Baconfest St. Louis 2015 Postponed

Categories: Food News

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No bacon for you. | Courtesy of Matthew Willer

It looks like St. Louis won't be bringing home the bacon this year.

In a statement posted on their Facebook page dated July 24th, Baconfest St. Louis organizers Matthew Willer and Matthew Guillot announced that this year's event has been delayed. No date has been set for a future festival.

See Also: St. Louis Baconfest Unloads A 500-Pound Hog Log On Kiener Plaza This Weekend

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After a Ten Year Hiatus, Lion's Choice Opens in Ellisville with New Look

Categories: Food News

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Emily McCarter
The interior of the new Lion's Choice in Ellisville, Missouri.

With modern finishes, high ceilings, a redesigned layout, multiple televisions and accessible USB charging ports, Lion's Choice is catching up with the times.

The locally based fast-food chain hadn't opened a new location in over a decade, until the new location at 3048 Clarkson Road opened its doors for business in June. Under new ownership, the new style and experience showcases the new owner's concept of what Lion's Choice can be.

Local investors Millstone Capital Advisors and BlackRock Holdings purchased the St. Louis-based chain from its founders, Marvin Gibbs and Clint Tobias, approximately a year and a half ago. The new owners then hired Chicago-based Chipman Design to develop a new style, brand and identity for the chain.

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Barrister's Has New Owners, as the Tilford Brothers Look West to Kansas City

Categories: Food News

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Jennifer Silverberg
Jason Tilford making fresh tortillas at Mission Taco Joint.

Eleven years ago, Jason Tilford and his wife Colleen opened Barrister's -- a neighborhood bar in downtown Clayton that became a mecca for soccer-loving St. Louisans.

But last week, the couple sold the business. Jason Tilford, who now serves as co-owner and executive chef of Tilford Restaurant Group, says the sale will allow the restaurant group to focus on expanding its wildly popular Mission Taco Joint chain into Kansas City.

The trendy taqueria currently has two locations, all in St. Louis. The group aims to open a new Mission Taco Joint in the Crossroads Arts District in Kansas City, Missouri -- south of downtown, six blocks from the Power and Light District.

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SugarBot Sweet Shop to Open in St. Charles This Summer

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Photo by Kevin Korinek
The co-owners of SugarBot, Jackie Lynch and Mark Huebbe.

In 2012, Jackie Lynch was working as a marketer and feeling largely unfulfilled. So she started pursuing her hobby of making homemade ice cream, cupcakes, and pie. "People would always tell me I should be doing this, 'Why aren't you doing this?' And I just never saw myself there," she says. But that began to change, and a year later, she left her full-time job to pursue a specialized degree from St. Louis Community College in baking and pastry.

Now Lynch and her boyfriend, Mark Huebbe, are opening their own pastry shop, SugarBot Sweet-Shop, at 433 Jackson Street in the heart of St. Charles city. The fare will consist of childhood treats the way you remember them, only better: from-scratch sugar cookies, Rice Krispie treats, drop cookies, cupcakes, hand pies and more. Eventually, Lynch plans to offer a menu of scratch-made ice creams and craft sodas.

They hope to be open by late summer.

"I've been planning this since I was 16. It's what I've always wanted to do, but I never thought it could be a profitable thing," she says.

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Nothing Bundt Cakes Hits a Homerun in Town and Country

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Emily McCarter
Twin sisters Jannette Neely (right) and Penelope Ritchie (left) stand in front of the bundt cake show case inside of their Nothing Bundt Cake franchise in Town and Country, Missouri.

Jannette Neely's love for Nothing Bundt Cakes started eight years ago, when the first franchise of the Las Vegas-based bakery opened in Texas. The St. Louis native was working in the corporate world, on her way to see a client, when she spotted the store.

"I called my twin sister, and I said, 'You're never going to believe what I just saw, a Nothing Bundt Cake Bakery. Isn't that funny? Don't you remember when mom and grandma always made bundt cakes?' Everybody always remembers their mom, or grandma, or somebody making a bundt cake."

Neely had to try a cake from the shop, and when she did, she promptly fell in love. She started buying Nothing Bundt Cakes for every occasion, from birthdays to baby showers. When her sister Penelope Ritchie visited Texas, she too fell in love with the cakes.

Two years ago, Neely, who lives in Baton Rouge, started looking into opening her own franchise.

