Category: Food

Healthy Cooking Substitutions for No-No Foods

Substitutions for No-No FoodsPeople with allergies know how difficult it can be to make healthy dietary choices. Individuals that are lactose intolerant, for example, have a tough time consuming dairy and milk products. However, it is not only due to allergic reactions that people struggle in making dietary choices. Over the years, we have developed a strong love for certain foods that are not entirely beneficial for our overall health. Salt is one of the most common examples of such an ingredient. Too much salt can result in a number of serious diseases overtime, such as hypertension.  

So, how does one find healthy cooking substitutions to all these foods? Here is a list of some of the common no-no foods for which you must switch to a substitute.

  1. Milk

Milk is used in a wide variety of ways and some of the most delicious desserts have milk as the main ingredient. This is why the quest for milk substitutes has given everyone access to some great replacements. These include Soy Milk, Almond Milk, Oat Milk, Rice Milk, Cashew Milk, Coconut Milk, Hemp Milk, and Flaxseed Milk. The nutritional snapshot of all these different options is not the same, however, the amount of fat found in cow’s milk is considered to be the greatest. 

  1. Butter

Substitutes for butter are generally made up of coconut or vegetable oils. There is also nut butter that is richer in protein and has a greater amount of carbs in their nutritional content. Substitutes made out of vegetable oils are able to mimic butter very well and have a close nutritional profile. 

  1. Salt

The salt content in what we eat is hard to believe. What most of us do not realize is that this single ingredient has the capability to increase our risk of suffering major diseases, such as hypertension. Luckily, the substitutes for salt are easy to find. All you have to do is switch to spices and herbs or sprinkle some citrus juice to get that extra kick. Garlic and onion are also considered to have the same effect as that of salt.

  1. Yogurt

You can eat yogurt is in a number of ways and can be added to any meal of the day. However, for people that experience a hard time digesting dairy products, some substitutes of yogurt are also rich in protein. These substitutes include Yogurt made out of Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, or Soy Milk. Moreover, Hemp Yogurt is also a substitute that is equally rich in protein content and offers fiber as well. 

  1. Cheese

While soft cheese is easy replicated by its substitutes, hard cheese is much more challenging. For soft cheese, elements such as macadamia nuts, almonds, and cashews can be used. However, if you want the same texture, you could add tofu to your replacement of cheese. In case of hard cheese substitutes, the base can be made form a number of different elements such as soy protein, vegetable oils, or nuts. Nutritional yeast is another common substitute that is commonly referred to as a parmesan-like ingredient.

So, starting today, add all these nutritional substitutes of some of the most desired foods known to us. Here’s to eating guilt-free!

The Scoop: Sym•Bowl to open new locations in St. Charles, Creve Coeur


Sym•Bowl, which specializes in build-your-own bowls, will open its third location at 1456 Bass Pro Shop Drive in St. Charles in late March or early April, according to co-owner Becky Schoening.

The new St. Charles location, which was formerly a sushi restaurant, will have approximately 30 seats, feature the same menu as its sister restaurants, and will also house a small bottling facility for Sym•Bowl’s line of hot sauces.

But the Sym•Bowl expansion isn’t over. Schoening said she and business partner Gregory Owens will soon open a fourth location in Creve Couer. Schoening said details should be finalized in the next few weeks, and store number five will hopefully follow soon.

“We’re also looking for something in the city, but nothing is on the radar yet,” Schoening said, adding that both upcoming locations will be approximately the same size as the other restaurants and feature the same menu.

Sym•Bowl opened its second location last year in Chesterfield at 137 Chesterfield Town Center. The original Kirkwood restaurant at 11215 Manchester Road, which had initially retained the name The HotPot, changed over to the Sym•Bowl moniker after the first of the year.

