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Feb 23, 2018
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Archive for January, 2015

By the Book: Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway’s Whole-Wheat Banana Pancakes

Saturday, January 31st, 2015



Reading Thug Kitchen, the cookbook inspired by the profanity-laced blog, is a chore. The authors became roiled in controversy when their weakly urbanized, off-key “thug” voice, which ends up sounding like an affluent white millennial’s, was revealed to be just that: 29-year-old Michelle Davis and Matt Holloway, as white and as Hollywood as they come.

Aside from their problematic co-opting of a persona that reads queasily like a bad caricature of African-American vernacular, the very concept of Thug Kitchen is a head-scratcher: What exactly are vegans Davis and Holloway going for here? If it’s a vegan ethos that swaps out green thumbs for potty-mouthed snark, why not convey it in less appropriative, less flippant terms, especially given our moment of sociocultural reflection?

I hope that at least Davis and Holloway would deliver ace recipes. To an extent, they measure up. Apropos of blustery February, I opted to make banana pancakes, easily the whitest breakfast food recipe in existence. Mercifully, the authors tone down the offensive language in the recipes proper, though are still prone to roundabout, tiring phrasing that distract from the recipe. If you can stop rolling your eyes, you’ll find these dishes quite tasty.




Mashed banana makes a lovely emulsifier. You’ll find the batter can be whisked together faster than even regular flour-and-egg pancake mix. Add cinnamon or other baking spices as desired. Fair warning: the raw batter is safe to eat and quite addictive.




Davis and Holloway may be ham-handed writers, but they offer workmanlike replacements for the usual ingredients. Here, almond milk adds a marvelous, subtle nuttiness to the pancakes, complementing the syrup, banana and wisp of coconut oil used to grease the pan. Leftover batter keeps in the fridge for at least a day or so.




Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes
12 servings

2½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. brown or white sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 cups nondairy milk (like almond)
1 small banana, mashed (should be around 1/3 cup)
Grapeseed oil or coconut oil for cooking the pancakes

• In a big bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Make a crater in the middle and add the milk and mashed up banana. Mix that all together until there are no more dry spots, but don’t go crazy. Mixing it too much will make your pancakes tough, so just chill the fuck out sir mix-a-lot.
• Now, you probably know what to do once the batter is done, but in case this is your first time at the griddle, keep reading. Grab a skillet or griddle and heat it over medium heat. Lightly grease the pan with some oil and pour some pancake batter onto the griddle for each pancake you want. Cook the first side for about 2 minutes or until bubbles appear on top. The bubbles mean your pancake has cooked through. Flip and continue cooking the other side for 1 to 2 minutes or until the pancake looks golden brown.

Reprinted with permission from Rodale Books

What’s your secret ingredient to elevate your breakfast food from ho-hum to heavenly? Tell us in the comments for a chance to win a copy of Thug Kitchen.

Editorial interns Rima Parikh and Victoria Sgarro contributed research and reporting to this post.



Behind the Scenes at Sauce: January 2015

Friday, January 30th, 2015
A lot happens behind the scenes at Sauce HQ, from kicklines with The Loop’s Joe Edwards to putting our interns through the ringer. Here’s a peek at some of our favorite recent moments on the job.


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Tweet Beat: The week’s best tweets from #STL foodies

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Are you following us on Twitter? Come on, get Saucy @saucemag




Barrel-aged Blessings ‪@theroyale ‪#stl ‪#craftbeer ‪#ucbc ‪#perennial ‪#getchyasum ‪#4hands ‪#catherdralsquare ‪#excelbrewery

“Really? You know how to cook all that weird stuff like tofu, but you’ve never roasted a chicken??? Ha!” ‪#Heckledbythegrocerycashier

my kingdom for and iced cherry pop tart

Beer name of the day. But what are you going to call the nut brown, ‪@bonfirebrewing?

This is how we end. RT “‪@IGN: What has ‪@KFC done?! ‪http://go.ign.com/ZEnfRB4

24oz of ‪@Schlafly pale ale is my reward for going 7-4 in ‪#darts tonight

Life’s too short to drink bad beer. Stay fresh, my friends.