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The Delmar Loop Gets a Food Tour, as Savor St. Louis Comes Calling This Weekend

Categories: Events, Food News

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Photo by Jennifer Silverberg
Salt + Smoke's St. Louis-style ribs.
What a difference a few years make.

When Pi Pizzeria first opened on the far eastern edge of the Delmar Loop in 2008, Barack Obama's favorite pizza joint was an anomaly -- one of the only ambitious restaurants in a sea of cheap college eats and more Thai restaurants than you could ever possibly dine at. It was followed the next year by Ranoush, which served delicious Syrian food, but both were the exception to the neighborhood's culinary ethos, not the rule.

Fast forward to today. Not only is Pi in the middle of a thriving commercial district that's spread far east of the neighborhood's original boundaries -- but the Loop has so many hot restaurants, it's getting its own food tour.

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It's Official: South Grand's Restaurant Scene Is More Diverse Than Epcot Center

Categories: Food News

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Photo by Jennifer Silverberg
Guerilla Street Food's "Flying Pig," with slow-roasted pulled pork and a one-hour egg served over rice.
It was, of course, Walt Disney World that first insisted it's a small world after all -- and then the theme park proved it by bringing no less than eleven cultures and cuisines to life at Epcot Center.

But that giant sphere of a theme park in Orlando has nothing on St. Louis' South Grand corridor. With the two new restaurants slated to open there this spring, the six-block area boasts cuisines from thirteen different nations -- two more than Epcot, in an even smaller radius.

Take that, Disney World!

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Bridge Bread to Open Shop on Cherokee This Spring

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Courtesy of Bridge Bread
Bridge Bread's mini cinnamon rolls have drawn a following at area churches.
Bridge Bread will open its first retail store on Cherokee Street in the next month or two, founder Fred Domke confirmed to Gut Check yesterday.

The shop, at 2604 Cherokee, will sell the nonprofit baker's artisan bread, brioche dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls and what Domke calls its "coup de grace" -- its "4x Chocolate Rolls," which are studded with chocolate chips, filled with chocolate and topped with chocolate frosting. "They went from being a brand-new product to being our most popular product in three weeks," Domke says.

The new storefront, located at the base of the Nebula coworking space just west of Jefferson, won't be a bakery -- Bridge will continue to bake out of its kitchen on South Grand, and all the breads and treats will be sold prepackaged to keep things simple with the health department.

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Historic California Do-Nut Co. Will Get a Second Life with New Owner

Categories: Food News

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Paul Sableman via Flickr Creative Commons
The iconic sign went dark long ago.

In 1948, a man named Henry J. Bielefeld founded the California Do-Nut Co. (2924 South Jefferson Avenue). The shop churned out freshly fried doughnuts from a machine that automatically flipped them to the delight of the neighborhood kids.

Eventually, the shop closed. Paper went up in the windows, and then a car lost control and plowed into the building, so boards covered the damage. Then graffiti covered the boards.

But the iconic green "California Do-Nut Co." neon sign remained, and if all goes according to plan, new owner Felinna Love will be able to switch it back on in 2016.

"I'm so in love with the sign," she says. "I was born in San Francisco, so the name is dear to my heart."

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Tree House's Ethical Answer for Pâté de Foie Gras

Categories: Food News

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Wild mushroom pâté at Tree House. | Patrick J. Hurley

The Drunken Vegan, a.k.a. Patrick J. Hurley, is a full-time barman at the Civil Life Brewing Company and cocktail enthusiast about town. He's an unapologetic drunkard, a vegan and a bon vivant, and, no, he doesn't think those last two terms contradict each other.

Foie gras has been in the news a lot lately, with California recently overturning a law that banned chefs from putting it on their menus. Carnivores are now rejoicing, but the controversy remains (check out what our colleagues at the LA Weekly have to say about it).

The methods used to achieve the rich creaminess of foie gras dishes are at the heart of the conflict. Foie gras is "the enlarged liver from a goose or duck that has been force-fed and fattened over a period of four to five months. These specially bred fowl are not permitted to exercise -- which, combined with the overeating, creates a huge (up to three pounds), fatty liver." That definition is not from PETA, it's from the New Food Lover's Companion, the Bible for foodies.

So let's say you're craving foie, but your conscience simply won't allow it. Tree House (3177 South Grand Boulevard; 314-696-2100) has got you covered.

See also: 10 Best Spots for Vegetarian Food in St. Louis

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