Panera's Ad Agency Quits Calling Working with Chain "Crazy," Panera CMO Rebuts

Categories: Media

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Just some chickens taking the hard road for Panera. | YouTube

St. Louis-founded and -based Panera Bread Company and its ad agency Cramer-Krasselt broke up in a very public way earlier this week. It wasn't a mutual split, though -- an internal memo from Cramer-Krasselt leaked yesterday morning doesn't paint a pretty picture of working with our hometown bakery-turned-national-chain.

See also: The Crossing Competes in James Beard Foundation Taste America Challenge

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Hugh Jackman Fed the Beast at Pappy's

Categories: Media

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Pulled pork and brisket at Pappy's. | Liz Miller

Hugh Jackman was in St. Louis Monday for WWE Raw (because he's Wolverine?) and stopped for a quintessential St. Louis meal: barbecue. The X-Men star got ribs at Pappy's Smokehouse (3106 Olive Street; 314-535-4340). Good choice.


See also: Jimmy Fallon Visits Crown Candy Kitchen


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Mob City Cast Ate at Charlie Gitto's on the Hill

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Jon Bernthal of The Walking Dead at Wizard World 2014. | Jon Gitchoff

The nerds were out in full force earlier this month for Wizard World 2014. It's basically the Comic Con of St. Louis. Joss Whedon favorite Nathan Fillion helped a couple get engaged; even William Shatner was here.

See also: The Three Best Things About Wizard World 2014

Several celebs have been in St. Louis recently (believe it or not, it actually happens), and they've taken in our growing food scene. Jimmy Fallon went to Crown Candy Kitchen. Judah Friedlander ordered -- and hated -- Imo's. Alton Brown fell in love with Pi Pizzeria.

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Cassy Vires, Ben Poremba Up for Food & Wine's Best New Chef: Midwest

Categories: Media

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Ben Poremba, center, at Olio. | Jennifer Silverberg

Every year, Food & Wine names ten chefs from across the country as the best up-and-comers in the culinary world. There are ten nominees from the Midwest region, and two of them are from right here in St. Louis.

See also: Gerard Craft, Kevin Nashan James Beard Award Foundation Finalists

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St. Louis Named 2nd Most Romantic City For Valentine's Day

Categories: Media

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       The cozy bar at Bar Les Freres. | Jennifer Silverberg

With Valentine's Day less than two weeks away, OpenTable named St. Louis the second most romantic city in America, after...San Antonio? The rankings were calculated using three variables: " the percentage of restaurants rated 'romantic' according to OpenTable diner reviews; the percentage of tables seated for two; and the percentage of people who dined out for Valentine's Day."

The weird part, though, is users of the restaurant reservation site named the Melting Pot (6683 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-4141) and Al's Steakhouse (1200 North First Street; 314-421-6399) the most romantic restaurants in town. We beg to differ. Here are some of our favorite local spots when we're in the mood for love.

See also: Baileys' Chocolate Bar Named in Top 20 Dessert Spots in America

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Curtis Sittenfeld Will Read Your Unpublished Manuscript If You Help Local Harvest

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Curtis Sittenfeld will be at Local Harvest this Saturday. | Jennifer Silverberg

As we reported earlier this week, Local Harvest Cafe & Grocery faces imminent closure (and we mean imminent) if it doesn't raise at least $70,000 by February 7. Although there has been some backslash for the community bailout, Local Harvest has already rasied over $40,000.

See also: UPDATED: Local Harvest Cafe & Grocery Launch Fundraiser to Thwart "Imminent Closure"

Curtis Sittenfeld, whose book Sisterland won our award for best book by a local author, made an offer via Twitter this week to help out the beleaguered business. We spoke to her about her proposition and why Local Harvest is important to St. Louis.

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Charlie Gitto's Toasted Ravioli Named One of 33 Iconic American Foods

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       The legendary t-ravs at Charlie Gitto's. | Eugene Kim

It's an ongoing battle to claim the original St. Louis toasted ravioli. Restaurant Impossible participant Mama Campisi's maintains it is the home of the original t-rav, as does Charlie Gitto's on the Hill. Either way, both legends revolve around the Oldani family. Strike another point for Charlie Gitto's though: Thrillist named the restaurant's toasted ravioli on its list of 33 iconic American foods.

See also: Vote for St. Louis' Most Overrated Toasted Ravioli

The toasted ravioli is up there with real icons like pastrami at Katz's Deli in New York and chicken and waffles at Roscoe's in Los Angeles. Do you think Charlie Gitto's deserves the title?

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Niche's Adam Altnether Named in Forbes' 30 Under 30

Categories: Media

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       Gerard Craft and Adam Altnether outside Pastaria. | Jennifer Silverberg

It's no secret that Niche (7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton; 314-773-7755) is a good restaurant. Like, a really good restaurant. Owner Gerard Craft usually gets the press, but this time it's his chef and Niche co-owner Adam Altnether. Forbes Magazine has named him in its 30 under 30 list. He and Craft share the empire now, but Altnether started as Niche's chef de cuisine at the ripe old age of 22.

See also: Gerard Craft Sells Taste by Niche to Adam Altnether

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Dr. Dan Flips Pancakes on the Today Show, Rachael Ray Up Next

Categories: Media

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       The 1Up pancake. | Nancy Stiles

Dr. Dan the Pancake Man is movin' on up. After achieving Internet fame via Reddit and Riverfront Times fame (which is the best kind of fame, in our totally unbiased opinion), Dan Drake of Courtesy Diner flipped some pancake artistry on KSDK. After that? Oh, just the Today show.

See also: 1-Up Pancake: "Dr." Dan Drake Goes Viral with His Super Mario Pancakes at Courtesy Diner

"When it all hit me, all these offers, there was a moment I was sitting there like, what the fuck do I do? What's the protocol?," Drake tells us following his return from New York City. "Take a couple breaths."

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Al Gore is Vegan Now, But St. Louis Already Knew That

Categories: Media

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Al Gore is super serial about veganism, guys. | Simone Brunozzi

Former vice president Al Gore is totally a vegan now. Just like Bill Clinton! Forbes and the Washington Post are both reporting that he's given up animal products.

But, hey, guess what -- Gut Check totally already knew that. Back in February, Gore came to St. Louis for his book tour and got a vegan dinner catered by Local Harvest Cafe (3137 Morganford Road; 314-772-8815).

See also: Local Harvest Cafe & Catering Preparing Vegan Dinner for Al Gore's Weekend Visit to St. Louis

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