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Oct 22, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘5 Star Burgers’

Five Star Burgers closes Kirkwood location

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

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The 5 Star Burgers location in Kirkwood at 312 S. Kirkwood Road has closed. As reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the restaurant served its last burger on Thursday, Sept. 28. The 5 Star locations in Clayton and Creve Coeur remain open.

According to owner Stephen Gontram, upcoming scheduled roadwork on Kirkwood Road and a new double drive-thru at a nearby Starbucks location helped him make the decision to close.

“(Starbucks) does a lot of business, and they create a lot of traffic. I was really concerned that the combination of construction project plus the long-term congestion on Kirkwood Road was really going to hurt business,” he said. “We had a good four years and did good business, but sometimes you see the writing on the wall. It’s kind of a side step for us. I wasn’t happy to have to do it, but I felt like I had to do it.”

Gontram said he’s sold the building and is in the process of putting the equipment in storage. Though he’s not actively seeking out a new 5 Star location, Gontram said ultimately, he’d like to do a project in St. Louis city.

“I’m a city kid at heart, and I’d love to be able to put something in the city,” he said.  “And I don’t even know if it’d be a 5 Star Burgers. It might be something else.”

 

Editor’s Note: This article originally stated in the incorrect location of Starbucks. It was updated at 4:15 p.m. Oct. 4 to correct this information. 

Matt Sorrell is a staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
5 Star Burgers to open third Missouri location in Creve Coeur

• A look at Steve Gontram’s 5 Star Burgers, opening today

The Scoop: Grub Go delivery service appears to be closed

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

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From all appearances, it looks like local restaurant delivery service Grub Go is no longer doing business.

Layla owner Jason Sparks said he found out Friday, Jan. 13, when Grubhub, the online platform Grub Go uses to process orders, contacted him about an overdue meal delivery. Sparks said he contacted the Grub Go office and couldn’t get through. He then called his representative at Grub Go, who said the company was no longer in business.

Sparks said Grub Go still owes him approximately $2,200. “We’re talking a lot of money here,” he said.

Grub Go owner Peter Wheeler did not respond to repeated requests for comment or to confirm the closure. No closure information was available on the company’s social media or website, but all restaurants have been removed from the website.

Taco Circus manager James Lopez said the South City restaurant stopped using Grub Go about two months ago, and he still hasn’t received the remaining money Grub Go owes them.

“We haven’t heard anything from them, he said. “It’s a sad thing for a company to go out of business, but to go out like that is even more disappointing.”

5 Star Burgers owner Stephen Gontram said via text message that Grub Go still owes him for several weeks of deliveries during the holiday season. In his message, Gontram said he’s reviewing his agreement with Grub Go to see what recourse he may have, and he urged restaurants to use caution when using future-pay delivery services.

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

Monday, December 21st, 2015

From a seafood staple that’s expanding to Illinois to a recipe for a holiday classic, here’s everything that went down in the St. Louis food scene last week, in case you missed it…

 

 

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1. 5 Star Burgers is set to open a third Missouri location at 11621 Olive Blvd., in Creve Coeur as early as March 2016.

2. Sheesh Restaurant, at 3226 S. Grand Blvd., opened doors Dec. 3 serving up Turkish cuisine on South Grand.

 

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3. Illinois oyster lovers won’t have to cross the Mississippi River to get their bivalve fix once the Grafton Oyster Bar opens in mid to late February.

4. After seven years, owner Zoe Robinson handed over the keys to Bobo Noodle House, at 278 Skinker Blvd., near Washington University.

 

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5. The Restaurant at The Cheshire will see one last New Year’s Eve service before closing doors for a physical and conceptual renovation. Doors will reopen in February.

6.  The ovens will cool at Brevan’s Patisserie on Saturday, Dec. 19 after nearly two years of serving cookies, cinnamon rolls and other confections in Edwardsville.

 

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7.  “Oh, bring us some figgy pudding/Oh, bring us some figgy pudding/Oh, bring us some figgy pudding/And a cup of good cheer!” Most everyone knows that verse from the classic carol “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” but few of us have actually eaten the heralded figgy pudding.

8. 7. After a four-and-a-half year run, Shell’s Coastal Cuisine parked for good after lunch service Friday, Dec. 18 at Wells Fargo downtown.