Photo by Michelle Volansky

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By Matt Sorrell

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Teatopia Now Open on Cherokee Street, Featuring Loose-Leaf Tea, Smoothies and More

One of Cherokee Street’s tiniest storefronts has a new tenant. Teatopia opened on Mon., Jan. 30, filling the narrow 300-square-foot space previously occupied by the Little Dipper (which is now located down the street inside the Fortune Teller Bar). The shop features 40 different varieties of loose-leaf tea alongside smoothies, wraps, salads and more. The concept comes from first-time business owner Reginald Quarles.

“The tagline I go by here is ‘Brewing better lives one leaf at a time,’” Quarles says. “No matter what it is, I want to improve somebody’s daily life in a small way every day through one of my cups of tea. Everyone is welcome to come and have a seat here.”

While the petite space only has room for three tables and seven seats, there’s plenty of room in the kitchen to roll out big flavors. Wooden shelves and white walls come stacked high with glass jars full of organic and fair-trade blends and leaves.


Each tray comes with a timer for precise steeping.

Mabel Suen

“It’s not your average tea shop. That’s for sure. It’s not the old-English setup or anything of that sort,” he says. “We have great quality teas for reasonable prices. My goal is to expose everyone to tea and educate people on the health benefits.”

According to Quarles, his tea is sourced from Africa, Sri Lanka, India and other parts of Asia. The hot drinks – each brewed with carefully tempered water and set steeping times – are served in 20-ounce pots with 10-ounce cups in house. Sixteen-ounce to-go cups are also available.

The elaborate menu features options organized into the following categories, further broken down by region and complete with tasting notes: green, white, oolong, black, tisanes (herbal), matcha and decaf. One of Quarles’ personal favorites is the Jasmine Pearls, a rich and smooth everyday green tea from China that is rolled into little pearls by hand and infused with jasmine flowers. Additional highlights include cherry hibiscus, cranberry orange and darjeeling.

To make the most of the bountiful supply, everything from Teatopia’s cream-cheese spreads to its smoothies feature fragrant infusions from the hand-selected teas. Tea-infused vinaigrettes, for instance, include cran-apple and balsamic black-tea options served with salads including chopped spinach, chicken Caesar and kale-based plates. Wraps are also available, including a vegetarian option with romaine, spinach, tomato, onion, cucumber, kale, carrot and Parmesan flakes in a honey-wheat wrap.

Almond-milk based smoothies include options such as Strawberry Colada with strawberries and Coconut Creme tea as well as the Green Dream with mango, pineapple, spinach and green tea. Quarles’ next step is to expand by offering tea products online. Stay tuned for a Teatopia website.

Teatopia is currently open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 4pm.

Teatopia, 2619 1/2 Cherokee St., St. Louis, Missouri,

Good Fortune to Open in Botanical Heights This Summer

One of St. Louis’ most anticipated restaurants of the year now has a new home.

Good Fortune, the so-called “Chinese-Americanese restaurant” from Bob Brazell, Corey Smale, Hana Chung and Ryan McDonald, will open at 1654 Tower Grove Ave. this July, as first reported by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Botanical Heights space was formerly home to a daycare, and lies just down the street from Elaia, Olio, La Patisserie Chouquette, Union Loafers and Nixta. Renovations are set to begin soon with the help of Gabe McKee and V Three Studios. 

Good Fortune first announced plans to open a takeout-style restaurant near the Tech Artista coworking center in the Central West End last spring. The team ran into some snags with the location, but was able to conduct menu R&D at pop-up dinners and events over the past 10 months. The delay proved useful, though as the team has tweaked the concept to include dine-in service and a more traditionally Chinese menu.

Smale attributes the changes to the team’s interactions with diners over the past few months, adding that they want to continue to build on those relationships in a restaurant setting.


Menu R&D for Good Fortune: mapo tofu with fermented black beans, tofu, red chile, scallions and white rice.

“I can’t help but feel like this is the right direction for us,” Smale says. “Botanical Heights is becoming a super cool food destination, and we are ready to step in and get started too. We have so much to explore with this cuisine. The huge emphasis will be on eating and feeling good with fresh, light and healthy items.”

