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Feb 23, 2018
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Archive for December, 2017

First Look: Honey Pit Smokehouse in Kirkwood

Friday, December 29th, 2017



Another contender has entered local barbecue fray. Co-owners Zach Fagas and Shane Mihaljevic opened Honey Pit Smokehouse at 951 S. Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood on Saturday, Dec. 23.

The Honey Pit menu is centered on meats smoked in Myron Mixon water smokers that utilize steam as well as wood smoke. Standards like pulled pork, brisket and ribs are available, along with specialty sandwiches and burgers and a bevy of sides, including Provel mac n cheese and fried pickles.

For health-conscious customers, the Honey Pit bill of fare also has a Macro Menu section, created by Emily Frisella of Fit Home & Health. These items are listed by portion size and include calories and other nutritional information.

The building, which formerly housed Chinese restaurant Steak & Rice, has undergone a complete gut rehab in the past eight months, from new plumbing and HVAC systems to an addition to the dining room, according Fagas, who most recently served as front of the house manager for Sugarfire Smoke House in Valley Park. Honey Pit seats 88, and boasts interior amenities like handmade wood tables and countertops, wood-clad beams and the ubiquitous paper towel rolls on each table sit on holders made from pipe fittings.

Honey Pit Smokehouse is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Kirkwood’s newest barbecue joint:


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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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Budget Crunch: 6 delicious deals for $10 or less to try now

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Got $10 and a friend? Then reporter Kevin Korinek has six delicious deals to try now.




1. Cheese and potatoes – that’s all I really want out of life, and Frankly on Cherokee has ‘em both. My mouth waters at the thought of Frankly’s $8 Belgian-style, hand-cut fries, drenched in creamy, raclette cheese – a large wheel of funky Swiss cheese. The cheese is melted to order and scraped onto the crispy fries, resulting in a gooey, salty mess of sheer bliss. You can eat them with a fork, but you’d be doing it all wrong.

2. Need a pick-me-up for the weekend? Head for McArthur’s Bakery for a complimentary cup of joe. Every week through February, the bakery hosts Free Coffee Fridays where you can enjoy a free 16-ounce cup of Park Avenue Coffee with purchase at any of McArthur’s four locations from 6 to 8 a.m.

3. There are few places where you can sample the finest flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine, and Ranoush is one of my go-to-spots for a budget-friendly bite. Try any of its lunch specials from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for just less than $10, including beef kafta, vegetarian platter or falafel sandwich. My money is on the chicken shawarma on fresh pita topped with onions, garlic sauce and sumac.




4. This Friday, slide into The Post Sports Bar, where they sling signature cheesesteak sandwiches for $6, leaving plenty left over for an ice-cold beer. The cheesesteaks come with onion and green peppers piled high on thin-sliced, rib-eye steak and smothered in American cheese. Grab one during Progressive Happy Hour from 2 to 7 p.m. for cheap domestic drafts and $5 select appetizers.

5. Tuesday used to be reserved for tacos, but Vincent Van Doughnut is adding sweets to the mix. Every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to close, take advantage of an unlimited, two-for-one deal on all of Vincent’s doughnuts. The maple and cinnamon topped with cayenne-candied bacon is a house favorite, but you can’t go wrong with a classic vanilla glazed.

6. Kalbi Taco Shack has a lot going on – affordable eats and great flavor combinations blend Mexican and Asian fare. Tacos are filling and easy on the wallet, but I love the banh mi and rice bowls, available for less than $9. Choose from Kalbi’s signature beef short rib, teriyaki chicken, sweet-and-spicy jackfruit and more. Sandwiches come with cilantro and aioli on crusty French bread, while bowls are topped with a fried egg and house-made chile sauce on the side.

Photos courtesy of Frankly on Cherokee and The Post Sports Bar

Kevin Korinek is a freelance writer and photographer with a passion for making homemade pie.

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Recipe: Smoked Trout Dip with Grilled Crostini

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017


Satisfyingly crunchy slices of grilled baguette smothered in a savory rich onion-caper dip elevate this smoked trout appetizer to a new level. It’s a hearty, irresistible starter, ideal for winter get dinner parties and holiday bashes. This one never ceases to evoke smiles and pats on the back from party people who love it as an alternative to cold-smoked salmon, which can be a bit too salty and fishy for some.

Assembling this dish is as simple as prepping a few basic ingredients, many of which are likely already in the cupboard. The mild flavor of apple wood infuses into the trout after just 40 minutes of smoking. The fish itself is phenomenal, but it’s the grilled bread that puts this appetizer over the top. Make sure to purchase a firm and crusty quality baguette, which holds up much better on the grill than more delicate breads like a standard French loaf.


