Mabel Suen

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2014

    Experimental: Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees

    The 2014 Riverfront Times Music Showcase will be held this year on June 7 in the Grove! Think of it as St. Louis music's own official holiday and consider this the season. Throughout May we at RFT Music will be making our cases for all 140 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 23, 2014

    Noise: Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees

    The 2014 Riverfront Times Music Showcase will be held this year on June 7 in the Grove! Think of it as St. Louis music's own official holiday and consider this the season. Throughout May we at RFT Music will be making our cases for all 140 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 15, 2014

    New Band: Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees

    The 2014 Riverfront Times Music Showcase will be held this year on June 7 in the Grove! Think of it as St. Louis music's own official holiday and consider this the season. Throughout May we at RFT Music will be making our cases for all 140 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2013

    The 13 Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Bands in 2013

    St. Louis has such a rich history of experimental music, dating back to late '60s with The Black Artists Group (BAG) and early '70s with The Human Arts Ensemble. Through the '90s, the St. Louis-based SkiNGRAFT Records became a premiere label for experimental punk and noise-rock. The fact that the Ne ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 24, 2013

    First Look: Juniper Serves Southern Cuisine in the Central West End (Photos)

    As reported earlier this month, local pop-up restaurant proprietor John Perkins decided to settle down with a concept that's made to last. On October 16, his latest creation, Juniper: A Southern Table & Bar (360 North Boyle Avenue; 314-520-6750), opened in the Central West End. Gut Check stopped in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2013

    First Look: Gateway Grill, the Greasy Spoon That Won't Fry a Thing

    On August 26, Gateway Grill (11188 Old St. Charles Rock Road; 314-209-0400) opened its doors in St. Ann, serving up casual diner-themed cuisine in a space completely outfitted with retro 1950s-style decor. Black-and-white checkered floors, red-and-chrome seats and formica tabletops make up the dinin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 10, 2013

    First Look: Rise Coffee House Perks Up the Grove (Photos)

    Rise Coffee House (4180 Manchester Avenue) opened its doors in the Grove on September 28, fueling area residents and passerby with hot Goshen coffee and freshly prepared Whisk Bakeshop pastries. Aside from simply offering up an artisan caffeine and sustainably prepared sweets fix, Rise looks to to b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 27, 2013

    First Look: Corner 17 Tempts the Loop with Bubble Tea, Ices and Fresh Noodles (Photos)

    In August, Gut Check reported on the opening of Corner 17 (6623 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-2402), a new bubble tea and handmade noodle shop in the Delmar Loop. Owner Guang Zhao says she aims to offer authentic Chinese cuisine in a quick-service setting that differs from the Americani ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 13, 2013

    First Look: Inside Caife Caife From Colleen's Cookies [Photos]

    Colleen Thompson is the premier cookie lady in town. On August 19, she expanded her sugary empire by adding 1,200 square feet and 40 seats to her bakeshop, Colleen's Cookies (7337 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-727-8427). The space, dubbed Caife Caife (Gaelic for "coffee cafe"), offers her usual sweet treat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 19, 2013

    Tripel Brasserie Serves Belgian Beer and Fare in Lafayette Square [Photos]

    Escargots, waterzooi and stoofvlees might sound a bit out there to most of us, but that's because Tripel Brasserie (1801 Park Avenue; 314-678-7787) introduces a style of food that, until now, hasn't been fully addressed in St. Louis: Belgian cuisine, requisite with all the glorious beer. See also: ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2013

    A Look Inside Fizzy's Soda Fountain and Grill [Photos]

    Old-fashioned soda fountains bring out the kid in anyone, regardless of what era they grew up in. Fizzy's Soda Fountain and Grill (29 North Gore; 314-395-4550) hopes to tap into that fountain of youth, delivering a shot of old-school charm in each of its handmade sodas. See also: - First Look: The ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 24, 2013

    Sneak Peek: Panorama Experiments with the Art of Food in the Saint Louis Art Museum's New East Building

    This summer, the Saint Louis Art Museum provides a few more reasons for Forest Park visitors to stop by and drink it all in. On Saturday, June 29 and Sunday, June 30, the museum hosts a free festival to celebrate the opening of its new East Building, which adds an impressive 200,000-square-feet of s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 21, 2013

    Dead Wax Records Opens Its Doors on Cherokee Street

    Last Saturday, Dead Wax Records (1959 Cherokee Street; 314-913-3692) quietly opened its doors for business, offering a few hundred square feet of neatly packed LPs for collectors and vinyl newbs alike to peruse. Shoppers and sun soakers have a new spot to stop in on Saturdays, and the small but well ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 17, 2013

    First Look: Sushi Bistro Rolls Sushi and Hibachi Into a Single Concept in Downtown Kirkwood [Photos]

