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  • Blogs

    June 6, 2014

    Time is the Relentless and Cruel Enemy of the Monkees

    It comes for us all, robbing us of our youth and pushing us closer and closer to the end. It never sleeps or pauses, always relentlessly pressing against us, destroying muscle and shattering bone. A grim and powerful force, it causes us to count our own mortality in a quantifiable way, as if somehow ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 14, 2013

    Rabid Bat Found in University City Home

    The St. Louis County Department of Health's Animal Care and Control program has received the first positive rabies specimen in 2013. The specimen, officials say, in an announcement this morning, was a bat found in a home in the University City area. The health department cautions residents to avoi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 26, 2013

    Marijuana Advocates Sue City of Springfield for Blocking Decriminalization Ordinance

    Last year, marijuana advocates in Missouri collected more than the required number of signatures for a local petition aimed at reducing the penalties for low-level pot offenses in the city of Springfield. City leaders, however, circumvented the standard process outlined in the charter and blocked ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 4, 2011

    Hurricane Recipes? Try a Gulf Spill! Top 10 Natural Disaster Cocktails

    Given that Saturday's Mardi Gras celebration is the proverbial bad-taste storm before the calm, it's only fitting that the big party's signature drink is sweet, lethal and named after an actual storm. That's right: the Hurricane. If you're in the mood for something different this weekend, Gut Check ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 1, 2011

    Power's Out? Clean That Fridge!

    Wikimedia Commons​All winter we've braced for ice-induced power outages. Who knew it would be a string of surprise thunderstorms and tornadoes that would leave more than 30,000 St. Louisans in the dark? Now that the power's coming back, it's time to investigate the damage done by a dead fridge an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2010

    Ten Things To Do in St. Louis: December 23-29

    Wikimedia CommonsA scene from Christmas Holidays at Merryvale​For local clubs, the week after Christmas can be rather dead. Out-of-town touring acts take a break for the holidays, while locals tend to rest up, spend time with family and save their energy for New Year's Eve. (The exception to t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2010

    Holiday Travel Horror Stories -- Or, How A Complete Stranger Vomited On Me on an Airplane Last Night

    Wikimedia Commons​According to AAA, travel during this Memorial Day weekend is slated to be up five percent over last year. Personally, I decided to get out of town this weekend - in fact, I'm already in Cleveland visiting my parents and my boyfriend, while tying up loose ends for my RFT work ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 20, 2010

    Baking Today? Try Alice B. Toklas' Recipe for "Haschich Fudge"!

    It's a holiday of sorts for the world's stoner subculture, and if you'd like to celebrate with a cannabis-infused culinary endeavor, well, look no further.This recipe for "Haschich Fudge" was handed out on little scrolls of parchment Friday night at the wild opening for the art exhibit "Alice" at th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 9, 2010

    Albert Pujols Trades Big Bat for Bigger Gun

    ​ Pitchers report to spring training next week, and soon "El Hombre" will be gunnin' for 'em.Ryan Franklin looks happy to have Pujols on his side.​ Photo courtesy of (where else?) Wikipedia, keywords: Mk 15 sniper rifle.

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2010

    Hey, Baristas! Test Your Latte Art at Thursday Night Throwdown, 2.11

    User "Mortefot," Wikimedia Commons​As you might have noticed, our coffee column, Java Enabled, is taking a break, but author Zach Dyer was kind enough to send along word of an upcoming competition in which you can show off your skills at latte art. You know, drawing a leaf or some such in the foam ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 14, 2010

    A Table for How Many? at Haveli Indian Restaurant

    We don't expect our favorite Italian, American, Thai, sushi or Bosnian restaurants to serve food buffet-style. But when it comes to Indian food, St. Louisans have become spoiled by lunch buffets and often don't even consider having Indian food for dinner."How would I know what to order on the dinne ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 5, 2010

    St. Louis Police Report 206 Calls for Gunfire on New Year's Eve; Two Bizarre Related Injuries

    Last week, St. Louis New Years Eve revelers hit the town, dressed to the nines with champagne aspirations, but most would greet the first light 2010 with splitting hangovers and foggy recollections of bad decisions. But, hey, at least they didn't wind up handcuffed to a hospital bed, riddled with bu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 5, 2010

