Category: Food

The Scoop: Diablitos Cantina to close doors in Midtown

The Scoop: Diablitos Cantina to close doors in Midtown

February 3rd 10:02am, 2017


Midtown’s Diablitos Cantina will shut its doors for good after service on Feb. 14. The closing was announced on the restaurant’s Facebook page on yesterday, Feb. 2, as reported by Feast. The Mexican cantina opened in late 2011.

Gurpreet Padda is a principal at In Good Company, which owns Diablitos, Sanctuaria Wild Tapas in The Grove and Hendricks BBQ in St. Charles. He said the Diablitos’ lease with Saint Louis University is up this month, and the university intends to tear down the building at 3761 Laclede Ave., to build additional dorms.

Padda said most of the food and drinks from Diablitos will be available at sister restaurant Sanctuaria, and there is no plan currently to reopen.

“We don’t have the capacity to reopen Diablitos at this point,” he said. Diablitos’ employees will be relocated to Sanctuaria or two other projects the company has in the works – though Padda declined to share details on those projects.

Photo by Ashley Gieseking 

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Prairie Pie Now Available at Druff’s and Cherry Picker

“I’ve recently moved back to Springfield after spending some time in New York City,” Eleanor Taylor, owner of Prairie Pie says. “I had a few different bakery jobs there, which was great – that’s where I honed in on my pie skills.”

Top-notch pie skills are in great supply with Eleanor. Her Prairie Pie treats are now being served daily at Druff’s, and as of this week, Cherry Picker Package x Fare.

If you didn’t yet know Taylor’s name, it’s highly likely that you’ve tried some of her creations. Her first job was at Tea Bar and Bites; she started as a baker’s assistant at 16 and spent five years there learning new techniques and experimenting with different flavors.

“Tea Bar was a good learning experience,” Taylor says, “because I would bake in the morning and see how different desserts sold during the day. It was interesting to see the customers’ reactions first-hand. I feel like it prepared me for the social side of business.” 


Eleanor Taylor started as a baker’s assistant at 16.

Ana Pierce

So, what’s on the menu? This season, Taylor’s specialties include a sweet potato pie and a lemonchess pie. “I’m all about trying interesting flavors,” she says.

The texture of the sweet potato pie is fantastic; it’s made with mixed apples and sweet potatoes for the filling, sweetened with homemade caramel sauce. The topping is an oat crumble created with butter, flour and oats.

The lemonchess pie is more smooth, as it’s cream-based. “I like this pie because it’s delicate, so it melts in your mouth,” Taylor says. “And the lemon flavor isn’t overpowering,” she assures.

Recently, Druff’s ordered a honey custard pie, topped with just a dash of sea salt. “If that pie is lying around my house, I have to give it away,” Taylor confesses. “I will eat the whole thing.”

Customers can find an assortment of sweet pies by the slice on rotation at Druff’s and Cherry Picker. Miniature (5-inch) pies are also available at Homegrown Foods.

You can also order your own pie, baked and delivered directly to your door. Taylor asks that customers give 48 hours notice using the contact form on her website.

Prairie Pie,

Sneak Peek: Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream in Maplewood

Sneak Peek: Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream in Maplewood

February 2nd 03:02pm, 2017


The scent of fresh-made waffles will soon waft down Manchester Road in Maplewood when Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream opens doors this Saturday, Feb. 4. As The Scoop reported in October 2015, owners Eric and Laurie Moore sought to bring a taste of Eric Moore’s childhood summers on the Jersey shore to Maplewood.

The narrow space briefly housed a second location of I Scream Cakes, but doors closed just a few months after that establishment opened. Since it was already designed to function as a scoop shop, the Moores made mostly cosmetic changes to the shop, including a fresh coat of paint and resurfaced floors.

Boardwalk’s menu features scoops of Serendipity ice cream sandwiched between fluffy made-to-order Belgian waffles. Customers can choose from a full order – two waffles and four scoops – or a modest single-scoop pressed between a waffle half. They can also forgo the waffle all together and simply enjoy a scoop or two in a cup, or indulge in breakfast for dessert with a plain waffle drizzled with syrup and butter.

Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream will be open Monday to Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect when the waffle irons heat up on Saturday:

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

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Blueprint Coffee is Raising Money for the ACLU This Weekend

This weekend, Blueprint Coffee will be doing more than serving coffee.

The Delmar Loop coffee shop plans to donate 25 percent of its coffee bar sales from Fri., Feb. 3 to Sun., Feb. 5 to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in an effort to stand in opposition to the current executive order set by President Trump that bans refugees and immigrants from seven Muslim countries.

As a nonpartisan, non-profit organization, the ACLU has a mission statement “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” The organization is responsible for organizing and funding lawyers who are currently fighting against the recent executive order.


The entrance to Blueprint Coffee in The Loop

J. Pollack Photography

Over the weekend, Blueprint Coffee will join 200+ coffee bars nationwide in this fundraiser, organized by international coffee publication

“We are a very inclusive company,” co-owner Mike Marquard says. “We incorporate international business with our coffee, and we have partners around the world who have literally welcomed us into their homes. They have offered us so much warmth and trust that we want to always provide that same hospitality here to them.”

Marquard is one of six Blueprint owners. He says the entire staff was quick to jump on board when they learned of the fundraiser this past Saturday.

Not only does the shop have ties with international growers, but it’s also a destination for a diverse group of coffee drinkers. Marquard says one of his favorite things about Blueprint is seeing all the different people who come in and drink their coffee. 

“The main takeaway from this fundraiser is that this executive order doesn’t represent us as Americans,” Marquard says. “Here at Blueprint, we are a group of driven professionals trying to make our business, city and country better, and this new action is not something we stand for.”

And as for customers who may be turned off by Blueprint taking a political stance, Marquard says he understands where they’re coming from.

“We respect their point of view,” he says. “And we understand that consumers have a choice to make here, just like how we have made ours clear.”

Anything purchased at Blueprint Coffee’s Delmar Loop location will go toward the weekend fundraiser, but online orders will not be eligible.

Because Blueprint Coffee was one of the first 26 business to join the fundraiser, will match Blueprint’s donations gathered this weekend up to $500.

Blueprint Coffee, 6225 Delmar Blvd., University City, Missouri, 314.266.6808,

Summer Internship Opportunity: Special Events Internship

Summer Internship Opportunity: Special Events Internship

February 1st 11:02am, 2017


Do you love the STL food scene? Can’t get enough Food Truck Friday? Be a part of bringing it all together as a Sauce Special Events Intern.

As a Special Events Intern, you will:

-Assist Sauce Events Coordinator in preparing for, setting up, operating and breaking down all Food Truck Friday events beginning May 12
-Assist in preparation and execution of the annual Saucy Soiree on June 4
-Learn how to plan and execute large-scale food-driven events
-Learn how to promote and market events on a variety of print and online platforms
-Other duties as assigned

The Special Events Intern must be:

-At least 18 years old with a reliable form of transportation
-Outgoing, reliable and flexible with experience working events
-Personable and professional on the phone, in written communication and in person
– Have a proven track record for taking initiative and working harmoniously on a team project
-Proficient in Microsoft Office
-Able to work outdoor events during St. Louis summers
-Comfortably lift up to 30 pounds
-Willing to occasionally get his or her hands dirty

This internship is unpaid; interested applicants may submit a cover letter and resume to Special Events Coordinator Amy Hyde at Resumes must be submitted no later than Friday, April 1. No calls please.

Photo by Greg Rannells

By admin

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What to Expect at SNAX Gastrobar, Coming Soon to Lindenwood Park

Stanley and Arlene Browne are opening a new concept in St. Louis – and no, it’s not another wine bar.

The owners of the popular Robust Wine Bar plan to open SNAX Gastrobar in the former J. McArthur’s American Kitchen space, as originally reported by St. Louis Magazine. News first broke in late December that the acclaimed Lindenwood Park restaurant would be closing its doors, with a brand-new concept from the Robust team taking its place.

More details about Robust’s new concept surfaced last week, including an anticipated opening date – the new restaurant is slated to open at 3500 Watson Road the first week of March.

