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Jul 22, 2017
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Extra Sauce Recipe: Maqluba (Upside Down Lamb and Rice)

July 12th, 2017



Last month, the Jewish Community Relations Council invited their Muslim neighbors to an interfaith iftar dinner at the St. Louis Jewish Community Center. While the diners may have different beliefs, everyone had their fill of fried dough, samosas and tabbouleh  – all kosher and made by Akram Ali-Hassan, a Palestinian Muslim who has worked for Kohn’s Kosher Meat & Deli Restaurant for 20 years. Here, he shares his family recipe for maqluba, a lamb and rice dish that’s inverted before serving.


Maqluba (Upside Down)
Courtesy of Akram Ali-Hassan
8 to 10 servings

2 lbs. eggplant
2 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1½ pounds lamb stew meat, bone-in or boneless
1 yellow onion, chopped
6 cups water
2 cups olive oil, for frying
2 large beefsteak tomatoes, chopped
3 cups uncooked white rice
1 Tbsp. allspice

• Peel the eggplant and cut into 1-inch slices. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside.
• In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute the onion and lamb and saute until the meat is browned on all sides, 5 to 10 minutes.
• Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 25 minutes.
• Drain the liquid into another large pot and set aside. Leave the meat in the bottom of the pot and set aside.
• Meanwhile, drizzle a fry pan with a layer of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry the eggplant until golden-brown on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Place the eggplant on top of the meat in stockpot, then add the tomatoes and rice. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, adding more oil as needed.
• Add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the allspice to broth, then slowly pour it over the rice. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium. Cover and simmer 20 minutes until the rice has absorbed all the water. Remove from heat.
• Remove the lid. Place a large serving dish over the pot and carefully invert and set the serving dish on the counter. Let rest 5 minutes, then remove the pot and serve.

Photo by Glenn Reigelman for the Jewish Community Relations Council 

Shannon Cothran is a contributing writer for Sauce Magazine. 

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Extra Sauce: Area Muslim and Jewish communities gather at iftar

July 11th, 2017



The sweating water cups on each table taunted every Muslim in the room. It was Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims during which they fast through daylight hours and focus on doing good works. They hadn’t had a sip of water since sunrise, and it was 8:27 p.m., three minutes away from sunset.

Newlyweds Mariam Hashimi and Fardin Mohammadi kept their eyes on each other instead of their water glasses. “It’s a reflex to drink a glass of water that’s in front of you,” Hashimi said. “But you get used to catching yourself just before you grab the cup.”

The St. Louis Jewish Community Center isn’t the first place that springs to mind when picturing an iftar, the meal Muslims eat to break the fast. But that night, the Jewish Community Relations Council had invited their Muslim neighbors to the JCC for an interfaith iftar dinner.

“There are a lot of Jews and Muslims in the world, and what you hear about is strife. We have to remember that’s not everybody,” said Rabbi Hyim Shafner. “This meal is an opportunity to appreciate our commonality. We have so much in common! And no matter how holy we are, we all eat.”

Imam Dr. Helal Ekramuddin began the prayer, during which Hashimi and Mohammadi grabbed two dates and drained their waters. Paul Kravitz, a Jewish man seated next to them, followed their lead. After the prayer, Hashimi and Kravitz fell into conversation about how fasting is a part of most religions.




While the diners may have different beliefs, everyone had their fill of fried dough, samosas, tabbouleh and maqluba (get the recipe here) – all kosher and made by Akram Ali-Hassan, a Palestinian Muslim who has worked for Kohn’s Kosher Meat & Deli Restaurant for 20 years.

“Maqluba is upside-down lamb and rice, the most traditional dish in kitchens in Palestine,” he said. “My father brought this recipe with him when he and his family became refugees of Palestine in 1948.”

These two cultures united in spite of – or maybe because of – their sometimes tangled, volatile history. “Seeing the human face of each other makes it difficult for bigots to bring divisions and demonize ‘the other,’” said Dr. Bahar Bastani, a professor at Saint Louis University.




Hashimi and Kravitz passed plates of nut-and-honey filled fried dough called ataif as Mohammadi joked about having to work the grill in his family’s restaurant while fasting during Ramadan. Around the room, Muslims and Jews shared dessert, stories and old family recipes.

“People of different Abrahamic faiths have much more in common than differences,” said Ghazala Hayat, public relations committee chair of the Islamic Foundation of St. Louis. “The basics of celebrations are the same: gratitude, family and friends. Sharing bread makes us part of the same community.”

Photos by Glenn Reigelman for the Jewish Community Relations Council 

Shannon Cothran is a contributing writer for Sauce Magazine. 

