Taste of St. Louis Owner Says He Was Pushed Out By Summer Rocks

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Taste of St. Louis, when it was downtown. Tear. | Sarah Rusnak

In case you haven't heard, people are pretty upset about Taste of St. Louis moving to Chesterfield this fall. At first, owner Mike Kociela told us, it was simply a matter of making the event more regional -- a logistics issue. Yesterday, though, we went to the board of aldermen meeting concerning Summer Rocks, a music festival that wants to come to St. Louis next summer.

See also: Taste of St. Louis Moving to Chesterfield


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Mi Linh's Former Chef Nelson Padilla Says He Was Forced Out by Sister Dee Dee Tran

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       Linh Tu, Nelson Padilla and Dee Dee Tran at Mi Linh. | Jennifer Silverberg

Last week we reported that Mi Linh (9737 Manchester Road; 314-918-8868), the nine-month-old Vietnamese restaurant in Rock Hill, parted ways with its executive chef, Nelson Tran. Owner Dee Dee Tran told us in a statement and through a spokeswoman that the split with Nelson and his wife Linh Tu, the restaurant's manager, was due to other family issues and completely amicable. She claimed that his exit was seamless and patrons didn't notice. At the time, we were unable to get in contact with Nelson or Tu.

See also: Mi Linh Parts Ways with Executive Chef Nelson Tran

Since then, Gut Check received an e-mail from Nelson and Tu's son, James, who was also a server at Mi Linh.

"Everything you received and written about was definitely a lie," he wrote. "My family wanted to let you know for our reputation."

We met up with Nelson and his family to hear their side of the story. One of the first things we learned? His real name isn't even "Nelson Tran."

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Snarf's St. Louis Protested After Chicago Workers Unceremoniously Fired

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Protesters gather in front of Snarf's. | Nancy Stiles

We know Snarf's (6301 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-4800) as a delightful sandwich shop across from RFT headquarters (and it has a location downtown, too), but not everyone is so pleased with them. St. Louis fast-food workers, with the help of Show Me 15 (formerly STL735) protested yesterday in solidarity with Snarf's Chicago workers who were fired three days before Christmas via e-mail.

See also: Fast Food Strike Expands to East St. Louis

"Basically when we spoke with fast-food workers here in St. Louis about what happened, they were outraged," Show Me 15 spokesperson Shannon Garth-Rhodes tells us. "They were just like, 'How could they do that to them three days before Christmas, in an e-mail?' They were upset, and they wanted to hold this action."

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10 Reasons Why Your Waiter is Judging You

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Illustration by Kevin Cannon

Here's some cold hard truth: Your waiter is judging you. And it's not because you scanned our restaurant's list of preachy, precious dishes made with esoteric (but local!) ingredients and then asked what celeriac or chimicurri are. Waiters don't care about that. Answering questions like that is their job. No, it's not about what you know, it's about how you act, and your waiter is surveying you to determine whether you're a badly behaved diner. How do they know? Presenting the 10 most obvious signs.

See also: St. Louis' etiquette masters tell us how to mind our manners

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Only the Red Sox Charge More for Beer Than the Cardinals

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Not cheap. | Peter Bond

Cardinals fans (and really, all sports fans) know they're going to get overcharged for food and drinks at a game. We tend to complain about it a lot, but it's just one of those things -- if you want a beer at Busch Stadium (Broadway & Poplar Street; 314-345-9000), you're going to have to pay for it. Last year, our prices in general were still above the MLB average; this year, it seems only the Boston Red Sox have more expensive beer. Yikes!

See also: 5 Best Foods to Eat at Busch Stadium

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Malt Liquor (not Budweiser) Is True Culprit in Study on ER Visits

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Guess what? Budweiser isn't the most dangerous. | Meddy Garnet, Ross Catrow

Various news outlets have been giddily reporting a new study from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health that found Budweiser to be the No. 1 drink behind alcohol-related emergency room visits.

"Understanding the relationship between alcohol brands and their connection to injury may help guide policy makers in considering taxation and physical availability of different types of alcohol given the harms associated with them," said the study's lead author in a statement.

At first we thought the results of the study seemed somewhat predictable -- Budweiser is one of America's best-selling beers. So wouldn't it make sense that it was the beverage of choice for many beer drinkers who ended up in the hospital? But then we looked a little closer.

See also: Anheuser-Busch Sued By Inmates Who Say Booze Made Them Criminals

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Saint Louis Bread Co. Insults Farmers Via Twitter

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       The EZChicken-less campaign. | Panera Bread Company

Corporations are still trying to navigate the tricky world of social media. Of course, you can't please everyone, and an account with hundreds of thousands of followers is going to get a few nasty tweets. Companies are wisely learning to utilize Twitter for marketing purposes, with varying degrees of success. The Chipotle Twitter "hack" was funny at best, and at worst, it was simply stupid. But now Saint Louis Bread Co. (we refuse to say Panera) has farmers across the country up in arms over its latest Twitter campaign.

See also:
- Chipotle Twitter Hack Was Just a PR Stunt
- Panera Bread Debuts Slow-Carb Hidden Menu in St. Louis Today
- Mob Testimony Gives Panera Bread Awesome Ad Opportunity


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Chipotle Twitter Hack Was Just a PR Stunt

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       Twitter fail. Except not really. | Nancy Stiles

Last Sunday Chipotle's Twitter account, @ChipotleTweets, seemed to be going haywire. It looked like a hack: In February, a jokester got into Burger King's account and transformed it into McDonald's. Embarrassing, sure, but Burger King gained more than 30,000 followers because of it. So, a hack isn't necessarily a bad thing for a brand (but probably). Chipotle's social-media meltdown was bizarre and funny -- and fake.

See also:
-Win Free Burritos For a Year (Then Share With Us)
-Chipotle "Hidden Menu" Is an Urban Legend
-Chipotle Adds PatrĂ³n Margaritas to Menus Today


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Asparagus in U. City is Lush, Will Still Make Your Pee Smell Weird

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       Totally regular asparagus. | Nancy Stiles

Whether or not the accusations are true, Schnucks (6920 Olive Boulevard, University City; 314-726-2373) got itself into a bit of a PR mess this week when a member of the University City human-relations commission came upon dry asparagus at his local Schnucks. David Olander alerted a manager to the offending perennial and contacted the company's CEO, implying that Schnucks was discriminating against its lower-income customers. (Asparagus at the Ladue location were nice and moist in cups of water.)

See also:
-Post-Dispatch Defends Story on Asparagus And Race, Says Not Part of A "Liberal Conspiracy"
-Schnucks Didn't Break Law, Is Also Victim in Credit Card Breach, Attorney General Says
-Beware the Insidious Asphalt-Destroying Asparagus


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Paula Deen to Star in Her Own Comic

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Paula Deen is the latest "Female Force" subject. | Bluewater Productions

Surprisingly, not everyone has canceled their Paula Deen books. Bluewater Productions will roll out their "Female Force" biography comic book featuring the butter-loving chef this fall. Here's the kicker: they aren't making fun of her.

See also:
-Paula Deen Should Probably Just Own It
-Angry Paula Deen Fans Mistake Missouri-Based Food Channel for Food Network
-Paula Deen Unintentionally Moons the Universe

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