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Mar 18, 2018
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Awesome eats

10 Things To Know About Green Bean Delivery

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

You’re more likely to roast a free-range chicken and a stalk of organic Brussels sprouts for dinner if you don’t have to fight through the crowded aisles at the grocery store to get them. In early February, Green BEAN Delivery did your to-do list a favor, delivering fresh produce and perishables to St. Louisans’ doorsteps each week. Sound familiar? Think again. Here, 10 ways Green BEAN Delivery is making healthy eating more convenient, affordable and accessible.

1. It’s not just for herbivores. In addition to bringing customers 40 to 60 produce options each week, Green BEAN works with local artisans to offer more than 1,000 grocery items like pork, beef, chicken, bread, coffee and milk.

2. You don’t even need to turn on the ignition. Green BEAN makes more then 400 deliveries each week to more than 700 active customers as far west as Pacific and as far east as Edwardsville. Talk about door-to-door service.

3. You’re supporting several local producers. While a traditional CSA is based around one farm, Green BEAN builds networks with as many local artisans and farmers as possible. So in one bin, you could have goodies from Big Bison Meat Co., Boeckmann Family Farms, Good Earth Egg Co., Buttonwood Farm, Geisert Farm, Heartland Creamery, Dogtown Frozen Pizzas, Companion Bread and Mississippi Mud Coffee.

4. What you see is what you get. There is no sign-up fee or long-term commitment, just a $35 minimum for each order.

5. Leaving town for a few weeks and want deliveries paused? No problem. You can plan up to 12 weeks ahead of time through an online calendar. Check off the dates you want delivery to be suspended, and no food – or money – will be wasted.

6. Bins are highly customizable. When the online store opens at 3 p.m. on Thursdays, you can view the produce bin that’s been created for you. Want to swap out beets and kale for apples and oranges? Go right ahead. You can choose from a selection of 30 to 50 substitutes.

7. Products are all natural and preservative free. Each item’s label tells you where (local, Midwest region, U.S., tropical, Canada or Mexico) and how it was grown (certified organic, sustainably or conventionally).

8. If you’re lucky, you might come across a red, white and blue potato, like the American Pride potato one farmer produced last year around the Fourth of July.

9. You can give as you gather. The first stop Green BEAN Delivery made in St. Louis was to the St. Louis Area Food Bank, where it dropped off one ton of fresh produce. Customers can donate to the food bank every week by leaving canned goods in their empty bins. As part of its Constant Canned Food Drive, Green BEAN will deliver and match any donations with leftover commodities from the week.

10. You can meet your farmers. Want to know more about the hardworking men and women whose goodies arrive at your door each week? Just head to greenbeandelivery.com/missouri/ to read all about them – and to snag some healthy recipes.

Green BEAN Delivery, greenbeandelivery.com/missouri/ 

Hit List: Five new restaurants to try this month

Monday, May 6th, 2013

PICCIONE PASTRY: 6197 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.932.1355, piccionepastry.com

Next time you’re in The Loop, stop by this new corner bakery for a sugar rush that will make you feel as though you’ve been strolling the cobblestone streets of Italy. Dunk bombolini into a trio of dipping sauces (rich chocolate or fruit-forward raspberry and lemon curds), nibble one of nine varieties of cream-filled cannoli or eat the Italian flag with a slice of chocolate-dipped marzipan Italian Tricolor cake (pictured).

BOMBAY FOOD JUNKIES: 573.578.6583, twitter.com/bombayfoodtruck, facebook.com/bombayfoodjunkies

A new truck rolls into town this month that pays homage to the vegetarian street fare of Bombay. Start with the vada pav, a potato burger served with a bright green cilantro-jalapeno chutney, and the pav bhaji, a fiery mixture of vegetables cooked in a slew of spices, sopped up with a buttery Indian bun. Finish things off with a cup of kulfi ice cream, which tastes of sweet cardamom.

ALUMNI SAINT LOUIS: 200 N. 13th St., St. Louis, 314.241.5888, facebook.com/alumnistl 

Chef Eric Brenner (formerly of Moxy) helms the kitchen at this new spot, where STL classics are infused with from-scratch preparations and locally sourced ingredients. T-ravs are rolled out in the kitchen and filled with a blend of salsiccia, veal, beef and cheese. The slinger is topped with farm-fresh eggs. And the gooey butter cake looks more like a blueberry cheesecake. But one bite reveals Alumni’s mission: “To celebrate the people, places and food that make Saint Louis great.”