    The Noble Writ's New Year's Resolutions

    Unlike several of my fellow Gut Check contributors, I'm not much for reminiscing about, dissecting or ranking the past year. Instead, I enjoy the challenge of looking forward and setting goals. So here are my plans for both my personal wine consumption and The Noble Writ in 2010.Aaron Logan, Wikime ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2009

    2009 in Review: October

    ​Waldo Jaquith, Wikimedia Commons​October saw the return of Drink of the Week, the column founded by Randall Roberts and continued by Kristie McClanahan that muses on life and libations. Alicia Lohmar is the new author, and we're thrilled to have her as part of the Gut Check family. The rest of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2009

    The Beertender: The Gift of Beer Always Fits

    John Blyberg, Wikimedia Commons​Hey, look, more holidays! Here are a few easy-to-find, crowd-pleasing holiday beers to spice up your family's Christmas feast.Again we begin with the St. Louis Brewery. Schlafly Christmas Ale is, like many winter beers, great for a dessert or after-dinner drink. Th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2009

    Farmers' Market Share: Whole Wheat Bread

    User "Zyance," Wikimedia Commons​December is a sad time for the farmer's market aficionado. At minimum, it will be three months before the first spring greens are available. We're down to two monthly markets, the indoor Tower Grove setup at St. John's Episcopal Church on Arsenal Street and Maplew ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2009

    Sweet Scout Waves the Danish Flag

    Tomasz Sienicki, Wikimedia Commons​At work, minding my own business, not thinking about sweets at all. (I swear.) Just another dreary day answering phones in a windowless, characterless room. Then in walked a coworker with a nicely sized bag. My eyes lit up: Goodies! I peeked inside. A ring compri ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 17, 2009

    A Table for How Many? at Seki

    User "Alton," Wikimedia Commons​To my left, a nine-year-old boy stared intently at his Nintendo DS, his fingers moving a mile a minute. Next to him, his teenage sister rapid-fire texted her friends until she sadly announced that her phone battery had died. To my right, a college professor played ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2009

    Take a Beercation to Louisville with the Beertender

    Fleur-Design, Wikimedia Commons​Beercation (n.): A short, inexpensive trip whose primary justification is the pursuit of rare, local or otherwise unattainable beer.Among potential beercation destinations, my current front-runner is Louisville, Kentucky, only four hours east on I-64. Maybe not the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2009

    What to Get Your Novice Foodie This Holiday Season

    User "Wikidemo," Wikimedia CommonsMerry Christmas! (Watch your knuckles.)​What to get the novice foodie(s) in your life this holiday season? Here are some gifts that I heartily recommend. These are invaluable tools, well worth the space they take up in my own kitchen because I use them so frequen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2009

    Sweet Scout: Deep-Fried Delights to Stick to Your Back

    User "Jellyfish Juice," Wikimedia Commons​A special Wednesday edition of the Sweet Scout...There are sweets that aren't so bad for you, like angel-food cake and fat-free frozen yogurt. There are sweets that are actually good for you, like fruits and moderate amounts of dark chocolate. And then th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2009

    Farmers' Market Share: Pumpkin Soup and Pretentious Media

    User "Infromgation," Wikimedia Commons​I'm not sure when I first became obsessed with food, but I can tell you about my history with pretentious media. On both counts, I blame my parents.My mom is an awesome cook. I have to give many thanks to her ability to accommodate my vegetarianism throughou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2009

    Sweet Scout Takes the (Cup)Cake

    User "Jellyfish Juice," Wikimedia Commons​I never got the cupcake thing. When I was a kid and there was a birthday party at school or a holiday celebration in the classroom, someone's mom always brought cupcakes. I ate them, because, you know, cake. But I never understood why cupcakes were prefera ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 11, 2009

    Farmers' Market Share: Thanksgiving Wheat Berry Salad Recipe

    Jérôme Sautret, Wikimedia CommonsSweet potatoes: Try not to eat them all before you're done.​As a compulsive cooking overachiever, I have a tendency to see pot lucks as a challenge: How can I make something totally novel and awesome...yet avoid shopping? It's like Iron Chef: College Ingenuity.S ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 4, 2009

    Who Knew Missouri Even Had Rest Stops?

