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May 30, 2017
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Matt Sorrell’

The Scoop: Edibles & Essentials launches french fry food truck

Friday, May 26th, 2017

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Edibles & Essentials is hitting the streets this summer with a new food truck, Essentially Fries.

“I’ve always wanted to do a food truck,” said chef-owner Matt Borchardt. “I was going to do one before Edible & Essentials opened.”

After looking for a commissary, Borchardt opted to open his brick-and-mortar establishment first.

The truck will feature Edibles & Essentials popular classic hand-cut fries, along with an initial menu of other fry-based specialties. Look for beef bulgogi fries, Greek caprese fries, Carolina pulled pork fries and a poutine with duck confit. Borchardt said there would likely be some seasonal variations subbed out down the line.

Essentially Fries will be making the rounds of food truck events, as well as offering catering services once it’s on the road in late June. Follow the truck on Twitter at @essentiallyfry, and on Facebook and Instagram at @essentiallyfries.

Photo courtesy of Edibles & Essentials

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Taco Buddha to open in University City

Friday, May 26th, 2017

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University City will soon be home to another taco spot. Taco Buddha is slated to open at 7405 Pershing Ave., this summer in the former home of short-lived Perjax American Kitchen.

“Taco Buddha is world flavors put into the vessel of a taco,” said owner Kurt Eller. Eller, who came to St. Louis from Austin, Texas, said his tacos are similar to those served in the Southwest. “It’s not strictly meat and lettuce and cheese,” he said.

Menu items will include a chicken tandoori taco with a mango chutney salsa and a Thai-influenced taco with beef marinated in ginger and red pepper flakes. Eller has property in New Mexico and brings back chiles from the area, which he plans to incorporate in his creations.

A variety of breakfast tacos will also be offered, as well as other dishes, like cilantro lime rice and beans and sopapillas.

Eller said he expects doors to open in late June or early July, and the counter service cafe will have 25 seats inside and 25 patio seats.

Initially, Taco Buddha will be open for breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday, and breakfast, lunch and dinner on Saturday. Eller said he expects to expand hours and be open six days a week in October.

Photo courtesy of Taco Buddha

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Tin Roof to open in former Joe Buck’s space downtown

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

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Tin Roof, the Nashville-based chain of music venues/fast-casual eateries, is set to open up a St. Louis location this summer, and they’ve tapped a local culinary up-and-comer to helm the kitchen. Nowell Gata, formerly an executive sous chef for Baileys’ Restaurants, will assume the role of executive chef.

Tin Roof St. Louis will be housed in the former Joe Bucks’ space downtown at 1000 Clark St. The restaurant will have approximately 135 seats inside, 40 bar seats, 32 patio seats and 12 seats at the patio bar.

There will also be a rooftop event space as well as a VIP room, and Gata said the hope is for the doors to open in late June.

Tin Roof will be hosting local and touring musicians, as well as offering favorites like burgers, po’boys and house-smoked pulled pork. Gata said he hopes to include some regional favorites as well.

“I definitely want to do a slinger for brunch,” he said, adding that late night food will also be available.

Photo courtesy of Tin Room

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Lemmons in South City

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

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Lemmons in South City has been known for many things over the years, from fried chicken to pizza to live music. Today, May 24, the space reopens as Lemmons by Grbic, soon to be known for Balkan-American cuisine and cold beer.

As The Scoop reported in August 2014, Grbic family, known for Grbic Restaurant, bought the building at 5800 Gravois Ave., nearly three years ago. Chef Senada Grbic said her father, Sulejman Grbic, initially had plans to reinvent Lemmons as a sports bar, but soon changed course.

The result was a complete gut rehab of the building. “There’s not an original electrical wire left,” Senada Grbic said, adding that the only appointment former Lemmons patrons will likely recognize are the exposed brick walls.

The interior is eclectic, owing to the different tastes of the three Grbic siblings, who were let loose to handle the decor: Erna, who employs a modern sensibility; Ermin, who favors a more industrial vibe; and Senada, who tends toward farmhouse chic. Appointments range from old school graffiti to light fixtures hanging from knotted ropes to an eclectic array of collectible salt-and-pepper shakers on the tables.

The menu features what Grbic describes as Balkan-American fusion. Some dishes are more traditionally American, like the smoked chicken wings, while others include a distinctive Balkan influence, like Babo’s flatbread, which features grilled chicken and an ajvar spread made with roasted peppers and eggplant.

Grbic said Lemmons aims to maintain its reputation as a neighborhood place where everyone is welcome. “It’s about giving something to everyone,” she said.

