Bar Les Frères' Lobster Bisque: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

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The lobster bisque at Bar Les Frères | Jennifer Silverberg
You could easily spend your entire time at Bar Les Frères (7637 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton; 314-725-8880), the new venture from restaurateur Zoë Robinson Pidgeon and her go-to chef Ny Vongsaly, discussing and (in my case, at least) admiring its quirky décor. Yet to do so would ignore the most important aspect of this tiny new Clayton spot: Its classic French cuisine is really, really good.

See Also:
- Ian Froeb's RFT Review of Bar Les Frères (2013)
- Jennifer Silverberg's RFT Slideshow of Bar Les Frères (2013)

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Taste's "Barbacoa": One of the 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

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The barbacoa dish at Taste | Ian Froeb
Taste (4584 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-1200) is the latest restaurant to notch a second dish in this accounting of 2013's best. If you're asking yourself, "Why?" then you've been away from Taste too long.

Chef Matthew Daughaday and his crew are killing it.

See Also:
- Taste's Grilled Asparagus with Crisp Poached Egg: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now
- Chef's Choice Profile: Matthew Daughaday of Taste
- Taste's Kyle Mathis: Winner of Iron Fork's Mixology Competition and Featured Bartender of the Week


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Green Bean's "Pueblito" Salad: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

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The "Pueblito" salad, unmixed, at Green Bean | Jennifer Silverberg
The Central West End fast-casual restaurant Green Bean (232 North Euclid Avenue; 314-361-4444) prompts the question, "Can salads be cool?"

Actually, it prompts two questions, "Can salads be cool?" and, "What are you doing with your life?"

See Also:
- Ian Froeb's RFT Review of Green Bean (2012)
- Jennifer Silverberg's RFT Review of Green Bean (2012)

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Taste's Grilled Asparagus with Crisp Poached Egg: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

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Grilled local asparagus with a crisp poached egg and orange aioli at Taste | Ian Froeb
The beautiful weather this week prompted an impromptu visit to Taste (4584 Laclede Avenue; 314-361-1200) for dinner on the patio. Spring wasn't only in the air, but on the menu, too: grilled local asparagus topped with a poached egg -- or, to be more precise, a "crispy poached egg."

See Also:

- Chef's Choice Profile: Matthew Daughaday of Taste
- Taste's Kyle Mathis: Winner of Iron Fork's Mixology Competition and Featured Bartender of the Week
- Pastaria's Italian Ramen: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

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Guerrilla Street Food's Filipino Fried Chicken: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

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The Filipino fried chicken from Guerrilla Street Food | Ian Froeb
I don't need much of a reason to track down Guerrilla Street Food (@guerrillastreet; 314-529-1328). The truck serves amazing food, including my top dish from 2012, the "Flying Pig."

But when I learned that co-owner Joel Crespo was planning to introduce Filipino fried chicken to the menu, I started checking the truck's Twitter feed religiously.

When could I get my hands on that?

See Also:
- Ian Froeb's RFT Review of Guerrilla Street Food (2012)
- Top Ten Dishes 2012 #1: The "Flying Pig" at Guerrilla Street Food
- "Best Food Truck" 2012: Guerrilla Street Food


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Spice-n-Grill's Beef Nihari: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

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The beef nihari at Spice-n-Grill | Jennifer Silverberg
When owners Zahid and Shaheena Khan closed Spice-n-Grill (6800 Olive Boulevard, University City; 314-721-2421) "for renovations" in October of last year, less than twelve months after it opened, I suffered the worst sort of déjà vu.

In 2010 the Khans shuttered their restaurant Indian Food, where I'd fallen in love with the Pakistani beef stew called nihari.

Spice-n-Grill had marked the return of both the Khans and their nihari. I couldn't stand to lose that dish again.

See Also:
- Ian Froeb's RFT Review of Spice-n-Grill (2012)
- Jennifer Silverberg's RFT Slideshow of Spice-n-Grill

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Kim Cheese's "Kim Cheese Burger": One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

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The "Kim Cheese Burger" at Kim Cheese | Jennifer Silverberg
Kim Cheese (13435 Olive Boulevard, Chesterfield; 314-485-1408) combines one of the nation's hottest culinary trends with one of my personal restaurant obsessions. The trend is Mexican-Korean fusion: tacos and burritos stuffed with Korean barbecue and garnished, if you like, with pungent kim chi. Los Angeles birthed this trend, but it has proven wildly successful even where it doesn't make a lick of demographic sense.

My obsession is local, independent restaurants that open in shuttered fast-food joints. The Moon family opened Kim Cheese in August of last year in a former Dairy Queen. Driving past, you might still mistake it for a Dairy Queen.

It is so much better.

See Also:
- Ian Froeb's RFT Review of Kim Cheese (2012)
- Jennifer Silverberg's RFT Slideshow of Kim Cheese (2012)

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The Shack Pubgrub's "Shack-Which": One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

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One of the "Shackwiches" at the Shack Pubgrub | Jennifer Silverberg
Maybe you could engineer a sandwich more capable of quelling a hangover than the Shack-Which at the Shack Pubgrub (3818 Laclede Avenue; 314-533-7000), but why bother, when the Shack-Which already exists? The sheer size of the thing is overwhelming: two slices of lightly toasted rustic French bread, each by itself the size of a dinner plate (OK, a smallish dinner plate, but still), bracketing a meat of your choice -- and your options are numerous: steak, chicken (grilled, blackened or fried), turkey, pastrami, pulled pork, pork belly, ham, or bacon and egg -- oozing with melted provolone and topped with piquant coleslaw, tomato slices and a heap of crisp, thick-cut french fries.

Yes, you read that right: The fries are part of the sandwich.

But wait. There's more.

See Also:
- Ian Froeb's RFT Review of the Shack Pubgrub (2012)
- Jennifer Silverberg's RFT Slideshow of the Shack Pubgrub (2012)

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Sameem Afghan Restaurant's Muntoo: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

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The muntoo at Sameem Afghan Restaurant | Jennifer Silverberg
Sameem Afghan Restaurant (4341 Manchester Avenue; 314-534-9500) is St. Louis' only Afghan restaurant. Good thing it also happens to be an excellent Afghan restaurant.

Fans of Sameem's original location on South Grand will find the new spot much smaller, but the food as flavorful as ever. Those of you who have yet to experience Sameem -- or Afghan cuisine, period, for that matter -- are in for treat.

See Also:
- Ian Froeb's RFT Review of Sameem Afghan Restaurant (2012)
- Jennifer Silverberg's RFT Slideshow of Sameem Afghan Restaurant (2012)

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Local Harvest Cafe & Catering's "Organic Banh Mi": One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.

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The "Organic Banh Mi" at Local Harvest Cafe & Catering downtown | Ian Froeb
The "Organic Banh Mi" at the downtown location of Local Harvest Cafe & Catering (815 Olive Street; 314-241-3196) entered the orbit of my attention with two strikes already against it -- not counting the fact that it forced me to mix my metaphors just now.

One, it features tofu, which even when I want a meal that is vegetarian or vegan (or, at least, isn't meat-based) is never my first choice.

Two, it's a "take" on a classic dish, the Vietnamese sandwich which, in its purest form, is pork on pork on pork (plus pickled vegetables).

See Also:
- Tidbits: Chef Shuffle at Salt, Local Harvest
- Fork & Stix's Sai Oua with Naam Prik Nuum: One of 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Right Now

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