The Burnt Ends at The Shaved Duck Are No. 1 in the Nation, New Book Says

Categories: Meat, Media

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Stu Spivack
Burnt ends are a classic barbecue dish -- albeit one associated with Kansas City.

Johnny Fugitt didn't take any shortcuts while researching his new book about barbecue. Over the course of a year, the Branson, Missouri, native drove 31,000 miles and visited no less than 365 barbecue joints -- and tried every last one.

With the release of his new book, The 100 Best Barbecue Restaurants in America, Fugitt doesn't just name names. He ranks the restaurants he visited -- crafting a list of both the top 100 and the top 10 in numerous categories.

And while St. Louis didn't take the No. 1 spot overall (that honor went to Kerlin BBQ in Austin, Texas), the city did very well indeed. Bogart's ranked No. 12 in the nation, with The Shaved Duck, Pappy's, Vernon's, The Capitalist Pig, Hendrick's and Salt + Smoke all placing in the top 100.

The Shaved Duck took home another cool prize: It won top honors for its burnt ends.

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Toasted Ravioli Is 1,859 Percent More Popular in Missouri Than Anywhere Else

Image via Foodspotting
Missouri loves toasted ravioli. The rest of the nation .... not so much.
What do we talk about when we talk about food?

As it turns out, the answer is as varied as the places we live. In Florida, they talk about conch fritters. In Texas, they talk about breakfast tacos.

In Missouri, we talk about toasted ravioli. And apparently we talk about it all the damn time -- 1,859 percent more than any other state.

That's the startlingly specific conclusion of the search-and-discover app Foursquare, which analyzed data from all 50 states to determine that which food or drink is most disproportionately popular in each of them.

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The Gin Rickey Is the Cocktail for Summer 2015

Categories: Booze

A perfect gin rickey. | Patrick J. Hurley

The rickey was born in Washington, D.C., in the late nineteenth century. The original version was bourbon-based, but it was only several years later when bartenders changed the base of the cocktail that it really took off. Gin became the rickey's liquor of choice, and rightly so -- few combinations are as alchemically perfect as gin and citrus.

See also: Resurrecting the Daiquiri: The Cocktail of Summer 2014

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Guess Where I'm Eating This Eggs Benedict and Win $20 to Apollonia

Photo by Sarah Fenske
Eggs benedict ... but whose?
Is there any brunch dish more ubiquitous than eggs benedict? It's almost the perfect late-morning snack: filling, but not too filling. Eggy, but not boring. It's got carbs, and it's got protein, but not too much of either. It hits all the right notes.

The version we've photographed here includes a bit of twist: Instead of the normal ham slices, it includes two tasty crabcakes. It's a good version for shellfish lovers, and even more apropos on a bright sunny day.

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Howards in Soulard Now Open for Food, Live Music

Categories: First Look

Photo by Sarah Fenske
Howards' main bar features cozy brick, unique light fixtures and large windows overlooking South 13th Street.
When Judith Howard purchased the building that would hold her two-week-old bar/live music venue/bistro, Howards in Soulard (2732 S. 13th Street, 314-349-2850), the place was in bad shape. It needed new sewer, gas, electric and water lines. The roof hadn't been updated since the 1888. The building's previous life, as the Hi-Way Bar, had ended six years before -- and seemingly no one had touched the place since.

"This was my fifth restoration in Soulard in the past twenty years," Howard says. "And this was by far the most needy building."

What's amazing, however, isn't just the building's transformation, though the space now includes two light-drenched, brick-lined rooms (one with a handsome bar; the other with a small stage), plus a large patio.

What's amazing is that Howard completed all the work in just six months.

"We had 86 people working on it ... and 48 trips to City Hall for permits," she says proudly. "It's really amazing the way the whole thing came together."

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Brunch at Yaqui's on Cherokee: Pizza for Breakfast and More

"Saylor" breakfast pizza with bacon, sausage, fire-roasted potatoes, scrambled eggs and gravy sauce. | Photos by Mabel Suen

Where: Yaqui's on Cherokee (2728 Cherokee Street; 314-400-7712)

When: Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

We Tried: "Saylor" breakfast pizza ($16.99); "Yaqui's Slinger" savory crepe ($13.99); "Elephant Ear" snack crepe ($5.99); wood-fired biscuits and gravy.

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Chef Ma's Chinese Gourmet Now Open in Overland

Photo by Sarah Fenske
Chef Ma's Kung Pao Pork
Ying Jing Ma -- or Chef Ma, as most people seem to call him -- has worked as a chef in hotel restaurants around the world. For approximately two years, he ran the kitchen at Mandarin House, one of the most palatial Chinese banquet halls in the St. Louis area.

His latest project is a bit more down-to-earth: Chef Ma's Chinese Gourmet Restaurant (2336 Woodson Drive, 314-395-8797) is located in an old Taco Bell on a random intersection in Overland. Customers order at the counter and fetch their own drinks, and when the food is delivered, it sometimes arrives in a styrofoam container. The place is definitely not fancy.

But despite being open less than two weeks, the restaurant has already drawn a large following -- with large Chinese families and curious neighbors alike practically filling the dining room on the weeknight we stopped by.

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Red Lotus Spa & Bistro Combines Spa Treatments with Food

Mabel Suen
Combination vermicelli bowl with grilled pork, grilled shrimp and egg rolls.
Red Lotus Spa & Bistro
9737 Manchester Road, Rock Hill; 314-918-8868.
Mon. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Wed.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Fri.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays)

Walk into Red Lotus, look to the right, and you'll see a bowl of bubbling liquid. The fragrant steam perfumes the air of this Vietnamese bistro, but it's not pho. Oddly, it's not even edible.

It's a footbath.

See also: Last week's review of Seoul Q

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Clementine's Creamery Opens Tomorrow with a Sneak Peek -- and Free Ice Cream

Photo by Greg Rannells
Clementine's Creamery is about to open in Lafayette Square.
It might be the year's most hotly anticipated opening: Clementine's Naughty and Nice Creamery will open its doors at 1637 S. 18th Street with a special sneak peek tomorrow from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

The May 14 preview party will be the city's first official look at Tamara Keefe's Lafayette Square ice cream parlor, which has already earned a flood of positive publicity (including a mention on the RFT's list of the city's best ice cream parlors), even as its doors have remained firmly closed and butcher paper has covered its street-facing window.

But don't chalk up the buzz to mere hype. You can already get Keefe's ice cream at local restaurants, including the Pi chain and Ben Poremba's Elaia, Olio and Old Standard, as well as Whole Foods. Chefs have incorporated Clementine's intensely rich ice cream into their menus for a reason -- and local food lovers are already hooked.

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The 5 Best Ice Cream Parlors in St. Louis

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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