October 2022

Page 1

FALL FOR CIDER

Hard cider is more than sugar-spiked party juice — it’s complex, intentional and tied to the land. p. 18

ST. LOUIS’ INDEPENDENT CULINARY AUTHORITY // SAUCEMAGAZINE.COM // FREE, OCTOBER 2022
2 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022
October 2022 saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 3

OCTOBER 2022 • VOLUME 22, ISSUE 10

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I don't even like key lime pie, but the one at Windowsills Cafe and Marketplace was transcendent.

Local Harvest Cafe’s vegan chocolate chip cookie

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Southtown Pub’s Alabama white chicken sandwich

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I still think about Cork and Barrel Chop House and Spirits' fried green tomato BLT.

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4 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022

contents

editors' picks last featuresbite

7

EAT THIS Royal trumpet mushrooms at Little Fox by meera nagarajan

8

DRINK THIS Perennial Artisan Ales’ Abraxas slushy by liz wolfson

11 HIT LIST 3 new places to try this month by meera nagarajan, michelle volansky and liz wolfson

14

IN THE KNOW

The Robin Project by heather hughes huff

18

ELIXIR

Cider might just give you the perfect pairing for your next adventure, food or otherwise.

by katie herrera

21

EAT THIS FOREVER

For our anniversary issue, we're looking back across over nearly 15 years of Eat This, celebrating the dishes we still love and remembering the ones that left us too soon.

by sauce staff

36

WHAT I DO Sarah Shelton of St. Louis Against Sexual Assault by liz wolfson

38

LANDMARK Spencer’s Grill by iain shaw

42

STUFF TO DO by nicky althoff

Tune in to St. Louis Public Radio 90.7 FM this month when Sauce joins St. Louis on the Air.

COVER DETAILS

FALL FOR CIDER

Hard cider is more than sugarspiked party juice — it’s complex, intentional and tied to the land. Learn more on p. 18.

scotch eggs at the scottish arms, p. 21

October 2022 OCTOBER 2022
6 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022

Eat This

There is something very complete about the royal trumpet mushrooms small plate at Little Fox. There are thick slabs of grilled Ozark Forest trumpet mushrooms atop a pool of soubise, a velvety sweet onion sauce. A drizzle of colorful chive oil adds a grassy note, and a topping of crisp frisée salad dressed

with sherry vinaigrette brings bitterness and acid, as well as crunch, keeping the whole dish in balance.

PHOTO BY IZAIAH JOHNSON
E D I T O R S' PICKS Little Fox, 2800 Shenandoah Ave., St. Louis, 314.553.9456, littlefox.com

DRINK THIS

With the invention of frosé, the world of frozen alcoholic beverages – once the domain of high-octane cocktails – was blown wide open. Thanks to the crew at Perennial Artisan Ales, beer is enjoying a frosé moment of its own. The Abraxas slushy – available only at Perennial’s tasting room in Carondelet – churns Perennial’s spicy, chocolate-y Abraxas imperial stout together with chocolate ice cream and malted milk powder. It’s a warming, boozy sweet treat that’s perfect for early fall evenings.

Perennial Artisan Ales, 8125 Michigan Ave., St. Louis, perennialartisanales.com PHOTO BY CHRISTINA MUSGRAVE
E D I T O R S' PICKS
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10 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022

hit list 3 new places to try this month

E D I T O R S' PICKS pork belly sandwich at sanguchitos inside perennial artisan ales PHOTO BY MICHELLE VOLANSKY
E D I T O R S' PICKS

opposite page: smash pizzas and brassica caesar at press in fox park; this page, from top: the dining room at press, sanguchitos at perennial artisan ales, the interior of perennial

SANGUCHITOS

When Andrew Cisneros wanted a Peruvian beer to carry at Jalea, his restaurant in St. Charles, he partnered with Perennial Artisan Ales to create Waska, a Peruvian-style lager made with quinoa and Mexican lager yeast. From there, their partnership grew to include Sanguchitos, inside of Perennial Artisan Ales, a sandwich shop run by Cisneros making delicious little sandwiches to go with Perennial’s selection of beers. Try the blue crab and smoked trout roe sandwich made with fresh, sweet crab tossed in mayonnaise and lime juice, topped with smoked trout roe and a dash of aji verde, a spicy, herbal sauce. The braised pork belly sandwich has cured, braised and seared pork belly, giving the meat a crisp edge and a tender center.

SIMPLY DELICIOUS

Simply Delicious, the new restaurant from the team behind 4 Hens Creole Kitchen, offers flavorful breakfast and lunch options to the downtown crowd. The Bougie Breakfast Sammy is everything we want in a breakfast sandwich: With a perfectly cooked over-easy egg, thick-cut bacon, fresh tomato and buttery sourdough toast spread with fig jam, it’s savory, sweet, fresh and super satisfying. Fried Brussels sprouts were anything but standard issue; flash-fried individual leaves gave delightful crunch while halved sprouts were well-cooked but not mushy. Tossed with goat cheese and slivered almonds and drizzled with a balsamic glaze and honey, it’s a wellbalanced dish that shows a flair for making familiar dishes feel special.

1115 Pine St., St. Louis, 314.802.7287, simplydeliciousstl.com

PRESS

It’s not every day a new restaurant invents a whole new style of dish, but Press, the latest concept from the team behind The Lucky Accomplice and popup Shift, claims to have done just that. Meet smash pizza - part calzone, part crunch wrap, all gooey, layered, saucy goodness. Toppings and fillings range from traditional tomato with mozzarella and basil to barbecue kimchi and duck with shredded cabbage and Kewpie mayo. A few small plates round out the tight menu. The bonito and brassica Caesar is a hearty salad with bright pickled lemon and crunchy umami crisp. The large roster of draft cocktails are just as fun with plenty of sweet, fizzy options that pair perfectly with the salty, savory pizza menu. The Wisconsin O.F. is a take on a regional Old-Fashioned with orange-infused brandy, bourbon and orange cherry shrub. The Italian Soda hits the spot with bourbon, amaro, sweet vermouth, ginger and bitters.

2509 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314.328.1094, press-stl.com

8125 Michigan Ave. (inside Perennial Artisan Ales’ tasting room), St. Louis, perennialbeer.com
October 2022 saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 13

IN THE KNOW

THE ROBIN PROJECT

With The Robin Project, chef Alec Schingel (Vicia, Winslow’s Table) offers four-course prix-fixe menus showcasing dishes like his first dinner’s toasted raviolo. Not your average toasted rav, the dish featured a Double Star Farms egg yolk cloaked in a ricotta mixture made with Rolling Lawns Farm dairy, Salume Beddu ’nduja and a blanket of pasta made from scratch using Janie’s Mill flour. There was nothing jokey or ironic about this fine dining t-rav: “The thing I’m really looking to explore is what it means to cook Midwestern cuisine and not just use Midwestern ingredients,” Schingel said.

