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Gut Check celebrates the election season — with polls! 

As I noted a few weeks ago, the Gut Check blog ( celebrated its first birthday by introducing a slew of new features, including polls.

The first (highly unscientific) poll asked readers which cheese they prefer on their cheesesteaks. Provolone was the clear winner, garnering nearly half of the votes. Cheez Whiz, which I celebrated in my review of 9th Street Deli ("Cheesesteak Quest," May 22, 2008), finished a distant second.

To coincide with the review of the new, environmentally friendly pizza parlor Pi ("Magnum Pi," May 29, 2008), I polled readers' pizza crust preferences, and whether a restaurant's "green" practices might affect one's decision to dine there. Thin crust (as in New York-style pizza) won with 31% of the vote, with very thin (as in Neapolitan-style pizza) and deep dish neck-and-neck for second.

Visit Gut Check today to see the results of last week's question (Which celebrity chef would you most want to open a restaurant in St. Louis?) and to answer this week's new poll.

Speaking of Pi: Apparently, my review of Pi caused some confusion and consternation — specifically, that the beginning of the review (and the tease below its headline) mention Provel. So let me make clear: Pi does not use Provel cheese in its pizza. I used Provel as an example of how important a pizza's crust is — since Pi's greatest asset is its awesome deep-dish, cornmeal crust. The reason I dislike St. Louis-style pizza has as much to do with its cracker-style crust as with Provel. I apologize for the confusion.

Openings: Now open at 3000 South Jefferson Avenue is Mattingly Brewing Co. The brewpub, owned by Douglas and Michael Mattingly, features microbrews and food, including pizza. Call 314-881-1500 for more info.

Traditional pub fare like bangers and mash is available at Patrick McKeane's Irish Pub. Patrick McKeane's is adjacent to — and shares owners with – Crusoe's Original Restaurant at 3152 Osceola Street. The pub is open 11 a.m.-3 a.m. daily, with the kitchen open till midnight.

Opening a new restaurant? Know of a place that has closed? Something else for Ian to chew on? E-mail

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