The Good Fortune menu is tightly under wraps by McDonald, who will head up the kitchen, but Smale was able to reveal a few preliminary details. He notes that the restaurant will serve a small menu with several permanent items, along with an aggressively rotating line of specials.

“We have gotten really close to our customers,” Smale says. “Our biggest challenge moving forward will be nailing that still and translating that feeling and relationship to a restaurant form.”

Although the Botanical Heights location won’t be up and running for a few months, diners can soon get a taste of what to expect at Good Fortune. On Fri., Feb. 24 and Sat., Feb. 25, Good Fortune will team up with Mike Randolph (Randolfi’s, Público and Half & Half) for a 12-plus-course, Escoffier-inspired pop-up dinner. 

Moving forward, Smale and the rest of the Good Fortune team are excited and ready to get to work.

“This delay gave us time and distance to help us see the bigger picture in what we want,” Smale says. “I really think it is a blessing.”

Tickets for the Good Fortune Diversion Dinner are on sale now. Dinner starts at 7pm both Friday and Saturday at Half & Half, 8135 Maryland Ave., Clayton, Missouri, 63015, 

Good Fortune, 1654 Tower Grove Ave., Botanical Heights, St. Louis, Missouri,

The Scoop: Good Fortune finds a home in Botanical Heights


{ Rendering of the future home of Good Fortune in Botanical Heights }

Highly anticipated Chinese-American restaurant Good Fortune has finally found a home. Co-owner Corey Smale announced today, Feb. 8, that the restaurant will open this July in the Botanical Heights neighborhood.

Smale, former co-owner of Strange Donuts, purchased a building at 1654 Tower Grove Ave., with attorney James P. Sanders and realtor Chris Hulse. The trio will be the landlords, with Good Fortune as the tenant. The upcoming eatery is also co-owned by Bob Brazell, Ryan McDonald and Hana Chung of Byrd & Barrel.

Good Fortune announced its inception last year and was on the hunt for a location for several months. The team hosted several pop-ups and collaboration dinners around town, introducing people to its takes on Chinese-American fare.

J.P. Burcks will provide arts and graphics for the project, and Gabe McKee and V Three Studios will handle architecture duties. The building, which was constructed in 1954, was most recently a day care facility. Smale said there’s a lot of work to be done before the doors open.

“It’s pretty gnarly right now,” Smale said. “We’re going to keep the bricks and floor and whatever we can. We’ll make it ours.”

While construction is underway, Good Fortune will host some more pop-up events to whet the public’s appetite, including a 12-course collaboration with chef Mike Randolph at Half & Half in Clayton on Friday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 25.

By Matt Sorrell

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The Scoop: Josh Charles leaves Element, heads to Blood & Sand

The Scoop: Josh Charles leaves Element, heads to Blood & Sand

February 6th 02:02pm, 2017


Chef Josh Charles has left his post as executive chef at Element to helm the kitchen at Blood & Sand, as reported by St. Louis Magazine. Charles’ former chef de cuisine Tudor Seserman has stepped up to assume the executive chef role. Charles said the passing of the torch was smooth thanks to their close working relationship.

In his new role, Charles said he’ll work with Blood & Sand’s current chef Chris Krzysik through Valentine’s Day, and then will begin making his mark on the menu.

“The day after, it starts,” he said, adding it should take a month of switching out a couple of dishes at a time before the transition is complete. Charles said diners can expect a bill of fare that reflects his focus on quality ingredients and techniques. While he’ll put his stamp on the food at Blood & Sand, the restaurant’s much-loved tater tots will remain.

“It’s a great platform and a beautiful place,” said Charles. “They’ve always had a reputation for putting out great food and drink. I’m super excited.”

Krzysik said he is currently in talks to take a position at another restaurant, but couldn’t share more information at this time. Element co-owner Carol Hastie did not return requests for comment.

Photo courtesy of Christina Lane 

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The Scoop: The Fifth Wheel exits 4 Hands tasting room

The Scoop: The Fifth Wheel exits 4 Hands tasting room

February 6th 12:02pm, 2017


The Fifth Wheel Catering at 4 Hands Brewing Co. has closed. Its last day of service was Sunday, Feb. 5.

