pork chops at 58hundred photo by michelle volansky

5 new St. Louis restaurants to try this November

5800 Southwest Ave., St. Louis, 314.279.5799, 58hundred.com

Nestled on a quiet stretch of Southwest Avenue, 58hundred looks like another house on the residential street. The full bar and quality beer list are sure to attract neighbors for a weeknight drink, and the solid American fare is worth staying for. 

Classic dishes range from a burger and grilled cheese to more composed entrees like grilled salmon and a pork chop. Order the shrimp po’boy: a substantial sandwich of tender shrimp with an exceptional Sriracha remoulade. 

Or opt for the Amish chicken: a roasted half bird served with a muffin-sized serving of mushroom-leek bread pudding, as well as creamed orzo, which is like an indulgent pasta risotto. The homey atmosphere and menu make this new restaurant from the owners and chef of The Block another crowd-pleasing neighborhood spot.

2. Poke Munch
630 N. New Ballas Road, Creve Coeur, 314.731.6735, pokemunchstl.com

St. Louis’ poke wave has crashed into Creve Coeur. Options abound in this build-your-own roll or bowl menu, but we’re partial to the signature dishes. Each bowl or roll includes a bed of sushi rice, sliced Persian cucumber and fresh vegetables like spring greens or shredded cabbage and carrots. 

The Kilauea Krunch is best with crisp tempura shrimp stashed atop a dollop of spicy crab salad, avocado, and unagi and fried onion sauces. Heat things up with Maui’s Fury featuring raw ahi tuna and salmon, jalapenos and a spicy mayo-based sauce tempered by avocado and sweet onions. 

The meat-free Avocoloco includes sweet chili tofu and shiitake mushrooms mixed with pickled yellow daikon, edamame, avocado, sesame seeds and a creamy ginger-mayo sauce.

3. The Baked Bear
6140 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314.578.8576, thebakedbear.com

The concept of this national chain speaks for itself: Create your own ice cream sandwiches with the option to have the whole mess heated up for a warm cookie/cold ice cream dream. Choose from more than a dozen ice cream flavors to sandwich between cookies (we like the peanut butter) with your choice of toppings from Fruity Pebbles to hot fudge. 

Our favorite combination was a brownie-espresso bean ice cream sandwich. The brownie was fudgy, soft and spoonable even without warming it, and the espresso bean ice cream had a great smooth texture and pitch-perfect coffee flavor with no bitterness.

various dishes from thai table // photo by lauren healey

4. Thai Table
7403 Manchester Road, Maplewood, 314.449.6919, thaitablestl.com

Along with the usual American favorites, like pad kee mao and some seriously good pad thai, Maplewood’s newest Thai place offers a number of exceptional specialties. 

Don’t miss the nam tok beef – tender sliced steak tossed with red onion in a spicy lime-based dressing, served with lettuce and sticky rice to cool the palate. The massaman beef is another standout with beef slow-cooked in a rich, peanuty coconut-based curry broth you’ll want to drink from the bowl.

5. Sze Chuan
7930 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.925.8711

It takes gumption to open a Chinese chain on Olive Boulevard in University City, home to some of the finest Asian restaurants in the St. Louis area. But this new kid on the block has already attracted attention for its expansive menu. 

There are plenty of meat dishes to choose from, including thinly sliced sauteed beef with lingering, numbing heat from Sichuan peppercorns to extra spicy braised lamb stir-fried with serrano peppers and cilantro. Seafood runs the gamut from whole fish preparations to shellfish. There are even a couple dishes showcasing frogs as the main event. 

Don’t overlook the veggie dishes, which are every bit as flavorful and dynamic as their meaty counterparts – like the deceptively simple eggplant, served in the most fragrant and piquant of garlic sauces, and the salted crispy tofu with ideal texture, seasoned to perfection. Think julienned sauteed potatoes can’t be a joyous culinary experience? Think again.