While the Robin Project is a roving pop-up, Schingel currently has dinners scheduled every couple of weeks through December at Work & Leisure’s 10-seat bar. Check Instagram for dates and ticket availability.

Instagram: @the_robinproject

14 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022 PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ROBIN PROJECT
E D I T O R S' PICKS
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'TIS THE SEASON FOR COMFORT FOOD

When the temperatures begin to drop and the holidays start to loom, our cravings for rich, delicious comforts go through the roof. Here are 11 tasty treats perfect for this - or any - season.

BACON-WRAPPED MEATLOAF

Cyrano's bacon-wrapped meatloaf was a special with so many requests, they had to add it to the menu. Each loaf is fully wrapped in bacon before cooking to ensure that all that delicious bacon flavor infuses every bite. It's served with a rich, velvety bordelaise sauce, creamy garlic mashed potatoes and oven-roasted broccoli.

Cyrano's Café, 603 E Lockwood Ave, Webster Groves, cyranos.com

RBBQ

Robust Bistro & Wine Bar, in partnership with Vito Racanelli of Big V’s Craft Barbecue, is launching RBBQ ghost kitchen on Oct. 19 with preorders beginning Oct. 3. Initial offerings will include brisket, pulled pork, and ribs with sides like potato salad, coleslaw, beans, and mac and cheese.

RBBQ by Robust Bistro & Wine Bar, 227 W. Lockwood, Webster Groves, robustwinebar.com

BREAKFAST LOAF

Serendipity's new location now open in The Grove is excited to be featuring an assortment of coffees from Kaldi's and pastries from La Bonne Bouchée. This Breakfast Loaf features cranberry, orange, and espresso swirl. Available everyday at 7 a.m.

Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream, 4400 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, serendipity-icecream.com

NOT YA MAMA'S GUMBO

4 Hens Succotash Soup made with okra, corn, tomatoes and lima beans slow simmered with Creole spices, topped with pan seared chicken, shrimp andouille sausage and crawfish tails. This is not a traditional roux based soup and does not have rice which makes it not ya mama's!

4 Hens Creole Kitchen, City Foundry STL, 3730 Foundry Way, St. Louis, 4henscreolekitchen.com

Photo by Jennifer Silverberg
16 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022 PARTNER CONTENT

BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

Warm, fluffy pancakes are made with fresh blueberries that burst with flavor. Melted butter and syrup drizzled on top makes for a top tier comforting breakfast. Pairs well with a side of crispy bacon and a cup of fresh ground coffee.

Silver Pancake House, 9983 Manchester Rd, St. Louis, facebook.com/silverpancakehouse

Golden Oak Pancake House, multiple locations, facebook.com/GoldenOakPancakeHouse

CHICKEN FRIED CHICKEN

This comfort food classic is a recent addition to Grace Meat + Three's specials menu. Enjoy famous fried chicken, pan gravy, and chives served on toasted white bread.

Grace Meat + Three, 4270 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, stlgrace.com

AGUACATE RELLENO

This mildly spicy dish features avocado, shrimp, serrano pepper, yucca chips and mango yuzu cilantro dressing. Try it at brunch on Saturday and Sunday in addition to many more amazing Latin cuisine options.

Asador Del Sur, 7322 Manchester Rd, Maplewood, asadordelsur.com

RICH AND CREAMY PASTA CON BROCCOLI

Cavatelli tossed in garlic cream sauce with fresh broccoli, sliced mushrooms, a touch of marinara and Parmigiano cheese.

Pasta House, multiple locations, pastahouse.com

AUSTIN’S HORSESHOE

Open-face fried boneless chicken breast tossed in house sweet and spicy sauce placed on a toasted bun, topped with french fries and drizzled with house-made queso.

Gourmet Soul, 1620 Delmar Blvd, St. Louis, gourmetsoul.com

SHAKSHUKA

This traditional Lebanese breakfast dish features stewed Roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, garlic and others spices blended together to make a hearty sauce. Topped with an egg that is poached to perfection while slowly simmering in the sauce. Finished with feta cheese and cilantro and served in a cast iron skillet with pita for dipping.

Simply Delicious, 1115 Pine St, St. Louis, simplydeliciousllc.com

SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN

Everyone loves comfort food, and the catering team at Southern will put the “comfort” in your special event menu. Perfect for holiday celebrations, family gatherings, corporate events and more. Choose from favorites like fried chicken (white and dark meat), catfish and tofu available with a variety of heat levels. Add some classic comfort sides like mashed potatoes, mac ‘n cheese, southern greens and house-made biscuits and your guests will be all smiles. Learn more atstlsouthern.com/catering.

Southern, 3108 Olive St, St. Louis, stlsouthern.com

October 2022 saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 17
PARTNER CONTENT

Apples to Apples

Hard cider isn’t just sugar-spiked party juice. It’s as intentional as it is complex, and it might just give you the perfect pairing for your next adventure, food or otherwise.

“There are so many new options in the adult beverage category. I like to think that cider fits in as an elevated, easy-drinking offering,” said Judson Ball, co-founder of Columbia’s Waves Cider Co. Waves’ cider has similar flavors and nuances as a pinot grigio or chardonnay might have, according to Ball. “It is a perfect beverage for wine lovers that are looking for something a little lighter to have with a meal or while enjoying any outdoor activity.”

Here in the U.S., it is a steadfast misconception that hard cider lacks complexity and is often cloyingly sweet. It’s a valid perspective when you consider that until recently, American cider producers showed less of a dedication to the delicate nature of the fruit, instead relying on sweet juice’s appeal to drive sales.

This, of course, has everything to do with the recent market domination of large-

scale cider producers like Crispin and Angry Orchard. Not wrong, just not the full picture.

American hard cider producers are fighting this tendency by reintegrating non-sugar laden, Old World cider character into their repertoire. Brands like Waves, Seattle Cider Co., Stem Ciders out of Denver and St. Louis’ Brick River Cider Co. are demonstrating that cider is just as tied to the land as wine with respect to terroir and apple varietal, while also showcasing cider as a vehicle for food-pairing experiences – something Spanish sidra long pourers, French orchardists and English dry cider imbibers have known for centuries.

Much like wine, European cider culture is often as tied to family as it is connected to land; and as orchards are handed down from generation to generation, so are recipes and production techniques.

Regions like Suffolk, England, Normandy, France, and Asturias, Spain, not only grow superb apples but also excel in cider production and integrate their cider ingenuity with local drinking culture.

