The Best Food Events in St. Louis This Weekend: June 20 to 22

Those Belgians know a thing or two about beer, eh? | Smabs Sputzer

It's officially summer on Saturday, and boy, does it feel like it. It's not just the heat, it's the humidity! Don't let that stop you from enjoying all the great and yummy activities St. Louis has to offer this weekend. Then again, maybe you should just go to one with air conditioning. Either way, check out our food-related recommendations after the jump.

See also: Home Wine Kitchen Celebrates Three-Year Anniversary with One-Time-Only Menu

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St. Louis Baconfest Unloads A 500-Pound Hog Log On Kiener Plaza This Weekend

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Chef John Johnson (fourth from left) and staff with a 200-pound trial run of a hog log.
An introductory sentence on the first annual St. Louis Baconfest's website says it all: "Without bacon life would be sad, food would be boring and the birds would not chirp."

How our fine avian friends would actually react in the presence of so much pig remains questionable, but Baconfest president Matthew Willer is definitely spot on about the former statement -- any avid pork eater will find both happiness (or intrigue, at the very least) on a grand scale at this epic meat fest. How epic, exactly?

See also:
- St. Louisans Attempt to Set the World Record for "Largest Bacon Explosion"
- The Ex Cop Donut Shop: Keeping South County Safe for Bacon Doughnuts

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10 Most Offensive, Ridiculous "Sad Desk Lunch" Photos

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Eating leftover pizza at work because life is hard.
The mission of Sad Desk Lunch is stated simply on its website:

Sad Desk Lunch isn't about how great your lunch is. And it's not about how crappy your lunch is either. It's about the fact you eat your lunch at your desk during your lunch break where you could roam free ....Eating our sad tupperware lunches. Oh yeah, just to make it better? Eating lunch at your desk can expose you to more bacteria than a toilet seat.

OK. We've all been there. We can relate. Many a weekday we sit, hunched over a computer at our desk, trying to eat yogurt with a plastic fork. Licking our fingers to create a utensil to extract the layer of sugar at the bottom of a bag of Sour Patch Kids. Microwaving oatmeal and water, then seasoning it with soy sauce and Sriracha because it's all that was in our kitchen, it's the day before payday and because we're resourceful.

Though it bums us out to say it, the site disappoints -- and so spectacularly so it almost feels like parody.

We're calling shenanigans, Sad Desk Lunch.

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"Church at the Bar" Combines Booze and Good News in O'Fallon

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Courtesy David Rispoli
WWJD: What would Jesus drink?
Every Wednesday night in O'Fallon, a pastor walks into a bar. And for the next hour and 45 minutes or so, it becomes church.

"I buy everyone at the bar a round of drinks on me just kind of as a hook to say, 'Hey, just wait and listen,'" " says Pastor David Rispoli. "Jesus drank."

If that sounds like your kind of church, read on.

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America the Jell-O Shot: A Boozy Dessert Experiment Involving the Lower 48

Liz Miller
Getting wasted on the lower 48.
Earlier this week Gut Check talked to Salute American Vodka founder Pete Kelly about the product's launch in Missouri. Eager to concoct ways to taste test Salute American Vodka, we threw around a few ideas, until one stuck: red, white and blue Jell-O shots! For awhile, Jell-O o'clock was our favorite time of day at Gut Check International Headquarters, but recently the tradition has fallen off. This also presented the opportunity to use another locally made product with a Gut Check past, the Jellinator.

But then the idea got even grander. What if, instead of making red, white and blue Jell-O shots, we took up a larger torch, worthy of Lady Liberty herself? And thus a giant Jell-O shot shaped like the lower 48 was born.

In Jell-O we trusted, however misguided that might have been.

See also:
-The Jellinator: A Test of the Ultimate Jell-O Shot Maker
-Q&A With Pete Kelly, Founder of Salute American Vodka -- Released First in Missouri

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Denny's Meets Middle-Earth With Menu Sort Of Inspired by The Hobbit

The Hobbit menu includes eleven breakfast, lunch and dinner meals.
Advertising Age reports that on November 6, Denny's will launch a limited-time menu inspired by Peter Jackson's film The Hobbit, to be released on December 14.

Because Bilbo Baggins wouldn't be at all horrified by Denny's "Build Your Own Hobbit Slam," which is a real thing it's serving. What, like carbo-loading six times a day is acceptable but cannibalism makes you a monster?

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Larry the Cable Guy "Tater Chips" -- They Exist

Chrissy Wilmes
On a recent trip to Schnucks (8800 Manchester Road; 314-961-5454), Gut Check glimpsed bags of potato tater chips emblazoned with the visage of comedian Larry the Cable Guy goading us with, "Boy that's good eatin'!" Only in America is correct, Larry.

The sack of tater chips that first caught our eye was the barbecue rib flavor, arguably the most traditional chip flavor of the bunch. Larry also makes tater chips in flavors such as fried dill pickle, cheeseburger and buffalo wings, though on our visit to the Schnucks in Brentwood, the latter wasn't available.

But, much to Gut Check's delight, that's not where Larry the Cable Guy's line of consumables ends.

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Anti-Gay Chick-fil-A Ditched By Muppets, Humans, You? Vote Here!

Chick-fil-A: Now endorsed by the Westboro Baptist Church!
It's never been a secret that Chick-fil-A, a fast food chain that is closed on Sundays and has previously spouted an anti-gay agenda, lacks a certain separation of church and chicken. We've shared our views on the company's politics before, as have many, and now it seems the rest of the world is taking notice.

The media shitstorm currently circling Chick-fil-A HQ sprung of an interview its president, Dan Cathy, held with the Biblical Recorder, a weekly published by the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Originally published on Monday, July 16, quotes from the story were soon parsed and passed around by news outlets around the country, quickly going viral. Of particular interest was Cathy's stance on gay marriage -- or lack thereof:

"We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.

Within four days of the interview going viral, the Jim Henson Company announced it cut ties with the chain, a national grassroots campaign titled "National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A," slated for Friday, August 3, sprung up, and in response to that, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee called for Wednesday, August 1, to be celebrated as "Chick fil-A Appreciation Day." We're not sure how Arrested Development so perfectly saw this coming, but man, a tip of the hat from Gut Check. To wit: "You can afford to do anything you want. You're just a big chicken."

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Cheetos Nachos Sold in Texas Convenience Store, Sign Gut Check Up

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Cheesy Cheetos appear to be simply that: part Cheetos, part nacho cheese.
Last week Gut Check was so enamored with the news that Subway was test marketing Doritos nachos at select locations inside Wal-Mart stores nationwide that we recreated the dish for taste test purposes. The next day a tipster informed us that several Subway restaurants housed in St. Louis Wal-Mart stores were serving the dish. We wasted no time; immediately venturing to the Wal-Mart in Collinsville, Illinois to order this junk food mash-up surprise. For what it's worth, we were happy to report that Subway's Doritos nachos were tastier than Gut Check's version.

Now, with a heavy heart, we share related and yet much more disquieting news: Cheetos nachos exist and are being sold in at least one convenience store in El Paso, Texas. Is that one convenience store too many?

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Subway's Doritos Nachos Available in St. Louis

Ian Froeb
When Gut Check learned yesterday that Subway is test-marketing nachos made with Doritos, we couldn't wait to try them -- in fact, we were so excited that we bought chips, Cheez Whiz and jalapeƱos to make some for ourselves.

Turns out we didn't have to wait.

An operative passed along word this morning that the Subway inside the Wal-Mart in Collinsville, Illinois, is selling these Doritos nachos. Then, a phone call revealed that the Subway inside the Wal-Mart in Maplewood is also carrying them.

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