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Inspired by her culinary trips around the U.S., Cathy Jenkins opened Cathy’s Kitchen as a way for diners to eat their way around the country without ever leaving north county. Her menu is divided not by starters, entrees or sandwiches but by state, each category filled with the specialties she enjoyed from each place. Look for Chicago-style Italian beef sandwiches, New Orleans jambalaya and Memphis-style pulled pork on this edible road trip in the heart of Ferguson. $. Closed on Sundays. Outdoor seating. 
Located in what used to be a Taco Bell, Chef Ma’s offers the standard Americanized Chinese dishes, if that’s your jam — or you can go on a much more interesting journey with the acclaimed chef’s more authentic specialties. The simmering fish stew is delicate, understated cooking, while the twice-cooked pork is decadence incarnate. Or try the Hainan chicken: a boiled, skin-on bird, served room temperature and hacked into large pieces. The ginger-spiked cooking liquid gently infuses the meat with subtle sweetness. No alcohol. $$. Closed Wednesday. Open for lunch and dinner Thursday through Tuesday. 
Chuck-A-Burger’s menu may be filled with delectable American classics like burgers, fries and malts, but the most wonderful thing served at this north county institution is pure nostalgia. For more than 50 years, the restaurant has existed as a living slice of history, maintaining the tradition of the quintessential 1950s soda fountain down to its car hops, old-school jukebox soundtrack and classic car cruise nights. This is the culinary version of poodle skirts and saddles shoes, yet it’s anything but passé. Fashions may have changed since Chuck-A-Burger opened for business, but its greasy-spoon diner classics have stood the test of time. No alcohol. $. Opens daily at 11 a.m. Curb service in addition to inside seating.
Circa STL’s menu is a crash course in the greatest hits of St. Louis restaurant history. The French onion soup proves to be a riff on the soup made, yes, famous at Famous Barr. The house salad comes with an anchovy-forward Mayfair dressing, invented in the 1930s at downtown’s Mayfair Hotel. The “Loaded Garlic Bread Sandwich” — toasted garlic bread with ham, Provel and a sprinkling of paprika — is better known to St. Louisans as a “Gerber” sandwich, brought into being by a place called Ruma’s Deli. The “STL Prosperity” sandwich, invented at the Lemp Mansion, manages to incorporate alfredo sauce on top of ham, turkey and provel. Just what your cholesterol needed! Naturally, there’s also St. Louis-style pizza and chicken modiga, all served in a room positively stuffed with local memorabilia. $$. Opens at 11 a.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Sophisticated Cork Wine Bar offers diners in historic downtown Ferguson a selection of elegant wines and equally elegant food to accompany it. The area’s undisputed date-night spot, Cork serves a thoughtful menu of sharable dishes and larger entrees that go beyond the usual cheese and charcuterie you find at most wine bars — although, of course, it has those too. Not to miss are the bar’s thrilling wine flights, curated around a theme like sparkling, full-bodied reds or sweeter style whites. Don’t worry if you are intimidated about pairing cactus tacos or char sui glazed chicken with something to drink. The approachable wait staff has the know-how to guide you in whatever direction you want to go. $$. Patio. Closed Mondays.
DD Mau’s name roughly translates to “hurry up” or “let’s go.” But for all its speed, the counter-service spot takes no shortcuts. Owner Julie Truong’s food is both innovative and fiercely authentic, customizable yet appealing to fans of traditional Vietnamese food. A vermicelli bowl features such traditional accoutrements as crushed peanuts, cilantro and pickled vegetables, but it can be tossed with a dressing, such as the funky “Vietnamese Vinaigrette,” which infuses it with depth and heat. All bowls come with your choice of protein. Spring rolls, pho and  bánh mì round out a perfectly executed menu. No alcohol. $. Open weekdays from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Closed Sunday.
Though you can find Ferguson Brewing Company’s offerings around town, the best place to experience them is at its brewpub, a warm, inviting spot in the heart of historic downtown Ferguson. This is more than simple bar fare; the place has become just as famous for thoughtful food that incorporates its brews, including its famous stout-marinated stuffed mushrooms, beer cheese mac, and fish and chips. With food this delicious, you might forget that the place is, first and foremost, a brewery. The pecan brown ale may be just the reminder you need. $$. Patio. Opens daily at 11 a.m. 
