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May 29, 2016
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First Look

First Look: Stubborn German Brewing Co. in Waterloo

Friday, May 6th, 2016



Call it tenacity, determination or plain old stubbornness. After months of demo, construction and brewing, co-owners Chris and Tammy Rahn opened Stubborn German Brewing Co. in downtown Waterloo on Wednesday, April 27.

As The Scoop reported in April 2015, Chris Rahn was a homebrewer for more than a decade before deciding to open his own brewery. Named as a tribute to their (and Waterloo’s) German heritage, Stubborn German offers a portfolio of seven year-round, German-style beers like the Waterloo Wheat, Fountain Creek Kölsch and a Munich dunkel named Schitzengiggles. The brewery also features seasonal brews like Mom’s Irish Red and Bean Tree Coffee Stout, made with beans from Bean Tree Cafe down the street. Beers are poured in delicate Spielgelau glassware with each style of beer in its appropriate vessel. Flights and to-go growlers are also available.

The Rahns worked on the construction of the tasting room along with friends and family, who helped build a bar made partially of barrel staves and high-top tables. No food is served at the brewery, but customers are welcome to bring in food or order delivery from area restaurants. They can pull up one of the 100 seats indoors or enjoy the 25-seat Biergarten out front.

Stubborn German is open Wednesday and Thursday from 4:30 to 11 p.m., Friday from 3 p.m. to midnight, Saturday from noon to midnight and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you head over the Mississippi River to Waterloo:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky

First Look: Sym•Bowl in Chesterfield

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016



The latest build-your-own eatery has come to Chesterfield. Sym·Bowl, a rebranded second location of The HotPot in Kirkwood, opened on Wednesday, April 27. Co-owners Becky Schoenig and Gregory Owens not only wanted to open another location, but also have their eyes on franchise opportunities. As The Scoop reported in March, Sym·Bowl opened in the old Surf Dogs building at 137 Chesterfield Town Center.

Like other customizable dining options, Sym·Bowl lets diners choose a protein, vegetables, sauces and style (in warm broth or as a salad) and welcomes different dietary needs. Chef and manager Robert McClellan, formerly of now-shuttered Gringo, and has created paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly options.

HotPot regulars will recognize the numerous proteins including chicken, beef, tofu, shrimp, pork or vegetables. As in Kirkwood, they can choose from an additional 11 vegetables or add them all with the “rake it through the garden” option. All bowls are available warm with one of seven sauces like green curry, lemon-mango or bone broth and choice of noodles, quinoa, rice and more. Diners can also cool things down with one of five cold dressings like cilantro-lemongrass or ginger-sesame in a grain-free wrap or atop greens or grains. These “chill out” options will soon be available at The HotPot.

Smoothies, fresh juices and desserts are also offered, and Schoenig hopes to add carryout family meals in the future. Sym·Bowl is open Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here’s what to expect when you step inside The HotPot’s newest location, Sym·Bowl :


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 







First Look: Pint Size Bakery’s new location in Lindenwood Park

Thursday, April 28th, 2016



Pint Size Bakery has moved up the street to 3133 Watson Road in Lindenwood Park. The new, 1,800-square foot location opened for business Tuesday, April 26. As The Scoop reported in December 2015, the new location gives Pint Size more more than twice the space of the original.

Co-owners Christy Augustin and Nancy Boehm aren’t feeling too nostalgic for the 750-square-foot namesake bakery they left behind. “If we were moving out of the neighborhood, we’d be sad,” Augustin said. “We can have dance parties in the walk-in now.” More space means taking on more custom orders and expanding their bakery offerings with items like seasonal teacakes and a new oatmeal-chocolate chip-walnut cookie. Augustin said they’ve had that recipe for a while, but lacked the space and time to offer it before now.

Augustin and Boehm designed the space themselves and spent four months painting walls and laying tile. “The baked goods have always been reflective of us, but now the space is as well,” Augustin said. Customers can sit at a couple vintage enameled tables and enjoy cookies, scones and cakes served on vintage tea plates Boehm originally collected for centerpieces at her wedding.

Pint Size is now open Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday to 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you visit the new home of Pint Size Bakery:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

First Look: Big Baby Q and Smokehouse in Maryland Heights

Thursday, April 21st, 2016



Drive down Dorsett Road with the windows down and you may catch a whiff of wood smoke from Big Baby Q and Smokehouse. The new restaurant opened in the Fee Fee Center at 11658 Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights on Monday, April 18.

The father-son venture owned by Bennie and Ben Welch focuses on traditional proteins like brisket and pulled pork, as well as outside-the-smoker-box fare like house pastrami and smoked jerk tofu. The six sauces also run the gamut from sweet and tangy house sauce to the creamy Alabama white sauce to a Korean barbecue sauce.

