hot ham and cheese at 58hundred photo by david kovaluk

Review: 58hundred in Southwest Garden

Housed in a whitewashed brick building on a quiet corner near The Hill, 58hundred (from the owners of The Block in Webster Groves) is a homey neighborhood spot in Southwest Garden that's ideal for a lunch date. Wide-plank wood floors, bright white walls and a massive bar bifurcating two dining areas create an open, sprawling feel. The tight menu features vegetable-focused dishes alongside decadent cuts of meat.

charred vegetable salad // photo by david kovaluk

Charred Vegetable Salad
You don’t have to be a vegetarian to fall head over heels for this salad. A bright collection of broccoli, zucchini, edamame and carrot is dusted with a savory house seasoning that incorporates fennel, coriander, salt and pepper before getting grilled. The charred veggies are tossed with crunchy quinoa and drizzled with a citrus vinaigrette laced with honey. 

braunschweiger plate at 58hundred // photo by david kovaluk

Braunschweiger Plate
Billed as an appetizer, the braunschweiger plate is substantial enough to serve as a main. The kitchen utilizes whole hogs to make the super savory liver sausage pate in-house. It’s cut into thick rounds and served alongside generous slices of grilled Companion multigrain bread accompanied by whole grain mustard, a dollop of mayo, house pickles and pickled red onions – all the makings for the best braunschweiger sandwich.

Grilled 3-Cheese 
One bite of the grilled cheese dunked into creamy, impossibly rich tomato soup is enough to slay all pretenders. Crispy sourdough laced with salt and olive oil is the perfect delivery for the combination of two cheddars and tangy, intense blue cheese. Rounding out the cast: grilled portobello mushrooms and a marinated artichoke hummus that brings a little nuttiness to the thick and cheesy lunchtime classic.   

the bar at 58hundred // photo by david kovaluk

Hot Ham & Cheese
The ham and cheese is seared on a flattop until its rich filling peeks out the side of the brioche bun beckoning you on. Thin slices of juicy, house-smoked ham are paired with a healthy dose of sweet caramelized onions, then drenched in a creamy jalapeno Mornay that comprises white and sharp cheddar.

quinoa bowl with an added egg at 58hundred // photo by david kovaluk

Quinoa Bowl
Fluffy and chewy at once, nutty red and white quinoas are cooked in house-made vegetable stock then piled with layers of flavor from a mix of veggies. Butternut squash, roasted peppers, zucchini, carrot, cremini and shiitake mushrooms, spinach and bright, charred broccoli are all in the delicious mix. It’s served with brown rice and a sesame-soy reduction. 

The Downside
The only disappointment from the lunch menu was the bland basil pesto risotto. Adding sauteed shrimp failed to rescue a dull lump of risotto that delivered only faint hints of the expected fresh pesto flavor.  

Matt Berkley is a longtime contributor and critic at Sauce Magazine.