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Sep 28, 2016
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Intelligent Content For The Food Fascinated
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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The Scoop

The Scoop: Clementine’s launches special events ice cream truck

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

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Meet Clem, Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery’s new ice cream truck. It won’t be blaring music and making neighborhood stops, but owner Tamara Keefe will park the refabbed 1984 postal truck at events around town. Clem made its debut at Strange Folk Festival last weekend, and it will post up at Grove Fest this Saturday, Oct. 1.

Why take on a truck? “Because we needed one,” Keefe said. “People were calling and asking, and we wanted to participate in events like Food Truck Friday.”

While the truck won’t be out for daily lunch rushes around town, Keefe said it can be rented out for holiday parties, corporate events and weddings. Clem has already attended a birthday party and bat mitzvah. “We can do anything out of the truck,” Keefe said from a scoop of honey-whiskey ice cream to a whole sundae bar.

This isn’t Keefe’s only Clementine’s project in the works; she’s still pushing ahead with her plans to open a second location of the boutique ice cream shop at 4715 Macklind Ave. She opened her first location in Lafayette Square in May 2015.

 

-photo by Meera Nagarajan

 

The Scoop: Rockwell Beer Co. announces location in The Grove

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

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Nearly seven months after announcing his new Rockwell Beer Co., co-owner Andy Hille has revealed the location. The brewhouse and tasting room will open at 1320 S. Vandeventer Ave., in spring 2017.

Hille, a former brewer at Perennial Artisan Ales, said he hopes Rockwell will be an anchor for development in this part of The Grove. “We get to be trailblazers on this stretch of Vandeventer,” Hille said. “There’s not really much. It’s pretty industrial.”

The 12,000-square-foot space, which currently houses Dinzler Equipment, will feature a 1,500-square-foot tasting room, a retail space, a large outdoor patio and large functioning garage doors. “We’re going to brew what we want to brew and do things that are balanced and approachable,” he said. Popular recipes will be packaged in 16-ounce four-packs and more experimental, barrel-aged brews will be released in 500-milliliter bottles.

Customers can get a taste of what’s to come at Club Rockwell, weekly “nano-tasting room” events October through December on Wednesdays at TechArtista Coworking Center in the Central West End. “There’s no way around it ­– it takes a very long time to open a brewery,” Hille said. “We need to do as much as we can in the meantime to stay engaged and talk with people.”

Fewer than 10 tickets will be available to each of two Wednesday sessions (5:30 and 7:30 p.m.), where Hille said samples of Rockwell beers and other surprises await attendees. Tickets for the next week’s sessions can be purchased online at 10 a.m. the Thursday before. The first Club Rockwell takes place Oct. 5; tickets go on sale Sept. 29.

The Scoop: Snow Factory brings rolled Thai ice cream to The Delmar Loop

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

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Drop the scoop and pick up a scraper. Thai ice cream is rolling into The Loop. Owner Van Liu opened Snow Factory today, Sept. 22, at 6602 Delmar Blvd., as reported by the Riverfront Times. The shop specializes in made-to-order rolled ice cream and Hong Kong egg waffle cones.

A senior in college, Liu said his heritage and trips to Asia inspired him to bring this concept “to the U.S. for all people to try.” His location in The Loop (the former home of Cheeseology) was ideal thanks to its close proximity to area universities and The Loop’s international community. “It would be great for Asians and Americans,” he said.

Unlike traditional scooped American ice cream, Liu explained that Thai rolled ice cream is made to order on a cold plate. The ice cream base and flavorings are poured onto the pan and stirred with spatulas as it freezes. It is then spread into a thin layer and scraped up, forming delicate rolls.

Snow Factory offers more than a dozen flavors with Asian options like Ujikintoki (matcha ice cream with red bean paste) and Southern Asian Taro, as well as traditional American options like Oreo Wonderland and peanut butter and pretzel. Liu and his team serve the rolled ice cream in cups or in Hong Kong egg waffle cones, which features large “pockets” that create crevices for toppings and melting ice cream.

Snow Factory is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The Scoop: VietNam Style aims to bring traditional Vietnamese fare to The Loop

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

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A new style is coming to the Delmar Loop in early October. Owners Thao Truong and her husband, Yun Vu, are finalizing plans to open VietNam Style, Delmar’s newest Vietnamese restaurant, at 6100 Delmar Blvd., as reported by the Riverfront Times. Truong will run the front of house and a fresh fruit smoothie bar, while Vu will helm the kitchen with Truong’s mother assisting.

