Nuggets! (Random Notes of Interest)

Eyeball Laumeier

Sauce magazine’s Harvest Festival is set for Sunday, October 19, at Laumeier Park in Sunset Hills (near I-44 and I-270). Food and beer from great restaurants and breweries, plus live music and art. Admission is $10.

Click HERE to go to the Harvest Festival Website. Click HERE to see my pics from last year’s Festival. (The eyeball above is one of the art items at Laumeier!)

 

Carney pic

John Carney’s annual “Taste of Restaurant Tuesday” Halloween Spooktacular happens Friday night, October 24, at Hotel Lumiere. 15 restaurants will provide food and the bar will be open for 4 hours. Good times!

Click HERE for ticket information and a full list of restaurants. That’s John in the middle above.

 

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There’s a new sushi joint that recently opened in midtown St. Louis called BaiKu Sushi Lounge, located in the Hotel Ignacio, at 3407 Olive.

The restaurant will feature “an extensive sushi menu with specialty nigiri, fresh fish being flown in fresh from Hawaii, as well as a healthy selection of engaging appetizers. Lunch will feature a noodle shop concept with ramen noodles made by Midwest Pasta especially for Baiku.”

Baiku is Japanese for motorcycle, which is appropriate since it is located near the Triumph Grill and the Moto Museum. Click HERE to visit the BaiKu website.

 

Pastry book

Nick Malgieri will be back in St. Louis for an event at Cravings on Big Bend in Webster Groves on Tuesday, December 9, promoting his latest book Nick Malgieri’s Pastry. Call Cravings for info on Nick’s visit at 314-961-3534.

I interviewed Nick in 2012 when his Nick Malgieri’s Bread book was new. Click HERE to listen to that interview. (Click HERE to go to Nick Malgieri’s website.)

 

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Ballpark Village will host the 1st annual Brew Fest by Budweiser on Saturday, November 8, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Samples of various Anheuser-Busch beers will be available, along with samples from seven local home brew clubs. There will be live music and Clydesdale photo ops.

Jeffco Home Brew

Tickets for the beer sampling are $35. In addition, a special VIP package is available for $75 that includes a four-course lunch with special beer pairings led by an Anheuser-Busch Brew Master, a souvenir glass and rare beer samples! For complete event information and to purchase tickets, click HERE.

 

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On Sunday, November 9, McCormick and Schmick at West County Mall in Des Peres will offer a free meal (complimentary lunch or dinner entrée) to all U.S. Veterans, in honor of Veterans Day on November 11. (They ask that you bring along some credentials to verify your service.) Click HERE for the McCormick and Schmick website, where you can make reservations.

BBQ Weekend!

Two big barbecue events on the agenda this weekend!

On Saturday, October 11, at Firemen’s Park in Maryville, Illinois, the Grillin’ Fools present their Backyard BBQ Bash. The park is located on Illinois route 159, about a mile north of I-55/70.

The Backyard Bash is a competition that features local amateur teams offering up their best. This family friendly event will feature music from a DJ starting at 10:00 a.m. with live bands playing from 2:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

I will be one of the judges for the event. Below is the event poster.

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Then on Sunday, October 12, the St. Louis Occasional Barbecue Society (aka the SLOBS) will hold a charity BBQ competition, Victory in the Valley, at PM BBQ, 161 Long Road, in Chesterfield. See map.

PM BBQ sky view

The event runs 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For a $25 charitable contribution, guests can sample ribs from all competing teams. Proceeds will be split evenly between Circle of Concern food pantry and Lift For Life Gym. Rib sampling begins at noon.

Along with SLOBS ribs and other food from PM BBQ, iTap Chesterfield, located next door to PM, will present a Homebrew competition beginning at noon. (PM will have popular beer brands and other food and beverages available at 11:00 a.m.)

Area restaurants with teams participating include Iron Barley, BBQ ASAP, Keeton’s Double Play, Colorado Bob’s, Kilderkin’s, Highway 61 Roadhouse, Dylan’s Sports Bar, PM BBQ, among others.

PM

The Brewbadours will provide live music during the event. Come hungry and thirsty!

 

 

 

Cards in Playoffs Can Be Tough Time for Restuarants

Cards

When you hear all the news touting the economic benefits to St. Louis of having the Cardinals in postseason play, remember your local independent restaurant.

