Monday, December 24, 2018

Cork & Rind Holiday Cheese Plate Class

I haven't been to a cheese class in forever.

At least it feels that way and I know my former cheese class friends, Lara and Mike, attend wine classes at Cork & Rind religiously. Each month, I jealously watch their check-ins on Facebook pop up, wishing I could attend with them.

I kept waiting to find a good time of year to make the trek out to St. Charles for a class. When I ran into Lara, we talked about it again and she pointed out that the December class was cheese-themed so I couldn't say no. I decided to follow through this time.

I was so happy that I finally made the decision to attend as the cheesemonger turned out to be one of my old high school teachers! Here was someone else passionate about football and cheese - JUST LIKE ME!

For this cheese class, we got to try seven different cheeses and you get one free drink to go along with your class purchase. You get to choose between two wines, two beers, or two whiskeys being featured that night.

Not only did Cheesemonger / Coach Kevin Kinney walk us through the cheeses, but he suggested pairings with the cheese, best ways to cut the cheese, as well as how to present the cheese on a board. Always something to learn!

Cheese selection and Cheesemonger Kevin Kinney
Of course we had to buy a couple of samples to bring home!


Cork & Rind =

Sunday, November 25, 2018

PW Pizza Breckenridge Brewery

I've actually BEEN to the Breckenridge Brewery!! One of my few cool claims to fame is that I stopped there for dinner one night after skiing. (I will probably never say those words again.)

It was strange to start off with an IPA, but it does make sense to pair it with goat cheese. And the Hop Peak IPA actually was drinkable...not hoppy at all.

Mountain G.O.A.T. Salad
Macaroni & Cheese Pizza was brilliant and was the best pizza of the night for sure. It stood up to the heavier and fuller bodied Christmas Ale.

Macaroni & Cheese Pizza
Yes, that's mashed potatoes on top there! We had the usual "turkey" pizza, this time called "Pilgrim Pizza", and I actually enjoyed it a lot although I'm not sure the flavor combination went well for anyone else. Definitely not as good as in year's past since there was a lot less "sauce" involved. The Agave Wheat was the star for this course as the beer was so easy to drink.

Pilgrim Pizza
The Vanilla Porter is their most famous beer and a perfect dessert pairing although it overwhelmed the pumpkin pie a little bit. (I figured we weren't going to have a chocolate dessert, but I bet that would have gone even better with the porter.)

Pumpkin Pie

Breckendridge Brewery =

PW Pizza =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, November 23, 2018

PW Pizza Six Mile Bridge Beer Dinner

Both Patience and I remember the first Six Mile Bridge beer dinner (in 2015 - I looked it up!) so it was cool to see them again. Not that it's hard to forget a South African dialect. hehe

We still have never made it out to the brewery so I feel bad since now that I've left Maryland Heights, it rare I go back...

The first course was a familiar Citrus Salad, which easily paired with the Blood Orange Wit. This was my favorite beer and went down smooth. So much flavor for a lighter beer!

Citrus Salad
Chicken Taco Pizza was definitely the winner between the two pizzas of the night, and the cilantro even passed the soapy taste on to the beer to someone who was sensitive to it. The pizza taco ingredients helped to cut through the slight hoppiness of the Double Dry Hopped Citra IPA.

Chicken Taco Pizza
Luau Mango Pizza means that I had to pick off all the ham and bacon, but the Mango BBQ Sauce on the top was amazing. I was surprised at how well it paired with the Cinnamon Maple Stout. You get more maple than you do cinnamon and they both complimented each other in sweetness.

Luau Mango Pizza
For the third month in a row, we had a chocolate dessert! The chocolate goddesses have heard my cries! Patience and I both had two servings of the White CHocolate Mousse with coffee cookie crumb. The whole dish tasted coffee so the stout might have been a better pairing, but the Irish Red Ale with Honey was another favorite of mine since it was easy to drink.

Irish Cream Mousse


Six Mile Bridge =

PW Pizza =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Yes, yes it does live up to the hype! They have yet to have a slow night, so you'll still need to wait before it quiets down over there, if it ever does.