 

 

The Scoop: 5 Star Burgers to open third Missouri location in Creve Coeur

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

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5 Star Burgers is set to open a third Missouri location at 11621 Olive Blvd., in Creve Coeur as early as March 2016. As reported by Feast, owner Steve Gontram said new location will serve the same fan favorites as the Kirkwood and Clayton locations.

The 2,750-square-foot space will be a comparable size and design as the other locations, seating approximately 90 people with another 36 on the patio. Gontram said Creve Coeur was the right choice for their expansion because it was a similar location as their two previous restaurants. “Opening a restaurant is something I really love to do,” he said. “I love the energy and the stress. It’s never easy, but at this point, we’ve learned a lot from the other two locations.”

Although no other expansion plans have been officially announced, Gontram said he is entertaining the idea of opening additional St. Louis locations, as well as reaching beyond the 314 into other  markets. Gontram’s father originated the 5 Star Burger concept it New Mexico, where there are four locations.

 

 

Happy Hour Like a Boss – Part 1

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

When the whistle blows at 5 p.m., there’s nothing like a strong drink to wash away the pains of the workday. You can find happy hours at any neighborhood bar and at watering holes near office buildings and factories. All of them will settle your fix for a cheap drink just fine, but a few get high marks – whether for the top-shelf drink selection, awesome food options or the duration of the deal. Our July issue features 22 places to unwind after work, whatever your reason for grabbing a seat at the bar.

 

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{From left, De La Louisiane, mint julep and gin fizz at Taste}

 

For the cocktailian: Taste
Happy hour: Sun. and Mon. – 5 p.m. to 12:15 a.m., Tue. to Fri.  – 5 to 7 p.m.

If you’re a bit like Professor Snape regarding the nuances of your cocktails (he taught potions, people) but don’t have gaelleons to spend on well-crafted drinks, steer yourself to Taste for happy hour. Taste discounts its entire selection of classic cocktails ($6) while taking them to new, labor-intensive heights. With cocktails listed chronologically, one can travel through time, starting with the mint julep in 1790 and eventually ending in the 1980s with the cosmo. Try the De La Louisiane, a bourbon Manhattan with Benedictine that relies on bitters and absinthe for some kick or a perfectly executed sloe gin fizz, frothy and light. Best of all, anyone behind the bar is happy to talk tasting notes and mixing techniques with an eager early-evening drinker.  – M.P.

 

For the beer lover: Three Kings Public House
Happy hour: Mon. to Fri. – 4 to 6 p.m

In a happy-hour world of discounted domestics and longneck buckets, Three Kings Public House offers respite for the weary craft beer nerd. All draft beer is half price during happy hour. Sidle up to the bar and order from one of the 23 rotating drafts perfect for any beer lover’s palate. You could go light and sessionable with something like an easy-drinking Schlafly Hefeweizen or double-down on a bad day with a heavy hitter like a 9.5 percent Double Jack IPA from Firestone Walker. Dig into eight pub grub apps ($5) while you imbibe; we paired our brew with spicy chicken toasted ravioli, which adds a Sriracha kick to an STL classic.  – C.K.

 

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{Hand-rolled gnocchi at YaYa’s Euro Bistro}

 

For the hungry foodie: YaYa’s Euro Bistro
Happy hour: Mon. to Fri. – 4 to 6:30 p.m

Really good, varied food is rare at happy hour. At YaYa’s Euro Bistro, the experience is a prelude to dinner – the service is pleasantly attentive, and the menu is solid from smoked trout to beef carpaccio to mussels. Grab a well cocktail ($3) or glass of wine ($5) and turn your attention to the real deal is easy: Buy one app, get a second app of equal or lesser value for free. Try the hand-rolled gnocchi ($10), pillowy and comforting, served in a gorgonzola cream sauce with roasted chicken, sauteed spinach and spiced walnuts. Next, go for the shrimp a la plancha ($15). Seared shrimp arrive still sizzling on a cast-iron skillet with garlic, a glug of sherry and red chile butter. To top it off, your server will hit this steaming plate with a squeeze of fresh lemon tableside. Now that’s what we call a strong finish.  – M.N.

 

For the broke and unemployed: 5 Star Burgers
Happy hour: Daily – 4 to 6 p.m.