When the Cards are on TV in the postseason, business is impacted. For sports bars and places within walking distance of Busch, there’s a huge upside. But for others, the damage can be significant.

What should a restaurant owner do? Here are a few ideas.

  1. Let your patrons know it’s okay if they check scores on their smart phones. Not that they wouldn’t anyway, but if you and your crew sanction such behavior, they are likely to feel more comfortable about doing it (and may return during future playoff games).
  2. Have at least one TV in the joint. You may not want to position it so every diner can watch, but for those who may want to keep up, an occasional glance can make them feel in touch. (I attended a beer dinner at PW Pizza during game 1 of last year’s World Series. A TV in the room allowed us to check on the game from time to time while enjoying the pizza and beer.) (Make sure you can get the Fox Sports 1 channel for games 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7.)
  3. Keep your servers aware of the game score so they can share that info with diners who are interested. (I recall a server at Bookbinder’s in Philly providing frequent updates on a Phillies-Astros NLCS game when we dined there in 1980.)
  4. Offer special catering packages to your patrons who want to throw playoff parties in their homes!
  5. Look for additional business on open dates. I’m not sure where the Giants and their traveling party are staying in STL (Westin? Ritz?), but they may want to go beyond their hotel and its environs for dinner this Friday night (and next Friday if the series goes beyond 5 games). Make sure the concierges/front desk crews at all major hotels know you’d welcome the business.

Cards jersey

For diners, a Cards playoff game may result in less demand for tables, even on a generally busy Saturday night.

In the long run, having our Cardinals in the NLCS and, maybe, in the World Series is a great thing for our city. Despite that silly Wall Street Journal piece last week, many people around the U.S. genuinely like the Cardinals. And because of their affection for the team, they are more likely to embrace our city and the entire region. And, as Martha Stewart might say, that’s a good thing.

 

 

Jack Daniels Whiskey Taster Lynne Tolley in STL

Lynne Tolley in STL

Lynne Tolley is in St. Louis this week to teach cooking classes at several Dierbergs School of Cooking locations. She comes from Lynchburg, Tennessee, where she works for Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey.

Lynne is a charming Southern lady with a beautiful accent. I think you’ll enjoy hearing her talk!

I visited with Lynne Wednesday morning (October 1). We talked about cooking with Jack—I mentioned pecan pie—but I began our chat by asking what it says on her business card. (Segment 1 runs 5:10)

 

I asked Lynne about Miss Mary Bobo’s, the restaurant in Lynchburg that my parents visited several years ago. (Segment 2 runs 3:29)

 

I asked her to mention a few of the items she would be cooking at Dierbergs. I also asked about a special treat for cold weather months called Winter Jack. (Segment 3 runs 4:28)

 

For more information about Jack Daniels Distillery and its products click HERE.

For info on Dierbergs School of Cooking, click HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

We Make Beer

We Make Beer

The craft beer movement keeps growing and new stories emerge daily about brewers and their beers. Sean Lewis relates several of those stories in his new book We Make Beer. Lewis brings a reporter’s perspective and also shares personal viewpoints. This is Lewis’ first book but he has written for Beer Advocate magazine and is a skilled writer.

The craft brewers Lewis visits and writes about range from small operations just starting out to the two biggest craft brewers, Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. He finds that some are rather casual about their brewing while others exercise strict control of their beer making. Is it okay if particular brew varies in taste from batch to batch? Depends.

Because Lewis lived in Massachusetts when he began the book and in California when he finished it, those two states’ brewers get the bulk of his attention. But he also writes about breweries in Birmingham, Nashville, Austin, Lancaster/Ephrata (Pennsylvania) and Papillion (Nebraska). The craft beer scene in Portland, anchored by Deschutes, gets its due, too.

Sean Lewis author photo_ Credit Victoria Knowles

(Sean Lewis photo by Victoria Knowles.)

Lewis offers inside looks at the brewing process and the brewery business. There’s enough detail about what goes in and what comes out of a brewing tank to satisfy most serious beer geeks. Those of us who may not care so much for the technical stuff can enjoy meeting the individuals who make beer and learning about their motivations and passions.

He spends a few pages of the book addressing the 2011 sale of Chicago’s successful craft brewer Goose Island to AB/InBev. The sale “felt like a betrayal because Anheuser-Busch had long served as the face of the enemy,” he writes.

