Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Sugarfire Smoke House

Since I’m a county girl, I figured I really had no excuse during my time off not to hit up Sugarfire Smoke House to see what the hype is all about. Apparently, the hype is still going strong because MOBS of people were still arriving and the line was out the door when I got there at 12:45pm…I thought for sure it would not be a problem since I got there at the end of the lunch rush.

I felt a little better that once I was inside the door and I saw a sign posted that said “15 minutes” and that was pretty much true. It felt like forever, though, waiting in the long corridor that was never used when it was a Dickey’s! I also saw how crowded the dining area was and I ordered my food “to go” just in case there weren’t any table openings by the time I was ready to sit down.

I was first impressed when I hit the soda fountain while standing in line. The entire machine was supplied by Excel bottling company and they had a few sodas I had never heard of before. I wish there had been more room to try a few flavors while I was waiting, but I felt like I should keep up with the line. I kept looking back to the end of the line and more and more people kept coming in!

Luckily, I studied the menu before going over there and there is a big board over the soda fountain in addition to a chalkboard by the ordering area. Use your time wisely! I selected a turkey sandwich, which came with one side. Be ready with your side order because there are quite a few choices as well! The sandwich comes with 6 ounces of meat and that was a little bit more than I needed. I probably should have gone with the meat alone (only 4 ounces). Since the meats are cut in quarter-inch thick long slices, putting the meat on a sandwich doesn’t make it any easier to eat. The slices on one end kept sliding off when I went to take a bite so perhaps knife and fork is the way to go.

Each table has five or six giant squeeze bottles, which hold a wide variety of sauces. I definitely wish there were more time to linger so I could test out my turkey in each sauce. Since you have to share the wooden tables, I didn’t want to interrupt my tablemates’ conversation so I just used the BBQ flavor in front of me. It had a little bit of kick with not too much of a sweet finish at all. True BBQ lovers will be pleased.

I went with the cole slaw as my one side, which was a good move so I had something creamy to cool me down after the BBQ sauce. My side was also no joke as they filled a 4 ounce container to the top. The entire meal was quite filling and I wasn’t hungry for some time after. So be sure to go in there with an appetite and cancel any big dinner plans.

Normally I would not take a vegetarian to a BBQ joint but I have to admit that I am a little curious about the Smoked Portobello Sandwich as well as the Smoked Salmon.

I’m not sure when the hype will die down either so for now perhaps the best strategy is to call in your to-go order if you don’t have time to wait.


Sugarfire Smoke House = http://sugarfiresmokehouse.com/

Excel Bottling Company = http://excelbottling.com/


After visiting Home Wine Kitchen so many times, I knew I needed to try Table, the latest venture for Cassy Vires. I was sad to see the Stable no longer in service, but was happy to hear that the space was at least being used, especially since it’s such a beautiful space! If you go to the website for Table, we literally sat in that spot too!

Since Table is located deep in Soulard off of Cherokee, I figured my best chance to go would be for brunch and luckily they open quite early at 9AM so it was no problem squeezing it in before attending to other important Sunday activities (watching football).

The high ceilings made for a chilly atmosphere, but the fresh, hot coffee and smoked tomato Bloody Mary helped to warm us up.

Smoked Tomato Bloody Mary
I was surprised that it was somewhat empty for brunch, so perhaps more folks prefer the dinner menu. At least this way we didn’t feel like we were disturbing anyone while we looked around and tried to imagine the previous uses of the building. We also found the pastry chef behind a window and probably could have watched her work for hours. At the end we also took a trip upstairs to check out the event space above.

There are several “sections” on the menu with most items ten dollars or less so that gave everyone an opportunity to try a few dishes and we ended up just sharing everything together anyway.

My most favorite item was the first one right at the top under the “Baked” section, the sea-salt shortbread biscuits with honey and butter. I thought the sea-salt was odd on top but the baby biscuits were so soft and melted in my mouth smothered with honey and butter. They are quite little so we each only got one. Now I am wishing we had gotten at least one more order of them, although we had quite a lot more food coming…

Normally I would have skipped over the “Snacks” section but my friend Chris and I have a soft spot for “Poutin”, as it is spelled here. I didn’t realize the fries came with crispy pork belly mixed in with the white cheddar gravy and hard-boiled egg on top, but it was easy enough for me to pick off. I also made the mistake of grabbing the fries first out of the small bucket, whereas all the fries at the bottom were the ones deliciously soaked in the gravy.

Finally it was time for the main course, and I selected the Mushroom Strata, which had sharp white cheddar and rosemary baked in.

Patience couldn't resist the Duck and Potato Hash, which came with a beautiful fried egg on top.

We had to look up what a “shirred” egg was and since it was quite runny, and my friend had to use the toast as a transporter for the egg.

The best dish out of the “Hatched” section was definitely the Scotch egg, but it is so heavy, you probably won’t want to eat the rest of the day. I was really impressed with the yolk in the middle, but the outside “shell” was quite filling.

I have to admit I am curious about the Champagne Steamed Mussels, and the “Savory” section of the menu had a few other higher priced items like Beef Tartare and a Cornmeal Pizza. But we decided to skip on down to the “Sweet” section to finish off our meal. Since we cleaned our plates, we were allowed to have dessert for breakfast right?

You know I was all over the “chocolate cake donuts” although I was surprised they were crispy. Still plenty of chocolate to taste. Chris got the rye whiskey French toast sticks with fig syrup. I couldn’t taste any whiskey but the French toast sticks were also crispy and certainly tasted more like dessert, especially once you dipped it in the syrup.

Hopefully I’ll be in the area again sometime so I try can their dinner menu next.


Table = http://tablestl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, December 27, 2013

Three Kings Public House

I had been wanting to try Three Kings Public House after hearing about their highly rated veggie burger from STLVegGirl, aka Caryn Dugan, since it’s made of “Match meat”, made up of soy protein and black beans, to make it almost a full substitute. Not only does it come with my favorite veggies, avocado, lettuce and tomato, but I got to throw some sautéed mushrooms on top! What’s even better is that they also offer a pretzel bun or a gluten free bread…talk about choices!
Match meat Veggie Burger
While I have heard about them mostly for their burgers, especially those weighing in at half a pound, I was really surprised to find a number of Cajun items on the menu like the Cajun Pasta and a Shrimp Po’ Boy sandwich. Patience had a lot of trouble deciding what to order with so many choices and finally selected the Cajun sliders, which were like baby shrimp po’ boys, since you can’t get that just anywhere. (It was also a good alternative to a half pounder for those who have smaller appetites!)
Cajun Sliders
We also split a Middle Eastern Sampler to mix up our taste buds even more. The sampler came with Red Pepper Hummus, Roasted Head of Garlic, Grilled Eggplant Relish, tzatziki, Dolmas & grilled flatbread. Since my veggie burger was covered in a chipotle mayo, I actually used the tzatziki sauce to help cool down my bites of the burger, so that worked out very well.

There was even the long list of beers on tap, several local craft breweries represented as well, which made it difficult to decide.

We’re definitely going to have to make a few more trips because there are just too many items to try! If nothing else, there is something for everyone here.


Three Kings Public House = http://threekingspub.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

What Your Favorite Cheese Says About You

A friend forwarded me an article from the Huffington Post entitled "What Your Favorite Cheese Says About You".

This is hilarious!


As for me, well, I really love ALL cheeses...except for maybe that Limburger...