Get a lot for a little at 5 Star Burgers. You will leave feeling full and so will your wallet. Take a seat anywhere and start with a glass of pinot noir; all four house wines ($3.50) are discounted during this window, and a pint of local craft on draft is half price ($2.50). Sliders ($1.50 – insert bugged-out emoji eyes here) are the food to order. We recommend mixing it up with a trio of sliders: the veggie burger with roasted red pepper mayonnaise, the Little 5 Star and the fried chicken slider. And remember to order a basket of fried cheese curds ($2). These little cheese grenades add a burst of salty richness to go with your vino, and if you’re looking to upgrade your slider, pop one on for the perfect bite. Wine, three sliders and a side add up to ten bucks. Time to ask your bartender for another round – you can afford it.  – M.N.

-Taste photo by Emily Suzanne, YaYa’s photo by Elizabeth Maxson

Inside the Server’s Stomach: June 2015

Monday, June 8th, 2015

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{Sanctuaria’s Wicked Good Shrimp}

 

Ever wonder what servers order for themselves? Here’s the insider intel on what to eat at St. Louis restaurants right now. 

“The Wicked Good Shrimp. Tiger prawns are sauteed in spices and served with bread for dipping. People come specifically for that dish.”  Skylar Finan, Sanctuaria

“Chicken tikka masala is a dish of good-sized roasted pieces of chicken in a creamy, bright orange tomato sauce with lots of flavor. It’s one of my all-time favorite meals.” Sarabjeet Jaswal, Rasoi

“Definitively the Jungle Love Nachos. It features house-smoked barbecued pork, seasoned ground beef, spicy cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and jalapenos and is served with sour cream and house-made salsa. When I first started working here, I had it three times a week. There’s a lot of love in those nachos.” Jen Zoyles, Three Monkeys

“I love a slab of ribs. They are smoked slow, tender. The spices are perfect. They are fall-off-the-bone good.”  Dakota Diamond, PM BBQ

“Our Blue Ribbon Burger is an amazing combination of port-braised onions, bacon and Gorgonzola. It’s the best a burger can get.”  Kelly Filla, 5 Star Burgers

“Our Brussels sprouts salad is my current addiction. Tender roasted Brussels sprouts, strips of bacon and crumbs of creamy goat cheese are tossed in burnt honey vinaigrette. The flavor combination turns lifelong Brussels sprouts haters into enthusiasts.” Megan Ehrhart, HandleBar

“Our house-made lamb sausage is food fit for the foodie. It’s served over hearty white beans with tender sauteed spinach and lamb jus. Bread-and-butter pickles add a touch of sweetness.”  Jamie Moody, Bixby’s

“The BrieLT sandwich with tomato marmalade and Nueske bacon from Wisconsin is so, so good.” Sam Kichline, Cafe Osage

“The Drunken Noodle with beef. It’s filling, and the shrimp sauce has a perfect little spicy kick to it. I love the crunch of the fresh vegetables and the rich egg – it all just works.” Andy Jaeger, Wang Gang Asian Eats

“The Goat. It’s a vegetarian sandwich with a goat cheese spread topped with greens, cucumbers and apricot chutney and served on toasted wheat. It’s simply the best.”  Ethan DeGhelder, The Mud House

“The shrimp Alfredo pasta. The fettuccini noodles are handmade in-house. The shrimp Alfredo sauce is fabulously creamy and perfect for dipping with garlic bread.”  Melissa Schlecht, J. Fires’ Market Bistro

“All shift long I dream about the steak sandwich with fries. Gotta have that spicy mayo for those fries, too. “ Katie Seitz, West End Grill and Pub

Budget Crunch: 10 delicious dishes and sweet deals to try now

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

It’s time for Budget Crunch, wherein intrepid reporter Byron Kerman offers 10 tips on delicious menu items and sweet deals happening now. Got $10 and some change? Grab a friend and sample, split and stuff yourselves with these steals.

 

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1. The Restaurant at The Cheshire is a classy joint, and the new Five-Under-$10 Lunch Specials make it classy and Budget Crunch-friendly. Previous dishes have included andouille and smoked chicken risotto ($10), a duck confit frittata with pickled red onion ($9), smoked chicken with sweet-potato coconut curry and sticky rice ($10), a Reuben made with the Cheshire’s own Medart’s Sauce ($8.50), and rigatoni with roasted squash and winter greens ($9). Keep an eye on the Facebook page; the special changes daily.

