Review Preview: Baida Moroccan Restaurant

Categories: Product Reviews

Grouper-stuff eggplant at Baida. | Nancy Stiles

This week I visit Baida (3191 South Grand Boulevard; 314-932-7950), shockingly, the first Moroccan restaurant in the area. Finally, St. Louisans have a place to go when that insatiable couscous craving hits.

Here is a sneak preview of my thoughts -- the full review will be online tomorrow and in this week's issue.

See also: Review Preview: Element Has Four Cooks in the Kitchen and the Food Is Divine

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Taste Test: Wendy's New Chocolate and Vanilla Frosty Waffle Cones

      Wendy's new vanilla Frosty waffle cone dessert. | Image via
Gut Check loves Wendy's, especially for its classic Frosty. Softer than soft-serve yet not quite a milkshake, the Frosty has always been our preferred french-fry condiment. Naturally our curiosity was piqued when Wendy's informed us it would be taking this iconic dessert out of a cup and putting it into a waffle cone.

Truth be told, we were skeptical that a waffle cone could adequately contain a substance normally eaten with a spoon or sucked through a straw, but we took both flavors for a whirl to find out for sure.

Anything for science, after all -- the empirical method and all that.

See also:
- Taste Test: Wendy's New Late-Night "Moonlight Meal Deal" Targets Millennial Dudes
- Wendy's Ditches Dollar Menu For New "Right Price, Right Size" Menu
- New "Ultra Modern" Wendy's Opens on Hampton Avenue

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Taste Test: Wendy's New Late-Night "Moonlight Meal Deal" Targets Millennial Dudes

Wendy's "Moonlight Meal Deal," aimed at "Millennial males." | Image via
Having properly mourned the passing of the classic Wendy's dollar menu, Gut Check's former favorite grab-bag of fast-food bargains, we decided it was time to check out the chain's latest innovation in low-price, high-value fast food: the "Moonlight Meal Deal," described in a company press release as targeted at "millennial males."

Released earlier this month, the deal is available at Wendy's locations across St. Louis.

After finding a designated driver to swing through our neighborhood Wendy's (2130 Hampton Avenue; 314-781-4569) drive-thru, Gut Check completed the first phase of our Moonlight Meal Deal, um, research.

See also:
- Wendy's Ditches Dollar Menu For New "Right Price, Right Size" Menu

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Released Today: New Budweiser Can Shaped Like a Bow Tie

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Budweiser's new formal attire.
Let it be known that Gut Check is always on the cutting edge of technology. Especially when said technology involves beer.

Today, St. Louis' own classic American lager, Budweiser, is loosing upon humanity a new beer can -- not simply an updated label or artwork, but quite literally an entirely new can. The can takes the form of Budweiser's classic "bow tie" symbol, which is emblazoned on every Budweiser product: Yes, ladies and gentlemen, now even the cans themselves feature a cinched, bow-tie shape.

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Taste Test: Taco Bell Regular and Supreme Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos

Liz Miller
Taco Bell's Regular and Supreme Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos.
On January 29, Taco Bell chief executive officer Greg Creed officially spilled the beans about the fast-food chain's forthcoming Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos. Originally the Cool Ranch-flavored tacos were to descend on the masses today, but earlier this week Taco Bell announced via its Facebook page that the tacos were arriving in restaurants a day early, on Wednesday, March 6.

Apparently Taco Bell forgot to share this bit of news with stores across the country, resulting in scads of disappointed customers unable to collect Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos yesterday.

Despite the national snafu Gut Check had no problem procuring a sack of Taco Bell's latest Dorito-flavored innovation yesterday evening.

See also:
-Taco Bell Cool Ranch-Flavored Doritos Locos Tacos Available March 7
-Taste Test: Taco Bell's Regular and Supreme Doritos Nacho Cheese Locos Tacos
-Taco Bell Tests Dorito-Flavored Taco Shells: Five Repurposed Junk Foods

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Taste Test: Steak 'n Shake's New Late-Night Menu 7x7 Steakburger and Nacho Fries

Categories: Product Reviews

The Steak 'n Shake 7x7 Steakburger that Gut Check ordered (left) and the burger featured on the restaurant's Late-Night Menu
On Tuesday, February 19, Steak 'n Shake announced a new late-night menu, the All Nighter, available in restaurants between Midnight and 6 a.m.

Items on the All Nighter menu read like a drunk or stoned person's dream: a selection of specialty Steakburgers including "Jalapeno Crunch" and "Gorilla," nacho fries, Buffalo or BBQ chicken fingers, Steakburger slinger, large chili or bacon cheese fries and "The Ultimate Challenge," a monster Steakburger stacking seven patties and seven slices of American cheese between two greasy buns, weighing in at one full pound of food.