English ciders are often dry, filtered and found in pubs all over the country. French cider tends to be a touch sweeter with tasting notes much more like the fruit used, while Spanish cider reflects the countryside where the orchards are located.

In fact, Spanish cider is one of the finest examples of how place impacts flavor profile. Situated on Spain’s northern coast, Asturias (like the Basque Country to the east) is a very wet apple-growing region that produces some of the world’s best, most complex adult apple juice. Asturian sidra is made from locally grown apples and is fermented for several months in large oak barrels with the apple’s natural yeast and sugar content. The finished product is served still like wine, is often briny like the sea air, funky and tart from the wild yeast, cloudy from apple sediment, and long poured a few ounces at a time to encourage a natural effervescence and full sensory experience with each swallow.

In the U.S., hard cider is less reliant on orchard-specific producers and is more the result of cideries and breweries sourcing out partnerships with local and regional apple growers. Of course, there are exceptions to this, specifically in high-producing apple-growing regions like New York, Michigan and Illinois.

Eckert’s, which operates farms and orchards in Illinois and Kentucky, has recently launched Cider Works, their own hard cider line using apples and other fruit from their farms. While their production space is in development, they’re currently fermenting and packaging their product at Brick River Cider in St. Louis while they wait for their cidery to come online.

Cider creation is an art, and while any apple can be pressed into juice, high quality cider apples possess high levels of tannins (the same compounds found in grape skins and oak barrels), acid and/or fermentable sugar content. And, while you would be hardpressed (pun intended!) to find a Foxwhelp, Wickson Crab or Frequin Rouge on the grocery store shelf next to a Pink Lady or Honey Crisp, these apples’ astringency and bitterness provide a gorgeous foundation for hard cider flavor profiles to stand upon. Whether a cider maker is showcasing one apple or a blend of several, the goal is always to garner a balance between acid-driven tartness, tannin-produced astringency and desired sweetness.

Cider may be an old beverage, but new trends and innovative products are hitting the market – one example is a reducedcalorie apple beverage with Pilsner-like characteristics. According to Seattle Cider Co.’s Maura Hardman and Scott Katsma, this highly carbonated, crushable hard cider style is meant to bridge workday and outdoor play in an equally reliable manner as the trustworthy American light lager. Stem Ciders is also toying around with a reduced-calorie cider intended to entice hard seltzer drinkers, and while local cider producers have yet to jump on this new trend, it sure is fun to see how the cider segment has grown, and where it looks to be going, both locally and nationally.

18 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022 E D I T O R S' PICKS

Dry

Almost no remaining residual sugar and no perceived sweetness.

ANXO District Dry

This unfiltered cider features a vibrant, lemony acidity balanced by a bit of barnyard funk.

Seattle Cider Co. Light Cider

Reminiscent of a Golden Delicious apple, this bright cider has a Champagnelike effervescence.

Stem Ciders A Salted Cucumber

Fans of cucumbers will love this well-balanced cider with a subtle briny underlay.

Medium/ Semi/Off-Dry

Despite low levels of sweetness, cider is still perceived as dry.

*Waves Cider Co. Foeder Blend

This foeder-aged cider showcases distinguished, oaky notes as well as a hint of vanilla with a bit of underlying acid.

Trabanco Sidra Natural

A Spanish sidra that’s vibrantly tart with notes of funky apple and salt water.

*Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. Bushelhead

Warm, baked apples and a balancing tannic character round out this beauty.

Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandie

A French cidre that

boasts blue cheese funkiness complemented by green apple and wild honey flavors.

Medium/ Semi-Sweet

Around 2-4% residual sugar in final product.

*Schlafly Classic  Proper Cider A crisp cider with ripe apple notes and balanced sweetness.

Original Sin Black Widow Lush blackberry notes and Granny Smith apple

tartness combine for a cider that’s utterly thirst-quenching.

Aspall Perronelles Blush Clean-drinking cider with juicy apple and earthy raspberry notes.

Sweet

Perceived sweetness is the primary standout characteristic.

*Eckert’s Cider Works Well Red Softly effervescent, this cider showcases a

delicate strawberries-andcream flavor.

*Brick River Cider Co. Sweet Lou’s Succulent apple and fragrant lavender notes are balanced by blueberry-skin astringency.

* = locally/regionally produced

GET IT

Brick River Cider Co. 2000 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.224.5046, brickrivercider.com

Eckert’s Farm & Cider Shed 951 Green Mount Road, Belleville, 618.310.2759, eckerts.com

Schlafly multiple locations, schlafly.com

Urban Chestnut Brewing Co. 4465 Manchester Ave., St. Louis; 3229 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.222.0143, urbanchestnut.com

Waves Cider Co. 604 Nebraska Ave., Columbia, wavescider.com

PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER
20 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022

Every month, we highlight a single menu item we’re obsessed with, that we feel confident saying: Eat This. For our anniversary issue, we’re looking back across over nearly 15 years of Eat This, celebrating the dishes we still love and remembering the ones that left us too soon.

By Sauce Staff // Photos by Julia Calleo, Ashley Gieseking, Izaiah Johnson, Josh Monken, Greg Rannells, Carmen Troesser PHOTO BY CARMEN TROESSER
EAT THIS
174 Total dishes featured 98 Still available 47 Vegetarian dishes 4 Dumplings 23 Desserts 17 Seafood dishes 7 BBQ 5 Burgers 5 Pizzas 16 Sandwiches (Including this one)
Spudmaster Colossal Chips, February 2008, CLOSED Savory korokke, Dukwon Kim Bakery, April 2008 Deconstructed arugula salad, Sleek, June 2008, CLOSED The hayabusa sushi tacos, Triumph Grill, November 2008, CLOSED Papaya salad, King & I, September 2008 Watermelon salad, Stellina Pasta Cafe, August 2008, CLOSED Beef shish kabob, Café Natasha’s Kabob International, March 2008, CLOSED Mushroom ravioli, Terrene, May 2008, CLOSED Manhattan-style pizza, A'mis, July 2008 Queso de cabra al horno, Modesto, December 2008, CLOSED Guacamole, Agave Mexican Table, October 2008, CLOSED
22 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022 BRING THE HEAT: This is how we resolve to break a sweat this year: the spicy, scrumptious mirchi bhajia appetizer at Gokul Snacks & Sweets. A pair of huge banana peppers are packed with potato, garlic and ginger, then dipped in spiced chickpea batter and deep-fried. Served piping hot with sweet tamarind and cool cilantro chutneys, it’s Indian fast food and it’s fierce. 10633 Page Ave., Olivette, 314.428.8888, gokulindianstlouis.com; January 2008