 

2. Why is there a portable pancake griddle next to the register at Nadoz Bakery + Café in the Boulevard shopping area? Why, so they can serve warm cookies, of course. You can order a Mountain Cookie, made with oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips, coconut and shaved almond, or that old standby chocolate-chip, warm and ready to be devoured. Cookies are $1.75 each.

 

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3. All the menu items at both locations of Steve’s Hot Dogs have fun names, and that includes the new mac-n-cheese bowl lineup. A layer of that childhood staple is covered with pepperjack cheese, grilled bell peppers, bacon and honey-chipotle sauce in the Kevin Bacon Jamaican Bowl. The Mind Trick Bowl includes jalapeno slices, chipotle-flavored onions and roasted-habanero sauce, and the MacGyver Bowl swaps elbows for rotini and douses them with Alfredo sauce, Parmesan, cheddar, bacon and fried onions ($5.25 to $7.25).

 

4. We know this much to be true: Things go better with bacon. To wit, we present the ingenious $9 Championship Rings at Alumni Saint Louis. Onions slices are wrapped in bacon, beer battered and fried into onion-bacon goodness. Dip them into Alumni’s spicy house-made 314 Ketchup and eat like a champ.

 

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5. Attention, paczki fans: the Polish jelly doughnuts traditionally served just before Lent are available now through Fat Tuesday at both locations of Old Town Donuts. (That would be Cottleville and the 24/7 Florissant locations.) They’re filled with a choice of apple, raspberry, lemon, custard or cream and run around $1.50 each.

 

6. This week’s special Mardi Gras menu at The Dam includes chicken gumbo, Cajun-seasoned fries with spicy remoulade or Cajun aioli, Cajun sausage with grilled peppers and onions, and an andouille sausage burger, all for less than $10 each and available Feb. 10 to 17. On Saturday, Feb. 14 The Dam has a one-day Mardi Gras menu that calls for an antacid or two. Consider the Louisiana meat pie ($8), the andouille breakfast burrito ($7) or the King Cake Burger, a double cheeseburger served between two slices of King Cake ($8).

 

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7. What can you add to your bottomless chili bowl on Chilly Tuesdays at the Boathouse in Forest Park? Smoked Gouda, cheddar, Cheetos, Bugles, shoestring potato chips, pickled jalapenos, chives, tomatoes, red onions, Corn Nuts, salsa, various hot sauces, sour cream, oyster crackers, tortilla strips… The list goes on. Help yourself to the $10 buffet on Tuesdays, when you can also order $1 to $2 extras like sliders, hot dogs, macaroni, fries, baked potatoes or grilled cheese sandwiches. Finish it all off with $2 s’mores around the fire pit for dessert.

 

8. The new Sunday brunch at HotPot Smoothie Shop is geared toward two types of people: those who eat Paleo and gluten-free and those who admire their dietary pursuits but eat more conventionally. HotPot serves gluten-free biscuits and gravy made with Todd Geisert Farms pork sausage. Other items include sweet and spicy beef hash, Paleo pancakes, the Famous Three-Egg Fold-in, traditional French toast, and bacon, eggs and potatoes with onions. Each brunch menu item is $10.

 

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9. Good grief! The February BOTM (Burger Of The Month) at 5 Star Burgers is not for the faint of heart. The $11 Hangtown Fry Burger, a riff on the infamous Hangtown fry omelet, is a Black Angus burger topped with fried oysters, scrambled egg, bacon and a Sriracha-based sauce.

 

10. At Piccione Pastry, happy hour means discounted coffee drinks. Weekdays from 2 to 4 p.m., drip coffee, espresso, cappuccinos, lattes, mochas, tea and more are all half-off, dropping to $1 to $2. We heartily endorse the $3.25 rum baba pastry for dipping.

 

Budget Crunch: 10 delicious dishes and sweet deals to try right now

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

It’s time for 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.

 

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1. Leftovers get some serious love with the Holiday Mostarda for around $12 a pound at Salume Beddu. With cranberries, Bosc pears, currants, fresh ginger, white wine and mustard seeds, this relish makes the average cranberry sauce crawl back in the can. Slather some on a turkey sandwich (maybe with a little stuffing, even), and you’ll become a convert.

