Juniper chef and owner John Perkins doesn't see his transition from theological studies to cooking as that big of a leap. "Breaking bread together is one of the main components of Christianity," he once said. Perhaps that explains why a meal at Juniper is a soulful experience. Perkins, the former (and sometimes still) pop-up darling of the St. Louis food scene, serves up some serious Southern-style home cooking in this, his first permanent eatery. His stick-to-the ribs fare is the kind of food one might have seen at Great-Grandma's Sunday spread: fried chicken, country ham, pork belly with grits and slow-cooked collards. It's Juniper's bread basket, however, which is Perkins' finest example of down-home comfort. The hushpuppies are little poufs of joy, the cornbread is straight out of the cast-iron pan and the angel biscuits are appropriately named. If this were to be your last supper, you'd be going out satisfied.
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