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Editor’s Note: This piece originally said Imam Asif Umar led the prayer. Also, a paraphrase was incorrectly attributed to Bahar Bastani. It was updated at 3:15 p.m. to correct these errors. 


First Look: Clementine’s Creamery in Clayton

July 10th, 2017



Location number two of Clementine’s Naughty & Nice Creamery is now open for business at 730 DeMun Ave., in Clayton.

Picture a combo of a classic European cafe and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor, and you’ll have the vibe of the new spot. Outdoor seating, restored copper trim around the front windows and window art from local artist Phil Jarvis set the scene outside. Inside, details like charcoal and white Portuguese floor tile, an antique sideboard and a wall full of copper molds create an atmosphere both rustic and urbane.

Clementine’s has 24 flavors of ice cream on hand – eight “naughty” (with booze) and 16 “nice” (sans alcohol), which can be had in cups, by the pint or ensconced in a variety of cones, including house-made waffle cones and flavored cones from The Konery in Brooklyn, New York.

Floats are available, too, and owner Tamara Keefe said shakes will also be a thing in the next week or so. The location is also offering macaroons from Like Home/Comme A La Maison.

Hours for the new location are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Heres’s a first look at Clayton’s newest ice cream shop:


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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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Baked: Shrimp ‘Boil’

July 10th, 2017



My husband loves a good seafood boil, but since we don’t live near a coast, we don’t get to have them too often. This summer, I’m making my own version, but without melting over a propane-fired outdoor steamer. The taste of this baked “boil” sends me to a Baltimore harbor, getting my hands dirty as I dive into seafood. It’s simple to put together and goes well with a tasty beer on a hot day.


Baked Shrimp ‘Boil’
Adapted from a Land O Lakes recipe
2 to 4 servings

½ lb. Baby Dutch or new potatoes, quartered
2 ears corn, cut into thirds
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted
1 to 2 Tbsp. Old Bay seasoning
2 tsp. chile-lime seasoning
2 tsp. garlic powder
½ lb. medium tail-on shrimp, deveined
6 oz. andouille sausage, sliced
Lemon wedges for serving

• Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a very large baking sheet with parchment paper.
• Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the potatoes and parboil 5 minutes, then add the corn. Boil together 5 minutes until the potatoes can be pierced with a fork but still firm. Drain well and set aside to cool.
• In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the butter, Old Bay, chile-lime seasoning and garlic powder. Add the shrimp and sausage and toss, then add the parboiled potatoes and corn into the mixture and toss until evenly coated.
• Pour the contents of the bowl onto the baking sheet, and drizzle with any remaining butter. Bake 12 to 15 minutes until the shrimp is opaque.
• Serve immediately with lemon wedges.

Amrita Song is the owner and baker at Mila Sweets and blogs at Chai & Dumplings. 

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The Scoop: Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill food truck brings island fare to St. Louis

July 7th, 2017


{ Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill owner Thomas Moore (second from left) launched his food truck in June. } 


Thomas “Buzz” Moore hopes to offer a Hawaiian escape in St. Louis with his new food truck, Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill. The food truck – painted with Hawaii’s clear blue skies, choice waves and sandy shores – opened in June and serves classic Hawaiian dishes.

Moore, a native St. Louisan, lived in Hawaii for five years, as well as California and Okinawa, Japan. When he moved back to his hometown several years ago, he was disappointed in the city’s lack of Hawaiian food. After decades of traveling back to the island state to visit family and cooking Hawaiian fare for family and friends, he decided to launch his first culinary venture showcasing the cuisine and its blend of international influences from China and Japan to the Philippines  and Hawaii’s native islanders. “It’s not just pineapple,” Moore said. “It’s food from everywhere.”

Moore said he hopes to bring a spirit of aloha to the Midwest, which he describes as a way of life that’s about “chilling and being friendly and open to one another.”

The truck rotates between St. Louis City and County and features Hawaiian plate lunches, a popular meal that features two scoops of rice, Hawaiian macaroni salad and a protein like chicken yakitori, kalbi ribs or kalua pork.

Other dishes include fish tacos, musubi (Spam and rice and a sweet egg pancake wrapped in nori) and poke, a raw fish salad that has gained popularity on the mainland in recent years. Look for sides like lomi lomi (a tomato and salmon salad) and lumpia.

Find Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill by following the truck on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Buzz’s Hawaiiian Grill 

Rachel Wilson is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Barnett on Washington to open public outdoor bar, The Bronson House

July 7th, 2017



A new watering hole is set to start pouring next week. The Bronson House will open for business Friday, July 14, at 3201 Washington Ave., adjacent to its sister event space, Barnett on Washington.

