Clayton Road
St. Louis, MO 63124
Phone: (314) 997-7070

Fortels Pizza in University City Closed

Fortels Pizza in University City Closed

Tax Suit Appears to Shutter U-City Fortels Pizza

University City, MO/April 19, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – No one likes to see another restaurant closed, especially when it’s a franchise location of a favorite local pizza chain.  But it comes as no surprise that the Fortel’s Pizza Den at 7358 Forsyth Blvd. in University City has shut down.  The move comes less than a month after owner Jeffrey Behrmann and his company JB2, LLC were sued by the State of Missouri over unpaid taxes.  The lawsuit, filed March 20, 2017, alleges that the restaurant owes the state $149,389.  The debt is allegedly a combination of sales taxes paid by customers on their purchases and earnings taxes withheld from employee paychecks, but never paid to the state.

The pizzeria apparently closed early last week. Still, there is no posted sign indicating the restaurant has closed, but the building is dark and the doors remain locked.

Behrmann and JB2, LLC had been working with the state to pay back taxes, even entering into a payment plan.  But the Department of Revenue now claims that three payment checks issued by the pizza restaurant bounced.  This issue of back taxes is not new for Behrmann.  Even before last month’s lawsuit, Behrmann and his business have been the subjects of at least 21 liens and three writs of garnishment.  The lawsuit also alleges that the restaurant has allowed its business license to lapse, a code violation.

Tax issues between the State of Missouri and Behrmann have drug on since at least 2014, with the Department of Revenue reporting it had revoked the pizzeria’s sales tax license in December of that year.  The state is now asking a St. Louis County judge to bar the restaurant from doing business or to consider putting it in receivership so that it can be closed permanently.  Behrmann was supposed to appear at a hearing last week (4/11/17) to tell the judge why the preliminary injunction should not go forward.  It doesn’t look as if Behrmann came to court.  According to Missouri Case.net, a summons was served to the Fenton man the following day (4/12/17).  That’s about the same time his U-City Fortel’s location closed.

Fortel’s Pizza Dens are all franchises that are independently owned.  There are other Fortel’s franchises located in Afton, Ballwin, Creve Coeur, Fairview Heights, and Kirkwood.  The pizza restaurant at 7358 Forsyth Blvd. in University City is the only one owned by Behrmann, and the only one involved in the state’s lawsuit.

Both STL Area Pie Five Pizza Cos. Now Closed

Both STL Area Pie Five Pizza Cos. Now Closed

Richmond Heights Pie Five Pizza Closed Last Week

Richmond Heights, MO/April 13, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – St. Louis is a tough pizza town. Diners here are demanding of both quality food and quality service.  That’s because we love pizza. Denizens of the Gateway City love it so much that we invented our own kind—St. Louis style. But St. Louis diners love pizza in all it’s forms, from our own thin crust, to hand tossed, foldable New York style, stuffed crust, and even Chicago deep dish.  There are hundreds of pizza places to choose from.  Still, we’re a hungry bunch, always looking for something new.  So when the first Pie Five Pizza opened in May 2015 in Chesterfield (17215 Chesterfield Airport Road), there was much fanfare.

The sleek, fast-casual restaurant offering design-your-own pizza baked in 5 minutes had been well received.  TF Pie Group, led by Jamey and Jill Tasker, is a group of about eight local investor behind the pizzeria.  TF Pie Group had signed a franchise agreement that called for 15 locations of Pie Five Pizza Cos. in the St. Louis area.  And a second location opened at the Menards development in Richmond Heights (1778 Hanley Road) the following June (2016). But the franchises didn’t last long.

The Pie Five Pizza Co. in Richmond Heights has closed.  A hand-lettered sign on the door was the only announcement made.  It reads simply, “We are closed.”  40 South News quotes an employee at the nearby Penn Station sub shop as saying the pizzeria closed last week.  The Chesterfield store had already quietly closed up.  Both locations are listed as closed by both Google Maps and by members on Yelp.

It’s unclear if the local closings are related to the Texas-based chain’s troubles with investors in Chicago, Minnesota, and Indiana.  According to Nation’s Restaurant News Pie Five’s parent company, Rave Restaurant Group, is being sued by a franchisee alleging the company provided misleading information about its profitability and sales, and nine restaurants in Chicago and Minnesota have also closed as same-store sales for the Pie Five chain fell 17.4 percent in the last quarter of 2016 (which ended Dec. 25).