CENTRAL TABLE FOOD HALL: 23 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.5595, centraltablestl.com

Part cafeteria, part wine bar, part fine-dining restaurant (pictured above), it’s hard to define this much-anticipated behemoth of a space, but it’s easy to find a reason to stop in. Those who work nearby will find burgers, pizzas, sushi and grab-and-go sandwiches ready in time for a quick lunch break, while dinner patrons will be seated for plated service starting at 5 p.m. That’s when chef Nick Martinkovic’s creative, locally sourced menu shines with wood-fired pizzas, house-made pastas, globally influenced small plates, an oyster-and-clam raw bar, and freshly rolled sushi from Chop Shop’s own Eliott Harris. With wines by the bottle or the glass, a handful of local brews on draft, and a sake list to boot, there’s something to whet any appetite.

THE WHEELHOUSE: 15 N. Central Ave., Clayton, 314.726.7955, wheelhousestl.com

Nearly three-dozen TVs and loads of Red Bull will make college grads flock to this Clayton sports bar, but the from-scratch menu, helmed by Nick Del Gaiso (former sous chef at Scape), will crush any bar food clichés. Almost everything is made in-house, from the smoked jalapenos in the sweet-and-smoky chutney topping the Wheelhouse Burger (ground in the back) to the preserved lemons and freshly whipped mayo comprising the aioli, which accompanies the smelt chips.

— photo by Michelle Volansky

The Ultimate Margherita Pizza

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Crust. Tomatoes. Mozzarella. Basil. The queen of Neopolitan pizza is understated in her simplicity, yet efforts to achieve this crowning beauty have caused countless headaches in the kitchen. Finally, area experts reveal their essential tricks to making the ultimate Margherita pizza at home.

“Pizza is the most easiest, complicated thing to make. I know people who have been trying to make the perfect pizza for 20 years!” – Vito Racanelli, chef-owner, Mad Tomato

The Tools: You don’t have to have a wood-fired oven to get the thin, crispy crust and great chew of a Neopolitan pizza (See the heat trick below.). But a tricked-out pizza peel and stone will elevate your pie to new heights.

G.I. Metal Perforated Aluminum Pizza Peel
Aluminum peels are durable, flexible and don’t dry out like wooden ones. The perforation lets you shake off excess flour before sliding the pizza onto the stone to avoid burning, and the rectangular shape gives you more surface area, making it easier to lift, slide and adjust the pizza. $96. (model A-45RF/50) gimetalusa.com

Emile Henry Ceramic Baking Stone
This rectangular, heat-tempered, scratch-proof, chip-proof, coated stone won’t crack in your oven and has more surface area than round versions, a crucial factor in achieving that crisp crust. $40 to 60. Kitchen Conservatory, 8021 Clayton Road, 314.862.2665, kitchenconservatory.com 

The Ingredients: We queried quite a few chefs about the brands they’ll bet the house on. Bonus: These high-quality products are all made in the USA.

Hodgson Mills Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
You don’t have to spend extra dough to make great dough. Unbleached, all-purpose flour is fine. This near-local company offers a high-quality product that’s available at most supermarkets.

Stanislas Alta Cucina “Naturale” Style Plum Tomatoes
“We tried every single Italian one,” said Gerard Craft, owner of Pastaria, who settled on this domestically grown tomato because it offers “a nice bite of acidity” and “the right consistency, just crushed on its own.” For a fresh sauce, simply crush the whole, peeled tomatoes in your hand and season with salt. A couple ladles is all you need; you should be able to see the dough through the sauce. No. 10 Can, 6 lbs. 7 oz.: $4.89. DiGregorio’s Market, 5200 Daggett Ave., St. Louis, 314.776.1062, digregoriofoods.com

Calabro Fior di Latte Cheese
Buffalo mozzarella? Not so fast. Cow’s milk can produce a cheese with fabulous flavor. This fior di latte has a lovely creaminess, mild saltiness and melts beautifully into the sauce. Cut it into slightly larger chunks (4 ounces cut into 6 slices for a 12-inch pizza); the cheese will take longer to melt, so it won’t burn by the time the crust is done. ½ lb.:$6. Pastaria, 7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.862.6603, pastariastl.com

Fresh basil
Some chefs add the leaves before popping the pizza in the oven; others wait until after. Place the outer, shiny side of the leaves up. If you add prior to baking, when drizzling olive oil over the pizza, drizzle some on the leaves to keep them from burning and discoloring.

