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Archive for June, 2010

The Scoop: Eckert’s expands for 100-year anniversary

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

063010_eckertsEckert’s is celebrating 100 years in business today by breaking ground on a 22,000-sq. foot expansion of its country store in Belleville, Ill., that it coughed up $5 million to build. The expansion will be run by the seventh generation of the Eckert clan, and will make more room for fresh peaches and plums, a bakery smelling of pies and peanut squares, a meat shop boasting locally raised beef and a 12,000-sq. foot cooking and workshop classroom. The Eckerts also added 180 seats to the Country Restaurant, doubling the space for diners to enjoy everything from their famous fried chicken to the pork sausage skillet complete with sauerkraut, a dallop of mashed potatoes, green beans and even a side of warm sweet apples.

The ribbon will be cut on the new expansion on Tuesday, July 6 at 10:30 a.m., when the whole Eckert gang will gather from all over the world to celebrate 100 years serving the St. Louis and Illinois areas.

- Stacy Schultz

92 years of Hot Salamis

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

062910_gioiasIf the 25th anniversary is celebrated with silver and the 50th anniversary is golden, it only seems appropriate that Gioia’s Deli on The Hill is celebrating 92 years in business with what it does best — the toasty, meaty sandwich that made it famous. This Friday, Gioia’s, located at 1934 Macklind Ave., is marking its notable tenure serving the St. Louis area by offering its signature Hot Salami sandwich for only $5 (that’s $2 less than usual).

Originally served by Challie Gioia back in 1918 as Salam de Testa, the deli’s homemade sausage quickly became a favorite for hungry St. Louisans. The sandwich was added to the menu years later when Steve and Johnnie Gioia began serving the bustling lunch crowd, and it has truly withstood the test of time here in the Lou.

So if you’re looking for a little taste of history this Friday, stop by Gioia’s Deli between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. for a hot and cheesy delight that is sure to keep your wallet fat and your stomach happy. The limit’s two per person, and the special will only go on while supplies last – so go on, get celebrating.

- Stacy Schultz

Local breweries shine in national spotlight

Monday, June 28th, 2010

062610_thumbsA Saucy congrats to a few local breweries in the national spotlight today thanks to a story that featured the local beer scene in the Anheuser-Busch InBev era.

Today, BBC’s World News America took a closer look at the positive repercussions of the 2008 Belgium buyout of the city’s largest brewery, including the boost in sales to some of the city’s 14 craft breweries, giving shout outs to Schlafly Beer and Mattingly Brewing Co. BBC also quoted Sauce contributor and beer guru Mike Sweeney of STL Hops and Blueberry Hill.


The Scoop: Tea time is up at The St. Louis Tea Room

Monday, June 28th, 2010

062810_stlteaThose looking for a cup of afternoon tea will soon have to look beyond The St. Louis Tea Room at 4001 Utah Street as the restaurant will shutter its doors Wednesday after a four-year run, according to the Riverfront Times.

Proprietor Judy Rusch and her daughters Becky Daake and Barbara Obermeyer opened the South City spot in 2006, after operating Grandma’s Parlor and Tearoom in Kimmswick for years.

For more information, visit RFT’s GutCheck blog.

The Scoop: Best of Boulder sub shop hits The Loop

Monday, June 28th, 2010

062810_snarfsAnother eatery is coming to The Loop. Snarf’s subway shop will be located at 6301 Delmar in the space formerly occupied by Soul shoe store. Snarf’s originated in Boulder, Col., where it has earned “Best Sandwich” status in Boulder Weekly’s Best of Boulder reader poll since 2006.

The popular sub shop has four locations in the Boulder area, has since expanded into the Denver market, and will soon have two sub shops operating in Chicago. The St. Louis franchise is owned by Jodi Aronson (sister of Snarf’s founder Jim Seidel) and her husband Maty Aronson.

Jodi Aronson called Snarf’s toasted sandwiches and specialty subs “addictive,” though soups and salads are also available for those looking for something lighter to snarf down. The owners have applied for a liquor license, so beer and wine will be available at the U. City location, although approval may not happen in time for the anticipated late August opening.

By Ligaya Figueras

Drink This Weekend Edition: Matt Obermark’s Grove Smash

Friday, June 25th, 2010

062510_totcSt. Louis’s Matt Obermark is one of 28 bartenders nationwide who will be participating in the United States Bartenders Guild Milagro Tequila Competition as part of this year’s Tales of the Cocktails convention in New Orleans.

Obermark, who tends bar at Atomic Cowboy, was selected to represent St. Louis in the July 23 competition based on the recipe submission of his original cocktail, Grove Smash. The beverage is a twist on a margarita, a crowd favorite during the summer at the Mexican restaurant located in The Grove neighborhood.