A new CEO at Rave, former Smashburger CEO Scott Crane was brought onboard in January to try to turn things around for the struggling pizza chain.  Amid the turmoil, Rave is poised to open their 100th Pie Five Pizza Co. location next month, and they continue to expand across the country.  There are Pie Five locations in 21 states from Delaware to Texas, including four in Missouri (Kansas City, Independence, Branson, and St. Joseph, with a Springfield store in the works).  The franchise has plans to expand to four additional states (New Jersey, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Arizona) in the coming year.

Katies Pizza and Pasta Osteria hosting Giveback Tuesday benefiting Pedal the Cause

Katies Pizza and Pasta Osteria hosting Giveback Tuesday benefiting Pedal the Cause

ST. LOUIS, MO/April 13, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Katies Pizza and Pasta Osteria, located in Rock Hill, MO has announced their Giveback Tuesday.  It is created to benefit Pedal the Cause.  This event is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

One day each month 100 percent of proceeds from the sale of lunch, dinner, drinks and carryout are donated to charities.  Contributions have exceeded more than $100,000 to date.

Funds raised from this event will be dedicated to fund groundbreaking cancer research at Siteman Cancer Center and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

In a statement by Carrie Sweigart, Chief Operations Officer at Pedal the Cause, they will be presenting funds to their beneficiaries on November 16, 2017.  More than $3.8 million has been donated for cancer research by Pedal for Cause last year and they hope to grow their contributions in 2017.

About Pedal the Cause

Pedal the Cause was founded in 2010 with a mission to fund cancer research that will ultimately lead to the cure of all cancers.  However, more impressively, more than $15.8 million has been donated to the Siteman Cancer Center and St. Louis Children’s Hospital funding 84 research projects for cancer research.

About Katies Pizza and Pasta Osteria

A husband and wife team, Ted and Katie Collier.  This family owned award-winning artisan Italian restaurant and bar that focuses on a modern interpretation of regional Italian cuisine using local, seasonal ingredients with Katies inspiration coming from her time spent living in Italy with her artist mother Belinda Lee.

Katie is the recipient of multiple awards for her cooking including, Best Pizza & Best Pasta by Feast Magazine, Best Pizza by Ladue News and A-List awards from St. Louis Magazine.  She has also been featured on the cover of Sauce Magazine.

August 2015, Katie was a contestant on Esquire Network’s “The Next Great Burger”.  She won her episode and made it to the finale for her Italian inspired “Ciao Bella Burger.”

Katie has a series of hit cooking and restaurant videos Katies Pizza & Osteria Vimeo Page with thousands of views and subscribers.

Katies Pizza and Pasta Osteria is open every day from 11 am, featuring Happy Hour specials from 3 pm to 5 pm and 9 pm to 10 pm.  Carry-out is also available.

For more information about Katies Pizza and Pasta Osteria, visit 9568 Manchester Rd, Rock Hill, MO 63119, call (314) 942-6555 or visit http://www.katiespizzaandpasta.com.

For more information about Pedal the Cause visit http://www.pedalthecause.org.

 

Crushed Red to open in Chesterfield, MO

Crushed Red to open in Chesterfield, MO

CHESTERFIELD, MO/March 24, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Crushed Red is scheduled to open its new company owned location in Chesterfield, MO in a few days.  More details will soon follow.

Crushed Red’s new Chesterfield location was previously home to Kreiger’s Sports Bar & Grill for 25 years.  Krieger’s was forced to close when the landlord refused to renew their lease.  Kreiger’s (Chesterfield) are referring their previous customer to the Krieger’s Hometown Sports Bar & Grill located at 1356 Big Bend Rd, Ballwin, MO 63021.  The Ballwin location is owned by Dave McDonald, who purchased the establishment approximately 18 months ago.

Crushed Red is known for their organic salad, pizza and soup.  Additionally, Crushed Red is a part of the Green Dining Alliance and is a Certified Clean Hands Facility.