SNAX will serve “good food for the soul,” including small and mid-sized plates of what the Brownes like to call upscale “humble foods.” Diners can look forward to a range of light to hearty plates, depending on their appetite. A beer garden, interactive games and board games will also be part of the new concept. In warmer months, SNAX’s patio will host a regular “Yappy Hour” for dog owners.


Robust Wine Bar & Cafe owners Stanley and Arlene Browne

J. Pollack Photography

“We like to call our dishes ‘elevated comfort food,'” Arlene says. “Although we don’t have a menu set just yet, some dishes may be burgers, meatloaf and shepherd’s pie.”

Not familiar with gastrobars? Arlene explains that the name is a riff on the more popularly used gastropub, which usually center on beer. A gastrobar, meanwhile, also specializes in classic cocktails and wine – something the Robust team certainly has nailed down.

“It wouldn’t be a Robust concept without there being wine,” Arlene says with laugh.

Robust’s executive chef Joseph Hemp V will lead the SNAX kitchen. In a statement, Hemp said he’s excited to be able to cook a mix of fine-dining and casual fare. “It’s the type of food that I would eat every day and proudly prepare for my family’s dinner table,” he said.

“We’ve had this project in mind since last year,” Arlene says. “And we are very excited it has moved so quickly. It is the first of a few concepts to come that are different, yet still stay within the Robust family.”

Look for more details coming soon to the SNAX website (, which is currently under construction.

SNAX Gastrobar, 3500 Watson Road, Lindenwood Park, St. Louis, Missouri,

Extra Sauce: In case you missed it…

From national recognition of a hometown staple to the opening of new St. Peters chop house, here’s what went down last week, ICYMI…


1. The James Beard Foundation has announced the five recipients of its 2017 America’s Classics award, and one of St. Louis’ longtime favorites has landed on the list. Gioia’s Deli is the first St. Louis restaurant to receive the honor since the award’s inception in 1998.

2. The annual Good Food Awards were announced Jan. 20, and area chocolatier Kakao Chocolate has earned top honors in the confections category with its Norton Pâtés du Vin, a fruit gel made with Augusta Winery’s Norton.


3. Cork & Barrel Chop House and Spirits opened doors with brunch service this Sunday, Jan. 29. As The Scoop reported in June, the 7,000-square-foot restaurant is located at 7337 Mexico Road.

4. White Rooster Farmhouse Brewery is set to start brewing in Sparta, Illinois, in the near future. Co-owner Mike Deutschmann said the brewery should be up and running at 113 W. Jackson St., this spring.


5. New Day Gluten Free has a new home in Clayton. After closing their Ellisville location three months ago, co-owners Garrett and Kelly Beck have reopened their gluten-free, peanut-free restaurant and bakery at 7807 Clayton Road on Monday, Jan. 16.

6. Arlene Maminta Browne and Stanley Browne have announced their first non-Robust Wine Bar concept: Snax Gastrobar, set to open in early March.


7. Giovanni’s On The Hill at 5201 Shaw Ave., was damaged by fire on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Co-owner Carmelo Gabriele said no one was hurt, but the building did suffer substantial damage.

The Smokin’ Monkey food truck, which specialized in “barbecue with a tropical twist,” is officially off the road.

By Catherine Klene

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Cate Zone Chinese Cafe Now Open in University City

In University City’s pocket of Chinese businesses, a new restaurant features Dongbei-style cuisine. Cate Zone Chinese Cafe opened on Nov. 12 in the space previously occupied by J&W Bakery, offering authentic dishes from Northeast China. The menu features entrees, street-food style skewers, malatang or hotpot-like bowls and more.

The concept comes from co-owners Quincy Lin and Daniel Ma along with chef Yuming Han. Han has nearly 20 years of experience in Chinese cookery, including working in the kitchen at Joy Luck Buffet, where the trio originally met. Together, the team decided to debut their own take on Chinese cooking in St. Louis.

“Right now there are a lot of Chinese buffets and restaurants with Americanized Chinese food. Here, we do real Chinese food,” Ma says. “We want to change the way Americans think of it.”