The Technique: Creating a great pizza at home is all about technique. Let Ted Wilson, who trained under pizza god Jim Lahey, take you through it.

Find Wilson’s recipe for The Ultimate Pizza Dough, here.

Cover the dough with just enough flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands or the lightly floured work surface. Use the pads of your fingertips to gently push on the center of the dough until you feel the work surface but don’t break through the dough. Flatten and stretch the dough by pushing from the center of the dough and moving outwards until you get within 1 inch of the rim of the circle that’s taking shape. Give dough a quarter turn and repeat. Continue until a round disk forms. While stretching and shaping, place a hand under the dough to ensure it isn’t sticking. If so, toss a little flour onto the work surface. Gently guide dough outward from its underside as it rests on your fingers to stretch it further.

Ready the toppings before shaping the dough. Once the dough is shaped, quickly add the toppings in this order: sauce, cheese, basil (optional), drizzle of 1¼ to 1½ tablespoon of olive oil and a 4-fingered pinch of kosher salt. Leave the outer rim of the pizza untouched.

To get your home oven to reach restaurant-high temps, toggle between the bake and broil functions. Place the stone in the oven on a rack set in the topmost position with enough room for the pizza. Preheat the oven to its highest baking temperature for 30 to 45 minutes. Just before shaping the dough, switch to broil. Shape the dough, add the toppings, then use the peel to slide the pizza onto the hot stone. Switch the oven back to its highest bake temperature for 2 to 3 minutes, then back to broil. The pizza is done when the cheese is bubbling, the crust is charred but not burnt, and the underside is golden, about 3 more minutes (5 to 6 minutes total).

Pictured: Margherita pizza from The Good Pie, 3137 Olive St., St. Louis, 314.289.9391, thegoodpie.com

— photo by Greg Rannells

Awesome Eats: BBC Asian Bar and Cafe’s Chef Salad

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Think salads are the consolation prize for vegetarians and waistline watchers? Then you haven’t had the Chef Salad at BBC Asian Bar and Cafe. This sweet and spicy starter is salad in its greatest form: Tender marinated squid, warm mushrooms, juicy cucumbers, crisp kaiware sprouts and spicy mayonnaise all come together to deliver bold Asian flavors and an eclectic fusion of textures. So grab your chopsticks and dig in. This should prove once and for all that great salads really do exist.

BBC Asian Bar and Cafe, 243 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314.361.7770

— photo by Greg Rannells

Sunday Mornings Just Got Better

Sunday, April 21st, 2013

The New York Times, a pot of coffee and the Swedish crumb loaf from Federhofer’s Bakery make for an exceptional Sunday morning. One slice leads to another, then waistline consciousness sets in. You compromise with just a sliver – or two, then three. How is it possible that you just consumed half the loaf? Almond paste gives this scrumptious cake the perfect hint of apple flavor, while the baked-in topping of pastry crumbs and dusting of confectioner’s sugar remind us just how addicted we are to the sweet things in life.

Federhofer’s Bakery, 9005 Gravois Road, Affton, 314.832.5116, federhofersbakery.com

For more from The List 2013: The people, places, dishes and drinks we love, click here.

— photo by Greg Rannells

A Smoky Souvenir: Bogart’s smoked chicken wings

Friday, April 19th, 2013

One day while waiting to order a slab of Bogart’s famed ribs, we were bestowed with a free sample of smoked chicken wings. Turns out the Soulard smokehouse’s ’cue crew hands these little gems out for free to patient patrons when the line gets long. Two bites, and we didn’t care how long we had to wait; we just wanted another … and another. We’re helpless against the temptation of a smoked wing, but these charred beauties are truly special: tender, meaty and packed with smoky flavor. By the time we got to the front of the line, our order had changed. When it comes to barbecue, pork may reign supreme; but don’t be surprised if these wings convert you.

Bogart’s Smokehouse, 1627 S. Ninth St., St. Louis, 314.621.3107, bogartssmokehouse.com

For more from The List 2013: The people, places, dishes and drinks we love, click here.