Crushed Red to open in Chesterfield, MO

Crushed Red to open in Chesterfield, MO

Crushed Red and its employees are working hard to properly prepare for a successful opening.  While visiting the new location everybody was busy paying close attention to every detail.  It is a beautiful facility with a completely new atmosphere that complements their mission that is stated on their company website.  Their slogan is “Artfully Chopped Craft Salads™”.

Crushed Red has 5 Missouri locations, 2 Colorado locations, 1 Illinois location and 1 Kansas location with more opening soon according to veteran restaurateur, Chris LaRocca, whom I visited briefly with when I stopped by to take pictures.   In addition to their new Chesterfield location their four other Missouri locations are in Clayton, Columbia, Creve Coeur, and Kirkwood.

While we have not written about this restaurant establishment previously you can count on reading more here.  After talking with LaRocca he agreed to provide us with some additional information that we will soon be publishing.  They have some great ideas that diners are obviously ranking high and visiting regularly.  Their food is clean, organic, fairly priced and in great locations with great atmosphere’s.  What else can a diner ask for?

Crushed Red

1684 Clarkson Rd

Chesterfield, MO 63017

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Pictures property of St. Louis Media, LLC

Celebrate National Pizza Day with STL’s Best Pizza

Pizza

The Top 10 Pizza Restaurants in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO/February 8, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Dining trends come and go.  One day we’re eating fat free potato chips and wine from a box, the next we’re grabbing gluten free muffins and chai tea.  One thing that never seems to go out of style: pizza.  It’s America’s favorite food.  According to reference.com, we eat an average of 23 pounds of pizza a year, or about 46 slices.  That’s about 132 squares of St. Louis style pizza!  More than 3 billion pizzas are sold in the U.S. each year, amounting to around $37 billion in revenue.  That’s a lot of pizza!  We celebrate our beloved slice each February 9th, National Pizza Day!  So where can you go to get the best pizza in the St. Louis area?  We turned to customer reviews to find your favorites.

Topping our list is Melo’s Pizzeria in St. Louis’ historic Benton Park neighborhood.  You could call Melo’s the little pizzeria that could.  After just over a year in business, Melo’s authentic wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza has become St. Louis’ favorite.  But then, Melo’s is another project by Blues City Deli owner Vince Valenza, whose sandwich shop was just named to Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat List for 2017.  (Second year in a row!) Melo’s came about after Valenza bought the building and lot he’d been leasing for the deli (in 2013).  The brick garage behind the sandwich shop was fully restored, including installation of a blue-tiled, wood-fired oven from Naples.  Vince’s son Joey Valencia applied his baking skills, and in December 2015, Melo’s Pizzeria was born.  Melo’s offers classic Neapolitan style pizza made with simple, high-quality ingredients.  What’s not to love?

Like the rest of America, St. Louis loves pizza. Our customer review-based top 10 shows we love it in all its various forms: hand tossed, deep dish, Neapolitan, and of course, St. Louis style.

Here are the top 10 pizza restaurants in St. Louis:

1. Melo’s Pizzeria (4.92 stars/50 reviews) Benton Park, 2438 Mcnair Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 833-4489.
2. Corner Bistro (4.5 stars/200 reviews) Princeton Heights, 4993 Loughborough Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63109, (314) 353-1811.
3. Pizzeoli – Wood Fired Neapolitan Pizza (4.5 stars/161 reviews) Soulard, 1928 South 12th Street, Saint Louis, MO 63104, (314) 449-1111.
4. Pizza-A-Go-Go (4.4 stars/100 reviews) Lindenwood Park, 6703 Scanlan Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63139, (314) 781-1234.
5. Mama Toscano’s Ravioli (4.4 stars/60 reviews) The Hill, 2201 Macklind Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 776-2926.
6. Anthonino’s Taverna (4.3 stars/873 reviews) The Hill, 2225 Macklind Ave, Saint Louis, MO 63110, (314) 773-4455.
7. Pastaria (4.2 stars/850 reviews) Clayton, 7734 Forsyth Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63105, (314) 862-6603.
8. PW Pizza (4.2 stars/296 reviews) Downtown, 2017 Chouteau Ave., Saint Louis, MO 63103, (314) 241-7799.
9. Tavolo V (4.2 stars/215 reviews) The Loop, 6118 Delmar Blvd., Saint Louis, MO 63112, (314) 721-4333.
10. Twin Oak Wood Fired Pizza & BBQ (4.1 stars/290 reviews) Brentwood, 1201 Strassner Drive, Brentwood, MO 63144, (314) 644-2772.

