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Jul 02, 2016
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First Look

First Look: Cottleville Cookies & Cream in Cottleville

Friday, July 1st, 2016



Cottleville has a new place to get cool treats this summer. Andrew Brewer, who also owns neighboring Plank Road Pizza, opened Cottleville Cookies & Cream at 5525 Oak St., Thursday, June 23.

There’s no shortage of vintage charm in Brewer’s new shop, which he remodeled from a private residence. Outside hosts an array of picnic tables that can seat up to 100 guests. And for those days when it’s too sweltering even for ice cream, pick from the 30 seats in the cozy dining room.

Large house-made waffle cones or oversized house-made chocolate chip cookies are the vessels for one of 12 ice cream flavors. Those who prefer to sip their frozen treats can float a scoop in a Fitz’s soda.

Cottleville Cookies & Cream is open Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from noon to 8:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from noon to 9:30 p.m. Here’s a first look at what’s in store at Cottleville’s newest scoop shop:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky

First Look: PerJax Americana Kitchen in University City

Thursday, June 9th, 2016




Tucked into a University City neighborhood, PerJax Americana Kitchen opened at 7401 Pershing Ave., in late May. Chef-owner Steve Cupp owned the Columbia, Missouri institution Glenn’s Café for decades before returning to his native St. Louis.

PerJax seats about 90 diners in the dining room and at the bar, and Cupp hopes to have room for an additional 30 on the outside patio pending permits. The eight beer taps are split evenly between local brews from Urban Chestnut Brewing Co., Ferguson Brewing Co., O’Fallon Brewery, Schlafly and Columbia, Missouri brewing company Logboat and national players like Goose Island, Elysian Brewing and their parent company, Anheuser-Busch.

Local wineries Chaumette and Augusta are included on the wine list from which guests can choose from nine white wines – three by the glass – or 12 reds, two of which are by the glass.

PerJax’s Cajun- and Creole-inspired menu offers starters, salads, entrees and sandwiches with nods to both the surf and the turf. Shrimp makes an appearance in the gumbo, Pastalaya (a pasta tossedw ith the flavors of jambalaya), shrimp Creole and atop the Blue Bayou steak. Grilled, marinated chicken joins a pork chop and a burger on the menu.

Currently serving lunch and dinner, PerJax hopes to expand its offerings in the coming months to include a ray oyster bar and Sunday brunch. Here’s a first look at one of U. City’s newest eateries:


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-photos by Michelle Volansky

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 



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