The best part of the Special Rice In Hot Pot (Com Tay Cam Dac Biet) at Lemongrass Vietnamese Cuisine is the crunchy layer of rice on the bottom. Don’t get us wrong, the stir-fried seafood, chicken, beef and vegetables bathed in a rich brown sauce are savory and satisfying, but the trick to eating this dish is to dig down into the pot and scoop out some of that crunchy, saucy rice to enjoy with each bite. 3161 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314.664.6702, lemongrass-rest.com; January 2009

This is no ordinary crab. The Chef’s Crab at Kim Son Seafood is sautéed with fermented black beans; tiny, fiery Thai bird chiles; and garlic. Tons and tons of garlic. Be prepared to get messy as you crack into that sauce-smothered shell. No matter – all that sweet, tender crab is worth the effort … and the dry cleaning bill. 8080 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.432.8388; May 2009, CLOSED

Just try to resist the urge to bite their little heads off first. The Snowbird Dumplings at Blue Elephant Royal Thai Cuisine are almost-too-cute-to-eat chicken-filled edible sculptures complete with carrot beak and sesame-seed eyes. But looks aren’t everything. Take a taste and you’ll know why these are the restaurant’s signature dish. The filling is spicy and sweet and, before you know it, you will have gobbled them all up. 7816 Forsyth Blvd., Clayton, 314.862.0500; September 2009

Egg raviolo, Acero, October 2009 Quiche, Sweet Art, April 2009 Hadrian, Mangia Italiano, February 2009, CLOSED Peach cobbler, Sweetie Pie's, July 2009, CLOSED Papa a la Huancaina, Mango Peruvian Cuisine, November 2009, CLOSED Vegan chocolate chip cookies, Local Harvest Cafe, June 2009, CLOSED Crudo, Niche Restaurant, March 2009, CLOSED Mango, avocado, crab, Moxy Bistro, August 2009, CLOSED
October 2022 saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 23

Korean comfort food. That’s the best way to describe bibimbob at U-City Grill, the tiny diner that’s tucked into the corner of the building at Enright and Kingsland avenues in University City. Pick one of the few seats at the counter, order up your bibimbob – we prefer ours with beef – and get some kimchi on the side while you’re at it. Mix that sunny-side-up egg into the steaming, perfectly peppery meat and dig into this homestyle Korean favorite – it’s sure to warm you from the inside out. 6696 Enright Ave., University City, 314.721.3073; December 2009

SHAPE SHIFTER: Say hello to grilling season with the Bratwurst burger at The Shaved Duck, where the classic warm-weather sausage – studded with smoked onions – appears in patty form, topped with sweet, dried mango, tangy Dijon sauce and creamy Swiss for a new taste of an old favorite. 2900 Virginia Ave., St. Louis, 314.776.1407, theshavedduck.com; May 2010

Dry-rubbed ribs, Smoking Joe's BarBe-Que, January 2010, CLOSED Red-wine risotto, Atlas Restaurant, March 2010, CLOSED Malted waffle, Crêpes: Etc., September 2010, CLOSED The Big Squeal, Kakao Chocolate, July 2010 Avocado egg rolls, Scape, June 2010, CLOSED Lobster ravioli, Balaban’s Wine Cellar and Tapas Bar, February 2010, CLOSED Italian dog, Audi-K's, April 2010, CLOSED Wings, London’s Wing House, October 2010 Fried eggplant napoleon, Vin De Set, August 2010
24 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022

It’s not listed as such, but consider treating the Waterfall Beef at Addie’s Thai House as an appetizer: A little of the dish’s bright, citrus-y flavor goes a long way, so it’s perfect for sharing. The meat is boldly seasoned with lime leaves and garlic, and fresh cabbage replaces rice or noodles so you can create your own wrap – perfect for maintaining your summer figure. 13441 Olive Blvd., Chesterfield, 314.469.1660, addiesthaihouse.com; August 2011

Thai barbecue burger, Sub Zero Vodka Bar, February 2011, CLOSED Alabama white chicken sandwich, Southtown Pub, September 2011, CLOSED Tacos, Cha Cha Chow, December 2010 St. Louis bbq bacon dog, Busch Stadium, May 2011 Samosa chaat, Gokul Snacks & Sweets, November 2010 Tapas, Modesto, April 2011, CLOSED Faraci's special, Faraci Pizza, March 2011 Braised pork belly buns, Hiro, October 2011, CLOSED Chicken pot pie, The Piccadilly at Manhattan, November 2011 Soppressata on ciabatta, Salume Beddu, July 2011, unavailable Crostini, Five Bistro, January 2011, CLOSED Chicharron de pollo, Fritanga, June 2011
October 2022 saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 25

It’s like a cannoli and a doughnut made a baby. The ricotta puff at Vitale’s Bakery is so light, it practically evaporates on contact. The billowy exterior, dusted with cinnamon and sugar, pockets a sweet ricotta cheese that gets studded with tender chocolate chips. Ever tasted a cloud? We have. 2130 Marconi Ave., St. Louis, 314.664.6665, vitalesbakerystl.com; August 2012

Tempura-fried twinkie, Chop Shop, March 2012, CLOSED Ham-and-spring vegetable succotash, Mojo Tapas, December 2011, CLOSED Chopped salad, The Grill at The RitzCarlton St. Louis, May 2012, CLOSED Pigs in a blanket, Blood & Sand, September 2012, unavailable Bouillabaisse, Nico, March 2013, CLOSED Sweet potato falafel, Lulu's Local Eatery, January 2013, unavailable Pasta con melanzane, Rich & Charlie's, December 2012 Spicy pork, Seoul Taco, April 2012 Alligator rangoon, Molly's in Soulard, January 2012 The Bradley, Epic Pizza and Subs, February 2012 Three Kings Wings, Three Kings Public House, June 2012 Barbecued spare ribs, Bobo Noodle House, July 2012, CLOSED Moroccan-seasoned crab cake, Remy's Kitchen & Wine Bar, October 2012, CLOSED Dressel's pretzel, Dressel's Public House, November 2012, unavailable Big Muddy, Sugarfire Smoke House, April 2013 Homemade moon-shine pies, Hendricks BBQ, February 2013, unavailable
26 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022