In order to make the top 10, restaurants had to have at least 50 reviews.  Since we were looking for the really special establishments, they also had to be locally owned, independent operations.  Each of these pizzerias offers a unique product in a distinctive setting that makes eating a pizza a special experience.

Since there are always a few great restaurants that don’t quite make our strict Top 10 criteria, but still offer an uncommonly good dining experience, we have a few Honorable Mentions to add.

So shout outs go to:

Flamentco’s the Place in O’Fallon, Illinois has 4.5 stars with just 48 reviews.  They’re located at 711 West US Hwy 50, O’Fallon, IL 62269. (618) 726-2275.  With just a few more reviews, they could have landed high on the Top 10 list.  This one is worth watching.

Both Peel Wood Fired Pizza locations. The Edwardsville pizzeria has 4.5 stars with 236 reviews. It’s at 921 South Arbor Vitae, Edwardsville, IL 62025, (618) 659-8561. The O’Fallon, Illinois location at 104 South Cherry Street has a respectable 4.0 stars with 155 reviews, (618) 726-2244.

All six St. Louis area Dewey’s Pizza locations, which each have 4.5 stars, showing a consistency in product and service that is rarely seen.  There are Dewey’s Pizzas in Webster Groves, University City, Ellisville, St. Charles, and Edwardsville, but it’s the Kirkwood store (124 N Kirkwood Road, 314-821-7474) that’s most popular.

Check out any of these fine restaurants to celebrate #NationalPizzaDay February 9, 2017, or any time you want a great pizza.

An Authentic Slice of Jersey in South St. Louis – Feraro’s Jersey Style Pizza

Feraro's Jersey Style Pizza

Feraro’s Jersey Style Pizza offers two locations

St. Louis, MO/January 29, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Feraro’s Jersey Style Pizza – Everyone has their own ideas about what makes a great pizza.  It’s probably one of the most debated dishes in St. Louis.  There’s the great crust debate, thick or thin, crispy or chewy.  Then there’s the dispute over sauce—should it be a little sweet or a little spicy; tomato-based or olive oil?  And then the issue of cheese—should the mozzarella be aged, fresh, or smoked?  Should it be blended with the likes of parmesan, fontina, Muenster, provolone, or Romano?  Or should we just use provel?  Everyone knows the classic St. Louis style pizza has a thin and crispy crust, slightly sweet sauce, and that locally invented provel cheese.  St. Louis natives have had to defend our signature pizza so often that many may not realize that other pizza debates even exist.  Sure we know that deep dish pie they sell in Chicago is a cause of contention (can you really call it pizza if you eat it with a fork?), but it’s not the only style to spark regional conflict.  For instance, there’s the squabble over New York style pizza versus New Jersey style pizza.  Yes, Jersey style pizza is a thing, and you can check it out yourself at one of Feraro’s Jersey Style Pizza locations in South St. Louis.

So what’s the difference between the chewy crusted New York style pizza and the chewy crusted New Jersey style pizza?  An old pal from Jersey used to tell me the difference was in the water.  But Feraro’s Pizza owner Jon Feraro has said a Jersey style crust is slightly thicker than New York style.  And the sauce is richer and sweeter.  St. Louis natives might not notice those subtle differences, but they will still appreciate the chewy, tasty East Coast pie.

Feraro’s Jersey Style Pizza is a mother and son operation.  Both Nancy Feraro and son Jon are from New Jersey.  They spent their summers along the boardwalks of the Jersey Shore, and opened Feraro’s in order to bring these wonderful memories to St. Louis diners.  Everything is authentic Jersey—from their homemade pizza to specialties like Taylor Ham sandwiches and Zeppole.  These flavors come straight from the coast.  The restaurant is hung with images that transport customers to the Jersey Shore, and they even pipe in Bon Jovi, Sinatra, and the Boss.