Fifth Wheel is under the umbrella of Baileys’ Restaurants, which includes Rooster, Small Batch, Bridge, Baileys’ Range, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar and Shift: Test Kitchen. The small kitchen at 4 Hands turned out tacos, burritos and other tasting room fare for the last five years.

Owner Dave Bailey said the company is refocusing its catering efforts on its two downtown event spaces, Willow and Slate. “It’s been great sharing space with 4 Hands,” he said. “We want to retool our catering business and focus on those two locations.”

4 Hands owner Kevin Lemp said the brewery will continue to offer food, and he is currently working on a new concept, which will be announced soon. “Dave was a pleasure to work with, and we’ll continue to be tight with the Baileys’ crew,” he said.

By Matt Sorrell

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How Café Natasha Made Persian Cooking the Family Business

If you’ve had a taste of pho, tagine or doner kebab in the Midwest, you can thank an immigrant. American food culture has long been enriched and broadened in delicious ways by immigrants who have made this country their home. In this series, A Taste of Home, you’ll meet the chefs and entrepreneurs who are bringing a taste of their cultures and backgrounds to our communities – and making them all the better for it.

If you visit Café Natasha this week, you’ll see more than a few beautiful bouquets of flowers proudly displayed in the center of the South Grand restaurant. One vase is brimming with delicate white lilies, a flower that’s long represented friendship, devotion and sympathy.

On Dec. 13, Behshid Bahrami, the co-founder of Café Natasha and beloved husband of Hamishe Bahrami and father of Natasha Bahrami, passed away. Together, Hamishe and Behshid had owned and operated restaurants in St. Louis for 34 years, and his loss was hugely felt in the community.

“After my husband passed away, so many people came in and they all had different stories to tell about him,” Hamishe says. “That was very amazing and overwhelming for me. It was really moving. I wish… if there is such a thing as a soul, that his was here to see how much people cared for him. He worked really hard for this and he deserved that.”

St. Louis Public Radio’s Durrie Bouscaren featured Hamishe in a segment last week about the recent temporary immigration ban. When one of Hamishe’s childhood friends in Iran learned of Behshid’s passing, she made plans to visit the family in St. Louis. Early in the morning on Jan. 30, Hamishe learned that her friend, whom she hadn’t seen in 46 years, was denied entry into the U.S. Since the story aired, Hamishe says people from across the metro area have reached out to show their support for the Bahramis and Café Natasha. 


Natasha Bahrami, standing, with her mother, Hamishe Bahrami, whose delicious, light, flavorful cooking has delighted Cafe Natasha fans for 30 years.

Pat Eby

“I cried so many times – people I didn’t even know brought flowers, cards; they cried with me, they hugged me,” Hamishe says, gesturing toward the vase of lilies. “A lady walked in, I didn’t even know who she was, she hugged me and cried with me, and she said ‘I heard [your story] on the radio on my way home from work.’ She said she cried listening to it; she couldn’t believe [that happened.] She went and bought flowers and came in and said she’d be back, that she loves our food here.”

The Bahramis opened their first restaurant, The Little Kitchen, in the Paul Brown Building in Downtown St. Louis in 1983. They entered the restaurant industry more out of necessity than anything – Behshid, a geologist, was laid off from his position with Shannon & Wilson Inc. Hamishe says he offered to do the same work for half of the salary, as she was nine months pregnant with their daughter, Natasha, and following the Iranian hostage crisis, he knew it would be difficult to find other employment.

“He looked for a job for a year and a half,” Hamishe says. “I had to go back to work a week after I had Natasha because we needed the money – unemployment doesn’t give you much, and we had bills to pay. We couldn’t live like that and I didn’t want to be on welfare, so we decided to open our own business. He loved to cook; that’s why we got into restaurants.”