    In late February, Kirkwood welcomed a new seafood-centric restaurant to town: Sushi Bistro (343 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood; 314-966-5545). The sushi bar and hibachi grill is run by owners Jimmy Li and Zhenkun Lin with chef Andy Chi, whose experience comes from rolling sushi on the East Coast for ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 9, 2013

    First Look: Gringo Offers Taco Options Like Al Pastor, Octopus and Grasshopper in the Central West End [Photos]

    From the formidable forces behind the successful pizza empire that is St. Louis chain Pi Pizzeria comes a new concept called Gringo (398 North Euclid; 314-449-1212), which opened its doors in the Central West End last week with a full menu of tacos, margaritas and more. See also: - Pi Pizzeria Te ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 2, 2013

    First Look: Central Table Food Hall Offers Artisan Eats in the Central West End [Photos]

    The highly anticipated Central Table Food Hall (23 South Euclid Avenue; 314-932-5595) takes up an entire city block. So you can imagine how silly we felt when we unknowingly drove past the 10,000-square-foot space during our first visit before doors opened on May 1. To the unassuming eye, nothing mo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 26, 2013

    First Look: Prasino Brings Self-Proclaimed "Eco-Chic" Contemporary American Cuisine to St. Charles [Photos]

    What exactly is "eco chic?" Walk into the newly opened Prasino (1520 South Fifth Street, St. Charles; 636-277-0202), an upscale, Chicago-based chain of restaurants that just opened its first location outside of Illinois in St. Charles, and your well-informed wait staff will begin to tell you all abo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 19, 2013

    First Look: Piccione Pastry Serves Cannoli, Cookies and Italian Coffee in the Delmar Loop [Photos]

    Cannoli, bomboloni, sfogliatella riccia, rum baba, cassata, spritz, giugiuleni. Fortunately, for those of us not fluent in the language of Italian pastry, all it takes to get one of the fresh-baked goods at Piccione Pastry (6197 Delmar Boulevard; 314-932-1355) out of the case and onto a plate is a s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 12, 2013

    First Look: Empire Deli & Pizza Serves East Coast Style Slices and Sandwiches Downtown [Photos]

    It's pizza. What more do ya need? How's about a freshly baked New York-style pie with crisp yet delicate crust, buckling under the weight of premium toppings and oozing with hot cheese? We realize we're angering the grammar gods in saying this, but don't nobody not like pizza. For those who want eve ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 12, 2013

    First Look: Mission Taco Joint Preps Fresh Tortillas and West Coast Inspired Mexican Food in the Delmar Loop [Photos]

    Delmar gained a new late-night option with Mission Taco Joint (6235 Delmar Boulevard; 314-932-5430) thanks to Jason and Adam Tilford, the sibling super-force behind Milagro Modern Mexican, Tortillaria and Barrister's. According to the brothers, whose inspirations stem from frequent excursions to nor ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 4, 2013

    First Look: La Patisserie Chouquette Offers Desserts that Look (Almost) Too Good to Eat [Photos]

    Oh mon dieu. "Kid in a candy store" doesn't even begin to describe the awe and excitement induced by the plethora of encased treats at the heavily anticipated opening of La Pâtisserie Chouquette (1626 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-932-7935) last week. But unlike just any sweets shop, pastry chef Simone F ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2013

    First Look: Chubbies Offers Burgers, Wings and Frozen Custard to Make You Nice and Pudgy [Photos]

    The fresh ground patties at Chubbies (6227 Delmar Boulevard; 314-725-5000), a new burger, wing and custard joint in the Delmar Loop, are made up of three different cuts of beef, but the owner Wally won't say what exactly. "I'd have to throw you off the top of the Arch if I did," he says with a laugh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2013

    First Look: Wilson's BBQ Serves Up St. Louis-Style Barbecue in South City

    This ain't no dry rub. With many proud proprietors of sauce-heavy St. Louis-style barbecue popping up as of late, Gut Check's going to have to loosen its belt every now and then to, ahem, draw some quality comparisons. More and more, this city puts itself on the U.S. barbecue map, and Southhampton's ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2013

    First Look: Takaya New Asian Rolls Out Modernly Plated Sushi and Fusion Dishes

    On a moderately busy Friday evening about a month after its opening, general manager Simon Rhim of Takaya New Asian (634 Washington Avenue; 314-241-5721) explains that owner Eric Heckman just rolled some sushi himself before heading out to tend to his other businesses. Heckman lends a hand filling i ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2013

    First Look: Cini Serves Molto Bene Italian Food

    Sure, a salad or a bowl of pasta topped with made-from-scratch diavolo sauce and tons of fresh veggies sounds wholesome and healthy and all -- but doesn't it sound even better when the meal comes accompanied by bite-size, deep-fried arancini? At brand-new Italian fast-casual concept Cini (374 South ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2013

