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Jan 21, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Tick Tock Tavern’

Chef Tour: Ashley Rouch

Monday, January 1st, 2018


{ 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

Hit List: 11 places you must try this month – Part 1

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

If it’s new and different you want, you’ll easily get your fill this month. Restaurants and bars have been opening left and right, not to mention food trucks, an ultramodern ice cream shop and an international grocery store. Are you ready, food-obsessed St. Louis? We’ve got 11 – yes, 11! – places you need to check out this month.




1. Peacemaker Lobster & Crab Co.: 1831 Sidney St., St. Louis, 314.772.8858, peacemakerstl.com

Crab, lobster, oyster and other creatures of the sea star at chef-owner Kevin Nashan’s new restaurant in the old Niche (and Taste) space in Benton Park, just a couple blocks down from his Sidney Street Cafe. Peacemaker (pictured) was the original name for an early version of the fried oyster po’boy, and Nashan’s dishes celebrate expressions of Cajun cuisine, from the Acadian coast all the way to NOLA. Seafood lovers can get their fix for fish food via a raw bar, as well as fare that’s boiled, steamed or stuffed inside a toasted, New England-style split-top bun. Don’t miss the shrimp po’boy with nicely breaded fried shrimp and remoulade or the crab roll, which holds lump crab meat and a light aioli brightened with citrus. Finish with a snow cone drenched in a house-made syrup or a slice of seasonal pie. Brick, reclaimed wood and sundry light fixtures lend a waterfront seafood shack ambiance to the 120-seat place that’s been wildly anticipated, even among national media; come early or expect to wait.


2. HarvestXpress: 636.244.1115, Facebook: HarvestXpress Foodtruck, Twitter: @harvestxpress

Health-conscious food truck lovers have a delicious new lunchtime option. Harvest Xpress strives to use as many organic, non-GMO products as possible to make its paninis, pitas, wraps and salads. Meats are naturally raised, hormone-free and tasty, particularly in the Cuban sandwich, a hearty helping of roast pork, ham, pickles and mustard on house-made focaccia. Harvest Xpress’ fresh produce is on display in the California Hipster Wrap, packed with spring greens, tomatoes, red onion, fresh avocado, chicken, turkey bacon and avocado ranch dressing.




3. MaryAnn’s Tea Room: 4732 McPherson Ave., St. Louis, 314.361.5303, maryannstearoom.com 

Walk past the clothes, furniture and artwork at Enchanting Embellishments to the back of this CWE boutique where you’ll find glass doors that open to an airy greenhouse, home to MaryAnn’s Tea Room. The 45-seat space is outfitted with ornate gilded chairs complete with embroidered cushions, oversize planters bearing large leafy fronds, chandeliers and anything else associated with the customs of English tea. Open to the public daily until 4 p.m., MaryAnn’s offers Tea Forté and Dilmah teas, around 50 flavors in all. The tearoom staff will make a fuss over you at high tea; four different service options are available, all of which require advance reservations. For a less formal affair, pop in for lunch, selecting from a variety of soups, salads, sandwiches or larger plates. We recommend the chicken pie and a side of nutty rice salad – a blend of three types of rice and six different nuts, nicely seasoned with herbs. Finish with a pastry by La Patisserie Chouquette, La Bonne Bouche or Hank’s Cheesecakes.


4. Tick Tock Tavern: 3459 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, 314.776.6929, Facebook: Tick Tock Tavern

Believers in the neighborhood corner bar revival are already filling the house at new Tick Tock Tavern near Tower Grove Park. The no-frills watering hole feels barely changed from its ’80s glory days (when it also operated as a bar by the same name). Yet under ownership that includes The Royale’s Steve Smith and seasoned nightlife writer Thomas Crone, what at first appears worn and dated is suddenly cool and worth appreciating. Take in the shag carpeting covering the bar front, the linoleum flooring and the collection of Tick Tock’s 30-year-old sports trophies as you enjoy a beer. There are 11 brews (mainly craft) on tap and nearly two dozen in bottles or cans. The bar is stocked with premium spirits and for the lost, a menu board lists a handful of house specials like a rye Manhattan or a Gin Rickey. Hungry? Tick Tock doesn’t have a kitchen, but its neighbor (just through the doorway), Steve’s Hot Dogs, does. Order a dog (a vegan version debuts this month) or fill up on items from its new mac-n-cheese menu.



5. Pyro Pizza: 314.403.0217, Facebook: Pyro Pizza STL, Twitter: @PyroPizzaSTL

New food truck Pyro Pizza is part engineering marvel, part mobile food venue. The truck houses a custom wood-fired pizza oven that cranks the temps to a blistering 800 degrees, turning house-made dough into a perfectly toothsome 8-inch crust in 2 minutes. We swooned over the pesto chicken pizza decked with pungent pesto, juicy chicken, spinach, onion, hunks of fresh mozzarella and shredded mozzarella for good measure. The hungry crowd should dig into the barbecue chicken pizza, featuring a tangy barbecue sauce topped with chicken, bacon, pineapple, cheddar and mozzarella.


Hungry for more? Click here to see 6 more places on this month’s Hit List in Part 2!

-Peacemaker photo by Greg Rannells, MaryAnn’s photo by Katherine Bish



The Scoop: Resurrected Tick Tock Tavern to team with new Steve’s Hot Dogs location

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014


{Steve Ewing}


This summer, Tower Grove East will see the expansion of one St. Louis favorite and the revival of another. Steve Ewing, owner of Steve’s Hot Dogs at 2131 Marconi Ave., on The Hill, recently announced a second location is in the works at 3459 Magnolia Ave. The site is also home to the newly reconceived Tick Tock Tavern, which last served customers in 1994 before owner Charlotte Horvath retired. Now in the final stages of the licensing process, the two restaurants will share a building, a kitchen and a future together in the emerging South City borough.

“It’s a great combination,” Ewing said. “I’ve known (Tick Tock owners Thomas Crone and Steve Smith) most of my life. Both of them are well-known names in the community. It’s just a great group of guys. Putting all of our resources together, (all) of us can come out with some great products in a great neighborhood.”

Ewing, also frontman for the band The Urge, started Steve’s Hot Dogs as a food truck in 2008 to wide acclaim. Its first brick-and-mortar location opened in 2011. Serving lunch Monday through Saturday, the restaurant’s no-nonsense menu is more than a dozen dogs strong, kept up by Ewing and grill managers Phil Pitkin and Corey Horan. The three will split management responsibilities for both the original and the new location, which will seat 30.

The new incarnation of Tick Tock, which was popular with St. Louisans for decades, is co-owned by Crone, Smith (who also owns The Royale) and community developer Fred Hessel. “Fred and I had talked about maybe doing a project together,” Crone said. “We all visited one day, walked into the space, and it really clicked for us. There’s a yearning in the neighborhood for a family restaurant component. It really serves everyone’s needs.”

Tick Tock Tavern will seat 49 diners inside and another 20 on a shared patio. Crone added that much of the tavern’s interior has been preserved for nearly two decades. It will be gently renovated, but most of the original decor will remain intact. “(Tick Tock) had a really odd and charming look,” he said. “But it was a regular South City corner bar. We’re keeping the same feel.”

Subterranean Homemade Food owner Robin Wheeler will prepare lineup of light back-bar fare (Pickled eggs, beer-brined pickles, jam, jelly and jerky are all on the docket at the moment.). Behind the bar, expect a selection of eight wines, four local beers on tap (and even more in bottles) and around 10 simple but essential cocktails. Crone said he hopes the two restaurants will open at the same time in mid-summer.

-photo by Greg Rannells

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