The Little Kitchen got off to a slow start, as St. Louisans weren’t familiar with the authentic Persian fare that the Bahramis served. They quickly changed the menu to mostly reflect more familiar American lunchtime fare, including turkey and roast beef sandwiches and fresh tuna and chicken salad, all made from scratch. The restaurant proved a success, serving the business lunch crowd in Downtown St. Louis for 12 years. By that time the Bahramis were operating a second restaurant, Café Natasha, which opened in the Delmar Loop in 1993. Eventually the family closed the Delmar location to concentrate on the current incarnation at 3200 South Grand Boulevard.

In the early days, Behshid was the chef and Hamishe managed the front of house, welcoming in diners with her outgoing and warm personality. Over the years she took on a larger role in the kitchen, collaborating with Behshid on menu items that blended flavors and dishes popular in their respective hometowns. Although Behshid retired about two years ago, Hamishe and Natasha say he still wanted to taste dishes at the restaurant to ensure the food was up to his standards.

“And if it wasn’t right, he would say so,” Hamishe says with a warm smile. “It was good – we didn’t like it, but it was good. He cared… he really cared about the food, what he gave people. Now Natasha is the same way. She’ll come in and try something and say the food is not the same. Now she’s my taster.”

What first brought you to St. Louis? To marry [Natasha’s father]. I originally came to the U.S. in 1976 to study English. I was a nurse in my country and I wanted to come visit America; I had a friend over here, and I liked it. I decided to go to school in New York to learn English. Life was just so different there. I was always a different kind of person even when I was in my country. I was thinking differently; I was open-minded to other cultures. I always wanted to fly away. And I loved American culture – the cowboy style of life. I thought that if I came to America, that I would be part of that life. I would go ride a horse – when you’re young, stuff goes to your head. When I came here, my friend lived in New Jersey, and I stayed with her for a while and then got my own place. Just getting on the bus to school… People would say good morning to you and it was like everybody respected everyone. It was completely different; a society unlike anything I’d ever seen. At night, everybody, after they finished school or work, would go to little taverns, eat, listen to music and dance, and have a drink. People living their lives the way they wanted to… nobody would say “oh, you’re a woman, why are you outside at night, and drinking?” You couldn’t do that in my country. It was freedom to live how you wanted to live and nobody would judge you. That attracted me so much – I could be myself.

What was the process of coming to this country like for you? Back then it was easy. [Behshid] came to the U.S. in 1972 to get his master’s degree – he got his undergrad in Iran – and a master’s in New York. He drove a cab while he was in school to support himself. Then after graduation he got a job; he worked in California for a while, and the company sent him to Iran, and then when [the Iranian hostage crisis began], he came back with his company to St. Louis. This was all before we met.

After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, I couldn’t go back to my country; most of my family were involved in politics and I couldn’t go back. Right now [what’s happening in America] was not as bad as that time. It was my second year of college, and the dean of the school knew me. He told me he didn’t trust people here and that if they found me, they might hurt me. I got help from a lawyer to get a visa to stay in this country and get a green card. He also gave me a job, so I was working in the morning and going to school at night. And then I met my husband through his brother-in-law; his brother-in-law was a classmate of my roommate. She was talking about me all the time, and he was looking for an Iranian girl to marry. After three months we got married and I moved to St. Louis, which is where he was living for work.

What does it mean to you to live here? We’ve been [operating restaurants in St. Louis] for 34 years. We have customers who have been coming to our restaurants since they were kids, who now bring in their kids. I had this young man one day, he had a reservation, and he came in we were so busy. He got up, came and grabbed me and gave me the biggest hug ever. I looked at him and said, “Do I know you?” And he said, “Yeah, when I was a little boy you would hold me all the time because my parents would dine at your place.” And then I went to his table, and I remembered – I knew his father first, because he would bring a date, and then they fell in love and got married and had their first baby. They would all three come in and I would hold the baby while the parents were eating so they could enjoy their dinner. And I love babies. So a story like that… I have so many of them. Lots of beautiful stories that have kept me going. If it wasn’t for stories like that I wouldn’t have lasted this long, to know that people appreciate us being here. This is like home for them, it’s not just another restaurant. If we acted like just another restaurant, we wouldn’t be here.

