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.

 

 

 

 

 

WING DING 2014—Thursday Night!

Eat wings, drink beer, support a worthy cause—all for just 20 bucks!

The 2014 UCP Heartland Wing Ding is set for Thursday, August 21, 6:00 p.m., in the Greensfelder Building at Queeny Park. (The event is inside and air-conditioned.)

Joe Buck Wings

Your $20 advance ticket allows you to sample chicken wings from over 20 area restaurants. It also includes 2 drink tickets. Purchase advance tickets HERE, before 2:00 p.m. on 8/20 and pick them up at the event.

You may also purchase advance VIP tickets for $45. (Tickets will also be available at the door for $25 and $50.)

An important thing to know is these restaurants are bringing their best. This is a competition!

WD crowd

Participating restaurants include Sugarfire Smokehouse, The Salted Pig, Bogart’s, Twin Oak Pizza and BBQ, Fallon’s, J. Greene’s, Joe Buck’s, Gator’s South, Highway 61 Roadhouse, Hotshot’s, Milagro, Gobble Stop and many more.

I am flattered to have been asked to judge again this year, along with a stunning list of local media personalities. Categories are Best Traditional Wing (sauced), Best Specialty Wing (sauced), Best Dry Rubbed Wing (unsauced), Judges’ Overall Favorite and Hottest Wing. (I excused myself from the Hottest Wing category.)

 

WD judge

The United Cerebral Palsy Heartland team puts on a great event with lots of food and drink for a modest admission fee. Bring a bunch of friends and family and enjoy these great wings!

BTW, this is a family-friendly event. Bring everybody.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foodie Movie: The Hundred-Foot Journey

 

The Hundred-Foot Journey has excellent credentials. Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg are among the film’s producers. The great Helen Mirren is the main star. The film is set in France. It’s based on a popular novel. It promises and delivers gorgeous food images.

But it’s not a particularly good movie.

The Kadam family is forced to leave India. Their ultimate destination is France. They take over a building directly across the street from a Michelin-starred restaurant owned by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). The Indians, led by Papa (Om Puri), are boisterous in sharp contrast to Mallory and her refined crew. They are just 100 feet away. (And I’d always thought France was on the metric system!)

One of Mallory’s cooks, the gorgeous Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), befriends young Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), sharing cookbooks with him and encouraging him to elevate his ambitions. He gets hired by Mallory, passes Marguerite on the kitchen pecking order and, thanks to his spicing up the food just a bit, brings the restaurant up a notch to two Michelin stars.

He then moves on the to big leagues, nabbing a chef gig in Paris. He leads an active social lifestyle, but begins to miss the folks back home.

Why does The Hundred-Foot Journey fall short of greatness? The characters are not particularly compelling. It’s pleasant to watch Hassan and Marguerite’s chaste budding romance, but I wasn’t particularly concerned about their ultimate fates. Meanwhile, it’s not a surprise when Papa and Mallory are shown to have soft spots in their hearts despite their tough exterior personalities. Still, I did not have a soft spot in my own heart for either of them.

Despite my misgivings, here’s why you may want to see The Hundred Foot Journey: It’s rated PG. No language, sex or violence. It’s like a Hallmark Channel movie with a bigger budget. Also, the food looks great. (Although this year’s other foodie movie, Chef, caused me to leave the theater hungrier than THFJ did.)

The film’s message—that different cultures (and cuisines) can combine to deliver great outcomes—is an admirable one. It’s also one that can be observed in dining establishments and other businesses around St. Louis every day.

Ivy In Charge

Ivy In Charge

Veteran St. Louis chef Ivy Magruder has taken control of the kitchen at Panorama, the restaurant that opened last summer in the St. Louis Art Museum.