Aporkalypse pretzelwich . This juicy,

boom-boom

is only served on

Vince Valenza’s sandwiches are served up

the history books. 2438 McNair Ave.,

Lemon-maple custard, Niche, March 2014, CLOSED Ozark Forest mushroom salad, Farmhaus, February 2014 Goji sole, Hiro Asian Kitchen, January 2014, CLOSED The Maine Event, SweetArt, April 2014 The Hog Burger, Quincy Street Bistro, August 2013, CLOSED Key lime pie, Windowsills Cafe & Marketplace, June 2013, CLOSED Chef salad, BBC Asian Bar and Cafe, May 2013, CLOSED The Scotch egg, The Scottish Arms, October 2013 Mayflower, Sauce on the Side, November 2013, unavailable Green eggs n ham, The Shack Pubgrub, December 2013, CLOSED Fat Daddy Pickle Coins, Circle 7 Ranch, July 2013
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If a pig and a zombie had a baby, swaddled in bacon and laid in a warm pretzel bun, you would have the
garlicky peppered pork roast, bacon and gooey provolone sandwich, topped with pickles and spicy
sauce,
Wednesdays at Blues City Deli . From the massive muffuletta to the Benton Park po’ boy, all of
spectacularly, but if the world ended tomorrow, the Aporkalypse would survive; it would be rewriting
St. Louis, 314.773.8225, bluescitydeli.com; September 2013

It’s hard to beat a fresh pastry and hot coffee in the morning. For that, we go to Comet Coffee & Microbakery, where you’ll find us sipping on a cappuccino and tearing unabashedly into an almond bear claw. Rich, 83 percent Beurremont butter holds together layer upon layer of housemade croissant dough baked to a golden crisp, while hidden in the center of that soft, chewy interior is a delicate ribbon of almond paste. Other bakeries might muck it up with almond extract, but not here. Instead, fresh almonds are ground smooth and touched with sweet honey. This teeny-tiny bakery is churning out mighty fine pastries, and this bear claw may be its best yet. 5708 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, 314.932.7770, cometcoffeestl.com; October 2014

Madeleines, Herbie's Vintage '72, June 2014, unavailable Cheeseburger, Death in the Afternoon, August 2014, CLOSED Fettuccine Alfredo, Il Bel Lago, December 2014 Spiedini di gamberi, Trattoria Marcella, November 2014 Braised beef bruschetta, Scape American Bistro, July 2014, CLOSED Chicken souvlaki, Go! Gyro! Go!, September 2014 Cheese hash browns, Goody Goody Diner, January 2015, CLOSED Fried chicken at a Mexican joint? If you’re eating habanero fried chicken at Amigo Joe’s, we say, “Por supuesto.” Tear through its spicy, crispy skin to reveal insanely tender meat with a subtle kick. Add rice, refried beans and a jumbo margarita, and you’ll wonder why all international diplomacy can’t be this flawless. 5901 Southwest Ave., St. Louis, 314.645.1995, amigojoesstl.com; May 2014
28 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022

“It’s so Asian,” said Mai Lee’s Qui Tran of the restaurant’s sticky rice and mango. We wholeheartedly agree. A mound of hot sticky rice is covered in a warm, delicate sauce of sweetened coconut milk and adorned with cool, golden mango. Textures and temperatures interplay to transform a trio of Asian staples into an unexpectedly epicurean dessert. 8396 Musick Memorial Drive, Brentwood, 314.645.2835, maileestl.com; June 2015

Chicken adobo, Guerrilla Street Food, December 2015, unavailable Steak frites, The Libertine, November 2015, CLOSED The bread basket, Juniper, April 2016 Jalapeno sausage pizza, Peel Wood Fired Pizza, September 2015 Cannoli, Piccione Pastry, February 2016, CLOSED Campfire s'mores nitro ice, Ices Plain & Fancy, March 2015 Grilled fish tacos, Taqueria Durango, July 2015 Dumplings, Lona's Lil Eats, February 2015 Gooey butter cake, Spoon Baking Co., May 2015, CLOSED Paneer makhani, House of India, January 2016 Walking taco, Cha Cha Chow, May 2016 Shrimp scampi, Peppe's Apt. 2, October 2015 Chocolate chip cookies, Pappo's Pizzeria & Brew Co., March 2016, CLOSED Chicken torta, La Vallesana, June 2016 Okonomiyaki, Cleveland-Heath, April 2015, unavailable Pancakes, Gringo, August 2015, CLOSED
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The lobster turnovers at Sidney Street Cafe are a study in richness. Sweet pieces of lobster are wrapped in flaky filo dough, brushed with clarified butter and baked until golden. If that wasn’t enough, they’re finished with a cream sauce infused with San Marzano tomatoes, brandy, tarragon and a hint of chipotle, Tabasco and cayenne for a subtle kick. Class dismissed. 2000 Sidney St., St. Louis, 314.771.5777, sidneystreetcafestl.com; April 2017

Fried artichoke salad, Katie's Pizza & Pasta Osteria, February 2017 Brisket mac, Farmtruk, May 2017 Parisian gnocchi, Urban Chestnut, September 2016, unavailable Strawberry mousseline cake, La Bonne Bouchée, November 2016 Turkey sandwich, Nathaniel Reid, March 2017 Kale-ifornication salad, Pi Pizzeria, June 2017 Wow board, Annie Gunn's, July 2016 Honey-glazed chicken wings, Diner's Delight, October 2016 Mangia Bene, Smokee Mo's BBQ, December 2016 Grilled chicken sandwich, Square One Brewery, January 2017 St. Louis is filled with shawarma, but only the beef original Palestine from Medina Grill has our hearts. The shawarma is spit roasted and shaved to order, seared with spicy chiletomato-vinegar sauce to add gusto, then folded into a soft pita along with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, a garlicky tahini sauce and a dusting of bitter sumac. It’s an addictive handheld lunch that keeps us coming back over and over again. 1327 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314.241.1356, medinagrill.com; August 2016
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Do not be deceived by the menu of add-ons at Kitchen Kulture’s The Kart stand at the Tower Grove Farmers’ Market. There is only one way to order The Classic Breakfast Sandwich: with everything. Thick, soft slices of sourdough bread are sprinkled with sea salt and topped with sharp cheddar, a fried farm egg, crisp strips of applewood-smoked bacon and a drizzle of local honey. The whole salty-sweet-rich extravagance is drenched in butter and griddled. Ignore the $12 price tag – no basic breakfast would get us up this early on a Saturday morning. Available at Songbird, 4476 Chouteau Ave., St. Louis, 314.781.4344, songbirdstl.com; August 2017

Some dishes are so tasty they don’t need fancy monikers – the food does all the talking. The hot crisp fish at Cate Zone Chinese Cafe is a prime example. Flaky, tender swai is seasoned with a spice blend including powdered Sichuan peppers and cayenne, dipped in a light batter then fried until golden and served on a bed of even more Sichuan peppers. There’s just enough heat to prime your taste buds and make your lips tingle, and the portion is big enough to satisfy the heartiest Midwestern appetite. 8148 Olive Blvd., University City, 314.738.9923, October 2018