Local company Artisan Well Bar Services will manage the beverage program at the outdoor bar.

“We’re aiming for somewhere between fun and elegant,” said Artisan Well co-founder Noah Prince-Goldberg. “It’ll all be patio-themed. We want the drinks to coordinate with all of that. We’re trying to build as much of an experience as possible.”

He said the drinks list will include a lot of fresh fruit and wine-based cocktails, as well as communal-style drinks, like punches and sangrias.

Food-wise, Prince-Goldberg said initially there would be a limited menu of small plates available, though the menu is expected to expand in the near future.

The outdoor space, which boasts a fountain and plenty of greenery along with approximately 60 seats and additional standing room, will also host live music several days a week. Prince-Goldberg said during inclement weather, the party will move inside the Barnett space if there are no previous events booked.

In addition to those guests looking to hang out for extended patio imbibing sessions, Prince-Goldberg said he hoped The Bronson House would also attract Grand Center crowds before and after shows, as well as patrons leaving events at Barnett.

Photo courtesy of The Bronson House

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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Best of Brunch 2017

July 6th, 2017

Weekends are not for sad cereal bars and stale office coffee. Weekends are for lingering over sparkling mimosas, velvety hollandaise and syrup-soaked flapjacks. Weekends are for the greatest meal of the week.

In our quest for the area’s top brunches, we laid out some ground rules. Brunch is more than just a hodgepodge of your daily breakfast and lunch; it’s a unique menu or the addition of several specials that take it to the next level. And while there’s a time and a place for buffets, this isn’t it.

We drank dozens of bloody marys and broke countless yolks during the nearly 60 meals we ate to bring you St. Louis’ 23 very best brunches. Clear your schedule – you have weekend plans.



{ ricotta pancakes and cacio e pepe eggs at Sardella } 

1. Big Sky Cafe
47 S. Old Orchard Ave., Webster Groves
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: Farmer’s Breakfast, grilled asparagus with Ozark Forest mushrooms, biscuits and gravy

2. Boundary
7036 Clayton Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Must-try dishes: beignets, pancakes, smoked chicken crepe, bacon, egg and avocado sandwich

3. Brasserie by Niche
4580 Laclede Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: French breakfast, croque madame, Corpse Reviver

4. Charleville Brewing Co. & Tavern
2101 Chouteau Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: Chicken and waffle sliders, pastrami slinger

5. Cleveland-Heath
106 N. Main St., Edwardsville, Ill.
Brunch: Saturday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Must-try dishes: biscuits and gravy, chilaquiles, Spamwich

6. Copper Pig
4611 Macklind, St. Louis
Brunch: Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: French toast, chimichanga, Thai Scotch eggs, bacon-cream cheese rangoons, okonomiyaki



{ Pony Boy at DeMun Oyster Bar } 

7. DeMun Oyster Bar
740 DeMun Ave., Clayton
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Must-try dishes: breakfast hash, crabcake Benedict, Pony Boy

8. Eclipse Restaurant
6177 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Must-try dishes: shrimp and grits, avocado toast, bananas Foster French toast

9. Edibles & Essentials
5815 Hampton Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: bacon sandwich, quiche, biscuits



{ biscuits en papillote at Half & Half } 

10. Half & Half
8135 Maryland Ave., Clayton
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: pulled pork with salsa verde, crispy skinned trout, biscuits en papillote

11. Hiro Asian Kitchen
1405 Washington Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Must-try dishes: Hiro Slinger, glazed salmon rice bowl, matcha or charcoal waffle

12. Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria
9568 Manchester Road, Rock Hill
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: giant pistachio cinnamon roll, wood-oven eggs

13. Layla
4317 Manchester Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: Layla Benny, Sling Blade, banana bread French toast

14. Pastaria
7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: breakfast pizza, buttermilk farro waffle

15. Polite Society
1923 Park Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: French toast, pancakes, Farmer’s Breakfast, Benedict, steak and eggs

16. Reeds American Table
7322 Manchester Road, Maplewood
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: poached eggs, Italian beef sandwich



{ strata at Russell’s on Macklind } 

17. Russell’s on Macklind
5400 Murdoch Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Sunday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Must-try dishes: strata, maple-chile glazed fried chicken biscuits, ham and cheese croissant

18. Sardella
7734 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton
Brunch: Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: glazed doughnut, chicken and French toast, ricotta pancakes

19. Scarlett’s Wine Bar
4253 Laclede Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: brioche French toast, breakfast pizza, old-fashioned pancakes



{ biscuits and gravy at Seed Sprout Spoon } 

20. Seed Sprout Spoon
3137 Morganford Road, St. Louis
Brunch: Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: cheddar-herb biscuits, waffle, oyster mushrooms topped grits

21. The Tavern Kitchen & Bar
392 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis
Brunch: Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: stuffed biscuits and gravy, lemon ricotta doughnut



{ matcha pancakes at Vista Ramen } 

22. Vista Ramen
2609 Cherokee St., St. Louis
Brunch: Sunday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Must-try dishes: matcha pancakes, grits, okonomiyaki

23. Yaquis
2728 Cherokee St., St. Louis
Brunch: Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Must-try dishes: Big Gay Al, Saylor

The full version of this article ran in our July 2017 issue. 

