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Jan 21, 2018
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SERVING SAINT LOUIS SINCE 1999
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Posts Tagged ‘Taquería El Bronco’

Chef Tour: Ashley Rouch

Monday, January 1st, 2018

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{ Coma Coffee Roasters }

Ashley Rouch always knew she’d work in a kitchen. “I was always fascinated with food,” she said. After stints at Baileys’ Chocolate Bar and Pint Size Bakery, Rouch is transitioning from her job as Reeds American Table’s executive pastry chef to the bread baking team at Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery this month. Her culinary background means she values fine food and drink, but ultimately, it’s good service that makes Rouch a repeat customer. “I want to be in an environment where I always feel welcome,” she said.

1. Southwest Diner
Southwest Diner is a frequent stop for Rouch since it’s on her daily route to Reeds. “You can tell they take individual care with each ingredient.” One dish she can’t pass up is the sopapilla, and she said Southwest’s guacamole is also something special. “It steals the show – it’s the best guacamole in St. Louis.”

2. Taqueria El Bronco
“I’m a big fan of Mexican food; hands down, it’s my favorite,” Rouch said. When she needs a dose of the real deal, she heads to this Cherokee Street staple. “They have some of the best authentic tacos in town,” she said. Her favorite? “Al pastor all the way. There’s just something about the pineapple with the savoriness of the pork that’s so comforting.”

3. Público
“On the higher end [of Mexican food], I love Público. Their pork belly taco I could eat every day,” Rouch said. “They don’t get as much press as I feel they should. Their service is always great.”

4. Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery
“I love them for both lunch and pizza,” Rouch said of this Botanical Heights standby. “They’ve spoiled me on the pizza front – now it’s hard to go anywhere else.” She’s also a fan of Loafers’ sandwiches and salads. “The amount of care and quality they put into their work is amazing.”

5. Coma Coffee Roasters
Rouch takes her coffee seriously. “I’m a huge coffee person, and my husband used to be a barista,” Rouch said. Coma Coffee is her go-to to satisfy caffeine needs. “Connor [James], their roaster, is so talented in what he’s doing with their coffee. They supply our coffee at Reeds, so I get to see them and talk to them all of the time. They’re really doing great things.”

6. Tick Tock Tavern
“It’s right by our house, so we can easily walk there,” Rouch said of the south city spot. “I just love the super old-school vibe. It reminds me of Iowa, where I grew up.” Rouch also likes the fact that Tick Tock is conveniently located next to Steve’s Hot Dogs, in case happy hour turns into dinner. Plus, “Who can argue with a $3 Schlitz?”

Photos by David Kovaluk

Matt Sorrell is staff writer at Sauce Magazine. 

Related Content
• Sauce Magazine: January 2018

• Summer Wright to helm Vicia’s pastry program, Reeds American Table names new pastry chef

• Best New Restaurants 2015: Union Loafers Cafe and Bread Bakery

Trendwatch: What’s trending now in the STL dining scene (Part 2)

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Miss Part 1? Click here to see even more of what’s trending now in STL.

 

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5. Puttin’ on the Spritz
Located at the intersection of low ABV, amaro and great-sounding names is the spritz cocktail. Traditionally made with bitter liqueur, wine and soda, this versatile Italian aperitif is bubbling up everywhere. Olio has seven varieties, a Spritz Hour and the summer motto: “Yes We Spritz.” Vista Ramen also has a whole spritz section on its drink menu. Order a clementine spritz at Eclipse or ask to create your own at Randolfi’s, with one of the largest amari selections in town.

6. ¡Poz-olé!
Traditional pozole has long held a place on weekend special boards at Mexican restaurants like Lily’s, Taqueria El Bronco and Taqueria Durango. Cleveland-Heath has had pozole on its menu for years, and Kitchen Kulture kept us warm this winter with a pozole verde. Chef Chris Bork at Vista Ramen crossed Japanese and Mexican cultures with a pozole-style ramen full of pulled chicken, hominy and springy ramen noodles. Sidney Street Cafe switched the protein, setting octopus confit swimming in a pozole broth with some chile oil. Meanwhile, Juniper chef-owner John Perkins added a taste of the South with his loose interpretation featuring a country ham consommé with charred tomatoes, black radish, zephyr squash and country ham at a recent pop-up at The Bhive in the Central West End.

7. Krispies Treats
Shelve that crisp rice cereal and taste a different take on the childhood classic. Treat House in New York City has put creative spins on the stuff since 2013, and STL is coming around. Chef-owner Kevin Nashan was an early adopter, classing up the snack by incorporating the fat from cooked foie gras and garnishing with slices of the delicacy at Sidney Street Cafe. Shift, Test Kitchen & Takeout offers a rotating selection of nontraditional squares, including flavors like caramel and Sriracha. Newly opened Start Bar ditches crispies altogether, swapping Cheetos for cereal in its treats, and will rotate other versions like Oreo, granola and Cap’n Crunch.

 

 

The List: 20 dishes, drinks, faces and places we love now – Part 3

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Each year, the Sauce editors compile an annual tribute to the dishes, drinks, people and places we love in The Lou: The List. Here, Part 3 of our 2015 lineup, featuring a host with the most, a beer lover’s paradise, the best cup of grits in town, a booming business district and your entire childhood rolled into ice cream.

What’s on your list? Share with #TheSauceList on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out Parts 1 and 2 of The List here.