Feraro’s is fabulously fresh pizza.  That’s because everything is made from scratch.  They even grate the mozzarella cheese themselves.  The crust is perfectly crisp on bottom because of the brick-bottom oven they use, and it’s wonderfully chewy because of traditional hand-tossing.  In classic northeastern style, the pizzas are large (14, 16 & 18 inch pies).  Order just a slice or a whole pie.  The giant 18″ pizza specials add to the atmosphere with names like The Boss (pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, black olives, and garlic), The Soprano (pepperoni, Italian sausage, meatballs, ham, and smoked bacon), Old Blue Eyes (a white pizza with ricotta, garlic, mozzarella, parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil), and The Jersey Style (smoked ham, fresh tomato, onion, hot peppers, and garlic).

Besides pizza, Feraro’s does justice to rolled stromboli sandwiches and to calzone too.  They offer a respectable toasted rav, plus fresh salads, garlic knots, cannoli and zeppole (Italian donuts).  They also do spaghetti.  Get it with classic tomato sauce, or have meat sauce, or meat balls, or sausage, or mushrooms.  By the way, those meatballs (mom’s recipe) are available as sliders or on a sandwich, and of course, on pizza!

Feraro’s outgrew their original Soulard location (1862 South 10th Street), and in September 2013, they moved to a more spacious spot at 7704 Ivory Ave. in the Patch/Carondelet neighborhood of South St. Louis.  The south city location offers dine-in, carry out, and delivery with two bars and a music venue.  The extra space lets Feraro recreate a little of that Jersey Shore fun in his south city restaurant.  The Patch location is closed on Mondays.  They’re open Sunday, plus Tuesday – Thursday from 11:00 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Feraro’s second location in Concord Village at 11726 Baptist Church Road in Sappington has a slightly smaller menu, offering carry out and delivery only.  The South County location is open seven days a week: Sunday – Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

St. Louis-style pizza lovers will find Feraro’s Jersey Style Pizza is a big, chewy, flavorful slice that you can actually fold without breaking. (Really, who knew you should fold pizza?)  They’ll find a little bit of a party feel too, like a vacay up east.  Jersey transplants, like my friend, will find Feraro’s is a slice of home.

Contact Information:

Feraro’s Jersey Style Pizza

Owners: Nancy and Jon Feraro

7704 Ivory Ave.

The Patch/Carondelet

St. Louis, MO 63111

(314) 256-0500

and

11726 Baptist Church Rd.

Concord Village

Sappington, MO 63128

(314) 843-3456

Skip the Fast Food & Opt for Great Food Fast – TwinOak Wood-Fired Pizza & BBQ

TwinOak Wood-Fired Pizza

TwinOak Wood-Fired Pizza & BBQ

Brentwood, MO/December 18, 2016 (STLRestaurant.News) – The last full weekend of the Christmas shopping season is upon us.  For some that means two days of making mad dashes from one shopping center to the next.  All that running around makes you hungry!  Food courts or drive-thrus might seem convenient, but a quick respite between mega-plazas is a more sensible option.  Why eat poorly when you don’t need to go out of your way for a great meal?  TwinOak Wood-Fired Pizza & BBQ at 1201 Strassner Drive in Brentwood is making real, fresh food and they’re a convenient stop between shopping destinations.  They’re right around the corner from the Promenade, and just a few blocks from Brentwood Square and St. Louis Galleria.  There’s even a Sam’s Club and Walmart Supercenter right across the street on Hanley Road.

Freddie Friedrichs opened the restaurant with his sons, twins Casey and Curt Friedrichs in 2011.  Curt has moved on to Nashville with his wife, former KSDK-TV meteorologist Bree Smith—now Chief Meteorologist at CBS affiliate, WTVF.   But Freddie and son Casey are still running the family-friendly TwinOak Wood-Fired Pizza & BBQ restaurant.

Just as the name implies, they specialize in wood-fired pizza and slow-smoked barbecue.  The restaurant lays claim to the largest wood-fired oven in the US, and they fire it up to 900-degrees to bake their Neapolitan style pizza to crispy perfection in just a few minutes.  They use only Missouri grown oak to fire it.  The consistent quality of the wood they use ensures everything they bake in the oven meets their high quality standards.  Local sourcing lets them make great food in a sustainable way.  Casey Friedrich says the wood-fired oven is not only fast, but it’s a healthy way to bake delicious food.

