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Tucked amid the bodegas and indie record stores of Cherokee Street sits Athlete Eats, a polished little café that is all about healthy eating. Owner Simon Lusky started the business as a nutrition service, providing meal plans and prepared foods to health-conscious clients, including some of the St. Louis Cardinals players, and expanded to include a breakfast and lunch counter. Athlete Eats offers a variety of juices, smoothies and guilt-free fare, including Carolina-style barbecue; a juicy, locally raised grass-fed beef burger; and hearty salads. One of the more creative offerings, the bibimbap bowl, replaces the traditional sticky rice with caulirice — grated pieces of roasted cauliflower that resembles small rice grains. Tossed with edamame, shiitakes and thinly sliced spiced beef, it’s as good, if not better, than the traditional, rice-based Korean staple. Athlete Eats only serves breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays — a shame because it’s where some of the restaurant’s best items are showcased. The gluten-free pancakes, laden with cinnamon and topped with coconut cream and maple orange syrup, are so tasty that one doesn’t miss the flour. And do not leave without trying Athlete Eats’ breakfast take on the Gerber sandwich: a garlic-studded waffle is topped with shaved ham, Provel cheese, béchamel sauce and a sunny-side egg. It’s one of the best uses of waffles in town.
While operating Mr. Harry’s Canival Foods at the Ballwin storefront that now houses BBQ ASAP, Jim and Mary Randall took an interest in barbecue. They joined the competitive circuit and now have the trophies to prove their prowess – including third place in pulled pork at the 2012 edition of the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (a.k.a. the “Super Bowl of Swine”). The pulled pork is excellent, but the brisket is the real draw, both thin slices from the flat end of the cut and the burnt ends. The latter are braised for several hours after being smoked and are fork-tender. Baby-back ribs, chicken and turkey are also available, but don’t neglect the house-smoked pastrami.
Though Blind Tiger only opened in December 2013, it has already established itself as a prominent Maplewood bar and restaurant. Located at 7376 Manchester - just a few doors away from owner Michael McLaughlin’s other digs, The Crow’s Nest - Blind Tiger specializes in pizza, ribs and whiskey. The bar features more than 15 bourbons, eight ryes, six Irish whiskeys, two Canadians, nine scotches and three local Missouri whiskeys. The eight beers on tap are all local, with some out-of-state bottles also available. It also has a small cocktail list that changes every month. The menu features soups, salad, polenta, ribs, wings and pizza. Specialty za crusts include a New York style, which is totally vegan, and a St. Louis style, which is gluten free. Blind Tiger also offers deliveries for those who live close enough. Still in its early stages, Blind Tiger is working to book more DJs and bands at the in-house venue, in addition to private events, whiskey tastings and even weddings.
Brazikat Brazilian Steak & Seafood House, which occupies a spacious address in Clayton’s Carondelet Plaza development, is a churrascaria, the all-you-can-eat Brazilian steakhouse. More precisely, Brazikat calls itself (and prices itself) like a churrascaria. In fact, the Brazikat experience is no more indicative of Brazilian culture than a bikini wax. The meats, often poorly cut by the “gaucho” servers, taste overwhelmingly of mesquite smoke. As for the seafood, the less said, the better. The "35-item gourmet food bar" is a salad bar. It does not always have 35 items, either — though maybe you’re supposed to count the two containers of croutons separately.
A first-of-its-kind dining concept, Central Table Food Hall is a coffee shop, market, wine bar, deli, sushi counter, raw bar, hearth and grill all rolled into one. The eatery provides a variety of dining experiences, from grab-and-go lunches to full-service upscale casual dining. Chef Nick Martinkovic and his army of cooks source locally as much as possible, featuring Missouri-raised meats and produce personally selected from local farmers’ markets. Pizzas are wood-fired Neapolitan style and a must-try for aficionados. The marrow plate and pork rib loin will not disappoint the carnivorous diner. Of special note, the restaurant’s creativity shines at its brightest through the work of its pastry team with playful desserts such as popcorn panna cotta appealing to one’s inner child.
The Corner Cup is a sister restaurant to the adjacent Tamm Avenue Grill. It focuses on paleo, gluten free and vegetarian breakfast options as well as traditional fare.
Nick Guzman was a recent college graduate and Sarah Haselkorn still a student at Washington University when they opened Green Bean. Established restaurateurs could learn a lot from their smart, efficient fast-casual operation. Salads are the focus here: each featuring a protein (beef, chicken, duck or tofu) and each big enough to be a stand-alone meal. The “Seoul Train” salad has grilled beef with greens, scallions and radishes in a spicy red chile-sesame sauce. The “Pueblito” features spicy pineapple chunks and tomatillo-lime dressing. You can build your own salad here, too.