According to Lin, the menu highlights traditional fare from his native Liaoning Province. With Cate Zone, he hopes to offer the local population of international students a taste of home. The kitchen sources ingredients from area Asian markets to create the menu of scratch-made meals. The largely savory offerings come in big enough portions for sharing, providing a perfect way to try a few different items while dining family-style.


A sweet dish features fried honey-glazed sweet potatoes topped with spun sugar.

Mabel Suen

The approximately 800-square-foot space got a complete revamp to bring its capacity to around 38 seats. The dining room features New York-subway themed wallpaper and photographs to evoke a youthful, modern feel for its primarily college-aged patrons. Adventurous diners who wander in, however, will find a trove of tasteful eats to enjoy. Where the menu is lacking in descriptions, a bounty of flavors make up for what’s lost in translation.

Introductory highlights, according to Lin, include a light and bright salad made up of artfully plated shredded cucumbers topped with carrots, cabbage, wood-ear mushroom, clear noodles, cilantro and a special sesame-tinged dressing. In the evenings, guests can choose from a list of grilled skewers seasoned liberally with cumin, hot pepper and sesame seeds – choose from lamb, beef tendon and brisket, chicken gizzards and more.

Another recommendation is northeastern China-style sweet-and-sour pork, which features thin strips of crispy breaded and fried pork coated in a sticky sauce garnished with ginger and green onion. Cumin-calamari fried rice comes studded with peas, carrots and scrambled egg. Additional selections include Szechuan spicy shrimp, twice-cooked pork and homemade wonton soup.

For a personalized experience, opt for malatang, or hot-pot style bowls that are made to order. Choose from 15 different ingredients including vegetables, sliced beef, tofu and fish balls from a fresh-food bar. For something sweet, Lin recommends honey crisp sweet potatoes – a deep-fried dessert topped with a brimming crown of spun sugar.

Cate Zone Chinese Cafe is currently open Monday through Friday from 11am to 3pm and 5 to 9pm as well as Saturday through Sunday from 11am to 9pm.

Cate Zone Chinese Cafe, 8148 Olive Blvd., St. Louis, Missouri, 314.738.9923

Sneak Peek: Cork & Barrel Chop House and Spirits in St. Peters

Sneak Peek: Cork & Barrel Chop House and Spirits in St. Peters

January 27th 04:01pm, 2017


Cork & Barrel Chop House and Spirits opens doors with brunch service this Sunday, Jan. 29. As The Scoop reported in June, the 7,000-square-foot restaurant is located at 7337 Mexico Road.

Executive chef Lee Gustin worked with co-owners Joel and Jill Ragan to develop a menu focused on chop house cuts of beef and pork, smoked meats and twists on classic fare like nachos, flatbreads and sandwiches. Gustin, who has spent time in kitchens from Cedar Lake Cellars to the St. Louis Blues, uses a Big Green Egg, a ceramic charcoal grill, to smoke and sear many of the meats.

The main dining room seats 140 guests and features a large gas fireplace. A large patio offers additional seating in warmer months. A private dining room seats 20 for special events and connects to a private patio space with room for 40.

Cork & Barrel will be open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Here’s what to expect when it opens this Sunday:

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

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First Look: New Day Gluten Free in Clayton

First Look: New Day Gluten Free in Clayton

January 27th 02:01pm, 2017


New Day Gluten Free has a new home in Clayton. After closing their Ellisville location three months ago, co-owners Garrett and Kelly Beck have reopened their gluten-free, peanut-free restaurant and bakery at 7807 Clayton Road on Monday, Jan. 16.

Kelly Beck said the kitchen is twice as big as the Ellisville location, which makes it possible to hire more staff and expand its offerings. The menu is currently the same as the Ellisville location, though with the addition of a deep-fryer, Beck has added house-made chips and is developing recipes for gluten-free doughnuts.

The 3,800-square-foot space seats 40 inside and will seat an additional 25 when the weather warms. “It’s almost triple the seating we had in Ellisville,” Beck said. “We learned a lot at the other space, but [the new space] is what I always envisioned when we first started talking about opening a gluten-free cafe.”

New Day Gluten Free is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Here’s what you’ll find when you visit the new space:

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Photos by Michelle Volansky

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