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Mar 20, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘barbecue’

First Look: Honey Pit Smokehouse in Kirkwood

Friday, December 29th, 2017



Another contender has entered local barbecue fray. Co-owners Zach Fagas and Shane Mihaljevic opened Honey Pit Smokehouse at 951 S. Kirkwood Road in Kirkwood on Saturday, Dec. 23.

The Honey Pit menu is centered on meats smoked in Myron Mixon water smokers that utilize steam as well as wood smoke. Standards like pulled pork, brisket and ribs are available, along with specialty sandwiches and burgers and a bevy of sides, including Provel mac n cheese and fried pickles.

For health-conscious customers, the Honey Pit bill of fare also has a Macro Menu section, created by Emily Frisella of Fit Home & Health. These items are listed by portion size and include calories and other nutritional information.

The building, which formerly housed Chinese restaurant Steak & Rice, has undergone a complete gut rehab in the past eight months, from new plumbing and HVAC systems to an addition to the dining room, according Fagas, who most recently served as front of the house manager for Sugarfire Smoke House in Valley Park. Honey Pit seats 88, and boasts interior amenities like handmade wood tables and countertops, wood-clad beams and the ubiquitous paper towel rolls on each table sit on holders made from pipe fittings.

Honey Pit Smokehouse is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from Kirkwood’s newest barbecue joint:


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Photos by Michelle Volansky

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Salt & Smoke to open second location in Southampton

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017



Delmar Loop favorite Salt & Smoke is getting ready to expand its barbecue empire to South St. Louis this summer. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, owner Tom Schmidt has announced that he will open a new location of the restaurant at 5625 Hampton Ave., the former home of Mathew’s Kitchen that shuttered last year.

“I’ve actively been looking for a space for two years,” Schmidt said. “I looked at hundreds of places. But the moment I pulled in the lot, I thought ‘This is it.’”

Schmidt said the new building has a large kitchen, which will facilitate the restaurant’s burgeoning catering business, and the 100-person private event space on the second floor will allow for more private parties, something the smaller University City space wouldn’t accommodate. Schmidt said he hopes for three barbecue pits initially, and that pitmaster Haley Riley will oversee the barbecue and kitchens at both locations. Schmidt credits Riley with much of the success Salt & Smoke has enjoyed, and said he is now a co-owner of both locations.

Schmidt said he bought the building instead of leasing it, which will make it easier to make some of the changes needed. These include a complete gutting of the space and changing the floor plan. Schmidt said he expects “months of intense construction ahead,” but hopes to be open in June. Hunter Construction, which has worked on such spaces as Porano, Sugarfire Smoke House and Seoul Taco, will be the general contractor.

Schmidt said there may be some menu tweaks made at the new space, though nothing he could reveal yet. But fans of the original Delmar Loop location shouldn’t worry about missing their favorite dishes in South City. “I want to make sure it’s recognizable as Salt & Smoke,” he said.

Photo by David Kovaluk 

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Eat This: Mangia Bene at Smokee Mo’s

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016



The Mangia Bene at Smokee Mo’s BBQ requires stretchy pants and time for a post-meal nap. Thick, tender slices of smoked brisket are carved to order and smothered with Mo’s White Sauce, a creamy vinegar-horseradish aioli. The meat’s layered between two halves of buttery garlic bread shellacked with Provel cheese. Lettuce? Onion? Tomato? Such paltry accouterments would just get in the way.


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Photo by Carmen Troesser


The Scoop: Good Heavens BBQ & Bakery food truck to launch in Metroeast

Thursday, September 15th, 2016



Barbecue is hitting the road in Illinois. Owner Kattie Goodwin, along with husband Randy Goodwin and brother Charles Williams, will launch Good Heavens BBQ & Bakery food truck on Oct. 1.

Kattie Goodwin said they decided to open a food truck after two years of successful catering in the Metroeast. They considered opening a restaurant, but decided this was a more cost-effective option. “I don’t have to worry about so much overhead with a food truck,” Goodwin said.

Her brother and husband will handle the barbecue side of the menu with options like chicken wings, pork steaks, ribs, snoots and hot dogs. Goodwin said they will also serve their signature Monkey on a Stick, skewered chicken or pork grilled with Filipino spices.

Goodwin will helm the sweet side, baking cookies, gooey butter cake and her signature peach cobbler. “Paula Dean, Sweetie Pie’s – no one can touch my peach cobbler,” she said.