Smoked Trout Dip with Grilled Crostini
8 to 10 servings

3 cups water
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 6-ounce boneless rainbow or ruby-red trout fillets
1 baguette, cut into ¼-inch slices
1 cup olive oil
8 oz. cream cheese
½ cup minced red onion
3 Tbsp. capers, drained
Juice of ½ lemon
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 green onions, diced

Special equipment: 2 cups apple wood chips

• In a large stockpot, stir the water and salt together until the salt dissolves. Soak the trout 3 to 4 hours to brine. Remove, pat dry and place on a sheet of heavy-duty foil.
• Prepare a smoker or charcoal grill for indirect heat.
• Add 1 cup wood chips directly to the coals. Place the trout (still on the foil) over indirect heat, cover and smoke 20 minutes.
• Add the remaining 1 cup wood chips onto the coals, cover and smoke another 20 minutes. Remove and let cool on a serving tray.
• Add more charcoal to bring the grill to medium-high heat.
• Lightly brush each bread slice with olive oil. Working in batches, grill the bread over direct heat 3 to 4 minutes. Flip and grill another 3 to 4 minutes, until brown and crispy. Place on the serving tray alongside the trout.
• In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, onion, capers, lemon juice, mayonnaise and Worcestershire. Use a hand mixer or stick blender to mix until well combined. Spoon into serving bowl and garnish with green onions.
• To serve, smear a crostini with onion-caper dip, then top with a piece of smoked trout.

Matt Berkley is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who writes Grilled

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Top 10 First Looks of 2017

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

From a St. Charles brewery and arcade to the long-awaited noodle house in Creve Coeur, here are the top 10 places you couldn’t wait to check out in 2017.

Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce Magazine on Facebook and Twitter to get the First Look at the latest St. Louis-area restaurants.




1. First Look: Two Plumbers Brewery & Arcade in St. Charles

2. First Look: Lemmons in South City




3. First Look: Polite Society in Lafayette Square

4. First Look: The Blue Duck in Maplewood




5. First Look: Louie on DeMun Avenue

6. First Look: Grace Meat & Three in The Grove




7. First Look: Mad Crab in University City

8. First Look: Nudo House in Creve Coeur




9. First Look: Mac’s Local Eats in Dogtown

10. First Look: Half & Half in Webster Groves

Top 10 Scoops of 2017

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

From big ownership changes at Cleveland-Heath to St. Louis’ first cidery, here’s the dining news you were most excited about in 2017.

Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce Magazine on Facebook and Twitter to get The Scoop on the latest St. Louis-area restaurant news.




1. Cleveland-Heath owners sell restaurant, will relocate to Utah

2. Brick River Cider, St. Louis’ first cidery, to open downtown

3. Chihuahua’s to re-concept, relocate as Casa Juarez Mexican Town




4. Big changes to come at Baileys’ Chocolate Bar

5. Chef Jessie Gilroy to open Pangea in St. Charles

6. Seoul Taco will open new location in Chesterfield


The same menu will be served at the Webster Groves location, including an 11 a.m. lunch menu and breakfast dishes like the berry-coated Clara Cakes.


7. Half & Half to open second location in Webster Groves

8. Up-Down arcade bar to open in former Herbie’s space

9. Kevin Nashan to launch new food program at 4 Hands

10. Guerrilla Street Food will open a location in The Delmar Loop

Longtime staples Stratton’s Café, Laurie’s Place close doors

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017



Stratton’s Café at 8103 Big Bend Blvd. in Webster Groves, is closing its doors this week. In a Facebook post on Tuesday, Dec. 26, the owners announced the last day of service will be Friday, Dec. 29.

“We’ve been here 15 years, and it’s been a great run,” said owner Ben Stratton. “We’ve had the pleasure of serving the people of Webster Groves for 15 years, and we’d like to thank them for allowing us to serve them that long.”

Stratton cited increased competition in the area from new restaurants like The Clover & The Bee and Half & Half as one reason for the closure. “Obviously, it’s always sad when you close a restaurant, but it’s just time,” he said.

Meanwhile, as reported by The Edwardsville Intelligencer, Laurie’s Place at 228 N. Main St. in Edwardsville will shutter on Monday, Jan. 1, after 21 years in business. The announcement was first posted on Facebook on Saturday, Dec. 9. Owner Laurie Chavez was not immediately available for comment.

Photo courtesy of Stratton’s Café

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Seoul Taco in Chesterfield

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017



West County residents no longer need to trek to University City or hunt for a Seoul Taco truck. The St. Louis-based chain opens Friday, Dec. 29 at 46 Four Seasons Shopping Center in Chesterfield.

As The Scoop reported in August, owner David Choi announced he planned to open his fifth brick-and-mortar location (the second in St. Louis) in his hometown.

Fans of the Korean-Mexican fusion can expect a similar menu to its predecessors with seasonal rotating specials. Choi said he may reach out to local chefs in the neighborhood for possibly collaborations. The Chesterfield space will be the first to feature beverages from Ireland-based Stubborn Soda.

Upon entering the 80-seat restaurant, a symbolic Seoul Taco food truck jumps off the wall in an art installation created by Chicago interior designer Alex Morales. The space also incorporates colorful street art by Daniel Burnett and Won Kim. “It’s street food coupled with street art,” Choi said.

Choi said transitioning the 3,600 square-foot space that formerly housed a St. Louis Bread Co. proved smooth thanks to an established kitchen and plumbing. “It had the right bones in place,” he said.