Tell us about the food you serve at your restaurant. Today [the South Grand location] serves Persian and some Middle Eastern food, but I put my own flavor into it, so it’s a bit different than what you’d get at other places. I love the lamb stew and the chicken with the walnut-pomegranate sauce, those are both Persian dishes. The all-beef shish kebab is not Persian, but the marinade and seasoning, my husband and I made it together. The sauce and seasoning is different from what you’ll find in other restaurants. Some of the dishes his mother made… we all know how to cook; Persian people, everyone knows how to cook. You cook all the time; we love food. And then we have several regions… It’s the same in America, where you have Texas barbecue or St. Louis barbecue, people make different food. We do the same thing. I’m from the north, and our food is completely different – different seasoning – and he was from Tehran, and their food is different. We would make food, taste the flavors and combine them.

What are some of your favorite dishes to make? When we were downtown, on Fridays, we made soup, called osh; it’s thick soup. We only served it on Fridays. We had beef or chicken broth in it and so vegetarians couldn’t eat it. So we started making it with butter and spices instead. And then vegan people asked why there was butter in it, so now I just make it seasoned with only spices, no flavor from butter or stock. It’s as good, if not better, because you know you’re eating healthy food. It’s thick, made with lentils and barley, and smells good and tastes good. Great for wintertime, but I love eating it all year round.

What have been some meaningful moments and experiences you’ve shared with diners and people in the community? When 9/11 happened, it affected us. We had no customers for about a month; nobody would come in. Then a customer did come in and asked us why no one was in the restaurant. We said, “Well, since 9/11, we haven’t had many customers.” She texted all her friends and called people and said, “We need to support Café Natasha,” and [many people] came in within two weeks. We didn’t know she did it, and all of the sudden the place was packed with people and all the people seemed to know each other.

After NPR talked to me [last week], people just… they’re so amazing. St. Louisians are amazing people. They came in, they’re crying and hugging me, and saying they’re sorry. They act like they are the ones in charge of stopping it; they were so supportive. The same way with 9/11; people were so supportive.

When my husband passed away, we don’t have any [family] here, and it was amazing how many people came in. There was ice outside and the weather was horrible, but this place was packed with people. I really didn’t miss my family because so many people came in and supported us. They didn’t have to do that, but they did, to make me feel that I’m home. That I’m not just another so-called immigrant, you know?

Have you experienced challenges along the way? When we opened downtown, people would come in and ask us where we were from, and I would say Persia. One lady came in and asked “Persian… why don’t you say Iranian? Tell us who you are.” And I told her that I was Persian; I told her that I’m not the one who took the hostages [in Iran]; we’re just here trying to survive – that’s why we’re here and not there, because of that. We want to survive in America – I want to work hard and make a living and make my baby happy and give her a life. I’m not hiding myself. I am who I am, and I’m not the one who [is responsible for conflict in Iran]. This is politics; it’s not us. After a while people got to know us and they were very supportive.

This is a country made of immigrants. Everybody was an immigrant. Maybe you came in before us or after. When they look at us as immigrants… they would never look at us as Americans, because they think that because they were born here, that they are American and we are not. But we are American, too. I am just as supportive of America as anybody else. I’m a very good citizen; I work hard to make a living and be an example for other people who come to this country. I think I’m a better citizen than some of the people born here. When people do something wrong – break the law – I get so mad. If you’re in this country, whoever, you need to follow the rule of law. To me, rule of law is very important. We’re here, and we try so hard to give people good, delicious food.

What do you love most about living in St. Louis? I’ve lived here since 1982, 35 years. I love St. Louis. If I could choose to live anywhere in the world I would still choose to live in St. Louis. This is my home. It’s a great city with great people. I am honestly so overwhelmed with support from our neighbors. What I love most about St. Louis is the people. People are very open-minded, intelligent, very supportive, very loving and caring; it’s like a family. Everybody has a great heart, and that’s what’s kept me in St. Louis. If it wasn’t for the people, I wouldn’t be in business. I’m so proud to be a St. Louisian and to be a part of St. Louis. I want people to know that their loving us, and taking us in as a family, is very important to us. That’s why we’re trying so hard to continue staying here [at Café Natasha], to give them the joy of eating the food.

