The 10 Best Food Instagrams in St. Louis This Week: February 25 to March 4

Categories: Food Porn

Annie Gunn's. | Instagram/@chowchief

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 Best Food Instagrams in St. Louis This Week: February 18 to 24

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Cassy Vires, Rick Lewis and More to Face Off at Iron Fork 2015

Categories: Iron Fork

Chef Cassy Vires, left, will defend Juniper's title against Rick Lewis, right, plus Heather Stone and Justin McMillen. | Jennifer Silverberg/Cheryl Baehr

Iron Fork 2015 is less than one month away -- needless to say, we're getting pretty excited. Besides the endless food tastings, one of our favorite parts of the event is the chefs' competition. Last year, John Perkins of Juniper came out victorious. This year, he's sending his new executive chef Cassy Vires to defend the title.

See also: John Perkins Takes the Title at Iron Fork 2014

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A Look Inside Hot Box Cookies' New Central West End Storefront

Categories: First Look

An assortment of Hot Box Cookies' sweets. | Photos by Mabel Suen

As reported by Gut Check, Hot Box Cookies (3 North Euclid Avenue; 314-899-0909) opened in the Central West End on February 27. The late-night cookie bakery and delivery service originated in 2008 with its flagship in Columbia, later adding a location in Lawrence, Kansas. This is its first St. Louis store, and five more are planned for the St. Louis area in the coming year in spots including the Delmar Loop and downtown.

See also: Hot Box Cookies Now Open in the Central West End

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

"Top-Shelf Guacamole," "Relleno De Camarones," and "Enchiladas De Cangrejo." | Mabel Suen

Cantina Laredo
(7710 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-725-2447)
Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Forget, for a moment, that Cantina Laredo looks less like a cantina in Laredo and more like a posh restaurant on a golf resort in Scottsdale, Arizona. Never mind that serving fajitas with copious amounts of sour cream is as authentically Mexican as Taco Bell, or that the restaurant is named for a pair of border towns but inspired by a city 700 miles to their south. If you can suspend your disbelief, you'll have a pretty good time at Cantina Laredo.

See also: Review: Ferguson Burger Bar, Six Months Later

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Peacock Loop Diner's Neon Sign Up for Award

Categories: Restaurant News

The Peacock Loop Diner's already-famous neon sign. | Mabel Suen

The neon sign at the Peacock Loop Diner (6261 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-721-5555) was up and visible way before the 24-hour restaurant opened. It's now one more beacon on Delmar Boulevard, practically as recognizable as Blueberry Hill's dancing couple or the Pageant's red signage. Last week, the diner's interior won recognition as the best commercial space (restaurant) at the St. Louis At Home Architect and Designer Awards. Now, the Peacock is up for Signs of the Times' 2015 International Sign Contest Readers' Choice Awards.

See also: Peacock Loop Diner Smooths Its Feathers After Rocky Opening: Review

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Brunch at Magnolia Café: Wholesome Buffet-Style Food Paired with Local Tunes

Tofu scramble, sesame-ginger greens, quiche, stollen, sausage and more. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Where: Magnolia Café and the Stage at KDHX (3524 Washington Avenue; 314-925-7556)

When: Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. -- no reservations required.

We Tried: The brunch buffet ($15), complete with free live music from 10 a.m. to noon, and a choice of drink such as orange juice or coffee.

See also: First Look: Magnolia Café

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Schlafly Partners with Noodles & Company

Of course pasta can go with beer. | Courtesy Noodles and Company

Beer pairings are a bit of a no-brainer in town these days, so much so that even the fast-casual joints are getting in on the action. Noodles & Company, which has six St. Louis-area locations and one in Columbia, has partnered with Schlafly -- it will be selling the beer and offering monthly specials.

See also: Noodlevana - Does Noodles & Company have a cure for the chain-restaurant blues?

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Pantera's Pizza Maplewood Closed, No New Location Yet

Pantera's Maplewood. | Kelly Hogan

Pantera's Pizza (7222 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-781-1424) has been scrambling for a new location ever since December, when an increase in rent cost the store its lease. Unfortunately, nothing has been worked out, and the local pizza chain was forced to leave Maplewood after 25 years. Owners have assured fans on Facebook that Pantera's will be back.

See also: Pantera's Pizza Loses Lease, Seeks New Location

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#86: The Bone-In Strip Steak at 801 Chophouse

A perfectly cooked strip steak at 801 Chophouse. | Jennifer Silverberg

801 Chophouse (137 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton; 314-875-9900) may be the city's most luxe dining experience, and that opulence comes at a price. If one is going to fork over a week's hard-earned salary for dinner, the steaks had better deliver. They do.

See Also: Why Are the Urinals at 801 Chophouse Filled with Ice?

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

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.

I Scream Cakes' blueberry-cheesecake ice cream paired with Vincent Van Doughnut's blueberry-cheesecake doughnut. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Since opening in 2011, I Scream Cakes (2641 Cherokee Street; 314-932-5758) has offered picture-perfect ice cream cakes using its own from-scratch, all-natural ice cream. Chef and owner Kerry Soraci, who moonlights as a tattoo artist at Iron Age Tattoo, makes one-of-a-kind, award-winning treats including everything from intricate, fully edible sculptures to gluten-free drumsticks, garlic ice cream, beer floats and even frozen treats for pups.

Her latest novelty creation features a collaboration with artisan pastry makers Vincent Van Doughnut: the "I Scream Sammy." Every Saturday morning starting at 11 a.m., you can create your own ice-cream sandwich by pairing a doughnut with a scoop of your choice.

See also: I Scream Cakes Gets a Second Wind

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