#76: Old Standard's Fried Chicken

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The fried chicken at Old Standard. | Mabel Suen

Ben Poremba was sitting by himself at Olio one day when he had a revelation: "I think I'm going to open a fried-chicken place." His employees laughed him off, but the next thing they knew, the James Beard Award-nominated chef was traveling the country to learn everything he could about this American staple. The research would become Old Standard Fried Chicken (1621 Tower Grove Avenue; 314-899-9000),where it's clear that the student has become the master.

See Also: Old Standard, Ben Poremba's New Fried-Chicken Restaurant, Sets the Bar: Review

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#77: The Traditional Soft Shell Taco and Enchilada Meal at Fort Taco

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The food at Fort Taco is worth the wait. | Mabel Suen

The line that sometimes stretches around the Fort Taco (8106 Manchester Road, Brentwood; 314-647-2391) drive-through can seem intimidating. Once word of this delicious fast food restaurant spread, its popularity has increased to the point of mayhem (Taco Tuesdays are an especially crowded event). For the uninitiated, it may seem like a hassle for some casual Mexican fare, but Fort Taco is more than worth the wait.

See Also: Review: Fort Taco's Brentwood Drive-Through Is Your Newest Addiction

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#78: Gooseberries' "KFT"

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A tasting of tofu, including the "KFT," (left) at Gooseberries. | Mabel Suen

The Colonel has some stiff competition, and it doesn't come from the trendy fried chicken hot spots that have cropped up around town. Instead, his most formidable contender comes in the form of the "KFT" at Gooseberries (2754 Chippewa Street; 314-577-6363); shockingly, it's not even chicken.

See Also: Review: Gooseberries Pleases Herbivores and Omnivores Alike

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#79: The "Garbage Burger" at Ferguson Burger Bar & More

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The "Garbage Burger" at Ferguson Burger Bar & More. | Mabel Suen

By now, most people who have heard of Ferguson Burger Bar & More (9120 West Florissant Avenue, Ferguson; 314-388-0424) can tell its tale by heart about the husband and wife who cleared out their savings to open a restaurant two days before unarmed teenager Mike Brown was fatally shot by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The restaurant has become more than a place to eat -- it has been a gathering place for Brown's grieving family members, a must-stop place for politicians and, most important, a symbol of the community's persevering spirit.

See Also: Review: Ferguson Burger Bar, Six Months Later

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#80: A Buttermilk Cake Doughnut from O'Fashion Donuts

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O'Fashion's buttermilk cake doughnut.| Cheryl Baehr

Like most patrons, I'd been going to O'Fashion Donuts (1904 South Vandeventer Avenue; 314-776-9975) for years without realizing I didn't know it's name. "You know -- that little place on Southwest" is how people typically refer to this tiny doughnut shack. What it lacks in name recognition it makes up for in taste, and nowhere is this more evident than in its buttermilk cake doughnut.

See Also: Game of Dones: A Blind Taste Test of 6 Doughnuts Including Reigning Champ Pharaoh

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#81: Cantina Laredo's "Torta De Carnitas"

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The "Torta de Carnitas" sandwich from Cantina Laredo. | Courtesy Cantina Laredo

Cantina Laredo (7710 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-725-2447) looks less like a Cantina in Laredo and more like a polished golf resort in Scottsdale. Naturally, one questions whether this trendy Dallas-based chain is capable of producing food with substance. The "Torta De Carnitas" erases any doubts.

See Also: Review: Cantina Laredo Shows the Sleeker Side of Tex-Mex


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#82: The Chicken Schwarma Sandwich from Al-Tarboush Deli

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The tastiest isn't always the prettiest. | Cheryl Baehr

The chicken schwarma sandwich from Al-Tarboush Deli (602 Westgate Avenue, University City; 314-725-1944) is not exactly pleasing to the eye: It's sloppy, falling apart and looks like a mess to eat. These characteristics may be bad for aesthetic value, but they're what make this classic Middle Eastern wrap a flavor masterpiece.

See Also: Thursday Throwdown: Al-Tarboush and the Vine Battle for the Chicken Schwarma Title

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#83: Provel Cheese Sticks at Biggie's Restaurant & Bar

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Provel cheese sticks at Biggie's Restaurant & Bar. | Kate Bockhold

Biggie's Restaurant & Bar (3332 Watson Road; 314-781-0060) may be Gawker's worst nightmare: It's located in south St. Louis, arguably the most "St. Louis-y" part of town. It coats beef tenderloin in white wine, mushrooms and ham, serves all of its pastas with an optional cheesy-bake and -- as its biggest offense -- serves hand-breaded Provel sticks as its signature appetizer.

See Also: Gawker Still Hates St. Louis Food, We Shrug and Stuff Our Faces

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#84: The Kale, Artichoke & Smoked Bacon Dip at the Restaurant at the Cheshire

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The kale, artichoke and smoked bacon dip at the Restaurant at the Cheshire. | Nancy Stiles

When our server at the Restaurant at the Cheshire (6300 Clayton Road; 314-647-7300) placed the dish of molten kale and bacon-flecked dip before us, she made a bold claim: "This is going to change your life." She wasn't joking.

See Also: Country Chef, City Chef Highlights Farm-to-Table at the Restaurant at the Cheshire

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#84: Crispy Pig Tails at the Libertine

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Crispy pig tails at the Libertine. | Jennifer Silverberg

When chef Josh Galliano cooked at the James Beard house last October, he prepared dishes for his Along the Mighty Mississippi feast that best represented his cooking style. It's no surprise, then, that the first item out of the kitchen was the Libertine's (7927 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-862-2999) signature dish: crispy pig tails.

See Also: 10 Weird Foods for the Adventurous St. Louis Eater, Including Pig Tails, Brains and Bugs

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