2. About 10 steps from Kakao in Clayton, a collaboration with Pastaria has yielded a winner: maple-roasted parsnip gelato with crumbled Kakao Big Squeal Bacon Brittle mixed in is a wonder. The crunchy delight of the brittle and the strong bacon flavor in the creamy gelato make for a sweet-savory triumph. Get a double scoop for $4.

3. The newly opened Avenue Restaurant has burst from the blocks with a nighttime happy hour that offers classy eats for small bucks. The new Monday Industry Night features drink specials and half-off the items from the bar menu from 9 to 11 p.m. Check out the half-pound burger with cheese on a brioche bun ($7), grilled ham and Swiss with grain mustard on Cuban bread ($4.50), macaroni-and-cheese ($5), French onion soup gratinee ($3 to $4), Parmesan biscuits ($1.50) or a spinach salad with blue cheese and walnuts ($4.50).

 

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4. The Q-icide sandwich at Vernon’s BBQ & Catering has “one of every meat.” That’s pulled pork, brisket, smoked turkey breast, ham, corned beef, sausage and smoked bologna, all piled to a vertiginous, Dagwood, fork-and-knife-height on the bun. The Friday special weighs more than a pound and goes for $12.

5. 5 Star Burgers has officially moved beyond its namesake menu item and added a whole new tubular section: hot dogs. Wenneman’s beef-pork blend hot dogs are split, grilled, bedded in brioche buns and topped three ways. The 5 Star Dog is simplified a Chicago style with house-made sweet relish, diced red onion and tomato ($6). The Ballpark Dog reposes beneath sauerkraut, griddled onions and bacon ($6.50). The Triple Dog Dare Ya, inspired by the restaurant’s Southwestern Dad’s Green Chile Cheeseburger, is a dog under Angus beef chili, cheddar cheese and crispy New Mexico Hatch chile peppers ($7).

6. The Whitebox Coffee Break is a new, afternoon pastry happy hour at Whitebox Eatery. Pastries, muffins, scones, cookies and sometimes even those simply ass-kicking Vincent Van Doughnuts are all half-off, dropping to $1.50 to $2 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Add a medium cup of Blueprint’s drip coffee for $1.25 with your selected pastry at the cafe or the sweet little Whitebox kiosk in the building next door.

 

 

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7. Snack cakes referencing a certain childhood treat are waiting at Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop. “Twinkles” (ahem) are sticks of vanilla sponge cake filled with light vanilla fluff. They’re available on some weekends (call ahead) and for special orders at $2 each.

8. Should you find yourself at the River City Casino at 7 a.m. (and you know who you are), consider gambling on the lobster frittata. Available at the Casino’s Lewy Nine’s Café, the generous breakfast offers a big ol’ mound of lobster meat for a friendly price ($12). The dish consists of a three-egg lobster fritatta topped with a warm lobster salad with a touch of garlic and served with toast on the side.

9. Been to Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream lately? The Webster Groves scoopers have holiday flavors like eggnog, peppermint and a sugar-plum sorbet. Speaking of sugar plums, Serendipity’s new Nutcracker on Ice Cream flavor features coffee ice cream with pistachios, almonds and pecans and a fudge ribbon. The nutty creation gets its name in honor of the Metro Edge Figure Skating Club’s upcoming performance of The Nutcracker on Ice. Grab a single scoop for $3 in a cone or bowl; quarts are also available for $7 to $9.

10. The $2 Chocolate Chewy Goodness cookie, baked by Sarah’s Cake Shop, is not like other cookies. Melted marshmallow and butter caramelize around its edges for an ambrosial chewiness. Pick it up at United Provisions in The Loop.

 

Budget Crunch: 10 delicious dishes and sweet deals to try right now

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

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.

 

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1. The mad scientists at 5 Star Burgers give you The Potsticker ($9.50), a melding of Vietnamese and American comfort foods. A Geisert Farms pork patty, Vietnamese slaw and peanut-hoisin sauce are sandwiched together between a bun is a returning favorite for 5 Star BOTM (Burger of the Month) fans. It’s available through June at the Clayton and Kirkwood locations.