A nondescript building on a nondescript stretch of Page Avenue is home to an Indian restaurant whose food is anything but nondescript. The kitchen offers a wide selection of chicken, lamb and vegetarian dishes, with lists of specials for both omnivores and vegans. Goat curry is a standout, rich and gamy, while Navratan korma is a complex vegetable dish to win over the staunchest carnivore. Lunch and dinner buffets. $$. Lunch and dinner Tuesday through Sunday.
Hendel’s Old Town Florissant digs have a colorful past: The century-old storefront used to be a grocer. But there’s nothing old-fashioned about the food. Try the German potato soup with its zippy hint of vinegar or the smoked shrimp en croute; there’s also a full menu of steaks, chicken, fish and pasta. Other perks include enthusiastic, rosy-cheeked service; a comfy dining room; and outside seating in a serene garden. Kids menu. $$. Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patio.
India Palace no longer has its stunning (if confusing to find) location at the top of a tattered Howard Johnson’s, overlooking the lights of Lambert’s runway. It now occupies the former home of Standard Brewing Company, which explains the industrial, modern vibe. Still, what’s important is the food, which remains as good as ever. Lamb vindaloo is the signature dish, but you simply can’t go wrong anywhere on this menu. Kids menu; lunch buffet. $$. Open daily for lunch and dinner.
Chef and co-owner Wesam Hamed, whose résumé includes such notable spots as Ranoush and Layla, has been cooking his delicious Palestinian fare in north St. Louis County since 2013, first opening in Florissant before moving to Kaslik’s current home. The place is a charmer, with thoughtful touches throughout and equally good food. Hamed’s signature shawarma remains as excellent as always. Likewise, the lamb chops, falafel and hummus are so authentic, you might be convinced you’re sitting on the eastern Mediterranean rather than in the middle of north county. Don’t miss the baklava. No alcohol. $$. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The intoxicating scent of garlic, Parmesan and dough that greets you upon arrival to Liliana’s is a precursor for what’s to come, which really ought to begin with an order of cheese garlic bread. At this charming, old-school Italian joint, chef/owner Tim Pieri dips crusty Italian bread into a concoction of melted butter, garlic and Parmesan, then covers it in mozzarella cheese before placing it in the oven. The result is a cheesy, butter-saturated wonder. Housemade meatballs and eggplant “lasagna” are equally dazzling, while the St. Louis-style pizza may well be the best in town. $$. Opens at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Drive-through window for pizza.
In order to stand out among the aforementioned collection of Chinese restaurants and shops along Olive Boulevard, the owners of Lu Lu have slapped a pagoda on top of the building, and, we have to admit, it looks pretty awesome. Beyond aesthetics, there are more than 30 seafood selections, including stewed carp's head soup. But it's the dim sum that really packs them in. Choose from the traditional siu mai (firm steamed pork stuffed into thin wraps), shrimp har gow (steamed translucent dumplings), char siu bau (steamed rice-flour buns filled with diced roast pork in a sweet hoisin-based sauce), fried taro puffs (small balls covered in webbed mashed taro root and stuffed with finely ground pork or beef) and rice noodle (a white, slippery wide noodle folded over a filling of pork, shrimp or beef). And don't forget to try the chicken feet.
Regulars will swear to you that their beloved Nick and Elena’s Pizzeria serves the best version of St. Louis style pizza in town. We have to hand it to them: With its flavorful crust that’s always crisped up just a little more golden brown than the town’s other squares beyond compare, these cracker-thin pies have that ever-so-slight bit of extra heft that makes a St. Louis pie go from good to great. You need that sort of architecture when you’re looking to pile on the pizzeria’s homemade, fennel-kissed Italian sausage — the more the better. $. Closed Mondays. Lunch served Fridays only.
Destination barbecue in south county? Believe it —  even if on first glance the location couldn’t seem less promising. Nubby’s occupies the entire second floor of All American Sports Mall. One room looks over the hockey rinks; the other is a huge, open sports bar complete with a wall of televisions, darts, skee ball and a seating area with leather couches. The neon liquor signs and banners that decorate the room make Nubby’s look like the sort of county sports bar where you’d find deep-fried finger foods like crab Rangoon and taquitos — and you will, only instead of straight-from-the-deep-freeze junk, they are handmade and based on old family recipes. As for that barbecue, owner/pitmaster Matt Hines is serving some of the area’s best brisket and a wonderful thick-cut pork steak. $-$$. Opens weekdays at 11 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m. Open til midnight on weekends. 
27 total results

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