Truong said VietNam Style’s food will reflect authentic cuisine she grew up with in Vietnam. “My mom helped teach me to cook,” Truong said. “Since I was 10 years old, and she always chose the best ingredients to cook with. She would send me to the markets, and when I chose one (ingredient) that was not fresh enough, she sent me back to get a better one.”

Look for traditional Vietnamese dishes like pho or grilled pork with a sweet-and-sour fish sauce served atop rice vermicelli and herbs. Truong also hopes to bring tastes of more modern Vietnamese cuisine like Sizzling Steak, a thin sliced beef dish cooked on hot cast-iron that Truong said has risen in popularity in Vietnam.

“Delmar is a place for mostly international students and people. Customers come there to try new things,” she said. “I can’t think of a better spot for my restaurant.”

When its doors open, VietNam Style will offer daily lunch from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., and it will open back up at 5 p.m. for dinner. The restaurant will close at 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and 10:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

The Scoop: STL French Quarter food truck to hit the streets in October

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

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A New Orleans-themed food truck will soon hit the streets. STL French Quarter food truck is expecting to be on the road in October, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. Owner Chuck Hess said he will announce lunch stops around St. Louis City via Facebook.

While he may be new to the food truck scene, he’s no stranger to St. Louis restaurants. A graduate of St. Louis Community College’s culinary program, he has worked in the kitchens of St. Louis Country Club, Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark and 801 Chophouse. “I was ready to get out of the corporate world and do my own thing,” he said.

Hess makes the andouille sausage and tasso ham in-house and will use them in classic NOLA dishes like po’boys and shrimp and crawfish étouffée. He’s also looking forward to playing with the menu. “With a name like French Quarter, you have some flexibility,” he said.

Hess’ truck is still in the works, but curious customers can get a taste of what’s to come Friday and Saturday nights at Modern Brewing from 4:30 to 10 p.m.

The Scoop: New Day Gluten Free closes doors, intends to open new location this year

Monday, September 19th, 2016

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After nearly six years, New Day Gluten Free closed its doors in Ellisville today, Sept. 19 – but owners Garrett and Kelly Beck aren’t ruling out a new home for the gluten-free, peanut-free restaurant and bakery.

After dealing with staffing issues and low sales at the West County location, Kelly Beck said the couple decided to close the restaurant (which was announced on Facebook) to focus full-time on finding the right spot for New Day Gluten Free. “It came down to a location and timing thing,” she said. “With our lease up in six months, we decided to close down this location to focus 100 percent on the next location.”

The Becks hope to move to a more central, accessible location to better serve its customers, many of whom traveled long distances to one of the only dedicated gluten-free restaurants in the St. Louis region. Beck said they haven’t yet decided where New Day’s new home will be, but they aim to be open by Thanksgiving, one of their busiest times of year. “The need is there, so we are going to continue,” Beck said. “This is just a pause.”

Until then, customers can stock their freezers with gluten-free goodies to hold them over during the interim this Saturday, Sept. 24, when New Day will reopen from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for retail orders only. Details will be available on its Facebook page.

The Scoop: California Do-nut Co. cancels plans to open

Monday, September 19th, 2016

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Almost a year after The Scoop reported the coming opening of California Do-nut Co., owner Felinna Love announced on the shop’s Facebook page she will not open due for professional and personal reasons.

“While it is heart-aching to have to admit, I have come to terms with that fact that I am no longer in a position where I can take on the additional challenges and risks associated with opening a new business,” Love wrote in the post. “I am tremendously grateful for all of the support which friends, family, media and the local community poured out.”

Love intended to open California Do-Nut Co. at 2924 S. Jefferson Ave., in a space that once housed a doughnut shop by the same name, which the awning still displays. Love did not return requests for comment.

The Scoop: Third Wheel Brewing to come to St. Peters in 2017

Friday, September 16th, 2016

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Third Wheel Brewing is rolling into St. Peters in March 2017. Co-owner Brad Wheeling said the ownership group recently signed a lease for 4008 N. Service Road.

