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Budget Crunch: Delicious dishes and sweet deals right now

October 29th 03:10pm, 2013


{The Wow Board at Annie Gunn’s}


Welcome to Budget Crunch, wherein intrepid reporter Byron Kerman offers 10 tips on delicious menu items and sweet deals happening now. Got $10? Grab a friend and sample, split and stuff yourselves with these steals.

1. Fozzie’s Sandwich Emporium has World Series fever. The restaurant with the same name as the Muppet who crows “Wocka Wocka Wocka!” is honoring Cards pitching phenom Michael Wacha with the Wacha Wacha milkshake ($3 for a regular, $6 for a large), which has Cracker Jacks, caramel and white chocolate.

2. Open just a few weeks now, Strange Donuts offers a festive vibe during the late-night hours, from 9 p.m. until midnight Thursday through Friday. Donuts from $1 to $5 in flavors – and with fun names – like Bart’s Revenge (Butterfinger), PBJ, Young Grasshopper (chocolate mint), Peanut Butter Fat Baby and Briscuits & Gravy have kept a line of customers literally out the door.

3. The new $5 Rush Hour at Big Sky Cafe means $5 wines, cocktails and snacks from 4:30 to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Cocktails include a Strawberry Screwdriver; snacks include a Geisert Farms all-pork “Hog Dog” with spicy green peppercorn mustard and sour cabbage.

4. Vito’s in the Valley has a new Harvest Pizza that turns seasonal ingredients into a formidable pie for $12. Sage pesto, yellow squash, caramelized red onions, prosciutto, goat cheese and Parmesan work together on this one.

5. Bob’s Butcher Block is a weekly Wednesday-night appetizer special at Eleven Eleven Mississippi that showcases unusual cuts of meat, aka offal, for $8 to $10. Recent delicacies have included duck liver pate on crostini with crisp-fried sage, braised oxtail ravioli in oxtail consomme, and deconstructed steak and kidney pie. Walk on the wild side?

6. You have to love the name of the new autumn Fall & Oates Bars at Foundation Grounds Coffeehouse & Café. They’re made with organic apples, oats and caramel sauce, and they might just give you a John Oates-style mustache made of sweet, sticky caramel. These $4 treats must be preordered to guarantee a bite, or take your chances and pop in to see if they are the day’s special.

7. Annie Gunn’s offers a Wow Board charcuterie board that changes every day based on the rest of the menu. You might find spicy hot-link sausage, lamb bacon, horseradish mustard, Irish soda bread, bone marrow with gooseberry chutney, golden raisin apricot chutney, eggplant jelly, Iberico ham, German speck cured pork, brie, house-pickled vegetables and a vegetable terrine; it was all featured on a recent pallet of pleasure. For $20, it can easily satisfiy two people.

8. The $5 lunch at Truffles might be a barbecue burger, chicken and white bean chili with crispy tortilla strips, a turkey sandwich and fries, chicken and shrimp gumbo, a wedge salad with bacon lardons and boiled egg, or some other deliciousness. With a pint of beer included, the price is a steal. (Available 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday to Friday.)

9. The Thursday special at The Fountain on Locust is a surprise hit – a $9 Moroccan pot pie made with chicken, carrots, onions, raisins, peanuts, tomatoes and olives, domed with flaky puffed pastry. It’s a great cold-weather-fighter, too.

10. Panorama, the signature restaurant at the Saint Louis Art Museum, doesn’t get to have all the glory. The smaller, more casual Café at the Saint Louis Art Museum, located on Level 1of the South Building, offers $8 sandwiches with amusing names like the Beckmann (honey ham, apple butter, horseradish mustard, greens and cheese on Parisian bread) and the Hart Benton (turkey bacon aioli, tomatoes, greens and cheddar on sourdough), and $7 salads called the Motherwell (faro, greens, pickled red onions, peppadews, Oaxaca cheese, honey and chipotle dressing) and the Donatello (romaine, herb croutons, Marcoot heritage cheese, grilled chicken or poached salmon, and anchovy dressing).

 -photo by Michelle Volansky


By Byron Kerman

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