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Red Oak Eats ‘n Treats is now open on Washington Ave.

July 28th 01:07pm, 2017



A new restaurant downtown has sprung up and is starting to grow on people. Red Oak Eats ‘n Treats, located at 1330 Washington Ave., opened on Wednesday, July 19. The fast-casual eatery features hydroponic plants on its menu.

Billing itself as the first “room-to-table” eatery in Missouri, Red Oak grows produce in house and hydroponically in water and without soil. The food that is not grown in-house is sourced from owner Derek Schuzle’s farm in Warrenton, in addition to local distributors.

“We see a lot of farm-to-table restaurants, and we’re trying to challenge that,” said first-time restaurateur Schulze.

Growing up on a farm, Schulze said he’s seen the way uncontrollable factors have affected food security, and believes growing indoors eliminates those factors. Without using pesticides or herbicides and using significantly less water, he grows lettuce and basil in the restaurant that appears in nearly every dish.

“We think St. Louis is a great place to showcase hydroponics, being at the fore front of agriculture for hundreds of years,” he said.

Featuring fresh greens and family recipes, Red Oak serves breakfast, lunch and made-from-scratch bakery items daily, with a late night menu available on the weekends. The menu includes a Midwestern Corn Belt Salad with corn and black bean salsa, avocado cream, pickled red onion and a Southwestern ranch dressing, a breakfast biscuit sandwich, and the Home-Style Sandwich featuring a meatloaf recipe passed down through generations.

The 800-square-foot establishment that formerly housed A2 Cafe now displays antiques from Schulze’s great-grandparents’ barn and flourishing hydroponic gardens. Schulze said he wanted the atmosphere to showcase farming from 1880s and the future of farming, all in one space.

Red Oak seats 49 currently, although Schulze said once he receives a sidewalk permit, 20 more seats will be available outside, and is currently open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Red Oak Eats ‘n Treats

Caitlin Lally is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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