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Feb 24, 2018
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Archive for August, 2009

The Scoop: New in Old North

Monday, August 31st, 2009

The Urban Studio Café has opened at 2815 N. 14th St., near Crown Candy Kitchen. Look for sandwiches on pretzel rolls, baked goods including Angel Baked Cookies, and coffee from Kaldi’s. The nonprofit café, which supports neighborhood art programs, is expected later this week to boast a bicycle-powered blender for its smoothies.

Our new favorite gadget

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Washing your hands. An essential, though not usually a memorable, part of dining out. But some local eateries are making the hygiene experience a little greener and a lot faster by installing Dyson Airblade hand dryers. The company estimates that 22 people can dry their hands with one of these suckers for the price of one paper towel. And it takes just 12 seconds to get those hands dry, instead of the achingly slow 27 seconds the process can take with your run-of-the-mill hand dryer. Dyson describes the technology as “400-mph sheets of air literally scraping hands dry.” Sounds scary, but it feels like sticking your hands into tiny wind tunnels, and it doesn’t hurt a bit. The restrooms at Schlafly Bottleworks and The Schlafly Tap Room are sporting Airblades, and the second Pi, set to open Sept. 9 in Kirkwood, will have one as well.

– Matt Sorrell

New old attractions in Hermann

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

The 19th century was pretty rough. Medicine was primitive, farming was more of a challenge and there was no American Idol, so people just died young from abject boredom.

The biscuits were pretty good, though, and a blue ribbon for your apple butter meant you could look down on the other gals with a haughty sneer. Or maybe you looked like that anyway, what with the primitive dentistry and all.

The Germans came to Hermann around 1840, endowing the town with their yen for hearty work and hearty foods. Now that 169 years have crept by, it’s time to honor our forebears’ achievements with the opening of the wine-soaked burg’s newest attractions, the Hermann Farm Stables and Wagon Werks.

This recreation of old-timey culture features exhibits and displays of early rural-life skills of the German settlers. The Hermann Farm Country Fair grand opening party from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. on Sept. 12 means apple butter-making, beekeeping demos and a sampler menu of cast-iron-over-hot-coals cooked delicacies.

After you’ve stuffed yourself with whatever it was that sustained Laura Ingalls’ dependable German neighbors, check out the sweaty blacksmith, the early engines, the rusty farm equipment, the friendly broom-makers, the cheerful basket-weavers, the quaint buggies and wagons, and the animals in the petting zoo, which have been instructed to imitate farm animals from 100 years ago.

Children and adults are encouraged to come in costumes from the 1800s to1900s for a contest, so keep it demure and avoid the manure. Call 573.486.3276 for more information.

Byron Kerman

Photo courtesy of hermannfarm.org

The Scoop: Shaking it up in the Square

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Soda Fountain Square, the family-friendly Lafayette Square restaurant, has become a private event space. “It will now be open exclusively for parties for ‘children of all ages,'” said co-owner Bethany Budde in an e-mail. Budde cited the demands of her other restaurant, SqWires, and its SqWires Annex event space as the reason for the change. For information on booking an event at Soda Fountain Square, call 314.241.0099 or 314.865.3522.

Really healthy food

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

Washington University Medical Center is making it almost impossible for students, staff and visitors to its CWE campus to not eat healthy by sponsoring an on-site farmers’ market. Local purveyors like Biver Farms, Double Star Farms and Baalman’s Produce offer up a veritable cornucopia on Thursdays from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the plaza outside the Barnes & Noble bookstore, near the intersection of Forest Park and Euclid avenues. The market started operation last week and will run through Sept. 10, though there are plans in the works to extend it into October to take advantage of the full harvest.

Matt Sorrell

The Scoop: One closes, another opens

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Sad news today from Midtown: Eddie Neill has shuttered his Wm. Shakespeare’s Gastropub.

But good news from downtown: Jim Fiala’s The Terrace View, housed in the popular new Citygarden, opened for lunch today; dinner hours begin on Wednesday.

All peaches, all night

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

“Movin’ to the country, gonna eat a lot of peaches,” a band called the Presidents of the United States of America famously promised in 1995. Well, Lauren Pusczek and Amanda Jerauld, aka Roaming Revelry catering, are up to the task. The newly formed dinner-party specialists will introduce fresh, organic ideas at their Peachy Keen Dinner Party on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the swank penthouse of the Paul Brown Building downtown.

The menu includes peach and garden salsa; peach pizzetta with roasted peaches, goat cheese and prosciutto; jerked pork loin with peach glaze; shrimp and peach skewer with balsamic drizzle; roasted vegetable and peach couscous; bean, tomato and pumpkin-seed salad; and champagne-peach trifle for dessert. The deeply orange-colored meal is $15 a person or $25 a couple. E-mail for more information: inquiries@roamingrevelry.com.

What’s the secret to Roaming Revelry’s beautiful food? Pusczek’s dad, Greg, farms at Nature’s Way Gardens in Marine, Ill. The ladies get a good deal on fresh produce and herbs. Of course the partners’ curricula vitae don’t hurt either. Pusczek has toiled at The Dubliner, The Scottish Arms, The Shaved Duck, Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar, and Lumen. Jerauld has put in time at The Dubliner, Blue Water Grill and Wm. Shakespeare’s Gastropub.

– Byron Kerman

Big cheeses

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

A Saucy congrats to a trio of Missouri cheesemakers for placing at several big cheese competitions recently. Bloomsdale’s Baetje Farms won two third-place ribbons – one for its fresh Cranberry and Orange Coeur de la Crème and the other for its aged Bloomsdale – at the American Cheese Society’s annual conference and competition, held last week in Austin, Texas. Green Dirt Farm, located in Weston, near Kansas City, also did well in Austin, pulling in third-place ribbons for its sheep’s milk cheeses in the open and flavor-added categories.

And at the first North American Jersey Cheese Awards, held last month in Syracuse, N.Y., Homestead Creamery of Jamesport won a gold medal for its Country Classic hard cheese and a silver for its Golden Glow semihard cheese.

Photo courtesy of baetjefarms.com

Let’s discuss this over lunch

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

If there’s a rush to get down and kiss Michael Pollan’s environmentally friendly loafers, let me join the herd and pucker up.

Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and most recently, In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, is an investigative journalist, essayist and deep thinker whose works have the effect of freezing the fork before it arrives at the mouth.

In Defense of Food reconsiders the typical American diet literally from the ground up, questioning the processing and adulteration of nearly everything in the grocery store. His arguments for our bodies, our farmers and our earth are no less than vital.

The new downtown location of Left Bank Books has brought a healthy dose of culture to our urban core, and the shop’s lunchtime reading group digests In Defense of Food with a book chat and meal on Aug. 19 at noon. For less than $20, participants get the book and a tasty box lunch from City Grocers (soon to be City Gourmet). Call 314.367.6731 or e-mail kris@left-bank.com for reservations. And click here for more on future nonfiction and fiction lunchtime reading groups.

– Byron Kerman

The Scoop: New at Neruda

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Neruda Restaurant in Edwardsville, which marks 12 years in business today, named Gary McNelly as its new head chef. This is McNelly’s second stint running the restaurant’s kitchen; he left in 2007 “on a personal culinary pilgrimage and is returning with a cornucopia of ideas,” according to Neruda’s latest newsletter. McNelly replaces Rick Counts, who took a position at Boeing Co.

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