(I’ve spoken to Goose Island and A-B folks who defend the purchase, saying the main differences are stricter safety standards, better consistency in product and wider distribution. A-B also has the power to aid in sourcing raw materials plus capacity to handle demand in other locations that can’t be met in Chicago, they say.)

Lewis mentions in a footnote that naming a favorite beer is “an impossible question to answer.” But, he writes, “If I had to choose one beer to drink for the rest of my life, it would be Firestone Walker’s Pale 31.” I’ll be checking this weekend to find out if anybody in St. Louis has it!

Click HERE to purchase We Make Beer from Amazon.

Nuggets!

The in-box is FULL of nuggets! Here are a few…

Angie Ortmann, AKA @STLWineGirl has launched Cork Dorks with Forks. Click HERE to go to the CDWF website and see what all she and Matthew Dulle are up to.Angie

Fleming’s on Lindbergh has a neat September deal. A Filet and Lobster combo for 44.95. That comes with soup or salad and a scallop appetizer. Available through September 30.

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The Cochon 555 BBQ event at the Four Seasons happens Sunday, September 14, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Competitors are Gian Nicola Colucci of Cielo Restaurant & Bar, Jenny Cleveland and Eric Heath of Cleveland-Heath, Patrick Connolly of Basso, Josh Galliano of The Libertine, and Lou Rook of Annie Gunns. Tickets start at $100. Get info by clicking HERE.

Cochon

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport hosts the 4th annual Art of Travel event on Wednesday, October 2, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cost is $75. Chefs from HMSHost (vendor for several Lambert food venues) will fly in for the event. The theme of this year’s Art of Travel celebration is ‘40s-style film-noir and will include a drink menu of ‘40s-themed signature cocktails to complement gourmet plates. For info, click HERE. Benefits Lambert Art and Culture Program.

LambertAOT14_LockUp[8]

The Smokehouse Market and Annie Gunn’s are hosting a wine dinner on Tuesday, September 9, 6:30 p.m., featuring wines from Gundlach Bundschu of Sonoma. Cost is $150. Info: 636-532-7684.

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Kathleen Flinn has authored a new book Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, a memoir with recipes. She’s a native of the Midwest, now living in Seattle.

burnt

St. Louis chefs Lou Rook, Josh Galliano and Gian Nicola Colucci are scheduled to host Cruising with the Chefs cruises in 2015-16. For info, click HERE. That’s Josh, pictured below.

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KTRS radio (550-AM) host John Carney is featuring Ferguson restaurants throughout September on his weekly Restaurant Tuesday segment which airs each Tuesday between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

John Carney

F & D Prime Culinary Tours is offering several tasting sessions during September at Comet Coffee on Oakland Avenue across Highway 40 from Forest Park. For info on the seasonal fruit and coffee tastings, click HERE.

FDcometlatteart

The Grillin’ Fools 4th annual Backyard Barbecue Bash Amateur Competition is set for Saturday, October 11, in Maryville, Illinois. Registration fee is $110/team. For info, click HERE.

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St. Louis Wing Company Wins Big at WING DING!

Wing Ding sign

Here are the results from Thursday night’s UCP Heartland Wing Ding at Queeny Park. These results were determined by event judges in blind taste tests.

Traditional (sauced):

1st place—St. Louis Wing Company

2nd place—Fallon’s

3rd place—Joe Buck’s

Specialty Wings:

1st place—St. Louis Wing Company

2nd place—Sugarfire Smoke House

3rd place—Joe Buck’s

Dry rubbed:

1st place—St. Louis Wing Company

2nd place—Amerisports at Ameristar Casino

3rd place—Beerhouse at River City Casino

Overall judges’ favorite:

St. Louis Wing Company

Hottest Wings:

St. Louis Wing Company

People’s choice winner:

Hotshots

Pretty much a dominating sweep by St. Louis Wing Company!

FYI, St. Louis Wing Company is located at 9816 Manchester in Rock Hill, MO. Click HERE to visit their website.

As you can see from the photo below, turnout for this year’s Wing Ding was the best yet.

WD crowd 2014

One of the prettiest wing presentations was this one from Amerisports at Ameristar Casino.

Amerisports

There were many strong entries in the Wing Ding competition. Congrats to all the teams who competed and shared your wings with attendees.