Panorama pic

A new summer menu has just been announced which includes, among other items:

Fresh Summer Pea Soup
pistachio gremolata, crème fraîche, shoots

Summer Kale Salad
avocado, strawberries, toasted almonds and
lemon-chia seed vinaigrette

Pan Seared Golden Scallops
creamy-pea-basil risotto, sherry gastrique

Basque Chicken
summer bell peppers, artichoke hearts, fresh basil,
tomatoes, grilled crusty French bread

Grilled Beef Tenderloin
onion ring, Foyot sauce, summer-tomatoes,
spinach, roasted fingerling potato

Ivy on TV

Panorama is also kicking off a monthly dinner series on Wednesday, August 27. For each dinner Panorama will partner with a local winery or brewery. The first event will feature a prix fixe menu of items paired with Schlafly beers. Cost is $75 (which includes tax and gratuity). Call 314-655-5490 for reservations.

Panorama is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and for dinner on Fridays, 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday brunch is offered 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Click HERE to go to Panorama’s website.

Saucy Soiree 2014

Sunday’s annual Sauce magazine Saucy Soiree was held this year at Union Station. The new venue provided more breathing room and more natural light.

Soiree crowd

Among the many food and drink offerings, my favorite was the pork belly from Cleveland-Heath (with watermelon, jalapeño and mint leaf), shown below.

Pork Belly

The Seoul Taco crew served a spicy pork taco.

Taco

Strange Donuts had chocolate cake donuts with chocolate icing and strawberries.

Strange donut

And The Sweet Divine brought these nicely-decorated cupcakes.

Sweet Divine cupcakes

The food and drink were pretty darn fantastic, but it was also fun to see old friends and acquaintances and have a moment (sometimes fleeting) to say hello and chat.

Among those folks were Joy Grdnic (pictured below with an Urban Chestnut friend), Cory King, Paul and Wendy Hamilton, Karen Klaus, Tony DaGuida, Tim Eby, Marianne and Jim Moore (pictured below with Mike Emerson), Kevin Willman, Arlene Brown, Marc Del Pietro, Brian Doherty, Catherine Klene, Allyson Mace and Mike Craig.

Joy with UC guyJim, Marianne, Mike

Thanks to all who put the event together. Good times!

QuikTrip Intros QT Kitchens in St. Louis

QuikTrip gas stations have always had good grab-and-go sandwiches and beverages. Now they are officially rolling out their QT Kitchens with fresh made-to-order food and specialty drinks in several St. Louis locations.

Kitchens signage

The QT Kitchens offer fresh-made food from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The newest of the 31 QT’s in St. Louis with QT Kitchens is the one at 9404 Page Avenue in Overland, QuikTrip’s 700th store, which opens tomorrow (Thursday, June 26).

Kitchen crew at counter

Opening day festivities begin with a ribbon cutting at 7:00 a.m. Special appearances Thursday include a Budweiser Clydesdale from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Fredbird from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Rams cheerleaders from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

On Thursday evening (June 26) from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m, ALL metro St. Louis QuikTrip locations will offer one free Big Q drink to customers who stop in.

QT Touch Screen

The QT Kitchens feature touch screens which allow you to order breakfast sandwiches, kolaches, flatbreads, personal pizzas, pretzels, specialty coffee drinks, smoothies, frozen lemonade and other frozen treats (including milk shakes). When you finish ordering, take your printed ticket to the main counter to pay while your food is being prepared for pickup.

Bacon egg cheeseKolache

I attended a preview event this morning and sampled the Bacon, Egg and Cheese sandwich and the Sausage Kolache (whose bread wrapping has a slight sweetness). Both were good, as was the Chicken, Bacon and Ranch Flatbread. (I also enjoyed my large Mocha coffee drink.)

QT pizza

The Personal Pizza choices include Pepperoni, Cheese, Supreme or Build-Your-Own. They’re right at 8 inches in diameter.

QT Pretzel

Along with the classic Soft Pretzel, QT Kitchens have a Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel (with sugary icing) and a Parmesan Pretzel.

Lady orderingIt’s good to see a place where you stop in mainly for gas, snacks, soda and beer step up their game to provide something above and beyond the norm. QT will be retrofitting more of their St. Louis locations between now and year’s end to include QT Kitchens.

(I know a few people who might like to see some locations keep their QT Kitchens open later on Friday and Saturday nights.)

The newest St. Louis area QuikTrip—a bigger “generation 3″ QT store—is located one-half mile west of the Inner Belt (I-170) on the southwest corner of Page and Woodson.