Hefty portions come with a choice of sides, including vegetarian options. Choose from platters, sandwiches, ribs, smoked chicken or a little bit of everything on the Big Baby Big Plate. Welch dry rubs the meat with his blend of brown sugar, chili powder, garlic, onion, paprika, cumin and more, then smokes it over a blend of oak and cherry wood.

Pastry chef Karolyn Page helms the sweet side of the kitchen, offering six homemade desserts like the chocolate-chocolate chip cookie and the moist, not-too-sweet sweet potato pound cake.

Get your grub to go as the limited seating includes a picnic table inside and another outside. Big Baby Q and Smokehouse is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until sold out. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you step inside Big Baby Q.


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

First Look: A2 The GFCF Cafe & Restaurant in downtown St. Louis

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016



Audra Angelique and Audrey Faulstich are on a mission to provide downtown St. Louis healthy alternatives for those with food allergies and intolerances. Their experiences with specialty diets inspired them to launch A2 The GFCF Cafe and Restaurant, which opened doors on April 11 at 1330 Washington Ave.

As The Scoop reported in September 2015, co-owners Angelique, who serves as head chef, and Faulstich, a registered nurse, wanted to provide healthy food and to educate others about the potential health benefits of removing foods containing gluten and casein (a protein found in mammal milk).

At first glance, the 35-seat dining room feels like a coffee shop, complete with an espresso bar and bakery case, but the restaurant has a gluten-free lunch and dinner menu featuring sandwiches, salads and pizzas with casein-free options.

A2 worked with Wildwood-based Think.Eat.Live. to develop a variety of breads and the pizza crust made with the company’s sunflower seed-based flour blend. They also brew Mississippi Mud coffee and offer tea from London Tea Room. A2 also strives to use recyclable and compostable carryout boxes, utensils, cups and straws.

A2 is open Tuesdays though Sundays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. with plans to add a weekend brunch service. Here’s a first look at what to expect at downtown’s newest eatery.


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 


First Look: LuLu Chinese & Dim Sum Truck

Thursday, April 14th, 2016



LuLu Chinese & Dim Sum Truck hit the road this week, rolling out for the first time on Tuesday, April 12. The truck will serve a short, rotating menu to patrons at Citygarden downtown, various corporate complexes and will also make appearances at special events like University City’s Family Fun Friday and Sauce Magazine’s Food Truck Friday.

Co-owner Jenny Lu is currently working the truck, training the crew serving up favorites from her LuLu Seafood & Dim Sum. Customers can build an assortment of dim sum like dumplings, steam buns and egg rolls, or grab larger entrees like General Tso’s chicken, orange chicken or hot pepper chicken plate with rice or noodles. A few vegetarian options are offered like the garlic green bean plate, as well as fresh fruit smoothies.

The truck doesn’t have a set schedule yet, but will post information on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @luludimsumtruck. Here’s a first look at what to expect when the LuLu pulls up curbside:


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-photos by Meera Nagarajan

First Look: Weber Grill Restaurant in Brentwood

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Weber Grill Restaurant quietly opened this week in a corner of the Saint Louis Galleria in Brentwood. As The Scoop reported in April 2015, this is the fifth location, and the only Weber Grill Restaurant connected to a Weber Grill Academy.

The main dining room seats around 185 with an additional 200 seats outside on the patio and 65 available in the Grill Academy. The Academy can be rented out for private parties and corporate events, but it will also offer public grilling classes beginning in April with themes ranging from Springtime in Paris to Steaks 101. It will also host chef’s tasting dinners and grill master dinners that executive chef Tim Eagan described as pop-ups with unique menus.

The restaurant’s broad menu is united by a focus on fire – everything from steaks and cheeseburgers to salads and pizzas make contact with charcoal grills. Enormous custom-made kettle grills can be seen in the kitchen, half turned toward diners for better visibility. The core menu is consistent with other Weber locations, but it will feature dishes developed by Eagan and the local kitchen for St. Louis customers.

Along with a sizable wine list, the bar offers more than a dozen drafts featuring craft brews from local and national favorites like Urban Chestnut and Bell’s Brewing, as well as an eponymous Weber’s Backyard Brew made for the restaurant by Schlafly.

After a grand opening on April 4, Weber Grill Restaurant will be open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with plans to add brunch starting at 10 a.m. on weekends beginning April 17.

Here’s a first look at what to expect when Weber Grill Restaurant fires thing up.


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-photos by Meera Nagarajan


First Look: Local Chef Kitchen in Ballwin

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016



Ballwin residents can now grab a bite and pick up locally sourced produce, meat, dairy, eggs and more at Local Chef Kitchen at 15270 Manchester Road. As The Scoop reported in January, chef-owner Rob Uyemura announced he planned to add a restaurant and market component to his Local Chef CSA, which opened the first week of March.