I might have some whiskey…


Think you should be on this list? Follow us and let us know @saucemag

Extra Sauce: Team Sauce’s favorite chicken wings

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Chicken wings are ubiquitous on a Super Bowl spread. We’re all for making our own, but nothing can beat our favorite restaurants, bars and barbecue joints. Here’s where Team Sauce goes when we’re craving chicken wings:



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Did we pick one of your favorites? Are we out of our minds? Who did we miss? Tell us your go-to chicken wings in the comments below and find our favorites here: Three Kings Public House, Cleveland-Heath, Planter’s House, St. Louis Wing Co., Hiro Asian Kitchen and Bogart’s Smokehouse.


-Three Kings photo by Greg Rannells; Bogart’s photo by Carmen Troesser



Drink This Weekend Edition: Vesper Martini

Thursday, January 29th, 2015



The martini is best known as the 007 or the official drink of James Bond – though any bartender will tell you it should definitely be stirred, not shaken. This Vesper martini combines both vodka and gin and requires a little finesse to perfect.

The ratio of vodka to gin varies, but most classic Vesper recipes have a 1-to-1 ratio. I prefer a stronger gin pour, particularly a stronger pine-forward gin like St. George Terrior. Sipped straight, it tastes like running through a pine forest with an open mouth. Stir it with vodka, which cuts through the gin botanicals, and Lillet, a French aperitif that balances this simple cocktail the way vermouth does in a classic martini. (Prefer a classic gin martini? Click here.)


Vesper Martini
1 serving

1½ oz. St. George Terroir gin
1 oz. Purus vodka
½ oz. Lillet Blanc
Lemon twist for garnish

• In a pint glass or shaker filled with ice, combine all ingredients. Stir to combine and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.

Natasha Bahrami is a member of USBG St. Louis and co-owner of Natasha’s Cafe and The Gin Room.



The Scoop: Lukas Liquor announces new location, name change

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015



Change is in the air at Lukas Liquor; come mid-May, the store will move to a new, larger location at 15678 Manchester Road in Ellisville and will take on a new name: Lukas Wine & Spirits. The new location is less than a half-mile from Lukas Liquor’s current store at 15921 Manchester Road, where it has operated for 15 years.

Owner Gary Bilder said property owners had approached him before about leasing the massive space, a former Best Buy, but he had not decided to move until recently. “We’re simply out of room,” Bilder said “By moving, we’re adding 7,000 more square feet of space to our store. Even our parking lot will be bigger for customers.”

Bilder will take 31,000-square-feet of the new space, which will double the size of Lukas’ beer department and dramatically expand the wine department. The new Lukas Wine & Spirits will also have a full cash bar inside the store in case you need refreshment after walking all those extended aisles.

Extra Sauce: 5 recipes to win your Super Bowl party

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest unofficial American holiday of the year, and as with all our holidays, it comes with it’s own traditional menu of delicious eats. Step up your game day grub with five recipes for our favorite football food:


1. Get smoky with a big pot of Smoked White Bean Chili. (And before you cry foul, we’ve got the traditional red chili fans covered, too.)


2. Pulled Pork and pigskin are a classic combination, and ours simmers all day in a root beer-chile sauce.


3. Fire up the grill and savor the sweet heat of Harissa Honey Hot Wings.


4. No harissa? No problem. These Honey Sriracha Wings require just five key ingredients, including that bottle of rooster sauce in your fridge.


5. Fear not, vegan and vegetarians – even meat-heads will drool over these Macho Cauliflower Poppers. Sharing is optional.


-chili photo by Michelle Volansky; pulled pork photo by Greg Rannells; cauliflower poppers photo by Carmen Troesser; harissa wings photo from Balaboosta by Einat Admony

The Scoop: Hungry Buddha to open on South Jefferson

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015


Editor’s Note: This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. Jan. 29 and again at 2 p.m. Feb. 4.