The Scoop: St. Louis-area breweries clean up at RateBeer Best Awards


Once again, St. Louis-area breweries, taprooms, bars and retailers were well represented at the annual RateBeer Best Awards. Side Project Brewing, Perennial Artisan Ales and Saint Louis Brewery were all named among the Top 100 Best Brewers in the world.

This is the third time both Side Project and Perennial have made the Top 100 list. “In the U.S. there are more than 4,000 breweries, and this is worldwide,” said Perennial co-owner Phil Wymore. “This is pretty exclusive company and we’re honored to be a part of it.”

The RateBeer awards are based on user reviews of beer and breweries around the world.

“It’s always an honor,” said brewer and co-owner Cory King. “We try really hard to make great beer, and it’s good to know that as small as we are, we can still make waves.”

This is the first year the Saint Louis Brewery, which brews Schlafly Beer, has made the list. “We’re absolutely flattered and grateful to all those who made it happen,” said Schlafly founding brewer Stephen Hale. “It’s a really special thing to get this kind of recognition.”

Side Project took home an armload of awards in the regional and style. In the statewide categories, it took home Top Beer in Missouri for Anabasis, as well as Top Brewery and Best Brewery Tap Room in the state.

Three Side Project beers were named among the Best New Beers out of more than 60,000 worldwide: Pulling Nails No. 4, Bleuet du Fermier and Saison du Fermier from Pinot Noir Puncheons.

The Pulling Nails was also named one of the 100 Best Beers in the World and earned a bronze medal for Best Belgian Style Sour Ale, while the Saison du Fermier won a silver for Best Belgian Style Ale and Side Project’s Biere du Pays earned a bronze for Best Belgian Session.

New brewery Narrow Gauge Brewing Co. also received recognition, earning Best New Brewer in Missouri. Owner-brewer Jeff Hardesty said he found out about the honor when someone tweeted him congratulations.

“Anytime something like that comes up, it’s surreal,” Hardesty said. “The amount of recognition we’ve received in the community, it kind of blows my mind every day.”

Other statewide RateBeer awards include Best Brewpub for Schlafly Tap Room, Best Restaurant for Baileys Range, Best Grocery for Wine & Cheese Place and Best Bar for Bridge Tap House & Wine Bar.

Editor’s note: This piece was updated at 4:35 p.m. Feb. 3 to include an additional from Phil Wymore.  

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Grilled: Smoked Whiskey Wings

Grilled: Smoked Whiskey Wings

February 3rd 01:02pm, 2017


Rich wood smoke and serious heat from a homemade dry rub send these chicken wings into another stratosphere – and soaking them in whiskey certainly doesn’t hurt either. An extended bath in a boozy marinade helps keep the wings plump and moist throughout the smoking process. Simple enough to pull off in an afternoon, these gorgeously charred babies make for a wonderful alternative to traditional deep fried or grilled wings.

Smoked Whiskey Wings
4 to 6 servings

4 cups water
¼ cup bourbon or mild American whiskey
4 lbs. chicken wings, drumettes and flats separated
2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. sugar

• In very large bowl, stir together the water and whiskey. Add the wings, cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
• Remove the wings from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Discard the marinade.
• In a small bowl, make a dry rub by combining the remaining ingredients. Liberally coat the wings in the dry rub.
• Prepare a charcoal grill or smoker for medium-low indirect heat, around 300 degrees. When the coals are gray, add 1 cup hickory or apple wood chips. Place the wings over indirect heat, arranging the larger pieces closest to the fire. Cover the grill and smoke 40 minutes. Add another 1 cup wood chips, cover and smoke another 40 minutes, adding fresh charcoal as needed.
• Remove the wings and cover with foil until ready to serve.

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