The 6 Best German Restaurants in St. Louis

The dining hall at Bevo Mill. | Cody Krogman

During these cold winter months, we sit and daydream about our favorite fortifying comfort foods. This week, we're craving hearty German fare -- schnitzel (a thin boneless meat coated in bread crumbs and fried), wurst (sausage), spaetzle (potato dumplings) brezen (pretzels) and sauerbraten (vinegar- or wine-marinated pot roast), to name a few. St. Louis is no stranger to German cuisine, given Missouri's deep German roots, but do you know where to go today for a proper German repast? Let us help you find the perfect spot to treat yourself, and don't forget wash it all down with a cold beer.

See also: The 10 Best Mediterranean Restaurants in St. Louis

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5 St. Louis Restaurants to Celebrate Lent

Crawfish étouffée at Riverbend. | Mabel Suen

We love a good fish fry (and there are plenty to choose from), but some of our favorite St. Louis restaurants are offering limited-run, seafood-focused menus to help you stay on track during lent. Or, you know, you could just have a McDonald's Filet-o-Fish.

See also: UPDATED Fish Fry Frenzy: A Gut Check Guide

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How to Get the Most Out of Local Nose-to-Tail Butcher Shops

Pig head simmering for headcheese. | Photo courtesy of Bolyard's Meat & Provisions

In perhaps the next iteration of the "farm to table" emphasis on local and sustainably harvested produce, "pasture to plate" refers to an animal-friendly, small-farm-raised, whole-animal butchery. As a result, there is a growing demand by consumers for butchers who are passionate about working only with local ranchers who're committed to the health and well-being of their animals -- and of the local community.

We visited two local shops to find out about the wide array of products available to home cooks and how to best use those products : Bolyard's Meat & Provisions (2810 Sutton Boulevard, Maplewood; 314-647-2567) and the Block (146 West Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-918-7900).

See also: The 10 Best Burger Joints in St. Louis

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The 10 Best Tequila Watering Holes in St. Louis

Tequila shots at Milagro Modern Mexico | Emily McDonald

A good tequila is meant to be sipped, like a fine scotch, in order to fully appreciate the nuances of its warm, complex flavor -- no lime and salt required. St. Louis has got craft beer down pat and we can boast of some truly top-notch vodka and whiskey bars. But where to go when you want some good tequila? Lucky for you, we've done our research and have assembled this guide to our favorite spots, each one with their own unique take on this distinctive spirit.

The tequila you remember from that one bad night in college was likely the result of a less expensive mixtos (a blend of tequila and sugar) and maybe a worm (a touristy gimmick). Aficionados stick to 100 percent blue agave tequila. To make pure tequila, the agave is fermented in wooden or stainless-steel vats, then distilled and then either bottled as blanco (silver) tequila or aged in oak barrels from two to twelve months for reposado tequila, one to three years for anejo tequila or more than three years for extra anejo. Aged tequilas offer a smoother, more complex taste. In the end, however, the best tequila is always the one that you like.

See also: The 10 Best Wine Bars in St. Louis

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6 Best Doughnut Shops in St. Louis

Mini Donuts, etc.'s famous mini doughnuts | Jonathan Gayman

Not many can turn down a light-as-air, made-from-scratch doughnut. Whether cake, yeast, cruller or fritter, we're willing to bet few of you have met a doughnut you didn't like. These days, there are even more options for satisfying your doughnut craving than ever with "experimental" doughnut shops popping up all over the country. Whether you prefer a classic or more adventurous concoction, there are a ton of options in St. Louis. Here are six of our favorites.

See also: The 10 Best Restaurants for Fresh Pasta in St. Louis

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The Best Menus at Clayton Restaurant Week 2015

The strip steak at 801 Chophouse. | Jennifer Silverberg

Clayton Restaurant Week kicks off today -- this semi-annual celebration of one of St. Louis' growing culinary neighborhoods also gives a chance to sample some normally, ahem, pricey spots for just $25 per person. Each restaurant has slightly different CRW hours and many take online reservations -- you can find all the menus and more information here. Continue on for our can't-miss menu picks.

See also: Pizzino: A New Fast-Casual Restaurant Serving Focaccia-Style and Grilled Pizzas in Clayton

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The 8 Best Cuban Sandwiches in St. Louis

Cuban Sandwich | Pickles Deli

Oh, the marvel that is the Cuban sandwich. This toasted variation of a ham and cheese sandwich originates in south Florida during the time when Cuban immigrants began settling in Key West, Tampa and Miami. The traditional ingredients are ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, mustard and Cuban bread (similar to a French baguette). Today, the sandwich can be found across the United States and worldwide, coveted by those in the know.

Surprisingly, you can find amazing Cuban sandwiches on menus all over town in St. Louis. Here are a few of our favorite spots.

Note: You spoke up and we heard you! Thanks to some dedicated foodies out there, we are amending our list to include two incredible Cuban sandwiches from Capitalist Pig and Sanctuaria (see bottom of page).

See also: The 8 Best Diners in St. Louis

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5 Soups to Warm You Up for National Soup Month

The chicken noodle soup at Grove East Provisions. | Jennifer Silverberg

It's been freezing outside lately, but at least that means it's the best time of the year for soup. Of course, you can have it year-round, but there's nothing better than cozying up on a cold night with some warm, creamy, delicious bowlful. There are tons of great options -- we especially like seasonal varieties -- but we've picked some of our absolute favorites, in honor of National Soup Month (January).

See also: The Six Best Ramen and Pho Dishes in St. Louis

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The 8 Best Diners in St. Louis

City Diner | Mabel Suen

St. Louis has long had a love affair with the classic American diner. In fact, the slinger (a hamburger patty topped with two eggs, hash browns and chili), a requisite on all diner menus, is rumored to have originated here. Perhaps it's the comforting feeling of stepping into a simpler time. Maybe it's the comfort-food-only zone with burgers, fries, shakes and breakfast items hot off the fryer. Or maybe it's the draw of warm lights and conversation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

See also: The 10 Best Burger Joints in St. Louis

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The 10 Best Wine Bars in St. Louis

Olio | Jennifer Silverberg

A good wine bar provides the perfect blend of excellent wine, inspired food pairings and sophisticated ambiance. Here at Gut Check, we often like to pair a glass of wine with our day and have created this guide to quality sips in St. Louis.

See also: 10 Best Places for a Boozy Brunch in St. Louis

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