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Oct 24, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘August 2013’

Month In Review: August 2013

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

As we get ready to reveal our latest issue, we take a look back at some of our favorite stories, recipes, dishes and drinks from August.

 

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Tacos broke out of their shells and took over STL; Sauce Facebook fans went nuts for this cassata cake; we learned three ways to take eggplant beyond eggplant Parm; we pulled up a seat at Alpha Brewing Company’s bar; vegan brownies made us feel good about our sweet tooth; an Asian-inspired summer slaw lightened up our picnics; potato chips snuck into oatmeal cookies; we turned tuna noodle casserole on its head with Richard Blais; YellowTree’s Justin Leszcz shared the weirdest thing he’s ever grown; Baked was inspired after judging a pie contest; young farmers showed off their hard work at the Missouri State Fair; hot dog and burger joint The Dam opened its doors; you learned what a CVap was – and why local chefs go crazy for it; four new restaurants you should try opened up; we were popping bottles to bring you 10 sodas to try; local bartenders dominate at PopFest 2013; we noshed on everything from pizza to octopus at Central Table.

 

 

 

 

In This Issue: Taco Takeover

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

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Formerly a take-it-or-leave-it option for platos especiales and pick-three platters, nowadays, tacos are not just experiencing a boom, but a renaissance. By elevating the plebian staple, returning it to its street-vendor roots and reimaging it with exciting new twists, chefs across the country have re-energized the Mexican food scene with their singular focus on tacos.

Their tacos bear little resemblance to the hamburger-filled, deep-fried tortilla shells that were a fixture at every Chi-Chi’s and Casa Gallardo during the heyday of Americanized, fast-casual Mexican-food chains. It’s safe to say that Chevys will never feature grasshopper tacos, a staple on the menu at Gringo in the Central West End. The taquería, which opened this spring, imports grasshoppers by the kilo from Mexico, where they are munched like beer nuts in cantinas. “I’ve probably sold tens of thousands of these bugs,” said Steven Caravelli, corporate chef of Gringo and Pi Pizzeria. “It’s a strange business I’m in right now.”

On an average day, Gringo’s kitchen goes through roughly 900 to 1,000 freshly made tortillas. Some fillings are familiar – chicken, shredded pork, even ground beef – and some – octopus, red snapper and, of course, grasshopper – are less so.

Click here to read more about how tacos both traditional and off-the-wall have taken over St. Louis.

- Photo by Carmen Troesser

 

In This Issue: One Ingredient, 3 Ways – Eggplant

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

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Eggplant comes in colors ranging from albino white to midnight purple, and in shapes from Gwyneth Paltrow skinny to Rubenesquely rotund. Its shiny skin belies a bitter flesh, but once you give it a little help, it’s just as lovely on the inside as it is on the outside. Here are three ways to celebrate the complex flavors and meaty texture of this summer beauty.

-Photo by Laura Miller

In This Issue: Restaurant Playlist

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

When we were in BBC Asian Bar and Cafe sipping on pineapple sake, executive chef Heidi Hamamura’s playlist came on the speakers and transported us back in time. The songs are a collection of her favorite tunes from her high school days in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Listen for yourself and let it inspire you to put together your own high school playlist. But this right here? This one goes out to all the ‘80s babies out there.

Jumpin’, Jumpin’ Destiny’s Child

Tearin’ Up My Heart NSYNC

Someday Sugar Ray

Ghetto Supastar (That is What You Are) Pras, featuring Mya and Ol’ Dirty Bastard

Wonderwall Oasis

Otherside Red Hot Chili Peppers

No Scrubs TLC

Men in Black Will Smith

Bitter Sweet Symphony The Verve

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) Green Day

 

 

In This Issue: By Popular Demand – Brazie’s Cassata Cake

Friday, August 23rd, 2013
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I have been dying to know the exact recipe for the unusual cassata cake at Brazie’s. I ask the waitstaff every time we go for clues as to its magic, and the most I’ve gotten is that the cake itself is actually from a mix, but the filling and top icing are what make it amazing. There is a prominent amaretto taste, clearly some cream and sugar, but the entire thing together is spectacular, and my sleuthing isn’t doing the trick! – Erin Schreiber

 

Click here to get the recipe for this luscious cake. And have you eaten a dish at an area restaurant that you’d do just about anything to make at home? Email us at pr@saucemagazine.com to tell us about it. Then let us do our best to deliver the recipe By Popular Demand.