Prepare for pan-Asian fare according to the sign on the storefront at 3701 Jefferson Ave., where Hungry Buddha is set to open at the end February. “We’re going to be a fast-casual restaurant with a solid bar program,” said Keyan Still, who is consulting for the restaurant’s ownership. “All the food is going to be fresh, very culinary but fast-casual.”

Still, who is currently a bartender at Planter’s House and Robust, has previously managed Hendrick’s BBQ and worked as beverage director at Sanctuaria. The former Jefferson Bistro space will include an indoor dining area, an outdoor patio and upstairs lounge, each of which will seat 60 patrons. The restaurant also plans to offer delivery service.

Still said he is still choosing kitchen and front-of-house staff, as well as finalizing the menu. Items may include spring rolls, yakatori, bahn mi, steam buns, fried chicken wings, noodle bowls and desserts.

According to former owner Blake Brokaw, the upcoming Hungry Buddha is not affiliated with Brokaw’s former restaurant of the same name, which shuttered in 2003.


The Scoop: Chris DiMercurio nabbed for exec chef position at HandleBar

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015


{From Russia With Love, a flatbread of smoked salmon, greens, dill, creme fraiche, pickled onion and caviar by HandleBar’s new executive chef Chris DiMercurio}


In the last six months, keeping track of chef Chris DiMercurio’s whereabouts has been a bit like playing “Where’s Waldo?” DiMercurio, among the handful of chefs who launched Element, left that restaurant in the summer to work in the kitchen at Old Standard. By mid-November, he joined Cassy Vires at Home Wine Kitchen, but that stint was short, as the Maplewood restaurant closed at the end of 2014. So where’s DiMercurio now? HandleBar.

The new executive chef at HandleBar joined the culinary team at The Grove restaurant a little over a week ago, according to owner Tatyana Telnikova. “I needed somebody a little more fresh, passionate, professional and with a vision,” Telnikova said. “Chris really fits all of that. He’s talented, we get along well, and he’s easy to communicate with. He became available since Home Wine Kitchen closed, so I reached out to him.”

DiMercurio will work within the confines of HandleBar’s Russian-inspired fare, and Telnikova said she’s looking forward to what DiMercurio has to offer, particulary his creativity and experience with a farm-to-table style of cooking that relies on sourcing locally.

Currently, DiMercurio is experimenting with new dishes, many of which are landing in HandleBar’s menu as specials. “He made this flatbread called called from Russia with Love. It’s a spin on the restaurant’s redfish pizza, but prepared in a slightly different way and served with caviar on top,” Telnikova said. Another recent creation includes a creamed cauliflower soup with green apples, and DiMercurio has his eyes on building a Russian-inspired burger.

HandleBar will roll out a new menu in March. Besides a new bill of fare, patrons can expect a new cocktail menu that puts whiskey in the spotlight and a fresh look to the space. To prepare, HandleBar will close the last week of February to refinish its floors and give the bar a facelift. Doors reopen March 1.

The Scoop: Tiny Bar to open downtown in April

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015



Downtown St. Louis will gain an itty bitty bar this spring. Tiny Bar will be set up a 250-square-foot shop in the lobby at 1008 Locust St. The bar, set to open in April, is a joint venture between Aaron Perlut (pictured), Andrew Barnett and Brian Cross of public relations firm Elasticity and the building’s owner Daniel Cook, as reported by St. Louis Business Journal. Elasticity is located on the third floor of the same building.

“It was a really instinctive decision in that Dan was trying to find a use for the space,” Perlut said. “We really wanted to create a very unique space that would complement what’s already downtown and serve high-quality beverages.”

True to its name, The Tiny Bar will seat just eight to 12 people, and Perlut said Tiny Bar will serve wine, five local craft beers on draft and top-shelf liquor and cocktails. We’ve been working with (co-owner) Ted Charack from Planter’s House to create a drink menu. We certainly won’t be relying on any of the (Elasticity) owners’ expertise for that stuff.”



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