Lemmons opens tonight at 4 p.m. Regular business hours will Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer for Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Chef Nick Blue lands at Sugarfire Smoke House

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

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{ Chef Nick Blue } 

 

Former Sardella executive chef Nick Blue has left fine dining behind and is headed in a more casual direction. Last week, he began a new chapter at Sugarfire Smoke House.

“After Sardella, I got reached out to by so many great chefs and restaurant owners and it was really a great feeling,” Blue said.

As The Scoop reported in April, Blue left Sardella and Pastaria executive chef Ashely Shelton added the eatery to her list of duties at Niche Food Group. During his hiatus, Blue met Sugarfire owner Mike Johnson, and something clicked. Both had backgrounds in fine dining and worked for chef Charlie Trotter in Chicago during their careers.

“Mike’s a great guy,” Blue said. “He’s got a lot of things happening, and he has a lot of fun with what he does.

So, Blue decided to give the fast-casual barbecue world a try.

“I’ve never done anything this casual, I’ve never done anything barbecue related,” Blue said. “I’m only a week in, but I’ve never experienced a culture in a restaurant like this. Everybody has fun with what they do, with their co-workers. It’s been great.”

Blue said he’s not stepping into a specific position at Sugarfire, but is working in a variety of roles and learning the ropes at Sugarfire’s Olivette location. Once barbecue competition season starts in earnest, Blue said he’d likely be helping out at other Sugarfires.

“I’m doing everything,” he said. “I’m trying to learn everything I can at the restaurant to be an asset.” That includes learning the pit, helping out with specials working the line and working the floor.

“I’m kind of along for the ride,” he said. “I’m willing to do whatever they need. I want to prove myself to them as much as I can and see where it goes from there.”

Photo by Ashley Gieseking

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine.

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The Scoop: Lemmons by Grbic to give new life to an STL favorite

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

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{ fried chicken at Lemmons by Grbic } 

 

An old favorite is getting a new lease on life, thanks to the folks behind Grbic Restaurant. Lemmons by Grbic is slated to open on Wednesday, May 24, at 5800 Gravois Ave.

The popular South City bar and music joint closed doors in June 2014 after 12 years in business. As The Scoop reported later that year, the Grbic family bought the building in August and embarked on an extensive gut rehab. The new space has 99 seats, a full-service bar and plenty of TVs.

According to Senada Grbic, who also helms the kitchen, the total investment in the building is just less than $1 million.

“It’s your friendly neighborhood sort of place,” Grbic said. “As far as the food goes, I’m going to do a short, simple menu, things that I love to eat and I know other people love to eat.”

Grbic said she’s excited for the chance to be a bit more creative with the cuisine at Lemmons, which she refers to as “American cuisine with a Balkan fusion.”

Take the 50/50 burger. Because many people from the Balkans don’t eat pork, Grbic uses equal parts ground beef and ground beef bacon, which Grbic said has a similar texture to pork bacon. The burger is topped with provolone and a fried egg seasoned with vegeta, a traditional Balkan spice blend.

Grbic said for the first few weeks, Lemmons by Grbic will only be open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday, but lunch service will soon follow.

Photo courtesy of Lemmons by Grbic

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Three Flags Tavern chef-owner to helm Herbie’s kitchen

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

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The chef-owner of the recently shuttered Three Flags Tavern has landed a new job as executive chef at Herbie’s in Clayton.

John O’Brien’s first day at the helm is today, May 17. As reported by St. Louis Magazine, O’Brien replaces Patrick Shaughnessy, who took over in March after the departure of Christopher Vomund.

“I was looking for someone who had the type of experience, knowledge and management style that matched up with the kind of business that we do today,” said Herbie’s owner Aaron Tietelbaum. “We’re kind of an old guard-style restaurant and I need somebody running my kitchen that has the capability to understand classics and tradition, while at the same time having the ability to manage a young and excited team, and John fit that bill perfectly.”

Three Flags Tavern closed in March after three years in business.

Teitelbaum said Shaughnessy is definitely a talent in the kitchen, but he wasn’t the best fit for executive chef position.

“Patrick is a spectacular cook, and he does amazing food, but I think it was a little bit too big of a team and operation for an executive chef’s first executive chef job,” Teitelbaum said. “And I hired him knowing that, and I probably put him in a position where he wasn’t quite ready for. He’s got a lot of potential, and he will do something great with somebody at some point.”

Teitelbaum said O’Brien will bring some of the dishes he was known for at Three Flags Tavern, and they will also work together to create new menu items. He said the target is 45 to 60 days for a menu change.

O’Brien said he could definitely see Three Flags’ famous burger and lobster roll making appearances on Herbie’s menu, and due to his penchant for seafood, he hopes to beef up the restaurant’s oyster program as well.