Initially, Good Heavens will operate on weekends, announcing the locations on an upcoming Facebook. Goodwin plans to start in East St. Louis and the surrounding communities and is working to add Belleville to the lineup soon. She hopes to obtain her St. Louis permits by 2017.



Grilled: Korean Pork Steaks

Thursday, August 11th, 2016



Contributor (and Nightlife critic) Matt Berkley knows that grilling season is a year-round event in St. Louis. In his new column, he’s breaking away from the backyard basics and sharing fresh recipes perfect for open fire cooking.

Fiery hot and savory sweet, Korean barbecue has hit its popularity apex, and pork steak, the versatile workhorse of St. Louis summertime, is particularly well-suited to this flavor profile. Rich notes of garlic, ginger and sweet pear vie for position in a multilayered, comforting dish, which transforms inexpensive meat into a dinner party-worthy main course.

Substituting another firm pear for its Asian cousin is entirely acceptable, but resist the urge to use powdered garlic or ginger. The pork needs to swim in a thick marinade laden with fresh aromatics, fruit and vegetables. The extra effort of peeling, grating and chopping pays off big.

Any amateur can pull this one off. Grab a beer and fire up the grill. A few pork steaks, a handful of fresh ingredients and a roaring flame is all that stands between you and red hot Korean barbecue bliss.


Korean Pork Steaks
5 servings

½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. soy sauce, divided
½ Asian pear, peeled and grated
¼ large white onion, diced
3 green onions, chopped, plus more for garnish
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp. mirin rice wine vinegar, divided
2½ Tbsp. grated fresh ginger, divided
2½ Tbsp. sesame oil, divided
3 Tbsp. Sriracha or gochujang, divided
5 ¾- to 1-inch thick pork steaks (bone-in or boneless)
2 Tbsp. ketchup
Cooked white rice, for serving

• In a large bowl, make a marinade by combining ½ cup soy sauce, the pear, white onion, green onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons ginger, 2 tablespoons sesame oil and 2 tablespoons Sriracha.
• Place the pork steaks in a large shallow baking dish and add the marinade, turning the meat to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
• Prepare a charcoal grill for high, indirect heat*, or preheat a gas grill for medium-high heat.
• In a shallow baking dish, prepare the finishing sauce by combining the ketchup, the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, the remaining 1 tablespoon vinegar, the remaining 1 tablespoon Sriracha, the remaining ½ tablespoon ginger and the remaining ½ tablespoon sesame oil. Set aside.
• Remove the pork steaks and gently shake to remove excess marinade. Grill steaks over direct heat 15 minutes, flipping every 2 to 3 minutes to avoid over-charring.
• Move the pork steaks to indirect heat (upper tier on a gas grill), cover and cook another 25 minutes, until the meat is no longer red in the center.
• Place the steaks in the finishing sauce and turn to coat on all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes.
• Remove and serve pork steaks atop white rice and garnished with green onions.

*Fill a large chimney starter halfway with coals. Let the coals burn about 20 minutes, until calm and light gray. Place them on one side of the grill, creating a two-zone fire for direct and indirect cooking.

The Scoop: StackHouse Pub & Grill to open in former Miller’s Crossing space

Monday, June 20th, 2016



Chesterfield residents started the new year without their neighborhood joint when Miller’s Crossing at Hog Hollow closed on December 31, 2015. Now, the space at 14156 Olive Blvd., will see new life at the end of June when it reopens as StackHouse Pub & Grill. Pitmaster Matt Thornton said he and executive chef Christopher Leith will offer the same atmosphere with a completely revamped menu.

“The owners have given us free run of creativity,” Thornton said. “We get to use our minds and do the things we were trained to do in culinary school, and it’s going to show in the food.”

The menu will feature barbecued ribs, smoked brisket and turkey, as well as cut-to-order Delmonico and New York strip steaks. Thornton and crew also plan to break down whole fish in-house, and many items will be cooked over an outdoor wood-fired grill.

Thornton said the beverage program will remain largely the same as Miller’s Crossing with a large wine selection and 12 beer taps. Similarly, the 110-seat interior space has been moderately renovated but kept largely the same to preserve the atmosphere.

First Look: Big Baby Q and Smokehouse in Maryland Heights

Thursday, April 21st, 2016



Drive down Dorsett Road with the windows down and you may catch a whiff of wood smoke from Big Baby Q and Smokehouse. The new restaurant opened in the Fee Fee Center at 11658 Dorsett Road in Maryland Heights on Monday, April 18.