    First Look: Downtown's MX Movies Makes Dinner and a Movie Way Too Easy

    Earlier this month, Daily RFT reported on MX Movies (618 Washington Avenue), a new downtown movie theater equipped to destroy your new year's resolutions. On January 17, the dine-in movie experience welcomed Gut Check down for its not-so-soft opening, packing the stadium seating in all three of its ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 30, 2012

    First Look: Whisk A Sustainable Bakeshop Hits the Sweet Spot on Cherokee Street

    Kaylen Wissinger has done some intense marketing -- in more ways than one. Ever since her homegrown business Farm Fresh Cupcakes hit farmers' market and event stands in May 2011, she's baked and sold more than 15,000 goodies. A mere year later, she managed to raise $15,432 online through funding pla ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 29, 2012

    First Look: Sultan Palace Bakery and Cafe Serves Shawarma and More on South Grand

    On a Sunday afternoon during its first week in business, Sultan Palace Bakery and Cafe (4144 South Grand Boulevard; 314-875-9653) has but two employees staffing the 60-seat restaurant -- which isn't a problem, of course, until a group of ten or so followed by a table of four arrive to sample the Mid ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 28, 2012

    Livery Company Debuts its Inaugural Cocktail Menu

    In July, Livery Company (3211 Cherokee Street) opened in the Cherokee Arts District, combining the charms of a dimly lit dive with a speakeasy-style vibe. The casual atmosphere accompanies a similarly paced development - the bar rolled out its first seasonal cocktail menu this fall.

  • Blogs

    November 8, 2012

    First Look: Manila Bistro Offers Flavors of the Philippines in Kirkwood

    It's hard to imagine that St. Louis' longest standing Filipino restaurant concept, Manila Cafe, started out with just two tables on Cherokee Street in 1978. Its history spans various incarnations at dining destinations such as annual local festivals, Union Station, South Grand and downtown Kirkwood. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 2, 2012

    First Look: Pie Oh My Rolls Out Whole and Bite-Sized Homestyle Pies in Maplewood

    Baker Jane Callahan's humble pie business, Pie Oh My (2719 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-704-4416), started off in a small rented commercial kitchen downtown, where she prepared her from-scratch pies by hand to sell at markets or deliver personally to customers' doors. She continues to offer the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2012

    First Look: Sauce on the Side Tosses Up Fresh Calzones and Salads Downtown

    Let's face it: Most of St. Louis has only experienced pizza pouches from under food court heat lamps or fresh from, um, the microwave. At new calzone downtown joint Sauce on the Side (903 Pine Street; 314-241-5667), try the real deal wrapped in scratch-made pizza dough, baked to golden perfection, b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2012

    First Look: The Shack PubGrub Serves Comfort Food and More in Midtown

    At the Shack PubGrub (3818 Laclede Avenue; 314-533-7000), the "green eggs'n'ham" boardwalk fries come out fresh from the fryer crispy and completely smothered in creamed spinach, diced ham with just-barely caramelized corners, fresh-chopped green onions and a cheery yellow sunny-side-up fried egg. W ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 3, 2012

    First Look: Teranga Grill Cooks Up Afro-Caribbean Cuisine in Union Station

    At his new Afro-Caribbean restaurant, Alioun Thiam cooks, cordially accepts orders and recommends dishes off of his menu to guests -- all while on crutches. The red, yellow and green-tinged Teranga Grill (1820 Market Street; 314-621-3650) opened in mid-August, filling a corner space on the bottom le ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 20, 2012

    First Look: Hendrick's BBQ Combines Blues, Barbeque and Moonshine (Photos)

    See also: First Look: Diablito's Cantina See also: Christopher Lee of Cafe Ventana, Sanctuaria and Chuy Arzola's Getting a taste of Hendrick's BBQ (1200 South Main Street, St. Charles; 636-724-8600) can feel like digging a fork into a not-so-humble sized slice of the South or somewhere else far fro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 12, 2012

    First Look: Thai 202 Offers Sweet and Spicy Take-out in the Central West End

    Restauranteur Art Lee keeps it all in the family when it comes to food. Growing up in Thailand, his family ran an open market grocery store. He says the skills he gained then come in handy even now for the new business, Thai 202 (235 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-2002), which he runs with his wife an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 5, 2012

    First Look: Midwest Pasta Company

    At the corner of Cherokee Street and Illinois Avenue in a space originally built to be a dairy, a team of thirteen at Midwest Pasta Company rotate to mix, roll out, cut and package 2,600 pounds of fresh pasta per week. Production for local wholesale distribution at the Cherokee Antique Row location ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 30, 2012