O’Brien was almost ready to pursue a position in Cape Cod when he got a call from Teitelbaum.

“I was about five minutes away from moving,” O’Brien said, but he was attracted to the larger scale operation at Herbie’s. He also has some history with the brand, having worked for Herbie Balaban in the 1980s.

“It was important to find someplace I feel comfortable in,” he said. “I like the restaurant, I like the French style. It’s how I like to cook and how I like to eat.”

 

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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First Look: Turn in Grand Center

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

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{ Turn chef-owner David Kirkland }

 

Turn, the breakfast and lunch spot from chef-owner David Kirkland, officially opened on May 7 on the first floor of the .ZACK building at 3224 Locust St. in Grand Center.

Turn is a study in minimalism. Cool blues, grays and whites dominate, and tall windows on two sides of the dining room let in plenty of light, giving the space an open airiness. The lofty ceilings enhance the effect. Patrons who used to frequent Plush, the funky coffee house/restaurant/performance venue that used to call the building home, will hardly recognize it.

The name Turn has many meanings. It’s a nod to another of Kirkland’s passions — DJing — as are the classic album covers on the wall and the LP-sized food menus, divided into sides A and B. It also refers to Kirkland’s penchant the new ingredients each season brings and turning tables during service.

Kirkland intends to explore new flavors on the menu, like the arepa, featuring grilled corn cakes, chorizo and salsa verde, and some will recognize a few of Kirkland’s signatures during his tenure as Cafe Osage executive chef.

“A biscuit and gravy variation will follow me everywhere I go,” Kirkland said.

Though it’s only open from breakfast and lunch, there are plenty of adult beverages to choose from, including cocktails, wine and beer. Coffee fans can also indulge in espressos, cold brews and lattes.

Kirkland intends to host a monthly dinner series and possibly host culinary event that coincide with theater productions in the area. Turn is open Tuesday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Here’s a first look at what to expect from the newest restaurant in Grand Center.

 

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Photos by Michelle Volanksy

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: The Vine to eliminate grocery, add juice bar

Friday, May 12th, 2017

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Some significant changes are afoot at The Vine Mediterranean Cafe and Market at 3171 S. Grand Blvd. The Mediterranean eatery is in the process of eliminating its grocery selection and adding a juice bar.

“Last year we did a renovation where we removed most of the market and we added tables,” said operating manager Ali Mohsen. “We left a small section of the market, and we’re going to use that area now for the juice bar. Jay International is just across the street. It didn’t make sense to keep on trying to carry the same items.”

He said hookah supplies and fresh meats would still be available for purchase.

The new bar will feature a variety of nonalcoholic beverages. “We’re going to have about 10 ‘energy drinks:’ mixtures of kale, spinach, beets, carrots and things like that,” Mohsen said. “And we’re going to have Mediterranean cocktails, which are mixtures of fruits with custards, honey and almonds and things like that.”

The renovated bar space will feature elaborate tile work and showcases for the fresh ingredients. Construction is already underway, and Mohsen said the juice bar should be running by the end of June.

Photo courtesy of The Vine 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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The Scoop: Bob Komanetsky leaves Mac’s Local Eats in Dogtown

Friday, May 12th, 2017

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 { from left,  Bob Komanetsky and Chris “Mac” McKenzie } 

 

Bob Komanetsky, the chef-owner of Completely Sauced food truck who recently began helming the kitchen at Mac’s Local Eats, has parted ways with the restaurant, effective Wednesday, May 10. Komanetsky cited “philosophical differences” as his reason for leaving.

“During my time there I developed some good relationships with some great people,” he said. “I think Tamm Avenue is a great establishment in a great neighborhood. You couldn’t ask for a better place than Dogtown, if you ask me. It’s been my pleasure to help things get up and running and I wish Tamm Avenue and Mac’s great success.”

Komanetsky’s departure from Tamm doesn’t necessarily mean that the Completely Sauced truck, which has been on hiatus, will hit the road again in the near future, though.

“It’s an asset that I have and if I can utilize it I will,” Komanetsky said. “If I decided to pursue that right now, it’d take me a month to get up and running.” He added that the food truck scene has changed significantly.

“I was No. 16 out of the gate, and now there are probably well over 80 trucks at this point,” Komanetsky said. “I’m really not sure what lies ahead, or where I’ll land, but I’m exploring several opportunities. One thing that I can tell you for sure is that I’ll always remain 100 percent from scratch, local and high quality. I have no intention of leaving the culinary industry at this point, and I’m looking forward to what’s next for sure.”

 

Photo by Michelle Volansky 

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

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