Third Wheel is a six-person partnership among Ron and Valerie Woerndle, Wade and Erin Alberty, Wheeling (who also serves as marketing and operations manager) and brewmaster Abbey Spencer, who is a co-founder of The OG, a St. Louis women’s craft beer collective.

Wheeling said the group were friends and longtime fans of Spencer’s homebrews. “We said, ‘Somebody should build a brewery around that girl. Why don’t we do it?’” Wheeling said.

It took more than a year of searching for the right space in St. Charles County, until they found a roughly 10,000-square-foot space just off Cave Springs Road near Interstate 70. Wheeling said Third Wheel will initially use half the space for a seven-barrel brewing system and a 2,500-square-foot tasting room, and the rest can be used for future expansion. “It’s a great location, close to the highway so we have a lot of visibility there,” he said. “It’s large, so there is lots of opportunity for us to grow in there.”

Wheeling said Third Wheel will launch with four flagship brews: a Czech Pilsner, a Belgian wit brewed with rosemary, a robust porter and an IPA. Additional rotating options will include a milk stout, a Berliner Weisse and variants on the initial portfolio. Nearly all Third Wheel’s beer will only be available in the tasting room, with a few kegs sent to neighboring bars and restaurants.

Wheeling hopes to have a presence at the St. Louis Brewers Guild’s annual Halloween Party on Oct. 29.

The Scoop: Good Heavens BBQ & Bakery food truck to launch in Metroeast

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

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Barbecue is hitting the road in Illinois. Owner Kattie Goodwin, along with husband Randy Goodwin and brother Charles Williams, will launch Good Heavens BBQ & Bakery food truck on Oct. 1.

Kattie Goodwin said they decided to open a food truck after two years of successful catering in the Metroeast. They considered opening a restaurant, but decided this was a more cost-effective option. “I don’t have to worry about so much overhead with a food truck,” Goodwin said.

Her brother and husband will handle the barbecue side of the menu with options like chicken wings, pork steaks, ribs, snoots and hot dogs. Goodwin said they will also serve their signature Monkey on a Stick, skewered chicken or pork grilled with Filipino spices.

Goodwin will helm the sweet side, baking cookies, gooey butter cake and her signature peach cobbler. “Paula Dean, Sweetie Pie’s – no one can touch my peach cobbler,” she said.

Initially, Good Heavens will operate on weekends, announcing the locations on an upcoming Facebook. Goodwin plans to start in East St. Louis and the surrounding communities and is working to add Belleville to the lineup soon. She hopes to obtain her St. Louis permits by 2017.

 

 

The Scoop: Stage Left Diner to take the spotlight in Midtown

Monday, September 12th, 2016

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The former City Diner space at 541 N. Grand Blvd. has a fresh new name and look. Stage Left Diner (named for its next-door location to The Fabulous Fox Theatre) will host its grand opening Sept. 24, according to Brad Beracha, who serves as restaurant consultant on this project.

Beracha said Stage Left Diner owner Steve Smith has made several changes to the space in recent months, updating the interior design and improving the overall customer service experience. “The culture has changed drastically,” Beracha said. “It’s an intangible, but the energy and feel of the restaurant is much improved.”

Customers will also see changes on a new menu created by chef Ryan Cooper. Cooper previously served as chef de cuisine at Beracha’s now-shuttered Araka, and he’s spent the last two years working in kitchens at Smith’s Triumph Grill and BaiKu Sushi Lounge. While the menu still includes diner classics like meatloaf, burgers and a slew of breakfast options, lighter fare is also a focus of the new concept. “It’s still very large, just more health conscious,” Beracha said, noting items like a kale and apple salad, a portabello sandwich and crepes.

Recognizing that many of their customers will attend performances after dining, Beracha said the menu is also built for speed. “If we shave three or four minutes off a customer experience when they’re trying to get to a show, that’s valuable time,” he said.

It’s not only the theater crowd that Stage Left Diner is after, though. Beracha said he hopes new large developments like City Foundry and upcoming Hotel Agnad (slated to open in 2018 and 2017, respectively) will spur increased interest in Grand Center and Midtown. “We’d love for Midtown to be on the map (like) the Central West End and Clayton,” he said.

Stage Left Diner is currently open Monday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to midnight.

 

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