5 Star Burgers Now Open in Kirkwood

My wife and I checked out the Garden Glow at Missouri Botanical Garden Thursday night—we loved it, by the way—and afterward decided to stop at one of the casual spots in Kirkwood. We drove by the new 5 Star Burgers location and, to our surprise, there were people inside, eating! So, we stopped and went in.

5 star room

After being seated, we chatted with proud owner Steve Gontram (pictured below). He told us that final inspections had just been completed that morning. Thursday night was practice night, the shakedown cruise for the staff before official opening day on Friday, December 20.

Steve Gontram

Our food and service were perfect. My wife had a salad and I had the 5 Star Burger, shown below. (Pic shot with bite taken so you can see that it was cooked medium, as ordered.) We shared a basket of sweet potato fries.

My burger

The bar poured me a tasty Civil Life Brown and appeared to be making first night visitors happy. They have a good selection of local craft beers.

5 Star bar

And for Slinger fans, this month is a good time to visit. See below.


5 Star Burgers in Kirkwood is in the old Culpepper’s location at 312 South Kirkwood Road. Now open and ready to rock! (5 Star Burgers also has a location in Clayton, which opened last year, at 8125 Maryland.)


Centennial Beer Festival, 2014

For beer lovers, the 6th annual Centennial Beer Festival brings more beers than you ever could possibly sample within a three-hour session to Moulin Events at 2017 Chouteau in St. Louis. Dates for the Festival are February 20-22, 2014.

Crown Valley

Just about every craft brewer in metro STL will pour their brews. Beers from around the state, the region, the U.S. and the world are also represented among the 200 or so beers available for sampling. Crown Valley from Ste. Gen will be on hand again, as pictured above from the 2013 festival.

Beer Fest crowd

The festival begins with a beer dinner on Thursday, February 20, 6:00 p.m. featuring beers from 4 Hands Brewing paired with food from Moulin. Cost for the dinner is 67.50. In years past, the dinner has sold out.

Local bottles

For 2014, the Festival will have 3 tasting sessions: Friday, 2/21, 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Saturday, 2/22, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now. They run 26.50 to 36.50 depending on session. For ticket purchases, click HERE to go to centennialbeerfestival.com. (See website for VIP ticket info.)

Beer T-shirts

The site for the beer fest is part of the long gone Schnaider Brewing Company, which was kind of a big deal in St. Louis back in 1876 when the building was constructed. The structure at 2017 Chouteau served at the Malt House for Schnaider.

Beer Bottles

The Centennial Beer Festival brings together beers from across the country including Deschutes, Founders, Boulevard, Sam Adams, New Belgium, Avery, Rogue, Tallgrass, Left Hand and more. Click HERE for a link to the 2013 beer fest lineup.

Jason at Fox-2

Jason Arnold, who started the beer fest in 2009 to create a fun event for Moulin in the middle of winter, is the man who puts everything together. That’s him above, along with a small sampling of the beers that will be poured come February.

Tenacious Eats: Dinner, Drinks and a Movie!


Chef Liz Schuster (above) loves movies. And she loves to cook. She combines her passions into unique presentations that combine movies with food and drink. Her Tenacious Eats events have been happening for about a year and a half. (Changes are coming, as detailed below.)

Empty theater

Her venue is Meyer’s Grove, on Manchester at the west end of The Grove neighborhood in St. Louis. (Above pic shows the room before it was filled. Photo below shows the room with people in it.) My wife and I recently enjoyed National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, along with food courses and cocktails matched to movie segments.

Tenacious Crown

The first course, shown below, was a tasty Midwestern Scotch Egg. It’s a boiled egg with sausage around it, plus cheddar grits and grape jelly BBQ sauce. This was paired with a Pumpkin Bloody Mary. Both were hard to beat, but there was much more to come.


The other courses were Christmas Cabbage Rolls, Hickory Smoked Pork Belly (my wife’s favorite), Turkey Pot Pie (below) and, for dessert, Eggnog Cheesecake.

pot pie

As I pondered the minor challenge of eating (and taking food pics) in the low light, I considered Liz and her two sidemen who were cooking (!) in the low light. They made it possible by wearing miner’s lamps on their heads.

Chefs in dark

Christmas Vacation is a movie that’s best watched in a group, whether it’s with your family at home, or with the sold-out crowd of 54 or so folks at Tenacious Eats.


If you go, be prepared for a leisurely evening. Emcee Jeremy started the party at 8:00 p.m. with giveaways of movie swag. With pauses to describe each course, plus an intermission and followup comments at the end, we left for home at around 11:00 p.m.

The next Tenacious Eats feature is Gremlins on Tuesday, December 17. Click HERE to order tickets. (Remember the 3 rules for Gremlins: no water, no bright lights and no food after midnight.)

The food is delicious, the booze is creative and the movies are winners. It’s a fun night out! Check out Tenacious Eats online by clicking HERE.