    First Look: Sneak Peek of Little Country Gentleman

    Ingredients like xantham gum and citric acid might sound scary when they pertain to the palate, but rest assured that at Little Country Gentleman (8135 Maryland Avenue; 314-725-0719), restaurateur and chef Mike Randolph's new concept set to replace Medianoche's progressive Mexican dinner spot, they' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 12, 2012

    First Look: Orkeed Restaurant

    Orkeed Restaurant (3191 South Grand; 314-664-3940) opened its doors in south city in the space formerly filled by Al Waha Restaurant & Hookah Lounge this past spring. After a facelift to both Al Waha's menu and interior, owner Taif Jassim along with chef Wael Khudair pick up where Al Waha left off a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 11, 2012

    First Look: Orbit Pinball Lounge

    Orbit Pinball Lounge (7401 Hazel Avenue; 314-769-9954) opened its doors to the public in mid-May, providing a new hangout with plenty of nostalgia to boot for the Maplewood neighborhood. At night, the darkened bar's warm glow and open door can be seen from the street. Inside, a "Welcome" sign hand ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 9, 2012

    First Look: J.R. Crickets

    The motto for one of Atlanta's most popular wing stops boasts that, "Chicken is chicken, but the wing is the thing." J.R. Crickets occupies ten separate locations in metro Atlanta, with two more in the works. On May 5, the 30-year-old chicken chain opened a location at 3737 South Grand Boulevard in ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 23, 2012

    Tavolo V Serves Up Delicate, Vibrant Italian Dishes in the Delmar Loop

    On March 31, restaurateur Michael Del Pietro opened the doors to Tavolo V (6118 Delmar Boulevard; 314-721-4333), which joins the list of his growing tree of Italian eateries including Pazzo's Pizzeria (140 South Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood; 314-821-6500), Babbo's Spaghetteria (17402 Chesterfield Airport ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 9, 2012

    First Look: The Island Serves Up Tropically Themed Treats In Soulard

    Fun fact: Soulard often gets referred to by its residents as "The Island." Why? On a plat map, or a map drawn to scale showing the divisions of a piece of land, Soulard sets itself apart from the city. Staying true to his "Islander" roots, owner Jason Stump plays on the theme of his neighborhood wit ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 13, 2012

    Bloody Knives at El Lenador, 2/10/12: Recap and Photos

    Mabel SuenBloody Knives sound-artist Jim Moon (left) and bass player Preston Maddox (right) swing their hair and spit gnarly Texan noise rock. ​Bloody Knives | Bug Chaser | Tone Rodent | Trauma Harness El Lenador February 10, 2012 El Lenador has become a ganglion in South St. Louis for raw pe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 2, 2012

    First Look: MEDIAnoche

    MEDIAnoche (8135 Maryland Avenue, Clayton; 314-725-0719), a new evening hot spot from Mike Randolph of the Good Pie and Half & Half, made Gut Check's list of the five most anticipated new St. Louis restaurants of 2012. We stopped by recently to meet with Randolph and general manager Mike Marquard an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    First Look: Fox Park Grille

    Fox Park Grille (2855 Shenandoah Avenue; 314-875-9590) opened three weeks ago at the south-city corner that once housed long-running neighborhood joint Tanner B's and, after that, Bodegas Bar & Grill. Gut Check recently stopped by the new establishment for lunch and learned about the stuffed burgers ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 25, 2012

    8 Bits of Vital Advice to Musicians From the Staff Of Illegal Tone Recordings

    Mabel SuenErik Wolfe started ITR in 2007 with the aid of a volunteer staff. ​Illegal Tone Recordings helped foster an age of Do-It-Yourself artists in the city of Belleville, Illinois. Its reach extended across the river, often providing a stage to many St. Louis based performers. On January 31 IT ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 24, 2012

    Soup Countdown #5: Wonton Noodle Soup at Wei Hong Bakery & Restaurant

    January is National Soup Month, which makes sense, considering the first month of the year is typically marked with below-freezing temperatures, snow and slush. What's better than a delicious, hot bowl of soup on a chilly day? A delicious, hot bowl of soup that you don't have to make -- that's what. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2012

    Savory and Sweet Treats at Desserts on the Boulevard

    The new year brought a new place of indulgence to Midtown. Desserts on the Boulevard (3949 Lindell Boulevard; 314-533-3377), an upscale bistro, bakery and wine bar owned by Deverick and Catina Miller, opened its doors to the public officially on January 3 with a full-service savory menu and fully-st ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2012

    Sump Coffee Brings Third Wave Coffee to South City

    Last fall, Ian reported on a new coffeehouse coming to south city, Sump Coffee. Gut Check followed up after the opening to get a closer look into the cafe's offerings. Scott Carey says he just might be obsessed with coffee; however, his fascination isn't that of the typical everyday caffeine junkie ... More >>

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