Avocado salad, Southwest Diner, May 2018 Coconut chocolate fudge, Clementine's Creamery, April 2018 BBQ Nachos, Big Baby Q and Smokehouse, September 2018, CLOSED Gnocchi, Five Bistro, February 2018, CLOSED Fried green tomato BLT, Cork & Barrel Chop House and Spirits, July 2018, CLOSED Root vegetable tagine, Olio, September 2017 Tianjin-Style Bing, Bing Bing, December 2017, CLOSED Trout over grit cakes, The Muddled Pig Gastropub, July 2017, CLOSED Pork Belly BLT, Capitalist Pig, November 2017, CLOSED Mung bean spring rolls, Banh Mi So No. 1, June 2018, CLOSED The Captain, Mac's Local Eats, March 2018 Mary's Special, Adriana's on the Hill, August 2018 Vegetables samosa, Everest Café & Bar, October 2017 Cheese wraps, Vietnam Style, January 2018, CLOSED
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With its swanky new space (more light-drenched sophistication, less brick-walled barn), Juniper acquired a swanky new fried chicken sandwich. Breaded and deep-fried to a burnished chestnut, the moist, tender chicken is joined by crisp house pickles, red pepper jelly and smoked mayonnaise on a house-baked benne seed bun. Resist the option to “make it hot” with a douse of Nashville-style chile oil. This sandwich taught us that super smoky mayo and sweet-and-spicy pepper jelly need only each other – and us. 4101 Laclede Ave., St. Louis, 314.329.7696, junipereats.com; November 2018

The marble cake with fudge frosting from Helfer’s Pastries & Deli Cafe is a nostalgia trip to simpler times. The chocolate and vanilla zebra-striped cake has a light, soft crumb and delivers that best-of-both-worlds flavor, topped with an entirely unfussy, dense, sweet fudge frosting. It’s not avant-garde baking, but it will remind you how good a sheet cake can be. 380 St. Ferdinand St., Florissant, 314.837.6050, helferspastries.com, April 2019

Whiplash cake, Sucrose, December 2018 Meatballs and polenta, Trattoria Marcella, February 2019 Torta, El Toluco, August 2019 Old-fashioned doughnut, Old Town Donuts, June 2019 Empanadas, Tango Argentina Food, May 2019 Eggplant with garlic sauce, ChiliSpot, January 2019 Pizza Knotchos, Pie Guy Pizza, March 2019, unavailable J.I.T.B. tacos, Byrd & Barrel, September 2019, unavailable Prasino Cakes, Prasino, July 2019
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OG Acai Bowl, Hello Juice & Smoothie, January 2021 Pupusas, El Guanaco Taqueria y Pupuseria, December 2020 Black garlic bread, Katie’s Pizza & Pasta Osteria, July 2021 Pad nam prig pao, Thai Nivas Cafe, October 2020 Golden tacos of potatoes, Fonda La Poblanita, May 2021 Korean fried chicken, Kimchi Guys, November 2019 Rigatoni, The Clover and The Bee, January 2020 Buffalo crawfish po’boy, Peacemaker Lobster & Crab, April 2020 Shroomed Out, Nudo House, August 2020 Caramel brioche bread pudding, Cyrano's Cafe, October 2019 Black trumpet scarpinocc, Sardella, March 2020, CLOSED Spinach and cheese Mediterranean pie, J’s Pitaria, March 2021 Baklava cheesecake, The Greek Kitchen, August 2021 Xiao long bao (soup dumplings), Soup Dumplings STL, November 2020 Stacked enchiladas platter, Southwest Diner, June 2021 Dal makhani, Khanna’s Desi Vibes, September 2021 Coconut macaroon, Cake House Design, December 2019 Classic pizza, Union Loafers Café and Bread Bakery, February 2020 Taiwanese popcorn chicken, Tai Ke, July 2020 Mini cheese empanadas, Mayo Ketchup, September 2020
October 2022 saucemagazine.com I SAUCE MAGAZINE I 33
Steamed veggie dumplings, Thai 202, October 2021 Floating Island, Brasserie by Niche, February 2022 Coconut chiffon cake, Sugaree Baking Co., January 2022 Sunny’s Veggie, Adriana’s On the Hill, August 2022 Vegetarian platter, Meskerem Ethiopian Restaurant, June 2022 Pastéis de nata, The Foundry Bakery, May 2022 Crab zeppoles, Botanica, December 2021 Pretzel monkey bread, Perennial on Lockwood, March 2022 Double Deuce, Nomad, September 2022 Spicy double-cooked pork, China Bistro, July 2022 The grilled vegetable kebab is one of the standout dishes on the menu at Sultan Mediterranean Restaurant. Vegetables are marinated in a mild Aleppo pepper oil and then seasoned with a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic, onion, red bell pepper, green onion and sumac. Each vegetable offers a unique texture: The eggplant and zucchini are tender, the mushroom is firm, and the tomato has juicy acidity. They all have a beautiful char from the grill, making each bite incredibly savory. 4200 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.390.2020, sultan-stl.com, April 2022 Pizza may be the obvious choice at Noto Italian Restaurant, but the incredibly tender braised short rib should not be missed. The beef is marinated overnight in honey, salt, garlic and thyme and then braised with seasonal fruits. After resting, the juices are reduced with red wine to make a sweet, sticky sauce. The melt-in-your-mouth meat sits atop creamy polenta and is served alongside grilled broccolini; it’s all drizzled with a savory-sweet gremolata. Chopped parsley gives a bright finish. 5105 Westwood Drive, St. Peters, 636.317.1143, notopizza.com; November 2021
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PHOTO BY VIRGINIA HAROLD from left, ashley krull, sarah walters, bek lokey, sarah shelton, tara phelan of st. louis against sexual assault
36 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022

SARAH SHELTON

BOARD MEMBER, ST. LOUIS AGAINST SEXUAL ASSAULT

Sarah Shelton serves on the board of St. Louis Against Sexual Assault (SASA), a nonprofit, survivor-led organization that provides sexual assault prevention training and certification for the service industry. She’s also a graphic designer and illustrator, as well as a veteran of the food and beverage industry. Here, Shelton discusses SASA’s formation and the group’s recent partnership with the Safe Bar Network to provide training to bars and restaurants on sexual assault awareness and prevention strategies. – Liz Wolfson

“St. Louis Against Sexual Assault (SASA) formed in summer 2020. It was during a time where there was a lot of sexual assault awareness happening amongst survivors who had been active in the bar scene in St. Louis. … We basically formed as a way to stand with survivors and have a group that was based around sexual assault prevention in the hospitality industry.”

