How Chef Liz Schuster Interprets Mean Girls as a Five-Course Menu for Tenacious Eats

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"Gretchen Weiners Had Cracked": housemade tater tots with Hebrew National all-beef wiener (get it?), buttered and grilled challah, fresh arugula and baby kale, tomato, cracked pink peppercorn and housemade Caesar dressing. | Nancy Stiles

Tenacious Eats is the most ephemeral of all pop-up restaurants. There's a completely original menu for just one night -- sometimes two -- and then it's gone forever. Chef Liz Schuster and her team create gourmet five-course dinners that will keep you coming back, even if you can't taste that local rabbit with with morel mushrooms, prunes, juniper berry, garlic, white wine and fresh thyme ever again.

See also: Tenacious Eats Blends Film and Cuisine

The craziest part may be, though, that all of this starts with gas-station fried chicken.

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Ken Stringer Launches Kickstarter to Bring His Homemade "Kick-Ass Hot Sauce" to Market

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Ken Stringer with his signature sauces. | Courtesy Ken Stringer

Ken Stringer first started making his own sauces in 2009 because he didn't want to pay $3 a bottle for Tiger Sauce. He grew his own cayenne peppers in pots out back on his deck and made sauce for himself and his friends. "They were like, 'This is really good. This isn't right if you don't sell this,'" Five years later, he's launching Ken's Pepper Works.

See also: Help Cafe on the Park Come to Maplewood

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Majestic Restaurant Confirms Closing; Readers Remember 50-Year Legacy

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The Majestic. | Google Street View

As we first reported on Friday, neighborhood institution Majestic (4900 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-2011) is for sale. While an employee at the restaurant confirmed that the restaurant is closing after this weekend, owner Pete Politis later e-mailed Gut Check to say that nothing is final. Now, it appears that the rumor is true, and Majestic will serves its final meals on Sunday, April 6.

The Majestic began in 1961 as a diner and endured through the Central West End's trendy transformation. You guys had a lot to say, so we rounded up some of your favorite memories. Feel free to send us more, too. The Majestic deserves a royal sendoff.

See also: Majestic Restaurant Finalizing Sale, Future of 50-Year-Old Institution Uncertain [UPDATED]

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Square Study Answers the Question "How Well Does the Average Missourian Tip?"

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Courtesy Square

Square has released some data culled from its digital-payment app -- co-founded by St. Louis' own Jack Dorsey -- on how well and how often customers tip. As you can imagine, Square makes it super easy to tip (no math required!), and yet no state had more than 62 percent of customers add a tip. Just how does Missouri measure up?

See also: Jack Dorsey's Square Credit Card Readers Banned in St. Louis Taxis, Drivers Fight Back

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STL 250 Honors St. Louisan Irma Rombauer and Her Book The Joy of Cooking

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       Irma Rombauer, left, and her daughter Marion Rombauer Becker. | Missouri History Museum

The Joy of Cooking is one of the most influential books of the 20th century and the best-selling cookbook in American history. You probably have it on your shelf, or at least your mom does, and every copy is a little piece of St. Louis history. For our city's 250th birthday celebration, the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard & DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599) chose 50 St. Lousians who represent our varied history, and one of them is none other than the original author of this storied cookbook, Irma S. Rombauer.

See also: Bite at the Museum: The Missouri History Museum exhibits a trove of lunches and brunches

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Help Alton Brown Find the Mystery St. Louis-Style Pizza that Stole His Heart

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       Alton Brown. | David Allen

Live music, large-scale food experiments, colorful puppets and even stand-up comedy make up Alton Brown Live!: the Edible Inevitable Tour, set to hit the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1111) on Saturday, February 1. The production comes from Peabody and James Beard award-winning Food Network celebrity-turned-icon Alton Brown, most renowned for his uber-educational culinary brainchild Good Eats as well as hosting Iron Chef America. Brown stops into town for the second leg of his tour, and from what we're told, things will get messy.

Read on for our Q&A phone conversation with Brown to preview the event, and help us in our quest to figure out where he got some of the best pizza of his life on a past visit to St. Louis.

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Tenacious Eats Blends Film and Cuisine

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       Two words: duck butter. | Nancy Stiles

After a summer (and fall) hiatus, dining extravaganza Tenacious Eats is back in action. We stopped by Meyer's Grove last week to see what chef Liz Schuster has been up to and were pleasantly surprised by her presentation of Moulin Rouge!. Baz Luhrmann's 2001 musical has a cult following, which makes it perfect for an interactive viewing.

See also: ArtD Dining Tour Explores Culinary and Visual Arts

There were evil maharajas, confetti cannons and a live performance of the movie's only original song, "Come What May." Oh, and did we mention the Parisian menu?

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Best Places to Eat and Drink Fireside During Snowpocalypse

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       Don't have a fireplace at home? Don't worry. | Nancy Stiles

In case you haven't noticed, we are the midst of a snowpocalypse. St. Louis got around ten inches of snow, and even the snow plows are getting stuck. Add below-freezing temps, and you've got yourself a polar vortex (is that what that means?). Things are starting to clear up, though, and the best place to warm up is in front of a cozy fireplace with a drink in hand. If you can safely brave the roadways, head straight to one of these places.

See also: Tripel's "Smoke Wagon" Cocktail Billows Bourbon, Chocolate and Maple Syrup

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5 Restaurants We're Looking Forward to in 2014

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In-progress at Main & Mill. | Main & Mill

2013 is going to be hard to top -- some of the best restaurants in years debuted. But there are a slew of new projects we're looking forward to in 2014, both from all-stars like Ben Poremba and newcomers like the father-and-son-team behind a Festus brewery. Let us know what you're looking forward to in the comments!

See also: 2013 Openings & Closings: A Year in St. Louis Restaurants

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The Best Things We Ate This Year

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When we say we ate a lot, we aren't kidding. | Nancy Stiles

We ate so much this year. Sure, it's part of the job, but not everything we try is delicious. In the past twelve months, though, there have been a few dishes that stood out to us amid the sea of cronuts, kale and Sriracha overload.

See also: The 13 Most Overcooked Food Trends of 2013

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