— photo by Carmen Troesser

Sounds Nice: La Pizza’s slice

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

It’s no surprise to find other people in the restaurant industry eating at La Pizza. The “pizzerati” know that this U. City hole-in-the-wall has what just might be the best pizza by the slice in town. The hand-tossed dough is made by owner Paul Bishop from a family recipe kept secret even from employees. It’s baked until it’s the perfect combination of chewy and crunchy and is adorned with a simple, fresh tomato sauce, 100-percent whole-milk mozzarella and the toppings of your choice. The slice at La Pizza isn’t just a reminder of what old-school East Coast pizza is; it’s far better than most of the competition – here or anywhere else.

La Pizza, 8137 Delmar Blvd., U. City, 314.725.1230, lapizzamenu.com

For more from The List 2013: The people, places, dishes and drinks we love, click here.

— photo by Carmen Troesser

Russian Comfort Food: HandleBar’s pelmeni

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

It’s not every city that boasts a bicycle-themed tavern with a menu of authentic Russian comfort foods. And it’s not every Russian eatery that does up pelmeni like HandleBar does. Here, the traditional Russian dumplings are filled with pork, submerged in vegetable stock, and topped with sour cream and seasonal greens. The dough of the dumpling and the hearty pork filling make for a satisfying, chewy dish, but the rich stock and bright sour cream take it to another level. It’s so filling and delicious, you might start to wonder if your mother’s hiding in the tavern kitchen.

HandleBar, 4127 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.652.2212, handlebarstl.com

For more from The List 2013: The people, places, dishes and drinks we love, click here.

— photo by Carmen Troesser

Awesome Eats: Sugarfire Smoke House’s Big Muddy

Monday, April 8th, 2013

The BIG MUDDY sandwich at SUGARFIRE SMOKE HOUSE has swept us off our feet. Hunks of brisket and slivers of house-smoked sausage are tender, succulent, and dressed to kill in fiery horseradish and sweet barbecue sauces. Did we mention that the sausage is made at local butcher shop G&W? Oh Big Muddy, you had us at hello.

Sugarfire Smoke House, 9200 Olive Blvd., Olivette, 314.997.2301, sugarfiresmokehouse.com

— photo by Carmen Troesser

Hit List: Two new restaurants to try this month

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

{John Perkins}

A Good Man is Hard to Find: 360 N. Boyle Ave., St. Louis, 314.632.6754, entrestl.com/presents

If you’ve ever had John Perkins’ food, you know that it is as creative as the ways he delivers it – from his Entre Underground dinners to his first chicken-themed pop-up, Le Coq, this past winter. So hurry up and snag a seat at his newest pop-up, a southern-comfort concept named after the classic Flannery O’Connor short story. Start with a basket of house-baked bread, then bask in the supporting characters – from the pickled beet terrine with goat cheese and blood orange to the jarred sides of house-brined pickles, spiced nuts, sunchoke relish and chow-chow (a low-country mustard-based staple). When you finish off your entree with a blueberry buckle, order it topped with a scoop of buttermilk ice cream, a slightly sour foil to the sweet, juicy berries. This short story ends on Derby Day, so better crack it open soon.

Mission Taco Joint: 
6235 Delmar Blvd., The Loop, 314.932.5430, missiontacostl.com

From Adam and Jason Tilford, the busy brothers behind Milagro Modern Mexican, Barrister’s and Tortillaria Mexican Kitchen, comes this über casual ode to the taquerias dotting San Francisco’s Mission district. Seat yourself, then go with the a la carte tacos, wrapped in house-made tortillas and served with a bowl of onions, cilantro and hunks of lime for the squeezing. Brave souls should try the extra-fiery Nopales Taco (That’s Spanish for cactus.), while carnivores who can’t pass on pork belly will enjoy the crispy bits crumbled atop the tender Roasted Duck Tacos. The bar is in the creative and capable hands of Sanctuaria alum Joel Clark, who opted against an obvious tequila-heavy theme (There’s just one, solid margarita.) in favor of unique bottles like Blackwell Jamaican rum and Del Maguey Single Village mezcals. Sip apricot-heavy The Chaplinesque or place a pint glass under one of the 10 local taps.

– photos by Jonathan Gayman and Carmen Troesser

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