    Wikimedia CommonsYou won't find a crapper as rustic as this one at the I-44 Conway Welcome Center. It has modern wastewater treatment!​This just in from the latest issue of AAA's Midwest Traveler magazine: a $10.8 million Missouri rest stop has collected props from the American Association of Stat ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 30, 2009

    The Sweet Scout Tries Gluten-Free Goodies

    User "Jellyfish Juice," Wikimedia Commons​Gluten-free foods intrigue me. Why live without gluten? Celiac disease causes an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in wheat; those suffering from celiac disease can suffer numerous health problems if they ingest it. However, recent studies have shown ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2009

    The Noble Writ: A Port for Every Storm, Part 2

    Continuing our exploration of port from last week (read "A Port for Every Storm, Part 1"), we'll cover the other forms of port you're likely to see on the shelves. We'll also spend some time discussing what, if any, food will match well with the port in your glass.First, to finish up with the red ( ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2009

    The Beertender: Get Hip to Hops

    Ever seen that ad where Jim Koch of Samuel Adams noses around a hops field and says, "Hops are to beer what grapes are to wine"? While it's not quite an SAT-worthy analogy, it does make the point that there are different varieties of hops -- and that they are crucial to beer.Hops are the spice of be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 2, 2009

    Sweet Scout: Gooey Butter Cake

    User "Jellyfish Juice," Wikimedia CommonsGooey butter cake and I go way back. It's the only thing my mom and I made from scratch on a regular basis when I was a kid. I loved the whole process. Shopping for the right cake mix (no pudding!) and cream cheese (never do fat free -- it just doesn't work). ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 14, 2009

    A Sneak in the House of Love

    ​Today, my very dear friend and sneaking companion, Madame H, got married.Pros: Nobody believes marriage will make her change her sneaky ways. Now that they are flesh of one flesh and therefore sneak of one sneak, I can probably press her husband into happy service as a second set of pockets. He ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 31, 2009

    Review Preview: El Pollo Loco

    User "Sdbradley86," Wikimedia Commons Emphatically not the St. Louis location​This week, for a change of pace, I visit a fast-food restaurant. But not just any fast-food joint. No, it's El Pollo Loco, which was founded in Mexico. A sneak peek at my review after the jump.

  • Blogs

    August 24, 2009

    Innovations in Sneaking: The Solid-State Cocktail

    Fernando de Sousa, Wikimedia Commons While I'm constantly amazed at the number of movie theaters in St. Louis that offer beer, wine and decent coffee, there still aren't many places you can enjoy a good cocktail during the show. What's a sneak to do?1. Pre-mix the cocktail and bring it in a bottle ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 18, 2009

    Throwback of the House: Reel Him in With Cheemato Soufflé

    Todd Ehlers, Wikimedia CommonsHave you been despondent since last week's post? Worried about eating sea pie and dying alone? It's time to find you a man with 1952's Date Bait: The Younger Set's Picture Cook Book by Robert H. Loeb, Jr., which was loaned to me by Kelly of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp.I d ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 11, 2009

    The Noble Writ: A Riesling Primer

    Riesling is my favorite white grape variety, and if pressed, I'd probably choose it as my favorite grape overall (pinot noir being its only real competition). So it pains me that so many folks interested in wine seem to ignore it, if not deride or despise it. There are many misconceptions about ries ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 4, 2009

    The Noble Writ: Corkage with Class

    On the relatively few occasions when I dine at a nice restaurant, I'm usually seen carrying my "geek bag." (I have used the 820 model for almost ten years.) Inside will be three or four wines from my cellar that I am willing to pay to open pursuant to the restaurant's corkage policy.A restaurant tha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 3, 2009

    Happy Birthday, Martha! Have Some Useless Kitchen Tools

    Today is Martha Stewart's birthday. What do you get the kitchen and style maven who already has everything, including a felony conviction? Gut Check dispatched its crack research staff -- not to be confused with our crack-research staff* -- to find the ten most useless kitchen tools in this or any o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 22, 2009

    "In the Event of a Moon Disaster": Nixon's Condolence Speech

    Wikimedia CommonsHouston, we have a problem.It's always good to have a backup plan. has posted Richard Nixon's condolence speech to the wives of the Apollo 11 astronauts had the moon landing not worked out. Nixon's speechwriter, William Safire, titled it "In the Event of a Moon Disaster".F ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 21, 2009