TwinOak’s Chefs Andrew Beuschel and Aaron Hults have created several signature pizzas, including the Bleu Ribbon Pizza: a glorious combination of filet mignon, arugula, bleu cheese, shaved parmesan, and mozzarella, drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  The meatier-ologist is made with three kinds of sausage: chorizo, Italian, and Andouille; plus bacon, basil, mozzarella, and their house-made tomato sauce.  But they didn’t stop there.  They do pizzas with pulled pork and pulled chicken.  They have Cajun, tropical, classic Italian, and Jamaican jerk too.  They also do vegetarian pizzas, including a Mediterranean complete with artichoke hearts and kalamata olives.  They’ll even let you pick whatever toppings you like so you can build your own.

The BBQ side of the menu offers some crowd pleasers that are slow-smoked over Missouri hickory.  There’s pulled chicken and pork, of course, but you’ll also find beef brisket, smoked wings, and fall-off-the-bone-tender baby back ribs.  Order three bones for lunch or happy hour; get a half rack for dinner, complete with classic sides like homemade coleslaw or twice-baked potatoes.

At TwinOak, there’s a little something for everyone.  As if great pizza and barbecue weren’t enough, they also offer perfectly cooked steaks, great starters (like bacon-wrapped shrimp poppers, and home-smoked salmon), salads, wraps, and desserts.  They also have a terrific selection of local craft brews on tap.

With a gigantic oven like the one at TwinOak, you know someone is baking cookies!  They do chocolate chip by the cookie or the baker’s dozen (13).  If you’re feeling indulgent, try their signature deep dish cookies.  These are thick skillet-baked cookies (chocolate chip or snickerdoodle) fresh from the oven and topped with ice cream.

TwinOak Wood-Fired Pizza & BBQ opens at 11:00 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, so they’re a perfect choice for lunch or a quick pick-me-up between shopping centers.  Once the errands are done, you can count on them for a feel-good family dinner.  They’re open until 10:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday, and until 9:00 p.m. Sunday – Thursday.  They have Happy Hour seven days a week from 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Reservations can be made online, although they generally aren’t necessary for lunch or weeknight dinners.  For large parties, they ask you give them a call at (314) 644-2772.  That’s also the number to call to arrange catering.

The atmosphere at TwinOak is casual and family-friendly.  The hospitable staff offers service that is quick and efficient—just what you want in the middle of your bustling day!  Why settle for a blah fast food lunch or dinner when you can take the break you need without derailing your shopping plans?  TwinOak Wood-Fired Pizza & BBQ lets you make the most of the last full weekend of the Christmas shopping season and warm up with a good meal.

Contact Information:

TwinOak Wood-Fired Pizza & BBQ
Owners: Casey Friedrichs and Freddie Friedrichs
1201 Strassner Drive (at Hanley)
Brentwood, MO 63144
(314) 644-2772
[email protected]

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Picture courtesy of Landmark Sign Company

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THANKSGIVING BUFFET AT CANDICCI’S

thanksgiving buffet

Traditional Thanksgiving Day Buffet at Candicci’s Restaurant, Ballwin, MO

BALLWIN, MO: (STLRestaurant.News) Candicci’s Restaurant and Bar is hosting their Annual Thanksgiving Day Buffet, November 24th from 11 am to 5 pm.   Cost for the buffet is $23.99 per person and kids 10 and under cost only $8.99.

Candicci’s has been in the St. Louis metro area for more than 36 years serving fine Italian cuisines, in addition to providing daily dining, happy hour, live music, banquet facility and catering services to the local community.  Candicci’s annual Thanksgiving Day Buffet is always a success and regarded as one of the best in the community by its customers.  Bob Candice, manger, will be present making sure that the day is enjoyed by all guests.

The buffet will include:

Roasted Turkey with Giblet Gravy

Ham with Pineapple Chipotle Glaze

Slow Roasted Italian Beef

Herbed Stuffing

Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Molasses Sweet Potato Mash

Green Bean Casserole

Thyme Buttered Corn

Spiced Cranberry Relish

Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie & Fruit Pies

Coffee, Soda, Iced Tea

Plus Candicci’s favorites:

Italian Salad & Homemade Bread

Toasted Ravioli with Marinara

Pasta Variety throughout the day!

Reservations are highly recommended.

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Contact information:

Candicci’s Restaurant and Bar

100 Holloway Rd

Ballwin, MO 63011

Phone: (636) 220-8989

Email: [email protected]

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M Smith, St. Louis Media, LLC