The 30-seat, counter-service restaurant  features a meat-and-three-style menu with Midwest focus. Dishes like Salisbury meatballs, a bone-in grilled ham chop or Mayfair kale salad are reminiscent of dishes your grandma made, but with a professional touch. Customers can also build their own salads or sandwiches for a smaller meal.

Uyemura and sous chef Patrick Hartman are taking a nose-to-tail approach to Local Chef, butchering animals in-house and utilizing each part. This results in a frequently rotating menu; recent offerings included proteins like cornmeal-dusted catfish or a sweet potato-kale vegetable patty and sides like mac and cheese made with a squash puree and brown rice pilaf. On the sweet side, pastry chef Cheryl Herbert bakes a rotating selection of sweet treats like cookies and cakes and pies available by the slice, as well as daily house-baked bread.

When paying for their meals, customers can also pluck local Excel sodas from the cooler, as well as frozen loaves of Herbert’s bread, local eggs, cheese from Marcoot Jersey Creamery and meat from Geisert Farms. Uyemura said he also will add local beer to the cases pending liquor license approval.

Local Chef Kitchen is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Here’s a first look at what to expect at Ballwin’s newest restaurant:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 



First Look: Cha Cha on Shaw and The Gaslight

Friday, March 4th, 2016



A carryout taco joint and a recording studio walk into a bar … Rather, they share a space with one at 4916 Shaw Blvd., on The Hill, where patrons can now experience all three in one night at Cha Cha on Shaw, The Gaslight and Gaslight Studio.

As The Scoop reported in September 2015, Cha Cha Chow food truck owner Kandace Davis announced that former general manager Sam Burke would helm the Cha Cha on Shaw, a brick-and-mortar location doubling as the commissary kitchen for the truck. Davis and Burke partnered with Matt Stelzer of Amsterdam Tavern, who opened The Gaslight in the same building with JB Anderson, Ryan Anderson and Billy Holley.

As with other bar and restaurant partnerships (think Amsterdam Tavern and The Dam on Morgan Ford Road or Tick Tock Tavern and Steve’s Hot Dogs in Tower Grove East), customers place their food orders at Cha Cha, then step into The Gaslight to grab a seat and a drink. When their order is ready, Cha Cha will text customers via the No Wait app and they can pick up their food to eat in Gaslight.

Cha Cha Chow’s tacos, burger, fries and more are available for carryout along with items exclusive to the brick-and-mortar location. Look for pupusas, house-made masa tortillas stuffed with pork and/or cheese, grilled to order and served with red cabbage slaw and salsa. Local ice cream cart Maggie’s Icebox supplies three flavors of ice cream sandwiches for dessert.

Next door, The Gaslight offers a speakeasy vibe with dim lighting and boozy cocktails. The 49-seat venue serves 10 local draft beers from Six Mile Bridge, Urban Chestnut and others, as well as a selection of bottles and cans. A small selection of by-the-glass wine is available, and a full bar focuses on local and boutique spirits. Holley created the nine house cocktails, some of which are named for bars that once operated on St. Louis’ Gaslight Square.

The Gaslight also houses Gaslight Studio, where local and national artists can book recording sessions. During operating hours patrons can watch – and listen – to performers; a large window looks into the studio and speakers pipe music into the bar.

Cha Cha on Shaw is currently open at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, while The Gaslight is open from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. Monday through Saturday. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you enter The Hill’s newest restaurant and bar:




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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

First Look: The Slider House in Rock Hill

Thursday, February 25th, 2016



The anti-big burger is being cooked up at Rock Hill’s newest restaurant as The Slider House started splitting buns at 9528 Manchester Road on Tuesday, Feb. 23 and will host a grand opening on Friday, March 6. Managing partner Craig Ceranna and operating partner Dave Watchell also own The Slider House in Nashville.

“Dave is from Nashville and has a Slider House by his house, and I wanted one by my house,” Ceranna said. “We have a menu of curated flavors so people can try a lot of different things and not just have one huge burger.” The pair does not plan to franchise but may open second locations in St. Louis and Nashville in the future.

With six beef, five chicken, three vegetable and two pork options – most available gluten-free via lettuce wrap or a gluten-free bun created by Elaia and Olio’s Ben Poremba – there are plenty to choose from. Diners may select one type or mix and match any two sliders, plus a regular side dish like the house chips for about $10. Two specialty sliders will rotate seasonally.

Seven dinner-sized salads are available as are seven starters ranging from the roasted vegetables to wings. For those in a rush or feeding a crowd, cases of sliders, sides, salads and apps are available in quantity for carryout or delivery via a separate entrance.

The Slider House is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 11 a.m. until close. Here’s what to expect when you slide into The Slider House:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 



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