River Des Peres Yacht Club, a New Sandwich Shop in Carondelet

Categories: First Look

River Des Peres Yacht Club's muffaletta with salami, mortadella, prosciutto, spinach, olive relish, mozzarella and provolone. | Photos by Mabel Suen
On October 22 The River Des Peres Yacht Club (7832 Ivory Avenue; 314-914-9033) opened in Carondelet, serving sandwiches and salads. The casual concept comes from partners Cindy Delgado and Michael Sullivan, who rehabbed the century-old historic Bugle newspaper building to open up their first business together.

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Paul's Market Seeks to Reinvigorate Ferguson

Categories: Restaurant News

Inside Paul's Market | Courtesy Paul's Market

Paul's Market (1020 Elizabeth Street, Ferguson; 314-524-3652) isn't giving up on its community. Owner Gary Crump has been working there since he was nine years old, helping out the family business. Now he's calling for local contractors, suppliers and others to help local business owners rebuild.

See also: South Grand Restaurants Cover Signs of Vandalism with Art [Photos]

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Thursday Throwdown: Al-Tarboush vs. the Vine Battle for the Chicken Schwarma Title

Chicken schwarma from the Vine and Al-Tarboush Deli. | Cheryl Baehr

Juicy, spit-roasted chicken, creamy tahini sauce and fresh herbs rolled into a soft pita -- it's hard to imagine a more perfect lunch than chicken schwarma. We sampled versions from the Vine Mediterranean Cafe and Market (3171 south Grand Boulevard; 314-776-0991) and Al-Tarboush Deli (602 Westgate Avenue, University City; 314-725-1944) to see how these Mediterranean sandwiches stack up against one another.

See Also: Thursday Throwdown: Clash of the (Gyro) Titans

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4 Seasons Bakery Expanding with Kickstarter Help

Categories: Restaurant News

German cherry cheesecake at 4 Seasons Bakery. | Mabel Suen

Husband-and-wife team Aaron and Agi Groff started 4 Seasons Bakery (2012 Campus Drive, St Charles; 314-288-9176) four years ago. It's finally time for an upgrade. They met while training at the Culinary Institute of America, and their output matches the pedigree. We've named them the best pies in St. Louis, and this year, the best bakery overall.

See also: 4 Seasons Bakery's Käsekuchen, A German Dessert That Redefines Cheesecake

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Have Lunch Inside a Life-Size Gingerbread House This Holiday Season

Categories: Fa La La La La

Outside the very yummy-smelling River City house. | Courtesy River City

With all of this holiday cheer floating around, there are many who take the opportunity to make adorable, edible gingerbread houses. If you're like us, though, it usually turns into a gooey disaster (or, it's soin edible that it lasts until the Fourth of July and you blow it up with fireworks). Skip all the disappointment. Bring the kids to the restaurants at Ameristar and River City casinos, and you can eat inside a life-size gingerbread house.

See also: In Honor of Fourth of July, We Blew Up the Riverfront Times Gingerbread House

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A Look Inside Larder & Cupboard, a New Specialty Food Shop in Maplewood

Categories: First Look

Best-selling bitters kits at Larder & Cupboard. | Photos by Mabel Suen
As reported by Gut Check, Larder & Cupboard (7310 Manchester Road; 314-300-8995) opened its doors at the corner of Manchester and Marshall avenues in early November. The specialty food shop in downtown Maplewood comes from Kakao's Brian Pelletier and co-owner Cindy Higgerson, and it stocks small-batch purveyors from locally and abroad. Hand-picked items include the likes of Salume Beddu, Marcoot Jersey Creamery, Baetje Farms and more.

See also: Brian Pelletier's Larder & Cupboard Coming to Maplewood

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Lücha's Free-Spirited Take on Mexican Classics Struggles as Much as it Succeeds: Review

Asada taco (beef brisket with seared onion & salsa), Pescado taco (tempura style fish with a vinaigrette coleslaw and salsa verde), and Al Pastor taco (pulled pork, seared pineapple, Guajillo and Ancho chiles). | Jennifer Silverberg

(522 North Grand Boulevard; 314-833-9993)
11-1 a.m. Tues.-Sun. (Closed Mon.)

Owners Hugo Perez and Brian Schmitz have wanted to open a place like Lücha for years, but were always hesitant -- how would St. Louis restaurantgoers receive a Mexican restaurant that deviates from the typical rice-and-bean-platter model? When the Kota Wood Fire Grill space came available, the veteran business partners (previous ventures include the Grind and Sol) decided it was time to push diners beyond generic Mexican food and celebrate the authentic flavors and dishes of Perez's hometown, Mexico City.

Lücha, which means "struggle" in Spanish, bills itself as a "Mexican soul food" restaurant, though it's more contemporary in its styling than the name would suggest. As Schmitz explains, the goal is to take traditional dishes and update them using modern cooking techniques. Think Abuela's time-honored recipes meet a Cryovac machine.

See also: A Look Inside Lucha's New Mexican Soul Food Restaurant in Midtown

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Pimped Out Pickles Has Two New Locations and Two Holiday-Appropriate Pickle Flavors To Try

Categories: Eat This?!

Jessica Lussenhop
Owner Michelle Turner Latchison.

Last winter, St. Louis was introduced to Pimped Out Pickles, a one-of-a-kind picklery on Martin Luther King Drive that offered 60 different flavors, including hot-and-sweet, pineapple and even more exotic varieties like "Pimpjuice." But after four short months in business, owner and master pickler Michelle Latchison Turner had to close her doors. So she returned to her old tried-and-true sales method -- vending from a table.

That changed once again about two months ago, when Latchison and her sons were able to open not just one, but two new locations of Pimped Out Pickles: the first at 3109 Vandeventer Avenue and the second at 4213 Delmar Boulevard.

"We're trying to go national now," says Latchison, seated in the spacious commercial kitchen of the Delmar location.

See also: Pimped Out Pickles, Home of the "Haterade" and "Pimpjuice" Pickle, Open for Business

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The 10 Best Food Instagrams in St. Louis This Week: December 9 to 16

Categories: Food Porn

Raspberry Hanukkah Bismarcks from Vincent Van Doughnut. | Instagram/@vincentvandoughnut

We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Instagram was practically made for pictures of food. Gut Check has rounded up our favorite foodie accounts in St. Louis, but there are so many cool photos every week, we wanted to share what St. Louis' best chefs, bartenders and eaters are Instagramming. If you see a good one, send it to us!

See also: The 10 Best Food Instagrams in St. Louis This Week: December 3 to 9

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Balaban's Wine Dinner Features Caymus Wines

Categories: Wine

Hawaiian big-eye tuna and diver scallop crudo with mango avocado relish and Meyer lemon balsamic vinaigrette, which was paired with the 2013 Conundrum White. | Nancy Stiles

Balaban's (1772 Clarkson Road, Chesterfield; 636-449-6700) is, of course, known for its wines, so it's pretty exciting when chef D. Scott Phillips creates a menu around the pairings. Often for wine dinners, the distributor comes in with the wines and the chef is forced to pair as best he can. For dinners like the one last weekend, which features Caymus Vinyeards wines, Phillips has a large selection of wines and can create something that is a true pairing. Warning: Delicious photos ahead.

See also: Chef Chat: D. Scott Phillips Is Balaban's Resident Artist

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