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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Planter's House Debuts New Spring Cocktail Menu

Categories: Booze

The beautiful "Red Shark" cocktail. | Patrick J. Hurley

As much as we love to enjoy our favorite cocktails at our favorite bars, we relish the chance to try new drinks when a fresh cocktail list comes out. Planter's House (1000 Mississippi Avenue; 314-696-2603) -- tapped by this paper as the best place to drink cocktails -- released a brand-new cocktail list last night. Whether they are dreaming up new concoctions or mixing a spot-on classic one, Ted Kilgore and company never disappoint. But this time, they have really outdone themselves.

See also: How to Keep Your Beer from Skunking While Drinking Outside

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That Time We Met Lisa Vanderpump at Ballpark Village

Categories: WTF?

Ken Todd and Lisa Vanderpump at the Crown Room. | Caroline Yoo

Ever since Ballpark Village opened in March 2014, there have been varying opinions about its level of, well, classiness. Should it be for rowdy sports fans in Cardinals gear? Are we here to wear cowboy boots and ride mechanical bulls? Do we take advantage of expensive bottle service and follow vaguely racist dress codes?

There is nothing of more questionable class than Bravo's Real Housewives franchise, so naturally a Real Housewife was on hand to unveil the new VIP Crown Room at the Budweiser Brew House at Ballpark Village (601 Clark Avenue; 314-345-9481) this past weekend.

See also: Crown Room Launch Party at Ballpark Village

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Chef Chat: Russell's on Macklind's Russell Ping Plays Well with Sweet and Savory

Categories: Chef Chat

Russell Ping of Russell's on Macklind and Russell's Bakery & Cafe. | Mabel Suen

Russell Ping opened his first venture, Russell's Cafe & Bakery (958 Brookwood Center Plaza, Fenton; 636-343-8900), at the ripe old age of 22. It's a little young to be branching out on one's own -- then again, Ping got his first KitchenAid mixer when he was 11.

See Also: Russell's on Macklind's Coconut Cake, A Divine Classic Dessert By the Slice

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Anheuser-Busch Debuts Oculto, a Tequila-Barrel-Aged Lager

Categories: Beer

Oculto, a tequila-barrel-aged lager (also, mysterious). | Courtesy Anheuser-Busch

Whiskey- and bourbon-barrel aging is totally the thing now, in both cocktails and craft beer. The process is when you age the spirit or beer in a barrel that previously held say, whiskey, to infuse the contents with that taste. As we've noted before, Anheuser-Busch loves to get in on the craft-beer game, so it's introducing a tequila-barrel-aged lager called Oculto.

See also: Anheuser-Busch Resurrects Faust, the 130-Year-Old Beer Named for a St. Louis Legend

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Guess Where I'm Eating This Barbecue Plate and Win $50 to Hwy 61 Roadhouse

Pulled pork, mac & cheese, bologna and fries. | Nancy Stiles

Ever since the temps have gone up, barbecue has been calling our name. We got a delicious barbecue plate last week with pulled pork and bologna. Think you can guess where we ate it? Be the first to get it right and you'll win some free grub.

See also: Guess Where I'm Eating This Tortellini and Win $20 to La Tejana [UPDATED]

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