2. Mike Shannon turns 75 in 2014, and fans of the Cards broadcaster and his eateries can celebrate during the Cardinals season. Busch on draft is just 75 cents a pint  on Thursday nights at Mike Shannon’s Grill in Edwardsville and two hours before first pitch at every home opener at The Outfield downtown.  It’s a nod to one of Shannon’s famous catchphrases about the pleasures of “ice-cold frosty Busch.”

3. You can bring your kids to all manner of story times around town, but we particularly dig the one with the free sweet stuff. At all three area locations of The Cup, Cupcake Story Time includes a cupcake-themed story read to the kiddos, complimentary Kaldi’s coffee for the parents, and a “buttercup,” a one-ounce cup of frosting for the little ones. This month’s Cupcake Story Times take place June 18 at 10 a.m. in Chesterfield, June 24 at 10 a.m. in Edwardsville and June 24 at 10:30 a.m. in the Central West End location.

 

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4. Complimentary samples of Belgian beer are part of the deal at a special free book signing this month at Left Bank Books. Author Joe Stange signs the seventh edition of “Good Beer Guide Belgium” at 6 p.m. June 20. The book is a complete guide to of Belgian beer, with information on breweries, beers and bars from around the country, with advice on traveling, where to stay, what to eat and what to bring home. The beer tasting is courtesy of the just-opened Craft Beer Cellar in Clayton.

5. Mission Taco’s new Summer Cocktail Menu is sweet, fruity, fresh and adventurous. Consider the Raspberry Caipirinha, made with cachaca (distilled sugar cane), raspberry agua fresca, lime and simple syrup ($7). The La Flor de Borracha (“the flower of the drunkard”) is mixed up with London dry gin, hibiscus agua fresca, Big O ginger liqueur and lemon juice ($7). The Delmar Boulevardier joins bourbon, Aperol, sweet vermouth and bitters ($8). Look for these boozy refreshers and 10 more intriguing elixirs on the new drink menu.

 

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6. The ink has barely dried on the inaugural Breakfast Menu for the recently relocated The Shack, and everything looks so fun. The Three Little Pigs omelet is filled with ham, bacon, pork belly, onions and bell peppers, smothered in “Shack cheese,” and served with hashbrowns and an English muffin ($8.50). The Shack’s Big Crunch is Texas french toast encrusted with Corn Flakes ($8). The New Yorker Skillet features smoked pastrami, Swiss cheese and spicy mustard over hashbrowns, topped with eggs ($8.50). The drink menu includes hangover stoppers like the Meaty Mary, a bloody mary made with cucumber vodka, bacon, a cheese cube, house seasonings on the rim, and a beef jerky straw ($9). Breakfast is served daily 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.

7. The new Free Lunch @ SLCL program works with Operation Food Search to give complimentary lunches to kids ages 2 to 18 at three St. Louis County Library branches. Children can enjoy nutritious lunches and fun activities at the Florissant Valley, Rock Road and Weber Road Branches, weekdays from noon to 1 p.m. through Aug. 15. There’s no need to call ahead; just show up.

 

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8. It’s not often that Ted Drewes introduces a new concrete flavor, and frankly, any excuse to dump dessert into our custard-hole works for us. The newest excuse is Brennan’s Blend, an “Abaco mocha” and hazelnut concrete named after KMOX radio host Charlie Brennan. Abaco mocha is Drewes’ coffee-rum flavor, and when mixed with hazelnut and finished with a drizzle of caramel, it’s a winner. Depending on the size, it runs $3.40 to $6.20.

9. The new lineup of Foot-Long Hot Dogs at Wentzville’s Tattooed Dog is formidable. The all-beef dogs come in varieties like the Big Kahuna Dog, with teriyaki mustard, grilled pineapple and fresh cilantro; the Bacon Bleu Dog, with bacon, blue cheese crumbles, roasted apple and spicy honey mustard; and the eponymous Tattooed Dog, with chili, onion, shredded cheese, jalapeno and “twisted” (read “spicy”) sour cream (All foot-long dogs are $10.75.).

10. It’s tart, it’s refreshing, and we want to marry it. It’s Meyer Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream, available this Wednesday at Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream in Webster Groves. Ice cream flavors, like mild summer nights, are fleeting. Get this one while you can for $3 a scoop.

 

 

Budget Crunch: 10 delicious dishes and sweet deals to try right now

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

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.