 

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11. Kimberly Hoskin-Westcott at Cleveland-Heath

Cleveland-Heath doesn’t take reservations, which means the wait for a table could be up to an hour on a busy weekend night. Yet, I don’t mind because I get to chat with Kimberly Hoskin-Westcott, a hostess so vivacious, affable and just gosh-darn nice that I’m almost disappointed at the rare occurrence when Cleveland-Heath doesn’t have a wait.

Watching her at the front of the house – greeting new customers, hugging regulars, admiring a shy child’s toy – it’s easy to assume she’s been doing this all her life, yet Hoskin-Westcott has worked in the restaurant industry for only two years. She attributes her hosting style – part entertainer, part ambassador and part traffic controller – to her 30 years of customer service at a New York communications company and more than 30 years as a professional jazz singer.

Even when a waiting list runs 25 names long, Hoskin-Westcott has an uncanny ability to make each customer feel like her top priority – and as she’ll tell you, they are. She believes the worst thing customers can feel is that the host has forgotten them. “You try to let them know they can trust you: trust you to get them a seat, trust you know their time is valuable,” she said. “I keep an eye on them from when they first come in to when they leave. … I try to make sure that I have a level of integrity and that people say, ‘Yeah, she’s going to help me out.’”  – C.K.

 

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12. Ka-Boomm at Jilly’s Ice Cream Bar

How do you go Ka-Boomm at Jilly’s Ice Cream Bar? Start with a Tahitian vanilla ice cream base, then swirl in decadent brownie chunks made with 58-percent dark Swiss chocolate, Oreos and mini M&M’s for good measure. The name is short for kid-approved, brownie, Oreo, M&M’s, but the young and old dig it equally. “It is so whimsical when you see the tie-dye effect that the M&M’s give it,” said chef Casey Shiller, who created this Jilly’s fan favorite with fellow chef Dana Holland. “It’s kid-approved, but it’s kick-ass, too.” We’ll take a double scoop in a confetti waffle cone, please.  – L.F.

 

13. Cherokee Street

While Cherokee Street is still known for its antique shops, international farmers market and authentic Mexican fare (for good reason), the South City strip running between Broadway and Gravois is also becoming known for, well, just that. No longer is Cherokee a smattering of restaurants and stores concentrated around a couple city blocks; we have a full business district on our hands. Don’t believe us? Next time you’re attacking the requisite torta at Taqueria El Bronco, afterward, visit one of these eclectic venues, and when you’re done, keep exploring.

1. With just seven seats, cozy is an understatement at Cherokee Street’s newest cafe, The Little Dipper, where soups and sandwiches are the specialty, including its filling vegetarian wheatburger. 2. The Fortune Teller Bar serves up masterful cocktails along with unconventional bites such as the vegetarian chili accompanied with a slice of Black Bear Lickhalter rye bread.

3. Hearty Russian dumplings laced with creme fraiche are one of the culinary highlights at ArtBar, a colorful watering hole that also showcases local art, and hosts comedy open mics, live bands and burlesque bingos. 4. Athlete Eats features scrumptious but sensible entrees for the customer who enjoys dishes like grass-fed, bunless bulgogi burgers along with tailor-made, cold-pressed fruit juices.  – M.B.

 

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14. Craft Beer Cellar

Whether you know a dunkel from a Doppelbock or just light brew from dark, when visiting Craft Beer Cellar, snobbery is one of the few beer descriptors you won’t run across. “We’re not beer snobs, we’re beer geeks,” explained co-owner Ryan Nickelson. “We are excited about what beer is and how it’s made. It’s about sharing good beer with good people.” With the shop’s specialty being mixed six- and 12-packs, if you have trouble choosing between the 600 to 800 local, national and international craft beers available on any given day, allow the highly knowledgeable yet down-to-earth staff to lend its expertise. Come in to chat, indulge in free beer samples at the tasting bar, and when you buy too many bottles to tote, be prepared for the geeks to insist on carrying your purchases to your car – courtesy is their thing, too.  – K.S.

 

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15. Grits at SoHo Restaurant & Lounge 

There’s no better evidence of a Southerner’s DNA than the way she cooks grits. Called polenta by Yanks and Philistines, there are plenty of imitators out there, but few standouts. At The Grove’s SoHo Restaurant & Lounge, the grits fashioned by executive chef Ceaira Jackson are bona fide. Steaming, buttery, cheesy mounds of the stuff make exquisite brunch pairings with the fried catfish, chicken and waffles or even red velvet pancakes. You’ll shout for joy. You’ll gobble them up. You’ll beg for more. SoHo’s contribution to the classic – and deceptively difficult – Southern standard is a display of true grit.  – G.F.

 

-Kimberly Hoskin-Wescott photo and ice cream photo by Carmen Troesser; beer photo by Jonathan Gayman; grits photo by Elizabeth Maxson

The Scoop: Taquería El Bronco to relocate on Cherokee Street

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011

080311_tacosIf you head to Cherokee Street this weekend for Mexican specialties like pozole, sopa de siete mares or menudo, you might notice that Taquería El Bronco – one of the historical street’s longstanding taco spots – is no longer hanging it’s shingle at 2812 Cherokee St. According to owner José Luis Flores, beginning this Saturday, his Mexican eatery will be located a few storefronts down at 2817 Cherokee St.  Flores explained that the move will double seating capacity, allowing him to now feed 80 hungry guests, and that El Bronco will also be rolling out a more expansive menu in the weeks ahead.

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