“I have an Instagram [account] called Girl Louie, and it basically turned into sort of like, advocacy through art. … I have been creating art to raise awareness around people’s experiences with sexual assault that have been coming out. And I myself have experienced sexual assault. So, it felt really personal to me as well.”

“I reached out to Urban Chestnut to paint a mural that said, ‘Consent is my love language.’ … The members of SASA, before it became a nonprofit, they started an Instagram called St. Louis Against Sexual Assault. I reached out to them and said, ‘Do y’all want to partner on this mural?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah!’”

“It’s really magical, painting a mural with people about something that really impacted us, and it was a big message to survivors. It was like, ‘Hey, here’s a permanent installation inside the very neighborhood that you feel unsafe in that lets you know we hear you and we’re standing in solidarity with you.’”

“Most of us [in SASA] are survivors ourselves and have worked in the hospitality industry off and on for years. Some of us still work at bars, and we felt that you could still drink alcohol, and it’s OK.”

“A lot of times people think, ‘Oh, well, just don’t get drunk.’ But really our whole thing is that you should be able to go out to bars and drink and get drunk if you want to. And it doesn’t mean that you are consenting to anything that has happened to you.”

“We wanted to come up with some sort of curriculum or a training guide that could help people who work in the service industry be able to recognize and act on sexual assault when they see it happening or are experiencing it. Safe Bar Network is already doing that.”

“Our whole team is now trained in this, and we are hoping that we can work with as many bars and restaurants that want to work with us on saying that they’re Safe Bar-trained.”

“Anyone can be a trainer, anyone could be a facilitator and go to bars and restaurants to train staff on how to prevent sexual assault, or how to at least recognize it and what to do in those situations.”

“It’s really magical when the staff can get together and have an open conversation with the bar staff and the

kitchen and the owners, the managers –everyone has to be present in order to have these trainings. And so being able to have everyone present in the same room, having different conversations about sexual assault in their workplace, is really important.”

“We have these coasters … that we’ve partnered with bars on that say, ‘Alcohol does not equal consent.’”

Just having things like that around a bar where you could just feel free, that like, ‘OK, I can have a drink here, and I know that people are looking out, and it feels safe.’”

“We are also a team of artists. So we are always trying to figure out how to use art to tell our story and to raise awareness through art.”

“It’s uncomfortable to be a survivor and share stories and whatnot. Being able to be approachable in the conversations, bringing awareness about in a creative way that is approachable as well … is important for us as we continue to do the work.”

“We just want to make St. Louis on the map [as] a city that can be Safe Bartrained and be vocal about sexual assault prevention in the hospitality industry. Because who doesn’t want that, right? We need for people to go and have a drink and feel comfortable.”

stlagainstsexualassault.org

SAFE BAR-TRAINED BARS AND RESTAURANTS

HANDLEBAR 4127 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314.652.2212, handlebarstl.com

PERENNIAL ARTISAN ALES 216 W. Lockwood Ave., Unit B, Webster Groves; 8125 Michigan Ave., St. Louis, perennialbeer.com

THE ROYALE 3132 S. Kingshighway Blvd., St. Louis, 314.772.3600, theroyale.com

THE WOLF CAFÉ 15480 Clayton Road, Ballwin, 636.527.7027, thewolfstl.com

TICK TOCK TAVERN 3459 Magnolia Ave., St. Louis, Facebook: Tick Tock Tavern

WILD CARROT 3901 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, 314.696.2474, wildcarrotstl.com

Source: safebarnetwork.org

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LAST BITE // WHAT I DO

SPENCER’S GRILL

Benjamin Franklin famously said that the only certainties in life are death and taxes. For Kirkwood residents, the No. 3 breakfast at Spencer’s Grill is comparably reliable and significantly more enjoyable. And yet, according to owner Alex Campbell, even this staple of two eggs, your choice of meat, hash browns and toast has only been on the menu for around half the lifetime of his restaurant, which marks 75 years in its current location this month.

Bill and Irene Spencer founded Spencer’s Grill at 223 S. Kirkwood Road in 1947, having operated a restaurant in a location farther along the road for several years prior to that. Campbell’s mother, Lisa Campbell, bought Spencer’s in 2013, before Alex assumed full ownership himself in 2017.

Spencer’s Grill doesn’t lack for history, but the Route 66 connection is a particularly

notable component of the story. The Spencers wanted their restaurant to be right on Route 66. “I think they were [open] 24 hours at the time, and with travelers coming through this route all hours of the day, they felt like they had a really good chance to capture a lot of traffic,” Campbell said.

Although the rise of the interstate system would erode the importance of America’s “Mother Road,” Route 66’s persistent cultural resonance sees nostalgic travelers from all over the country stop in at Spencer’s for a bite to eat. “You don’t hear about it in day-to-day conversation, but that appeal and that piece of history, people love that,” Campbell said.

This is the kind of diner that kids around the world who saw Grease, Back to the Future or Happy Days grew up wishing their hometown had. “The vibe inside the

restaurant is a big part of what we sell,” Campbell said. The menu offers countless variations on the winning American breakfast formula of eggs, bacon, sausage, hash browns, pancakes and omelets, as well as St. Louis staples like the Slinger. Campbell estimates that close to 50% of orders are for the No. 3 breakfast. Lunch is burgers and fries, BLTs and hot dogs. You’re drinking

coffee or a milkshake. If the restaurant isn’t actually playing a doo-wop soundtrack, it’s probably playing in your head anyway.

But Spencer’s is no nostalgia piece. It’s a vibrant hub of the Kirkwood community, a standing Campbell said he’s worked hard to cultivate during his time running the diner. “You don’t walk in and we give you some history lesson,” Campbell said. “But you sit down and just listen for a little bit. It’s this guy that used to come here with his grandpa. I’ve got kids that I knew that were coming in here 10 years ago that are 12 years old now. [When] they were babies, they stopped here on the way home from the hospital.”

Spencer’s Grill has changed hands multiple times, and Campbell said he has a “healthy respect” for his role as the custodian of this institution. “I understand that this place exists way beyond me, way before I was born, all of those things,” Campbell said.

“I’m here to take care of it and maintain it, and I have to keep that respect.”

Campbell has retained the classic diner feel while making upgrades to refresh the restaurant’s appearance and keep pace with where the industry is in 2022. “They need to look old school, they need to look retro, they need to make people feel like they’re still in the same place,” he said. “We try to carry the torch and maintain some tradition and history while updating some things here and there that are required.”