 

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1. Condiment lovers eat at Dirty Dogz just to sample from the amazing selection of more than 200 mustards, hot sauces and more at each location (which just happens to be inside three local Home Depots). Wanna try wasabi mustard, chili dog-flavored mustard, lime-flavored Chohula hot sauce or almost anything else? They’re all free with purchase, so put ‘em on your dog, kielbasa, hot link, brat, etc. Dirty Harry would be appalled, but they even have ketchup.

2. Let the civilized life begin with Lavender Lemonade, available now at The Mud House. Locally grown lavender becomes house-made lavender simple syrup, which is then mixed into house-made lemonade. Served in a mason jar and garnished with a lemon wedge, it’s refreshment incarnate at $2.75 a glass.

 

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3. When the students at the International Culinary School at the Art Institute of St. Louis hand you the bill for your lunch at Creativ Eats Restaurant, you may start laughing. After all, a sweet three-course prix fixe meal for $9 is a sleeper of a deal. The recently announced Florida-Caribbean fusion menu features your choice of scallop and shrimp ceviche or black bean and sweet potato soup; an entree of pulled jerk chicken, Cuban skirt steak, grouper en papillote or a curried vegetable empanada; and a dessert of tres leches sorbet with pineapple or coconut gelatin scallops with passion fruit and boysenberry sauces and topped with “Key lime caviar.” The student-operated restaurant, located in St. Charles, takes reservations for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; call 636.688.3055.

4. The new spring menu at The Fountain on Locust includes the yummy Fig and Bacon Pie ($8) a flatbread topped with house-made fig spread, bacon, apple slices and gorgonzola cheese. Yes, please.

 

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5. Did you know Milagro Modern Mexican rocks a tasty, budget-friendly Mexican Sunday Brunch? Menu choices include a Baja omelet with lump crabmeat, spinach, avocado and panela cheese, topped with chipotle hollandaise ($10); cinnamon-raisin bread French toast stuffed with sweetened, rum-soaked plantains ($8); and churros y chocolate, cinnamon-sugar doughnuts served with Mexican chocolate dipping sauce ($5).

6. You may not need more than one drink at The Restaurant at The Cheshire’s happy hour, which starts at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. That’s when their absinthe-based cocktails like the Hemingway (Saint George Absinthe, crème de violet liqueur, sparkling wine and lavender bitters) or a Sazerac with an absinthe wash are $6 each. Pair that potent concoction with $5 food items like Cheshire fish and chips, Cheshire cheeseburger (also with fries), or steamed mussels. Then again, it does go until 6:30 p.m., so maybe you have time to peruse that cocktail list again.

 

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7. It might not be a secret for much longer, but Capitalist Pig has just debuted a monthly Off the Menu Secret Lunch Club. If 10 or more people RSVP for the lunch, chef-owner Ron Buechele makes it happen. The lunch, tentatively scheduled for noon Thurs., May 29, will feature off-menu items like smoked pork belly buns (a riff on a David Chang recipe) made from house-made steamed bao buns and slow-smoked, crispy pork belly with a topping of pickled daikon, carrot and jalapeno.  Did I mention it’s a steal at $10? Email ron@madart.com for reservations.

8. Vinyl Side Monday is a fun promotion at the The Royale whereby whoever brings in a record for the DJ to spin after 10 p.m. on Mondays gets a free half-pint of any beer on draft. Current draft selections include Goose Island Illinois Imperial IPA, Civil Life English-Style Pale Ale, and Lagunitas Under Investigation Shut-Down Ale.

 

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9. Trying one of just about everything in a single go is totally do-able at the famous 5 Star Burgers Happy Hour. From 4 to 6 p.m. daily, diners pay just $1.50 for mini-burgers, fried chicken sandwiches, mini turkey burgers and veggie-burger sliders. Fries and sweet-potato fries are $1.25 and $1.50, respectively, and fried pickles, onion rings and crispy cheese curds are just $2. Draft beers are half-price, and house wines are $3.50.

10. The Starr Special Milkshake ($4.50) at MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse is not for children; it’s for adults who want all the energy children have. Espresso grounds and chocolate bits are mixed into the shake for a caffeine-and-sugar jolt that can speed the earth on its axis. One MoKaBe’s barista said the consistency of the espresso and chocolate is that of crumbled Oreos. I say the power rush is that of a newly crowned dictator.

 

 

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