Assisting Obermark with prep on event day will be Sanctuaria’s bar manager, Matt Seiter. Sauce sends Seiter best wishes as he heads for Tales attempting to be among the first to pass the USBG Advanced Bartender Exam. Thus far, 37 aspiring bartenders from across the U.S. have taken the written exam and rigorous live practical evaluation yet none have received passing marks.

We’ll raise a glass in hopes that both of these St. Louisans find smashing success next month. We know that you will when you shake up Obermark’s Grove Smash or order it this summer at Atomic Cowboy.

- Ligaya Figueras

Grove Smash
Courtesy of Atomic Cowboy’s Matt Obermark

1 Serving

2 oz. Milagro Reposado tequila
3 1/8-inch wedges (with rind) of ruby red grapefruit, muddled
1 sprig mint, muddled
½ oz. caramel simple syrup
4 dashes lemon bitters
Mint spring for garnish

•    Combine all of the ingredients in cocktail shaker then shake for 30 seconds.
•    Double strain over an old-fashioned glass filled with ice.
•    Garnish with a mint sprig.

Black walnuts spotlighted at The Bittersweet Bakery

Friday, June 25th, 2010

062610_bittersweetDo you know the state tree nut of Missouri? Well it’s the wild, rare black walnut and it’s the star of a new taste test at Benton Park’s The Bittersweet Bakery at 2200 Gravois Ave.

The company behind this delicious exam is local provider Hammons Products, and the pastry of choice is Bittersweet’s luscious chocolate-black walnut soufflé cookie, which joins the uniquely rich flavor of black walnuts with ooey, gooey chocolate.

Now, hungry St. Louisans looking to satisfy their sweet tooth can drop by the South City bakery, nibble down this yummy cookie and share how they rank the decadent cookie for a coupon for half off their next cookie craving.

Not enough to get your mouth watering? Those who participate in the taste test will also be entered to win a flip MinoHD video camera. All this for a little sugar rush? Sharing has never been so easy!

- Stacy Schultz

The Lou looms large in national press today

Friday, June 25th, 2010

062610_thumbsA Saucy congrats to quite a few local eateries that have garnered well-deserved national attention for the STL culinary scene today:

Today’s New York Times Travel section features a whirlwind 36-hour tour through St. Louis, recommending all sorts of local haunts and attractions (complete with photos from local snapper Dilip Vishwanat) –  and places to eat, including Iron Barley and Fred’s Six Feet Under, The Mud House, Franco, Sweet Art, Pappy’s Smokehouse, Local Harvest Cafe, The Royale, Winslow’s Home and Eclipse.

Meanwhile, the July/August issue of the Food Network Magazine has named Dave Bailey’s Rooster as Missouri’s Best Breakfast as part of its 50 States, 50 Breakfasts feature. The article spotlights the downtown restaurant’s Rooster Slinger.


The Scoop: Sekisui Pacific Rim rolls into Ichigo Modern Restaurant

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

062410_ichigoThe sign hanging at 7443 Forsyth Blvd. still says Sekisui Pacific Rim, but that will be the final change as the Japanese restaurant in Clayton transitions into Ichigo Modern Restaurant.

The restaurant has changed ownership and the executive chef, who prefers the first name familiarity of chef Budi, has added a slew of signature East-meets-West sushi rolls to Sekisui’s old sushi menu. In addition, a full hot menu is set to launch next week and will feature entrées such as grilled red snapper marinated in a sweet soy-apple compote and served with corn relish, strawberry avocado salsa and sweet potato fries.

There are 28 signature Ichigo sushi rolls on the menu, including the colorful Is Ok!, made of shrimp tempura, avocado and cucumber topped with tuna, drizzles of eel sauce and spicy aioli sauce, sprinkles of green onion, crunchy tempura batter, and red-hued flying fish and smelt roe. The Oh My Suki is a vertical take on sushi: a tower of individual pieces – each made from lobster tempura, lump crab meat, cucumber, yamagobo (pickled burdock root) and avocado crusted with macadamia nuts – is affixed onto a chopstick, a square seaweed-wrapped rice ball serving as the foundation as it rests in a creamy béchamel sauce.

Looking to save a buck or two? Order from the $1 roll menu. You get three sushi pieces for $1. There are 14 items on that menu, and the deal is good at all hours.

– Ligaya Figueras

The Scoop: David Guempel leaves Café Osage

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

062410_OsageChef David Guempel is no longer working at Bowood Farms’ Café Osage. Owner John McPheeters confirmed today that Monday was Guempel’s last day at the restaurant. “We felt that we needed to make some changes,” said McPheeters, adding, “I wish David Guempel well. It was an amicable parting.”

David Kirkland has assumed the helm in the kitchen, although McPheeters noted that Kirkland and Guempel “were kind of sharing those duties before.”

For the moment, the menu at Café Osage will remain the same, but changes, albeit gradual, are anticipated. “We do expect that it will reflect the produce that will be coming out of our garden a little more than in the past,” McPhetters said.

- Ligaya Figueras

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