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Dec 22, 2014
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Drink this Weekend Edition: Discover guilt-free holiday drinking at Urban Eats


November 23rd 02:11pm, 2012

You ate so much turkey last night that you went into a gobble-coma? Oh, but before nodding off you nodded yes to another slice of pumpkin pie, a dollop of whipped cream and a scoop of vanilla ice cream? It sounds like you might need to recover with a drink that won’t push your recommended dietary allowance over the edge.

Since opening four years ago, Urban Eats, located in Dutchtown at 3301 Meramec St., has been a place where you can feel good about what you put in your mouth, including beverages. Husband and wife owners John Chen and Caya Aufiero dub the drink side of their cafe “Bar +.” Aufiero said, “We’re not just a bar. We’re something more. We’re a juice bar. And you can get a gin and tonic here or you can get a rosemary-infused gin and tonic. We add things that help you feel better about your drinking.”

Sold!

The drinks at Urban Eats, like the food, focus on the flavors of the season. That means that from now until the holiday trimmings come down, you can get a “Boozie” (ergo, smoothie with booze) like the Christmas Cheer Boozie of rum or vodka with house-made eggnog (a cooked eggnog for those who have issues) and crushed peppermint as a garnish. (Note: This is a fabulous application for lonely candy canes.) If you haven’t had enough pumpkin pie, try the Pumpkin Pie Boozie, a liquid version of that Turkey Day dessert but made wholesome with blended pumpkin purée, yogurt and fresh banana. That totally counteracts the two ounces of rum, wee bit of pumpkin pie syrup, whipped cream and drizzle of caramel. 
Share it … then you’re practically free of guilt.

Besides alcoholic smoothies, Urban Eats offers über-fresh infused cocktails. In the mood for fig, pear and fresh ginger juice? Order the Fizzy Fig. Prefer savory? Rosemary & Respect is an herbaceous rosemary-infused gin cocktail that I respect not just for the freshly juiced ginger but because the gin is not overpowered. Heck, juniper berries swim in the glass. Juniper is, after all, what gin is all about.

Urban Eats is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., but Sunday brunch, which runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., might be the best time to enjoy a Bloody Fresh Mary (pictured) or an Urban Mimosa. During brunch, dubbed “Tapa Sushi Sum,” you can gratify yourself with the small plates brought out on rolling carts just like Asian dim sum service, but you’ll feel righteous knowing that your Bloody Mary is a light version holding freshly juiced tomatoes as opposed to a commercial mix or V8 juice. The drinks are also culinary driven like the smoke of chipotle adobo and the saltiness of soy sauce in the Bloody Fresh Mary and the just-juiced combo of ginger and O.J. in the Urban Mimosa.

It is possible to keep your belt in the same notch during the holidays. You just have to know where to fill your gullet. Take a look at these no-regrets drinks on our Facebook page, then head directly to Urban Eats and drink without remorse.

By Ligaya Figueras

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