Sardella, DeMun Oyster Bar, Russell’s, Seed Sprout Spoon, Vista Ramen photos by Carmen Troesser; Half & Half photo by Virginia Harold

The Scoop: Owner swaps KimCheese for Seoul Garden

July 5th, 2017


{ bimbimbap at Kimcheese } 

The Creve Coeur location of Asian fusion restaurant KimCheese closed on Friday, June 30, and is slated to reopen as the second location of owner Sean Moon’s other restaurant, Seoul Garden, on Friday, July 7.

Moon said he had been looking for a second Seoul Garden location for a while.

“The original Seoul Garden was at full capacity,” Moon said. “We were actually looking for a second location that wasn’t too far from the original location. Overall, the space is more a sit-down restaurant as opposed to fast-casual. We realized it would be much better to just switch to Seoul Garden.”

Not much was needed to make the switch, Moon said, and many of the upgrades, such as new tables and lighting, were done after hours over the previous month to avoid disrupting service. He said the menu would remain focused on Korean barbecue, along with other Korean dishes.

The KimCheese location in Chesterfield will remain open, and Moon said a KimCheese food truck is in the works as well.

“All we need is to get it wrapped and permitted,” Moon said. He hopes to be on the road in a month or so.

As Sauce reported last month, KimCheese has also signed on to be part of the upcoming food hall, The Eatery, at One Metropolitan Square downtown, which is scheduled to open this fall.

Photo courtesy of KimCheese

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Chihuahua’s to re-concept, relocate as Casa Juarez Mexican Town

July 5th, 2017


{ margarita at Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant }


Chihuahua’s Mexican Restaurant in Maryland Heights will soon close its doors – only to welcome a new venture.

Owner Alfredo Flores is branching out to launch a new concept, Casa Juárez Mexican Town. He said the new restaurant is slated to open second week of August at 12710 Dorsett Road, but Chihuahua’s will remain in business until the new restaurant is finished.

The new 11,000-square-foot space will feature an open kitchen, a counter-service street taco area for quick to-go orders and a fully stocked tequila bar with more than 500 varieties of the spirit.

Flores said guests can expect hourly tours to learn more about the process and history behind the liquor. “It’s actually like vodka for Russia,” Flores said.

Additionally, an onsite store will feature authentic Mexican art, ceramics and other memorabilia. Flores said anything seen in Casa Juárez – from the decor to the furniture – will be available for purchase.

Flores said walking into Casa Juárez will be similar to a walk through the streets of Mexico. “This is going to be a destination, not just a restaurant,” he said.

Photo courtesy of Chihuahua Mexican Restaurant

Caitlin Lally is an editorial intern at Sauce Magazine. 

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Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

July 2nd, 2017

From our new issue featuring the best of brunch to big changes for Baileys’ Chocolate Bar, here’s what went down last week in the STL dining scene, ICYMI.

1. Our July issue hit stands and we’re ready to brunch hard. Don’t wait – click here to read online now!

2. Things are heating up at the Mad Crab, a new seafood boil concept set to open July 17 at 8080 Olive Blvd., in University City.




3. A Lafayette Square favorite is being reimagined and a new concept introduced – all in the same space. Owner Dave Bailey announced he will pare down Baileys’ Chocolate Bar and reopen part of the space at 1915 Park Ave., as a new restaurant.

4. Ellisville’s first brewery is officially open. Brewer-owner Chris Greer opened Greer Brewing Co. at 16050 Manchester Road on June 24.




5. Two local favorites, 2nd Shift Brewing and Guerrilla Street Food, are teaming up for a one-two punch of food and drink. The popular Filipino food purveyors will run the kitchen at 2nd Shift’s brewery and tasting room at 601 Sublette Ave., starting Wednesday, July 5.

6. Got $10 and a friend? Then Budget Crunch has 10 tasty deals you must try now.


Don’t miss out! Follow Sauce on Facebook and Twitter to get The Scoop on all the area dining news first. 

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