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Sneak Peek Inside United Provisions, Delmar Loop's New Grocery and Dining Complex

Categories: Food News

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United Provisions readies for opening. | Jessica Lussenhop

Gut Check took a moment to walk through United Provisions (6241 Delmar Boulevard, University City), the new market and dining complex on the ground floor of Washington University's swank new dorms in the Delmar Loop this morning. It was nothing if not impressive in both its scale and the breadth of its offerings.

Stockers were filling shelves as construction workers hurried to put the finishing touches on the building. We even caught James Beard-nominated chef Ben Poremba and Naomi Hamamura puzzling through a tuna crudo dish together behind the sushi bar. Here's a quick photo sneak peek.

See also: Ben Poremba's Old Standard and the Dining District Take Shape

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Nosh Pit at LouFest Features Delicious Snacks from St. Louis' Finest

Categories: Food News

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Happy customers at last year's Nosh Pit. | Theo Welling

We're super excited for LouFest (hello, Outkast!), but of course we can't forget about the food. Contrary to the usual festival food, LouFest actually has eats from some of the best restaurants in St. Louis. Check out the full lineup after the jump.

See also: In the Nosh Pit at LouFest 2013

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Indigogo Campaign Aims to Double Food-Stamp Buying Power at Local Farmers' Markets

Categories: Food News

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Laura Caldie

Everyone knows that food stamps (known now as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP) provides monetary assistance to low-income individuals and families to buy groceries. But not everyone may realize that there are now six farmers' markets in St. Louis that accept SNAP cards.

There's just one problem -- not a lot of SNAP dollars are spent there. Junk food often costs considerably less, while small, local farms are labor intensive and, thus, charge more than the average supermarket chain for similar items.

Brian DeSmet, manager of the Schlafly Farmers Market, wants to change that. But he needs the public's help.

See also: The Living Room and Art House Coffees to Take Over Black Cat Theatre

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Venice Cafe Closed Indefinitely After Burglary [UPDATE]

Categories: Food News

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Google Street View

Update: Venice Cafe posts another message online about plans to reopen on Monday, July 14.

According to a post on the bar and venue's Facebook page, Venice Cafe (1903 Pestalozzi Street; 314-772-5994) is closed indefinitely following a burglary.

The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department confirms that the owner reported a computer missing and the safe emptied.

See also: Monte Bello Pizza Closed Due to Plumbing Issues

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What Do St. Louis Restaurant Workers Really Make?

Categories: Food News

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Olle Svensson

Recently, we here at Gut Check found ourselves pondering a simple question: How much do restaurant workers in St. Louis really make?

Just about everyone seems to agree that the St. Louis restaurant scene is booming, and surely that has made a handful of restaurateurs and chefs some very decent money. But what about the people behind the scenes?

We wanted to know how much servers, bussers, sous chefs, prep cooks and others around town earn. We took a highly unscientific survey of people we know in the industry and the people they know, and compiled a short list of some of the real wages of real restaurant workers in St. Louis.

See also: St. Louis Pastor Asks Why Server Deserves Bigger Tip Than God on Receipt

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Eckert's Summer Peach-Picking Canceled Due to Winter Storm Damage

Categories: Food News

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Kiss these babies good-bye. | Neil Conway

Earlier this week we listed our five favorite St. Louis foods you can only get in the summertime -- one of them was a freshly picked peach from Eckert's (951 South Green Mount Road, Belleville, Illinois; 618-233-0513). But then one of our helpful commenters shared a bit of distressing news -- this year's peach picking is canceled.

"Unfortunately it is true. We had that late storm that came through that did put a freeze on our crop," says Ashley Lake, Eckert's accounting and IT assistant (and apparently occasional phone-answerer). "It did kill some of the buds."

See also: 7 Outdoor Dinners You Can't Miss This Summer

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STL Veg Girl Launches Line of Plant-Based Food Products

Categories: Food News

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Caryn Dugan, a.k.a. STL Veg Girl. | Jennifer Silverberg

Caryn Dugan gets it. A lot of people think vegans are crazy. She used to be one of them, until her father died of cancer in 2008 and her own diagnosis came ten weeks later. Six years after that, she's healthy and known by the once-unlikely moniker STL Veg Girl. As of yesterday, her booming business now includes plant-based food products -- vegan fast food, if you will.

See also: Modesto Tapas Goes Vegan, With the Help of STL Veg Girl

"The reason I started doing it is because I completely understand craziness. I see all of my girlfiends that have kids and say they want to eat healthy or lose weight, or their kids have pre-diabetes, and that's insane to me," Dugan tells Gut Check. "Now it's my business to teach people the whys and the hows of a plant-based diet. If you don't have the time, there's fast food, and now there's this, that's just as quick and easy to eat."

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Strange Donuts Approved for Second Location in Kirkwood

Categories: Food News

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The "Bart's Revenge" doughnut. | Jon Gitchoff

Speculation has been rampant ever since Strange Donuts (2709 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-932-5851) announced it would expand to a second location after only a few months in business. Soon, fans were guessing Kirkwood would be the place -- it's fairly central and is similar in feel to Maplewood, home of the original. That is indeed where the second location will open sometime during the next few months.

See also: Strange Donuts Announces Plans for Second Location

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Pimped Out Pickles, Home of the "Haterade" and "Pimpjuice" Pickle, Open for Business

Categories: Food News

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All hail, Big Pimp Pickle. | Jessica Lussenhop

Update: We finally connected with the brains behind the business, owner Michelle Latchison Turner. Updated with the story behind the pickles and how she came up with the name.

As soon as Gut Check heard news that a business called Pimped Out Pickles (4259 Martin Luther King Drive, 314-401-1807) just opened its first brick-and-mortar store two weeks ago, we grabbed our coat and ran out the door.

There inside the tiny storefront we met Finess and Bart Latchison, two brothers who run the business with their mom, Michelle Turner.

"She started selling them, and it really took off to the point where she could really be doing something with it," says Finess. "I never would have guessed there's so many pickle lovers."

See also: Strange Donuts Announces Plans for Second Location

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Our 20 Favorite Restaurant Openings of 2013

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Collage made up of photos by Jon Gitchoff and Jennifer Silverberg.

As the year winds ever closer to its end, we here at Gut Check are getting awfully nostalgic for the year that is and was 2013. In celebration, we compiled a list of the twenty restaurants, coffee shops, bars, burger shacks, BBQ joints, and so on that opened for business in 2013 and changed the dining landscape of St. Louis for the better.

This list is in alphabetical order with the exception of the top spot, which in 2013 goes to The Libertine (7927 Forsyth Boulevard), Josh Galliano's new Clayton restaurant. The other nineteen are listed but not ranked. All the love.

See also: Impeccable Element Is Lafayette Square's Newest Jewel

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