IKEA Meatballs Won't Be Here Until 2015; Here Are the Best Local Meatballs to Try Now

Categories: Meat, Try This Now

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Meatballs from Filomena's. | Jennifer Silverberg

This week, St. Louis lost its collective mind over the official announcement that, yes, IKEA is really coming to St. Louis. The opening date is projected for 2015.

One of the things folks are most excited about are the Swedish meatballs available in the chain's inexpensive cafeterias. In one report, someone went so far as to suggest that meatballs will replace toasted ravioli as the "finger food of choice for St. Louis."

WHOA. Let's not go losing our heads here. Besides, it'll be at least two years until the store is open, and guess what? There are a ton of great meatball options you can try right here, right now. Here are just a few of our favorites.

See also: Craft Beer Cellar Set to Be Our New Favorite Store

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Sidney Street Cafe's Kevin Nashan Takes Barbecue Honors

Categories: Last Night, Meat

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Oink, oink. | Cheryl Baehr

Last night marked the first time that the traveling porcine pleasure palace known as Cochon555 oinked its way into St. Louis. Founded by man-on-a-mission Brady Lowe, Cochon is a celebration of the heritage breed pig, local farmers, humane and sustainable agriculture, and the potential of barbecue in local restaurants. The event travels to Memphis for the next leg of the 2013 tour.

Kevin Nashan of Sidney Street Café took top honors at yesterday's Cochon Heritage Barbecue extravaganza, held at the Four Seasons Hotel (999 North Second Street; 314-881-5800).

See also:
-Best Chef Local 2010 Kevin Nashan

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Local Chefs to Compete in Grass-Fed Beef Burger Cook-Off

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       Will burgers from Baileys' Range win? | Jennifer Silverberg

Whole Foods at the Galleria (1601 South Brentwood Boulevard, Brentwood; 314-968-7744) is hosting the third annual grass-fed beef burger cook-off Wednesday, August 7. The competition will feature several local chefs and of course, samples! The winners will get $500 donated to the charity of their choice.

See also:
- Whole Foods Announces Grass-Fed Beef Nationwide, but One Missouri Ranch Has Been Doing it For Years
- Review + Slideshow: Baileys' Range
- Review + Slideshow: Winslow's Home


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Salume Beddu Offers Two-Day Course in Hog Butchery

Categories: Education, Meat

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If you've always had dreams of being a butcher and curing your own meats like a badass hipster, but you didn't quite know where to start, Salume Beddu has got you covered.

Artisan meat curer and deli Salume Beddu (3467 Hampton Avenue; 314-353-3100) is offering a class they're calling PorkShop on May 19 and 20 (not to be confused with Schlafly Pork Shop on May 25). The two-day class is a hands-on instruction in hog butchery which will cover how to break down a pig, how to make sausage at home and how to use every bit of that animal to create delicious meals. The course will conclude with a nose-to-tail dinner with wine pairings at Parker's Table.

Gut Check spoke with Ashley Schuster Kemps of Salume Beddu to get more details about the course.

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Pig Out and Shop Till You Drop at Schlafly Pork Shop

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Schalfly Pork Shop 2012 | Image via Schalfly
Saturday-morning garage-sale hunting is always great fun. Saturday-morning garage-sale hunting followed by a pig roast is awesome.

On Saturday, May 25, Schlafly Tap Room (2100 Locust Street; 314-241-2337) will host its annual Pork Shop: A Dowtown BBQ and Garage Sale. Also, there will be beer. A roast pig, beer and a multitude of obsolete VHS tapes and grandma's costume jewelry.

Get excited.

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Midwest Leather Enthusiasts Host "Chili Cookoff and Jockstraps"

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Imagine this, but with Mom's chili | Jon Gitchoff
Just so we're clear, the Midwest Puppy Contest has nothing to do with dogs. And Mr. Midwest Leather is not a crafter of leather goods.

Gut Check feels rather naïve for thinking otherwise.

A human puppy is...um...a human pet who behaves like a dog but looks like a man wearing a leather jockstrap and collar and sitting on all fours. And Mr. Midwest Leather is a fella who looks good in all manner of leather attire and is a fine representative of the leather-wearing community.

OK, wait, we swear this had something to do with food...

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Salume Beddu Up For $50,000 Entrepreneurial Award

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Jennifer Silverberg
Salume Beddu (3467 Hampton Avenue; 314-353-3100) needs your help!

The artisan cured meat company and deli has been nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year from Slow Money, an organization dedicated to providing education and funding to entrepreneurs involved with the slow-food movement.

The award is based on civilian votes, so Salume Beddu is encouraging its Facebook fans (and anyone else who wants to help a worthy cause) to go to its page on Slow Money and cast a vote. The voting ends April 16, and the winner will be announced at the 4th Annual Slow Money National Gathering in Boulder, Colorado, at the end of April.

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Animal Activists Protest Cruelty to Pigs Outside Walmart in Maplewood

Categories: Education, Meat

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Kaitlin Steinberg
Well, the giant, inflatable pig covered in sores and dirt was cuter than we imagined.

Local animal-rights activists joined members of the national animal rights organization Mercy for Animals today in front of the Maplewood Commons Walmart just off South Hanley Road in protest of Walmart's practice of confining pregnant pigs in small crates on its factory farms.

Gut Check heard there'd be a ten-foot-tall inflatable pig covered in bloody sores and people holding up signs in protest, so we were there. Again, the pig was way cuter and more pathetic than we'd anticipated, which was great for the cause. But it also made us feel bad about that pulled pork we ate yesterday.

See also:
- The Missouri People of Walmart (Photos)

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Saturday is National Meatball Day and Onesto Wants You to Celebrate

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image via
How National Meatball Day became a holiday is a mystery, but Gut Check is happy to partake.

In honor of this strange but delicious holiday, Onesto Pizza and Trattoria (5401 Finkman Street; 314-802-8883) will host a "guess the weight of the giant meatball" contest.

Chef Brian Miller will prepare the behemoth meatball, which will include the same good stuff as the restaurant's normal-sized meatballs: grass-fed and hormone-free beef, local pork, Parmesan, eggs, breadcrumbs and, of course, spices.



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Chilly Dog: Oscar Mayer Wienermobile Hit by St. Louis Blizzard

Categories: Meat

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Deli Eliot
I. C. Wiener
Yesterday's snow flurries became an absolute nightmare as the day wore on and the powder piled higher and higher in the roadways.

Which is why Gut Check was startled to receive -- just as the Mayor of St. Louis was on live television imploring city residents to stay home and off the roads -- an announcement that the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile had just pulled into town.

We had to know -- just how does a 27-foot hot dog fare in 25-mile-an-hour winds on ice two-tenths of an inch thick?

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