Yeah, that last one got our attention, too.

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Taste Test: Lay's New Sriracha, Chicken and Waffles and Cheesy Garlic Bread Chips

Categories: Product Reviews

Liz Miller
Gut Check evaluates Lay's three new limited-time potato chip flavors, to surprising results.
We got to the Schnucks (6600 Clayton Road, Richmond Heights; 314-644-0510) in Richmond Heights just in time yesterday evening. Our mission was simple: beeline to the snacks aisle in search of Lay's three new, limited-release potato chip flavors in Sriracha, Chicken and Waffles and Cheesy Garlic Bread. Stalking down the aisle, eyeballing bags of chips with increasing panic, we finally located two bags of the Cheesy Garlic Bread chips, sitting lonesome on an otherwise deserted shelf. But what of the Sriracha and Chicken and Waffles flavors? Approaching the aisle's endcap we spotted one solitary bag of Lay's Chicken and Waffle chips set beside scads of bags of Sriracha chips. Success! The day was ours!

And really, perhaps we only have ourselves to blame for that narrow victory -- earlier in the day we reported that these three finalist flavors in Frito-Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" contest were available at this Schnucks location for a limited time.

Now down to brass tacks: Do these questionable, fan-submitted flavors resemble their namesakes in taste? And even if they do, is that a good or a bad thing?

See also:
-Lay's New, Limited-Time Sriracha, Chicken & Waffles and Cheesy Garlic Bread Chips Now Available In Some St. Louis Grocery Stores

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Gut Check Chows Down on Imo's New Provel Bites

Categories: Product Reviews

Kaitlin Steinberg
Riverfront Times restaurant critic Ian Froeb's animus for Provel is, let's face it, well documented.

(He once famously summed up that "Provel is a processed cheese made from Swiss, provolone and cheddar cheeses. Sounds harmless, no? Sadly, it is considerably less than the sum of its parts.")

Gut Check, however, prides ourself on our open-mindedness -- or, shall we say, our open-palatedness. And that's what found us in line at our neighborhood Imo's late last week, itchin' for a sample of the pizzeria's new "Provel Bites."

Imo's introduced these wee fried cheese balls around New Year's, and judging from the response on the pizzeria's Facebook page, fans of the Square Beyond Compare are fired up and ready to go. Hearty hunks of processed cheese breaded and deep fried until oozing molten grease: What's not to love?

See also:
- Ian dishes out tips to visitors on St. Louis food traditions
- Magnum Pi: Can Ian make peace with Provel? Solve for Π.
- Provel-Topped Pizza Tickles Big City Food Blogger's Fancy

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Taste Test: A-B's New Budweiser Black Crown

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Budweiser Black Crown.
Earlier this week Gut Check reported that Anheuser-Busch InBev will release a new beer, Budweiser Black Crown, on Monday, January 21, just weeks before its debut commercial during the Super Bowl. A-B bills the new brew as a golden amber lager with "two-row caramel malt and four types of domestic hops finished on a bed of Beechwood chips."

Whereas your dad's Budweiser is 5 percent alcohol by volume, the new Black Crown (or Corona Negra, as Gut Check was suddenly struck with the inexplicable urge to nickname it) packs 6 percent -- that's a 20 percent premium in the punch department!

Intrigued (and always eager to daytime-drink), Gut Check requisitioned a batch from our good friends at A-B and cracked open a six-pack of Budweiser Black Crown in our editor's office very official test kitchen.

See also:
-Anheuser-Busch InBev Announces New Budweiser Black Crown Beer
-Budweiser vs. Stella Artois: A Taste Test
-Anheuser-Busch Due to Roll Out Test Markets Margarita-Flavored Beer

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Gut Check Test Dunks the Dipr, "The Ultimate Cookie Spoon"

Liz Miller
The Dipr: The ultimate cookie spoon?
"Dunking cookies into a glass of milk with my fingers is hard work," says no one, ever. The aftermath of said dunking, however, is messier, and cleaning sticky, crumb-encrusted hands slows down the number of cookies we can shove down our gullet. Enter the Dipr, marketed as "the ultimate cookie spoon," which, according to its official website, "Cradles the cookie by the cream and prevents the cookie from crumbling when dunked," and, according to its packaging, is a product safe for ages 13 and older. This is a big kid cookie spoon. A cookie spoon for teenagers, not tweens.

Dipr in hand (we know, TWSS), Gut Check gave it a whirl with packages of regular and double-stuffed Oreo cookies and a glass of almond milk.

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