#70: Urban Chestnut's "Strammer Max"

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The "Strammer Max" sandwich at Urban Chestnut. | Jennifer Silverberg

Urban Chestnut's (4465 Manchester Avenue; 314-222-0143) chef Andy Fair says that people come to the Grove Brewery and Bierhall, first and foremost, for the beer. This may be true, but his creative twist on classic German food gives the suds a run for their money.

See Also: Review: Urban Chestnut Grove Brewery and Bierhall


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#71: "Mom's Special" at Mom's Deli

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Mom's Deli's namesake sandwich, the "Mom's Special." | Caroline Yoo

St Louis is a town of die-hard deli-goers, and everyone has a favorite spot. In fact, two south side delis -- Mom's Deli (4412 Jamieson Avenue; 314-64-1198) and LeGrand's Market & Catering (4414 Donovan Avenue; 314-353-4059) -- have a bit of a competition for bragging rights among their customers. It can get ugly.

See Also: The Five Best Sandwich Shops in St. Louis

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#72: Broasted Chicken at Frank & Helen's Pizzeria

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Frank & Helen's Pizzeria's broasted chicken. | Cheryl Baehr

Frank & Helen's Pizzeria (8111 Olive Boulevard, University City; 314-997-0666) is a St. Louis institution. The University City eatery has been serving diners its signature thin crust pizza, "charcoal steaks" (you have to love that sign out front) and Italian specialties since opening in 1956. On any given night the dining room is filled with multiple generations of guests -- some settling into tables adorned with a "reserved" placard like in the old days.

See Also: Olive Boulevard Asian Eateries & Much More: An Updated Guide to Restaurants Along Olive, Westward From University City

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#73: Parmesan Chicken Broth at Bocci Wine Bar

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Bocci Wine Bar's parmesan chicken broth with chicken confit. | Caroline Yoo

My partner is picky. Though he refuses to admit it, his decade-plus career in the kitchen has made him blasé about going out to dinner. It's rare that anything wows him, so when he tasted Bocci's (16 North Central Avenue, Clayton; 314-932-1040) Parmesan chicken broth and proclaimed it "the best dish [he's] had in a long time," I obviously took notice.

See Also: Bocci Bar Still Struggles with Its Identity

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#74: "Burger" at Small Batch Whiskey & Fare

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Small Batch Whiskey & Fare's vegetarian burger. | Caroline Yoo

Sometimes, I just have to have a big, greasy burger -- one that covered in gooey cheese, tangy sauce and served on a soft buttery bun with crispy lettuce, red onions and some juicy tomatoes.

I never expected I'd find one to satisfy this craving at a vegetarian restaurant.

See Also: Dave Bailey Announces New Barbecue Restaurant in Downtown for Winter 2014


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#75: Smoked Salami Sandwich from Adam's Smokehouse

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The smoked salami sandwich at Adam's Smokehouse. | Mabel Suen

The secret to the smoked salami at Adam's Smokehouse (2819 Watson Road; 314-875-9890) is the 70/30 blend of pork and beef. Or is it the fruitwood smoke that spreads throughout the meat? Then again, it could be the generous flecks of black pepper and blend of spices the pit-masters keep as closely guarded as classified material.

See Also: First Look: Adam's Smokehouse Serves as a Sister Restaurant to Pappy's and Bogart's

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#76: Gyro on Pita at Olympia Kebob House & Taverna

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Olympia's classic gyro. | Caroline Yoo

Please indulge this recently repatriated St. Louisan who just returned from the hinterlands. It's not exactly breaking news that Olympia Kebob House & Taverna's (1543 McCausland Avenue, Richmond Heights; 314-781-1299) gyro is the best in town. Like most, I've been going to Olympia for years, taking its signature sandwich for granted. But, in the words of 1980s hair metal band Cinderella, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone."


See Also: Layla Debuts New Menu Focusing on Burgers and Shawarma


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#77: The Johnny Cake at Tree House

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The Johnny cake at Tree House. | Caroline Yoo

I used to feel bad for vegetarians. While I got to dine out and stuff my face with prosciutto and ribs, their menu choices were typically more limited. ("Um, we can do a veggie pasta?") Thankfully, meatless options have gotten much better over the past few years, and vegetarian restaurants like Tree House (3177 South Grand Boulevard; 314-696-2100) are popping up all over town.

See Also: Tree House's Meatless Menu Satisfies Even the Most Reluctant Vegetarian


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#78: A Classic Glazed Doughnut from Pharoah's Donuts

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A dozen of the city's finest. | Mabel Suen

Boy, do we have it tough here at Gut Check. While others get to spend their days frolicking through cubicle farms or perusing TPS reports, we trudge into the office to do doughnut taste tests. Yes, it's a rough life, but we strongly feel that we owe it to the St. Louis doughnut-eating public to lead it in the direction of fried-dough bliss, and we're ready to declare a champion.

See Also: A Blind Taste Test of 5 Doughnuts Including Strange, World's Fair and, Yes, Schnucks

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#79: Skordalia at the Purple Martin

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Skordalia, or garlic dip, at the Purple Martin. | Corey Woodruff

This is not just my usual weekly selection. It's a plea to Brooke Roseberry and Tony Lagouranis, owners of the Purple Martin (2800 Shenandoah Avenue; 314-898-0011). See, just recently they announced that they're revamping the menu at their delightful Fox Park eatery.

Guys, I'm begging you: Keep the gloriously garlicky skordalia dip on the menu.

See Also: The Purple Martin holds great promise in Fox Park

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