    The Noble Writ: Romo-ance and a Romo-rant

    This week we're going to delve into yet another virtually extinct grape variety that, in the right hands, makes absolutely delicious wine: romorantin. First, though, a bit of a rant. There are more worthy grapes out there than just cab, merlot, pinot noir and chardonnay. And, for the really adventu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 16, 2009

    Interview Outtakes: Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon

    Yes, tomorrow is finally the day when Sonic Youth opens this year's Live on the Levee series of shows! Just a heads up on time: Awesome Color goes on at 6 p.m., and SY is on at 7:30. (In other words, expect nearly two hours of SY goodness -- no setlist spoilers from this current tour from me, though ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 24, 2009

    The Verdict on Kansas City's Smoking Ban: Put Out Your Butts, People

    Wikimedia CommonsKansas City is free to enforce its indoor smoking ban, per an order issued yesterday by the Missouri Court of Appeals-Western District. According to a story today in the Kansas City Star, "Enforcement of the Kansas City smoking ordinance plays an important part in protecting the hea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 24, 2009

    Java Enabled's Day at the Roasters

    "It smells sweet, like candy," my friend said as I extended my wrist to his nose. My skin had absorbed the caramel flavors that had been wafting around me all day like a welcome second-hand smoke. It was the smell of coffee roasting.It was a bad day to hang out near a coffee roaster -- much less two ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 22, 2009

    How to Win Sneaks and Influence People

    Fernando de Sousa, Wikimedia Commons In a previous blog post, I talked about the passionate side of sneaking -- particularly for those who seek a Sneak. But you've doubtless noticed that, while one of the things dearest to me in this life is the B-movie laboratory St. Elmo's fire that flares when I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 16, 2009

    Throwback of the House: Dad's Denver Nightmare Brunch

    Todd Ehlers, Wikimedia CommonsMy dad's the guy who nuked some bologna for ten minutes back in the day. He's not much of a cook, but now that he's retired, he's starting to find his way around the kitchen. He can make apple pie and jalapenos stuffed with cream cheese and wrapped in bacon.I'm proud o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 9, 2009

    Throwback of the House: Baking the Summer Away

    Todd Ehlers, Wikimedia CommonsAh, summer food. It's the only thing I like about summer. I'd gladly live in a climate that never rose above 60 degrees if it weren't for giving up local produce, cookouts and a good old-fashioned summer cheese bake.What? You don't have the summer tradition of cranking ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 11, 2009

    Review Preview: Sammy's Beach Bar & Grill

    Matt Becker, Wikimedia CommonsThis week, I visit Sammy's Beach Bar & Grill, Sammy Hagar's joint.There are restaurants I review because everyone is talking about them, and there are restaurants I review because almost no one has heard of them, and there are -- rarely -- restaurants I review beca ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 5, 2009

    The Noble Writ: Spanish Spring

    Dave Nelson is the author of the blog Beer, Wine and Whisky. He writes about wine for Gut Check every Tuesday.While Spain doesn't have the staggering diversity of grapes that Italy does, it's still home to some fantastically distinctive white wines. Fewer of these are imported into the United States ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 17, 2009

    What's Your NPR Name?

    Wikimedia CommonsPerhaps picking out an NPR name is not as exciting as figuring out your porn star name, but Unreal thinks that the RFT should never pass up an opportunity to enhance its journalistic credibility.This method of renaming was discovered by Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!'s Peter Sagal and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 6, 2009

    The Sneak: Souplicity

    Fernando de Sousa, Wikimedia Commons Dara Strickland is a leading expert on sneaking food and drink into the movies. She reports on her exploits for Gut Check (from an undisclosed location) every Monday.Show: Duplicity, a somewhat romantic and consistently, genuinely funny caper flick.Food: Lobster ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 23, 2009

    The Sneak: Champagne Wishes and Sneakable Dreams

    Dara Strickland is a leading expert on sneaking food and drink into the movies. She reports on her exploits for Gut Check (from an undisclosed location) every Monday.Show: Oscar-Nominated Shorts, AnimatedFood: Delightfully cheap sparkling wine, originally purchased for making mimosas.Here's a tip: t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 3, 2008
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