Seoul Taco in Chesterfield will be open daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Here’s a first look at the newest Seoul Taco location:


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Photos by Caitlin Lally; food photo by Carmen Troesser

Caitlin Lally is a contributor to Sauce Magazine. 

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Recipe: New Year’s Black-Eyed Peas and Greens

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017



Good bread. Butter. An apple. Cheese. Things don’t always need to be overwrought, covered in gold leaf or served in a complicated manner. After weeks of holiday celebrating, it’s nice to focus on simplicity.

This is a basic dish made with inexpensive ingredients that traditionally represent what we want in the new year. Black-eyed peas bring good fortune, collard greens or kale represent money and pork is said to bring health and wealth. Serve with hot sauce and cornbread or over rice, and raise a glass to a wonderful 2018 for all!


Black-Eyed Peas and Greens
8 to 10 servings

1 cup dried black-eyed peas, rinsed and picked over
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup chopped shallot
¾ lb. kielbasa or smoked sausage, cut into ½-inch slices
2 to 3 cups chicken stock
3 cups kale or collard greens, stems removed and coarsely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• In a saucepan, cover the black-eyed peas with cold water by 2 inches. Bring water to a boil over high heat and boil peas 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let the black-eyed peas soak 1 hour. Drain, rinse well and set aside.
• In a large skillet, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and sausage and saute until the shallot is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and black-eyed peas, bring to a simmer, cover and cook 10 minutes.
• Add the greens and more broth if the mixture looks dry. Cover and simmer another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Dee Ryan is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine who regularly pens Just Five. 

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Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Sunday, December 24th, 2017

From end-of-the-year openings to progress on a long-awaited brewery, here’s what went down last week, ICYMI.




1. Billie Jean, the latest concept from restaurateur Zoe Robinson, opened Dec. 21 at 7610 Wydown Blvd. in Clayton, just a block or so east from Robinson’s other eateries, I Fratellini and Bar Les Fréres.

2. It’s taken some time, but Rockwell Beer Co. has announced its final plan for its new location at 1320 S. Vandeventer Ave., on the eastern edge of The Grove. Owner Andy Hille said Niche Food Group will handle the culinary program at the tasting room.




3. Dave Bailey has been busy in Lafayette Square. However, the wait is over — L’Acadiane opened for its first dinner service Dec. 20.

4. Three local restaurants – Remy’s Kitchen & Wine Bar, Elijah P’s Burgers & Brews and MK’s Asian Persuasion – have given notice via social media that they will close shop by the end of the year.




5. Partner brewing company Brew Hub is set to open The Brew Hub Taproom in early in 2018 at 5656 Oakland Ave., the former home of St. Louis Ribhouse.

Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce on Facebook and Twitter for the latest Scoops in the St. Louis restaurant scene.



4 last-minute bottles for your beer nerd

Friday, December 22nd, 2017



If you spent the past three weeks pa-rum-pum-pum-pum-ing and not shopping like most, than you’re probably in need of some last-minute gifts for the host with the most or your Secret Santa. ’Tis the season for vibrant, bright flavors and bubbles (all the bubbles!), but not just in the form of sparkling wine.

Many beers come in large-format bottles, and just like wine, they are meant to be shared. To recreate the festive nature that comes with brut and bubbly, opt for lighter-bodied, tart and funky beers served in a wine glass or Champagne flute. They’re best accompanied with friends, yuletide cheer or a New Year’s Eve countdown.

1. Side Project Rose du Blè
The base, Saison du Blè, showcases lovely tartness and mild funk with an exquisitely fluffy texture from the loads of wheat in the malt bill. Brewer Cory King took this Missouri oak foedre-aged saison and racked it onto Missouri chambourcin grape skins for several months. It not only altered the straw-yellow hue, but also it also produced earthy funk, fruit and a light tannic note. $25. The Side Project Cellar, thesideprojectcellar.com

2. Crooked Stave Nightmare on Brett
More like a dream come true, if you ask me. Loads of roasted malt and tart cherry on the nose wake up your senses. This dark sour ale is complete with layers of fruit, chocolate, Brettanomyces funkiness and wood and whiskey from the Leopold Bros. whiskey barrels it slept in before bottling. $21.50, Fields Foods, fieldsfoods.com

3. Goose Island Gillian
One of my first true loves in the sour beer world, this wine barrel-aged farmhouse ale is delightful. A high level of carbonation exudes deliciously juicy notes of ripe strawberry and stone fruit up front, underlined by notes of white pepper. An adequate amount of honey allowed this beer, as fruit forward as it is, to finish dry with just a touch of oak. $24. Friar Tuck in O’Fallon, Missouri, friartuckonline.com

4. Rodenbach Caractère Rouge
This Flanders red ale is aged on raspberries, cherries and cranberries to give it an incredible fruit-forward character that eloquently pairs with the style’s rich malt bill. Funky floral notes, yogurt, light vinegar and fruit dominate the aroma, while a rich berry character evolves across the palate. Bright acidity all the way through leaves the drinker wanting sip after sip. $25. The Wine & Cheese Place in Clayton, wineandcheeseplace.com

Photo courtesy of Side Project Brewing

Katie Herrera is a longtime contributor to Sauce Magazine and account manager at Craft Republic. 

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