Chef Chat: For Gooseberries' Kim Bond and Ross Lessor, Business Is Personal

Categories: Chef Chat

Ross Lessor and Kim Bond of Gooseberries | Mabel Suen

"Yeah, we get into arguments every now and then,"Gooseberries (2754 Chippewa Street; 314-577-6363) co-owner Kim Bond laughs. "We're pretty good at dropping it after a certain point though."

No, Bond is not offering relationship advice -- unless your relationship involves working long hours in a restaurant with your significant other. As co-owners of the eclectic Dutchtown South cafe, Bond and her partner of eighteen years Ross Lessor blur the line between their personal and professional lives, though Bond insists it's not as hard as you'd think.

See Also: Review: Gooseberries Pleases Herbivores and Omnivores Alike

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Nourish by Hollyberry Includes Both Cafe and Market in Warson Woods

Categories: First Look

Chicken enchiladas, tortilla soup and a Mediterranean sampler. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Since 1998, Holly Cunningham has made it her prerogative to get wholesome treats into the hands of a hungry clientele. What started off as Hollyberry Baking Co. grew to become the full-fledged Hollyberry Catering in 2001, and on April 1 the goods became all the more accessible with the opening of the company's first retail storefront, Nourish by Hollyberry (10037 Manchester Avenue; 314-835-9196). The space sits conveniently beside the catering headquarters in Warson Woods, featuring a full-service cafe and grab-and-go market.

"The whole idea came out of my own personal experience as a busy working mother. We're foodies who love to cook but don't have a lot of time to," she says. "We're called Nourish for two reasons: We love the thought of being able to nourish our lives through having more time with our families, and our cafe is meant to nourish our customers."

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Review: If You're Into Over-the-Top Food, Busch Stadium Doesn't Disappoint

Mabel Suen
"Ultimate Tots," "Shrimp Walking Taco," a chicken-and-waffle sandwich, and popcorn.
Busch Stadium
700 Clark Avenue; 314-345-9600.
Weekdays, gates open 90 minutes before game time; on weekends, gates open two hours before game time.

I clearly remember my first stadium hot dog. I was nineteen, on my first solo trip to the ballpark, and jumping out of my skin at the thought of eating something that had actually been cooked on-site.

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The Burnt Ends at The Shaved Duck Are No. 1 in the Nation, New Book Says

Categories: Meat, Media

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Stu Spivack
Burnt ends are a classic barbecue dish -- albeit one associated with Kansas City.

Johnny Fugitt didn't take any shortcuts while researching his new book about barbecue. Over the course of a year, the Branson, Missouri, native drove 31,000 miles and visited no less than 365 barbecue joints -- and tried every last one.

With the release of his new book, The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America, Fugitt doesn't just name names. He ranks the restaurants he visited -- crafting a list of both the top 100 and the top 10 in numerous categories.

And while St. Louis didn't take the No. 1 spot overall (that honor went to Kerlin BBQ in Austin, Texas), the city did very well indeed. Bogart's ranked No. 12 in the nation, with The Shaved Duck, Pappy's, Vernon's, The Capitalist Pig, Hendrick's and Salt + Smoke all placing in the top 100.

The Shaved Duck took home another cool prize: It won top honors for its burnt ends.

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Toasted Ravioli Is 1,859 Percent More Popular in Missouri Than Anywhere Else

Image via Foodspotting
Missouri loves toasted ravioli. The rest of the nation .... not so much.
What do we talk about when we talk about food?

As it turns out, the answer is as varied as the places we live. In Florida, they talk about conch fritters. In Texas, they talk about breakfast tacos.

In Missouri, we talk about toasted ravioli. And apparently we talk about it all the damn time -- 1,859 percent more than any other state.

That's the startlingly specific conclusion of the search-and-discover app Foursquare, which analyzed data from all 50 states to determine that which food or drink is most disproportionately popular in each of them.

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The Gin Rickey Is the Cocktail for Summer 2015

Categories: Booze

A perfect gin rickey. | Patrick J. Hurley

The rickey was born in Washington, D.C., in the late nineteenth century. The original version was bourbon-based, but it was only several years later when bartenders changed the base of the cocktail that it really took off. Gin became the rickey's liquor of choice, and rightly so -- few combinations are as alchemically perfect as gin and citrus.

See also: Resurrecting the Daiquiri: The Cocktail of Summer 2014

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Guess Where I'm Eating This Eggs Benedict and Win $20 to Apollonia

Photo by Sarah Fenske
Eggs benedict ... but whose?
Is there any brunch dish more ubiquitous than eggs benedict? It's almost the perfect late-morning snack: filling, but not too filling. Eggy, but not boring. It's got carbs, and it's got protein, but not too much of either. It hits all the right notes.

The version we've photographed here includes a bit of twist: Instead of the normal ham slices, it includes two tasty crabcakes. It's a good version for shellfish lovers, and even more apropos on a bright sunny day.

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Howards in Soulard Now Open for Food, Live Music

Categories: First Look

Photo by Sarah Fenske
Howards' main bar features cozy brick, unique light fixtures and large windows overlooking South 13th Street.
When Judith Howard purchased the building that would hold her two-week-old bar/live music venue/bistro, Howards in Soulard (2732 S. 13th Street, 314-349-2850), the place was in bad shape. It needed new sewer, gas, electric and water lines. The roof hadn't been updated since the 1888. The building's previous life, as the Hi-Way Bar, had ended six years before -- and seemingly no one had touched the place since.

"This was my fifth restoration in Soulard in the past twenty years," Howard says. "And this was by far the most needy building."

What's amazing, however, isn't just the building's transformation, though the space now includes two light-drenched, brick-lined rooms (one with a handsome bar; the other with a small stage), plus a large patio.

What's amazing is that Howard completed all the work in just six months.

"We had 86 people working on it ... and 48 trips to City Hall for permits," she says proudly. "It's really amazing the way the whole thing came together."

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Brunch at Yaqui's on Cherokee: Pizza for Breakfast and More

"Saylor" breakfast pizza with bacon, sausage, fire-roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs and gravy sauce. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Where: Yaqui's on Cherokee (2728 Cherokee Street; 314-400-7712)

When: Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We Tried: "Saylor" breakfast pizza ($16.99); "Yaqui's Slinger" savory crepe ($13.99); "Elephant Ear" snack crepe ($5.99); wood-fired biscuits and gravy.

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Chef Ma's Chinese Gourmet Now Open in Overland

Photo by Sarah Fenske
Chef Ma's Kung Pao Pork
Ying Jing Ma -- or Chef Ma, as most people seem to call him -- has worked as a chef in hotel restaurants around the world. For approximately two years, he ran the kitchen at Mandarin House, one of the most palatial Chinese banquet halls in the St. Louis area.

His latest project is a bit more down-to-earth: Chef Ma's Chinese Gourmet Restaurant (2336 Woodson Drive, 314-395-8797) is located in an old Taco Bell on a random intersection in Overland. Customers order at the counter and fetch their own drinks, and when the food is delivered, it sometimes arrives in a styrofoam container. The place is definitely not fancy.

But despite being open less than two weeks, the restaurant has already drawn a large following -- with large Chinese families and curious neighbors alike practically filling the dining room on the weeknight we stopped by.

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