 

-Photo by Carmen Troesser

 

 

In This Issue: Nightlife – Alpha Brewing Company

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013
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Alpha Brewing Company emerged this spring as the scrappy new contender in the ever-thriving St. Louis craft beer scene. There’s a distinct alternative appeal to this spot situated a block north of Washington Avenue. Alone in a gritty, nondescript back alley adjacent to the City Museum on Lucas Avenue, Alpha is flanked by a handful of parking lots. As the sun sets on a Friday, gaggles of club-ready 20-somethings click past the joint with hardly a glance. They’re not to blame, as the signage is almost purposely, yet fittingly, lacking.
Bellied up to the main bar is a herd of young guys – most in need of a shave, sporting flip-flops and T-shirts. Across from them in a dark leather sectional sits a brunette flipping through her smartphone, oblivious to her companions – two dudes in Polo shirts weighing in on politics. Opposite, a handful of middle-aged friends in button-downs hover over a narrow communal table stretching nearly the length of the entranceway. Outside, a small patio decked out in high-top tables teems with smokers, smokers’ friends and smokers’ dogs. Hardly an A-list, glitzy crowd, this is just the type of scene where anyone might comfortably blend in.
As you might expect from a fresh-faced endeavor deep in loft country, Alpha Brewing has a funky, laid-back look. A bright, abstract mural welcomes guests to a cozy, minimalist tasting room dressed with little more than a handful of wooden tables and a couch. From the center of the main bar, barkeeps pull on 10 taps – imposing pieces of custom metal (artwork in themselves) from which flows the real lifeblood of the place.
To read more about what Matt Berkley thought of this this tucked-away beer bar, click here.
-Photo by Jonathan Gayman

In This Issue: Buy This

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

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We can’t believe it’s not butter. This rich, creamy Edam from Cool Cow Cheese gets an extra layer of density from a three-month aging process. According to dairy farmer/owner Tom Blatchford, this process results in a gooier, more buttery Edam than most, with a subtle sharp, nutty quality. Elevate a simple grilled cheese like Blatchford does, using the Edam on sturdy whole-grain bread – if you have the willpower to wait for the cheese to melt.

$6 per ¼ pound. Local Harvest Grocery, 3108 Morgan Ford Road, Tower Grove, 314.886.5260

 

 

In This Issue: Make This – Summer Slaw

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

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Shake up your typical summertime slaw. Forget the dairy-based dressing and the ho-hum cabbage. Inspired by Diane Morgan’s recipe for daikon and apple slaw in Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes, we went a step further, turning her creative picnic side dish into a spicy main event. To make daikon, apple and edamame slaw, click here.

 

 

 

 

In This Issue: Vegetize It – Feel-good Brownies

Friday, August 16th, 2013

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It seems like once August rolls around, we fill the remainder of summer with a frenzy of picnics and barbecues. And while burgers, brats and beer are certainly the holy trinity of these outdoor get-togethers, there is one more “b” that makes a frequent appearance, thanks to the person who realizes we’ll need something sweet to balance the savory. That we’ll need brownies … vegan brownies.

That’s right. This month we’re taking things a step further by not just omitting meat, but all animal products. And if there is one thing I’ve learned about tweaking baking recipes, it’s that keeping it simple is the way to go.

For this brownie recipe, three dairy components needed replacing: eggs, butter and chocolate chips. Since eggs would be used more for thickening (instead of leavening), I tried two ways to replace them. The first was to use one ripe, mashed banana for every egg, but the flavor of the fruit was way too strong. Round two: applesauce. It’s something a lot of baking recipes call for to add extra moisture, and it has a similar thickness to whisked eggs without tainting the flavor of the final dish. All of these traits worked perfectly in this dish.

As for the butter, it’s like the bacon of the meat world; you just can’t find something that gets the exact same taste and texture. So I hit the “easy” button and picked up a tub of Earth Balance buttery spread, which is available at most grocery stores around town.

I treated the chocolate much the same as the butter, although my fingers were crossed that I could find something besides carob, a member of the pea family frequently substituted for chocolate whose taste I’ve never been able to swallow. Luckily, while walking down the “healthy eating” aisle at my local supermarket, I found non-dairy chocolate chips made from cocoa, which are every kind of “free” you can imagine: dairy-free, gluten-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, soy-free … and the list goes on.

So there I was, my three ingredients replaced. I went home to double-check my research before I started baking. And it’s a good thing I did.

To read more about the surprising facts Beth Styles discovered when creating these vegan, feel-good brownies, click here.

- Photo by Carmen Troesser

 

 

In This Issue: New & Notable – Central Table Food Hall

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013
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Describe it as a food emporium. Label it a communal dining experience. Compare the concept to New York’s The Plaza Food Hall, L.A.’s Umamicatessen or even Tokyo’s Takashimaya food hall. Say it’s a nightclub for foodies.

Just don’t call Central Table Food Hall a food court.

Central Table is St. Louis’ first experience with the national food hall explosion. Situated on the first floor of Barnes-Jewish Hospital’s newly constructed Center for Outpatient Health on the corner of South Euclid Avenue and Forest Park Parkway, the hall takes up nearly a city block. It’s a concept that could only work in the densely populated and mobile Central West End. While its executive chef Nick Martinkovic was imported from Brooklyn’s popular farm-to-table Roberta’s, the food and the rest of the talent are locally sourced. Managing this mammoth operation is Matt McGuire, recently of Brasserie but best known as the man behind the departed – and terribly missed – King Louie’s. When Elliot Harris parks his Chop Shop sushi food truck for the night, he rolls maki and constructs beautiful displays of superb sushi and nigiri at Central Table.

Within this broad gastro-landscape, there is something for everyone – a statement that typically signals, “Warning: Boredom and Mediocrity Ahead.” Yet, Central Table keeps things interesting.

See what reviewer Michael Renner thought of Central Table’s diverse offerings here.

 -Photo by Elizabeth Jochum

 

 

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