The father-son venture owned by Bennie and Ben Welch focuses on traditional proteins like brisket and pulled pork, as well as outside-the-smoker-box fare like house pastrami and smoked jerk tofu. The six sauces also run the gamut from sweet and tangy house sauce to the creamy Alabama white sauce to a Korean barbecue sauce.

Hefty portions come with a choice of sides, including vegetarian options. Choose from platters, sandwiches, ribs, smoked chicken or a little bit of everything on the Big Baby Big Plate. Welch dry rubs the meat with his blend of brown sugar, chili powder, garlic, onion, paprika, cumin and more, then smokes it over a blend of oak and cherry wood.

Pastry chef Karolyn Page helms the sweet side of the kitchen, offering six homemade desserts like the chocolate-chocolate chip cookie and the moist, not-too-sweet sweet potato pound cake.

Get your grub to go as the limited seating includes a picnic table inside and another outside. Big Baby Q and Smokehouse is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until sold out. Here’s a first look at what to expect when you step inside Big Baby Q.


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-photos by Michelle Volansky 

The Scoop: BBQ ASAP shutters after three years

Thursday, April 7th, 2016



For a little more than three years, Jim and Mary Randall served up barbecue in Ballwin. On Friday, April 1, Jim closed BBQ ASAP’s physical location and catering operations after Mary died in 2015, as reported by St. Louis Magazine.

“Mary and I were working typical entrepreneur hours – 60 to 80 hours a week,” said Jim Randall. “She was diagnosed with cancer last January and died on Sept. 11, and I couldn’t carry the load by myself.”

Randall said he plans to take the next couple of months for personal and business transitions and ultimately will reestablish a catering business. “If I do catering, I can maintain a lower overhead cost,” Randall said. “I will feature barbecue but also offer alternative entrees and sides.”


Sneak Peek: Shift, Test Kitchen & Take Out

Thursday, March 31st, 2016


Downtown STL will welcome Shift, Test Kitchen & Take Out when it opens to the public Tuesday, April 5. As The Scoop reported in June 2015, the newest concept in the Bailey’s family of restaurants will offer a rotating menu of carryout meals and sides.

The menu will feature a rotating selection of national and international barbecue selections for the foreseeable future. In addition to offering meals to go, Shift will also serve as a test kitchen for the Bailey family of restaurants, particularly the barbecue concept slated to open in 2017.

The menu will drop and introduce a couple of items per week, due in part to Bailey’s whole animal butchery program and selective, seasonal sourcing, as well as Shift’s experimental nature.

Meals are generally priced less than $10 with side dish options up to $6, and will be available for walk-in diners to start, but keep an eye out for online ordering in the future. Shift is located at 313 N. 11th St. in downtown, adjacent to Rooster and close to Bailey’s other downtown St. Louis establishments.

“I like downtown,” owner Dave Bailey said. “It’s a unique beast and there have been hard times, but lots of people live down here and we have some great regulars. Our restaurants have an accessible price point and we keep things fun and charming and are able to offer different types of food for different people at different times of the day.”

Shift will be open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

-photos by Meera Nagarajan

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The Scoop: The Stellar Hog to trot into South City

Friday, March 18th, 2016



After nearly three years at Adam’s Smokehouse apron, Alex Cupp is firing up his own pit, The Stellar Hog in the current Super’s Bungalow, as reported by the Riverfront Times. Cupp said he is in the process of buying the business at 5623 Leona St., and is currently helping to manage the bar. “I was just in the right place and this was the right time,” he said.

While he develops the menu and completes both cosmetic and systems renovations, Super’s Bungalow will remain open. Cupp hopes to unveil The Stellar Hog in June.

Having studied under barbecue legends Mike Emerson and Skip Steele of Pappy’s Smokehouse, Cupp looks to combine his pit experience with his earlier years in classical cooking to create a menu featuring traditional and nontraditional barbecue fare. Look for pork steaks along with chicken skin nachos and cassoulet with smoked meats. “Lunch will be more barbecue focused,” Cupp said. “Dinner will be certainly barbecue focused but fancied up a little bit.”

Cupp has been working with chef Ben Grupe on some menu items, as well as a side project called St. Louis Sammiches, a pop-up concept that will offer sandwiches at area farmers markets.


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