Brought to you by In Good Company, the local partnership behind Cafe Ventana, Sanctuaria and Diablitos Cantina, Hendricks BBQ enters the St. Charles market in a big — 17,000 square feet covering two levels — way. The sheer size of the place (slated to be a live-music venue and moonshine distillery, to boot) might be overwhelming, but chef Chris Lee and pitmaster Matt Vanderbeck make sure the focus is squarely on the food. Barbecue, smoked over apple and hickory wood, includes baby-back and St. Louis-cut spare ribs, beef brisket, pulled pork, turkey and sausage. If you like sauce, Hendricks’ “STL” is your best bet: complex, with just a little heat. Collard greens with bacon and grits with cheddar cheese are the can’t-miss sides. Consider trying the fried chicken, either by itself or smothered with gravy in an open-face sandwich.
J. Gilbert’s Wood-Fired Steaks and Seafood is a small national chain (five locations) from the same parent company that brought you Houlihan’s and Bristol Seafood Grill. As the name suggests, steaks cooked over a wood-fired grill are the specialty of the house: the cuts (USDA Prime, wet-aged) have a good crust, the flavor accented (but not overwhelmed) by mesquite smoke. The steaks aren’t cheap, but two sides are included with the price. Seafood dishes are generally excellent, too, from a simple crab bisque to an extravagant chilled-seafood platter for four.
The lovely Terrace View restaurant in the northeast corner of fun, funky Citygarden sculpture park has been revamped as a...chili parlor. Not that there’s anything wrong with chili — or the restaurant’s straightforward menu of hamburgers, hot dogs and sandwiches — in theory. But if you’re going to serve chili in one of downtown’s crown jewels, it had better be a helluva chili, which this isn’t. The chicken chili (more of a chicken and white bean stew) fares better, and the hot dogs (all-beef Nathan’s) are solid.
Lona Luo and Pierce Powers got their start peddling silks and bags to Soulard Market-goers. When a food stall finally opened, they decided to take advantage of Luo’s culinary background and start selling handmade dumplings in the side. Word spread of their delicious offerings, and eventually the husband and wife team developed enough of a fan base for a larger venture -- a brick-and-mortar storefront for Lona’s Lil Eats in Fox Park. The pair describes their cooking as Asian comfort food, and elements of Thai, Chinese and Japanese cuisine are all represented at the fast-casual restaurant. Diners choose from a few protein options (beef, chicken, turkey, tofu, shrimp), decide how they want it served (platter or wrap) and select various sauces and accompaniments. The barbecued beef with smoked vinaigrette and jasmine rice, wrapped in giant rice paper is a must try, along with the chicken and lemongrass pesto tortilla. First-time diners are encouraged to order the comprehensive “Five Star Platter,” which represents a large chunk of the menu. All of the proteins are served with two “staples” (such as stir fried wild rice or rice noodles), two side dishes and all of the sauces. Of note is the “Lona-Q”, Luo’s version of a sweet and savory teriyaki. And don’t leave without trying those famous handmade dumplings. They are what put the restaurant in the map.
Pan D'Olive takes over the swank Franz Park address that Mihalis Chophouse vacated a few years ago. The space still looks like a million bucks, but this Mediterranean restaurant (mostly Italian, with a few Greek, Turkish and southern French touches) carries a decidedly less upscale price tag. Only a few entrées cross the $20 mark, and more than dozen appetizers are priced $10 or less. Dishes include shareable plates like hummus, fried calamari and arancini. Entrées feature crowd-pleasers: pastas, a massive lamb shank, a charbroiled rib-eye steak. A humble dish of baked cannelloni conveys surprising soul thanks to its hearty Bolognese sauce and properly made béchamel.
The first Missouri outpost for a small, Chicago-based chain of restaurants, Prasino features contemporary American cuisine while adhering to an environmentally conscious philosophy. The menu features a broad spectrum of dishes, from flatbreads to sushi to St. Louis-style pork steak. Especially noteworthy are the pork belly and scallop tacos, a fun, fusion-style interpretation of a classic Mexican dish. Another must-try are the beef short ribs, simmered for hours in a truffled Cabernet mushroom sauce – this refined comfort food is the perfect dish for a cool evening. The large bar at Prasino provides a lively spot to sample fresh sushi and eclectic small plates over seasonal cocktails. While food and service can be a bit inconsistent, depending on the size of the crowd, Prasino provides a nice alternative to the large chains that overpopulate the St. Charles area.
Located in the Mercantile Exchange development on Washington Avenue, Robust features an exemplary selection of wine and American food. The wine list is divided into eight numbered categories by descriptive style (e.g., crisp, mellow, luscious), and each dish on the menu includes the numbers of suggested pairings. The menu features approachable bistro fare from chef Joseph Hemp V. The sea scallops with oven-dried tomatoes and country ham over Parmesan grits are a standout. Selections of cheese and charcuterie are also available for a light meal or snack.
Afghani cuisine adds nicely to the Grove's diverse culinary community (Sameem's menu also includes Indian and Pakistani dishes). If you're looking for the perfect introduction, try the Muntoo, a standout dish: steamed dumplings filled with onion and ground beef, topped with lentils and more ground beef, a garlic-yogurt sauce and dried mint. If you're in the mood for something a bit spicier, try the lamb or chicken karahi, which serves your choice of meat in a tomato-based sauce enriched with garlic and jolted with green chiles.
17 total results

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