Red Lotus Spa & Bistro: A New Rock Hill Business Where Beauty Meets Banh Mi

Categories: First Look

Red Lotus' grilled-pork banh mi. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Last month, critically acclaimed Mi Linh got an extreme makeover, and now its visitors can get made up there, too. On February 13, the Vietnamese restaurant re-branded and opened as Red Lotus Spa & Bistro (9737 Manchester Road; 314-918-8868), a concept that combines owner Dee Dee Tran's background in both restaurants and beauty services by offering the best of both worlds under one roof.

See also: Review: Mi Linh: The Tran family raises the bar for Vietnamese cuisine

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The 9 Best Places For Pancakes in St. Louis

Farmer's cheese pancakes at Scape | Marvin Brown

Whether breakfasting or brunching (or maybe indulging a little brinner) it's hard to beat a hot stack of melt-in-your mouth, light, fluffy, made-from-scratch pancakes topped with melting butter and drenched with real maple syrup. These nine pancake spots have perfected the art of pancakes.

See also: 10 Best Places for a Boozy Brunch in St. Louis

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Copper Pig to Open in Growing Southampton Neighborhood


Another new restaurant is headed to the buzzing SoHa neighborhood: Copper Pig (4611 Macklind Avenue). It's owned by Nhat Nguyen, who you may remember as a star bartender at the late Mirasol and Urban, which closed on South Grand last year.

See also: Best Bartender St. Louis 2009 - Nhat Nguyen

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Chubbies Is Closed for Good This Time

chubbies burger 1.jpg
Oh, how we miss that burger. | Jennifer Silverberg

Chubbies (6227 Delmar Boulevard; 314-725-5000) was one of our favorite places in the Loop, with one caveat: It would close for days or even weeks at a time with no explanation. We feared it had shut its doors for good last summer, but one day in August it miraculously reopened. Unfortunately, it seems we won't be so lucky this time.

See also: Chubbies, Delmar Loop Burger Joint, Has Been Mysteriously Closed for Over a Week

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Brunch at Tree House: Vibrant Vegetarian and Vegan Plates, Cocktails and Doughnuts

Tree House's vegan "Desayuno Latino," or Latin brunch. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Where: Tree House (3177 South Grand Boulevard; 314-696-2100)

When: Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We Tried: Biscuit-and-gravy plate ($12); Desayuno Latino ($10); eggs Benedict ($12); banh bao chay ($6); vegan donuts ($3); "Kim Chi Bloody Mary" ($8).

See also: Review: Tree House's Meatless Menu Satisfies Even the Most Reluctant Vegetarian

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The 10 Best Food Instagrams in St. Louis This Week: March 18 to 24

Categories: Food Porn

A locally twinged Boulevardier from Small Batch's spring cocktail menu. | Instagram/@smallbatchstl

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 Ten Best Food Instagrams in St. Louis This Week: March 11 to 17

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Review: Fort Taco's Brentwood Drive-Through Is Your Newest Addiction

A box of Fort Taco's "Traditional Soft Shell Tacos." | Mabel Suen

Fort Taco
(8106 Manchester Road, Brentwood; 314-647-2391)
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

I almost got into a fight at the Fort Taco drive-through. The lady behind me began yelling obscenities out of her window. "Will you hurry up? Just order the whole menu already!" I was about to jump out of the car and tell this woman what she could do with her taco, but settled instead for a nasty look and lingered a little longer just to spite her. I now realize I owe this woman an apology. Having tasted the perfection that is Fort Taco, I understand what a crime it was to come between her and her fix.

See also: Review: Gooseberries Pleases Herbivores and Omnivores Alike

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Vincent Van Doughnut's "Mini Vinnies": Fun, Flavorful Doughnut Holes From Scratch

Categories: Sugar High

Welcome to Sugar High, a series devoted solely to spotlighting the best ways to sate a sweet tooth in St. Louis. We'll sample the best the city has to offer at restaurants, bakeries and holes-in-the-wall, and provide some insight on how these confections are made along the way.

The latest "Mini Vinnie": a gooey-butter filled doughnut hole dipped in chocolate and topped with ganache. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Since rolling out its artisanal doughnuts in November 2013, Vincent Van Doughnut has made tracks all over town, offering its from-scratch treats on the streets, at Straub's Markets and even paired with ice cream for breakfast. On March 14, the food truck set roots in Clayton with its first brick-and-mortar storefront at 40 North Central Avenue in Clayton.

On any given day, visitors can look forward to a rotating set of around a dozen offerings including one of chef-owner Vincent Marsden's ongoing series of creations: "Mini Vinnies," or doughnut holes with decadent fillings or dips.

See also: I Scream Cake's "I Scream Sammys": Artisan Ice Cream Between Vincent Van Doughnut Treats

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#81: Cantina Laredo's "Torta De Carnitas"

The "Torta de Carnitas" sandwich from Cantina Laredo. | Courtesy Cantina Laredo

Cantina Laredo (7710 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-725-2447) looks less like a Cantina in Laredo and more like a polished golf resort in Scottsdale. Naturally, one questions whether this trendy Dallas-based chain is capable of producing food with substance. The "Torta De Carnitas" erases any doubts.

See Also: Review: Cantina Laredo Shows the Sleeker Side of Tex-Mex

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Missouri State Senator Eric Schmitt Talks His #PorkSteakRebellion

Categories: WTF?

The bone-in pork steak at Gamlin Whiskey House. | Jennifer Silverberg

St. Louisans are finished with the assaults on our hometown culinary delights. First it was St. Louis-style pizza, then toasted ravioli and pretty much everything else, and now, according to Missouri State Senator Eric Schmitt, it's pork steaks. The Republican senator started a Twitter campaign called #PorkSteakRebellion after an EPA-funded study recommended more regulation on backyard propane grills. We talked to Senator Schmitt about wasteful spending, "the Twitters" and just how he grills his own pork steaks.

See also: Gawker Still Hates St. Louis Food, We Shrug and Stuff Our Faces

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