Best Takeout (Gourmet Division) St. Louis 2005 - Kaldi's Coffeehouse
The Fancy Couple is having a dinner party again. Oh, God, the Fancy Couple, with their Washington Avenue loft (purchased, darling, not rented), their solid walnut furniture and their $1,000 dog that trundles through the living room like a yapping toupée. Last time they had one of these soirées, you brought a plate of cheese cubes, which your hosts described as "hilariously retro." This time, take everyone by surprise and bring gourmet noshes from Kaldi's. Star chef Eric Brenner (of the delicious, chic Moxy) designed the menu for the hometown beanery's Kirkwood outpost, and the victuals will have even the choosiest foodie in raptures. Snap up cocktail-hour-perfect "shareables" like spinach-artichoke dip with sesame lavosh, or knock everyone's fancy socks off with the remarkable Mediterranean pita pizza, which has hummus standing in for tomato sauce and is topped with a two-olive tapenade, roasted red peppers, feta and portobello mushrooms. There are also savory cr?pes, panini, and farmer's market-fresh sandwiches and salads. This is fabulous food that's not at all pretentious -- though it's sure to impress those who might be, just a little bit.