The Definitive Ranking of Tacos at Tower Taco

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Photos by Johnny Fugitt

"A life without tacos is a life not worth living." - Everyone, Everywhere, at Every Time

Tacos feed more than our bellies; they feed our souls. Some tacos, however, are more fulfilling than others. Riverfront Times visited Tower Taco (3147 Cherokee Street) to separate the "make you weep with joy" tacos from the "yup, it's a taco" tacos. We present to you: The Definitive Ranking of Tacos at Tower Taco.

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9 Great non-Memphis or Kansas City Barbecue Joints Worth the Drive

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Johnny Fugitt
Brisket at Smoque BBQ in Chicago

Eat barbecue. Blog. Drive. Sleep. Repeat. That was the pattern of my life for a year as I visited 365 barbecue restaurants across 48 states to research my book (by stuffing my face) - The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America. I visited the famed houses of barbecue lore, mom-and-pop shops and everything in between in search of America's best barbecue.

Even vegetarians know Kansas City and Memphis are great places to go for barbecue. I want to point you toward some terrific barbecue joints outside these barbecue centers -- all within five hours of St. Louis. These nine spots might just make you question your allegiance to Pappy's, Bogart's, Sugarfire, Salt+Smoke, the Shaved Duck and all of the other great St. Louis favorites. Hey, I said might...

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The 7 Best Steakhouses in St. Louis

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J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks and Seafood | photo courtesy of J. Gilbert's Wood-Fired Steaks and Seafood

What makes a perfect steak? Certainly, the quality of the meat is fundamental. Many of the best steakhouses in the country only serve the highest grade of beef available in the United States -- USDA Prime -- that features extensive marbling and melt-in-your mouth texture. Only 1-3% of all beef produced in the country is rated Prime. Others contend the breed, age and diet of the cow are the most critical elements. A dry- or wet-aging process brings out flavor and tenderness and is truly an art. And, without a doubt, the expert flick of the chef's wrist and precise timing at the grill is where the alchemy really begins. We've got the bite on where to go for an exceptional steak in St. Louis.

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


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The 10 Best Places for Raw Oysters in St. Louis

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The DeMun Oyster Bar | Rick Gould

Briny, creamy, buttery, sugary, citrusy, metallic, mineral, melon-y, grassy, coppery, smoky -- these are just a few of the ways to describe the flavors of a raw oyster. Those harvested from the Pacific Ocean tend to be sweet while those from the Atlantic tend to be a bit salty. All of them offer a crisp, fresh taste of the sea. With flights full of the morning's catch arriving daily in St. Louis from the Pacific, Atlantic and Gulf coasts, more and more local restaurants are offering first-class oyster selections. We've lined up our top ten favorite raw bars to help you get your slurp on.

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


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10 Delicious New Summer Cocktails in St. Louis

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"Le Moribond" at Blood and Sand | Ed Aller

Memorial Day has just unofficially ushered in the start of summer. To celebrate, we've rounded up some incredible new cocktails that serve up the essence of summer in a glass. Each recipe is filled with the bright colors of just-picked fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Linger over these delicious concoctions during summer's long steamy days and nights.

See also: The 10 Best Tequila Watering Holes in St. Louis

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The 5 Best Ice Cream Parlors in St. Louis

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Jilly's Ice Cream Bar | Michelle Haven

Summer is just a hop and a skip away. And if the hot, humid season isn't tailor-made for ice cream, nothing is.

To ensure you make the most of the season, we've assembled a list of the best independent ice-cream shops serving up the most supremely delicious treats. All of them create their ice cream in-house and from scratch. From classic flavors to inventive taste combinations to liquid nitrogen-frozen cream, they're all covered.

See also: The Five Best Frozen Custard Shops in St. Louis

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7 More Destination Restaurants Near St. Louis

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Firefly Grill | Greg + Hook

Spring has arrived in the Midwest -- the roads are ice-free, the sun is shining and blue skies stretch forever. OK, not counting all that April rain. Still, it's the perfect time for a day trip to some much-touted restaurants guaranteed to make the drive worth your while. Check out our second guide to foodie jaunts just outside the city in Augusta, Clarksville, Hermann and Ste Genevieve in Missouri and Ava, Effingham and Waterloo in Illinois.

See also: The Best Destination Restaurants Within Driving Distance of St. Louis

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7 More Dog-Friendly Restaurant Patios in St. Louis

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The sun-filled patio at Market Pub House is a great place to stop with your pooch while exploring the Delmar Loop. | Kholood Eid

Our list of dog-friendly restaurant patios was one of our most popular last spring. When the weather gets nice, it's not just you who wants to get some fresh air -- your dog does, too. Unfortunately, one of the restaurants on our original list is now closed, so we decided to update and add seven more great dog-friendly restaurant patios, with some help from our readers. Let us know if we missed any of your favorites!

See also: The Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant Patios in St. Louis

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The 9 Best Places For Pancakes in St. Louis

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Farmer's cheese pancakes at Scape | Marvin Brown

Whether breakfasting or brunching (or maybe indulging a little brinner) it's hard to beat a hot stack of melt-in-your mouth, light, fluffy, made-from-scratch pancakes topped with melting butter and drenched with real maple syrup. These nine pancake spots have perfected the art of pancakes.

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

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7 St. Louis Comfort Food Dishes to Try Before Summer

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Short-rib pappardelle pasta at Cucina Pazzo. | OG Hospitality Group

Dare we say it? We just might have seen the last of Old Man Winter, and we here at Gut Check are eagerly awaiting warm sunshine, patio dining and summer flavors. Before we say our final goodbyes, however, we thought we'd indulge one last time in our favorite cold-weather comfort foods that warmed up our taste buds this winter.

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


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