When Campbell took over ownership from his mother, he also purchased the building from the landlord outright. That felt like “putting our flag in the ground,” and it also allowed him to claim ownership of the iconic Spencer’s Grill neon sign, which includes a clock rumored to be among the oldest west of the Mississippi River. “We kind of felt like it was ours to carry the torch, make sure it survives and keep it running for as long as we can.” That’s a responsibility he isn’t planning on giving up anytime soon.

“We hope to be the last owners of Spencer’s Grill,” Campbell said.

223 S. Kirkwood Road, Kirkwood, 314.858.1651, spencersgrill.com

spencer's grill breakfast items at spencer's grill
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PHOTOS BY DAVID KOVALUK LAST BITE // LANDMARK
IAIN SHAW
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40 I SAUCE MAGAZINE I saucemagazine.com October 2022

ROSALIA BUZZETTA

BENEDETTO'S ON MAIN

Position: Executive chef

Married? Yes, to Benedetto Buzzetta

Kids? Yes, three kids - Tony, Daniela and Paul - and four grandchildren - Massimo, Benedetto, Pauli and Joey.

Where are you originally from? Palermo, Sicily

Where did you go to school? In Palermo and here in St. Louis

How did you get to where you are? Through hard work and a family history of restaurant owners

New things going on in your restaurant: Our menu specials vary daily and we have live music on Saturday nights.

Favorite menu item: Pasta and fresh fish

Three cool facts about you: • I work with my son, Tony.

• We're one of only a few Italian restaurants in the Wildwood area.

• The decor at our restaurant is antique Italian style.

What is your favorite piece of equipment or kitchen item? My Cabi oven - it cooks everything well and in a short time.

Benedetto's On Main 16721 Main St, Wildwood, MO, benedettostl.com

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OCTOBER

purchase food from food trucks like Truckeria Del Valle and Farmtruk. Enjoy live music, a silent auction and bourbon celebrity meet and greets. Tickets available online.

St. Louis Beer Festival

Oct. 22 – 8 to 11 p.m., St. Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, stlouisbeerfest.com

Ever wish you could experience the best of St. Louis’s renowned breweries in one place? The St. Louis Beer Festival says why not, rounding up over 40 breweries and 120 beers to the St. Louis Science Center this October. Tickets available online.

Oktoberfest at Soulard Market

Oct. 7 – 4 to 11 p.m., Oct. 8 – 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Soulard Farmers Market, 730 Carroll St., St. Louis, soulard-oktoberfest.com

Time to dust off your lederhosen and break out your steins – Soulard’s version of the annual German festival is returning to Soulard Market this October in celebration of the historic neighborhood’s German connections. Attractions include a wine garden, live band performances, and all of the German food and beer your heart desires all weekend long. Free admission.

St. Louis Wicked Wine Walk

Oct. 8 – noon to 4 p.m., Ballpark Village, 601 Clark Ave., St. Louis, 314.797.7530, samg.bz/wickedwine

Spooky season is upon us, and the inaugural St. Louis Wicked Wine Walk encourages attendees to embrace their wicked sides while sampling some of the area’s best wines. Wine and food pairings, live music, shopping and more are available at the event, with three tiers of tickets available to “wine a lot,” “wine a little” or ditch the wine and embrace your foodie side. Tickets available online.

St. Louis Taco Week

Oct. 10 to 16, multiple locations, stltacoweek.com

Move aside, $5 footlong - St. Louis Taco Week is back with its $5 taco specials from October 10 to 16 at various restaurants across town. With hard tacos, soft tacos, dessert tacos and even doggie treat tacos available, we don’t see why you wouldn’t have tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner all week long. Be sure to snag an official St. Louis Taco Week passport or download the event’s app to track your progress as you try tacos.

St. Louis Bourbon Festival

Oct. 21 – 5 to 9 p.m., 1817 Cherokee St., St. Louis, stlouisbourbonfestival.com

The St. Louis Bourbon Festival is taking over a full city block on Cherokee Street this year with indoor and outdoor spaces, live music and entertainment all in the name of bourbon. Over 450 bourbons, whiskeys and scotches will be available for sampling, and you can

Gateway Arch Park Foundation’s An Iconic Evening Benefit Dinner

Oct. 27 – 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., Gateway Arch National Park Visitor Center, Fourth Street between Market and Chestnut streets, 314.881.2015, archpark.org/events/an-iconic-evening

Dine, drink and take in local art against the backdrop of our city’s iconic gateway to the west at the Gateway Arch Park Foundation’s annual An Iconic Evening benefit dinner. Enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and dinner catered by Butler’s Pantry while watching Missouri-based artist Steven Dragan paint a live watercolor painting of Gateway Arch National Park that will be auctioned off at the end of the evening. Tickets available online or by phone.

Apple Butter Festival Kimmswick

Oct. 29 & 30 – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Kimmswick, 636.464.7407, samg.bz/applebutter

Fans of apple butter will be delighted to find a full twoday celebration in Kimmswick honoring the delectable fall spread. Before dawn each morning of the festival, members of the Kimmswick Historical Society begin cooking apples over fire and continue for seven to eight hours until the spread is thick enough to jar. Over 500

food, drink and craft vendors will take over the streets of the small town as well, with bites and activities for all. Free admission.

Sauce Magazine Harvest Fest

Oct. 9 – 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tower Grove Park, 4501 Southwest Drive, 314.772.8004, harvestfeststl.com

Celebrate the season’s bountiful harvest at this year’s Harvest Fest in Tower Grove Park. Grab a bite from the likes of Farmtruk, Sedara Sweets and Rock Star Tacos to pair with a beverage from Noboleis Winery, 4 Hands Brewing Co., Brick River Cider Co., 2nd Shift Brewing and more. Sit and stay a while to enjoy live music from The Silver Creek Bluegrass Band, Acoustik Element and ClusterPluck while browsing arts and provisions from over 20 local artists and farmers. Free admission.

Green Dining Week

Oct. 17 to 23, multiple locations, 314.282.7533, greendiningalliance.org

The Green Dining Alliance presents its second Green Dining Week highlighting restaurants that have completed their sustainability certification program. Each day during the week, different GDA member restaurants, like Buzz’s Hawaiian Grill, Pizza Head and Crushed Red, will donate a portion of the day’s sales to the GDA.

Tower Grove Park 150th Birthday Bash

Oct. 23 – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tower Grove Park, 4257 Northeast Drive, St. Louis, 314.771.2679, samg.bz/tgp150

Tower Grove Park is turning 150 this year, and the iconic St. Louis landmark plans to celebrate in style. Take in live music and family-friendly activities like roving circus performers and arts and crafts while munching on snacks from Sauce Magazine’s Food Truck Alley. Free admission.

denotes a sauce-sponsored event

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