The first time I went was before 6pm on a Sunday night, and no matter what night you go, I highly recommend you get there before 6pm to have a good chance of getting a table. They do NOT take reservations! Yellowbelly does have a good size bar, but by the time we left, there was a row of people standing behind those seated at the bar.

Speaking of the bar, this is definitely the place where you want to get a cocktail, whether it's a rum-based tiki drink or not. There should be something for everyone. I tried the namesake, the tropical looking Yellowbelly, and it was so refreshing.

Look! There is Matt Sorrell in the wild.

Matt Sorrell slingin' drinks
The menu is not too big and it helps to bring a friend to try a few dishes or share a big one. Both times I went, we started with the Sea Biscuits, which are just adorable.

Sea Biscuits
Beth wanted to try the Charred Carrots, which seemed to be a nice side dish to a larger entree you order with it.

Charred Carrots
The Avacado Toast was amazing!! You must get this! And's not an's actually a mango... and it still explodes all over the place when you cut into it. Patience loved it as well!

Avocado Toast
The first time I went I split the double cheeseburger with Beth. Oh filling. Tons of fries!

Double Cheeseburger
A couple of weeks later, Patience and I split the Thai Cioppino...if you love shellfish and can handle a little kick, this was a delicious and hearty dish with clams, prawns, calimari, and a white fish.

Thai Cioppino
Keeping with the Polynesian theme, I had Grandma's Coconut Cake to take home both times, although I'm not sure who's Grandma is the actual baker.

Yellowbelly is going to be busy for a while, but it is definitely worth waiting at the bar for!


Yellowbelly =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Friday, November 16, 2018

River's Edge

I work out four times a week and every time I do, I drive by River's Edge. It's literally on the border between the city and the county, just before the River Des Peres, hence the name.

After being super curious and reading mixed reviews on, I finally had a friend's birthday as an excuse to try it out! He is always wanting to go someplace new, and not necessarily fancy.

Most of the comments I read were accurate, although it could have just lived up to my expectations: the service was slow, but the food is excellent. With a partially Mediterranean-themed menu, there were quite a few things I wanted to try.

The restaurant is large enough that there is a separate room for the bar, so if you just want to watch a game and drink, you can do that, although there are smaller TVs in the main restaurant too.

Since it was happy hour, we couldn't resist ordering a couple of appetizers...

Happy Hour Menu
I was most curious about the Moroccan Meatballs, even though there were only a few, I still shared!

Moroccan Meatballs
Nathan went Italian with the Bruschetta, and he was nice enough to share as well.

I started with a Greek House Salad, but after this and the appetizers, I was already almost full.

Greek House Salad
I was wanting to try something more Mediterranean, and I thought the Baked Orzo Chicken Ratatouille Casserole would be amazing. It was amazingly huge! Make sure you share this with someone. I could barely make a dent. Also, the chicken seemed more "smoked" than baked.

Baked Orzo Chicken Ratatouille Casserole
Patience was smart and just ordered mussels for her main course and then ate bites off of the other plates.

Nathan also was daring an ordered a complex paella that was a giant bowl of everything. He definitely got another meal out of it.

This one contained Roasted Chicken, Pork Bellly, Chorizo, Mussels, Shrimp, and Saffron Rice!

Don't worry... if you just want pub food, you can still get a burger or a pizza, and there are still smaller Greek dishes like gyros and lamb dishes too.

For a quick bite in the neighborhood, I do hope to make it back again.


River's Edge =

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Monday, October 1, 2018

PW Pizza Odell Brewing Beer Dinner

While the name Odell Brewing sounds familiar, I really wasn't familiar with any of their beers.

I was thrilled to start out with an Oktoberfest since that is one of the beers I generally like and this one had plenty of flavor. It paired well with the Bavarian Pretzel and trio of mustard sauces, which was a big change from the usual starter course. (You know I couldn't handle the sauce with jalapeno in the middle.)

Bavarian Pretzel
My favorite pizza of the night was the Wurst Pizza, but it wasn't the worst by far! Ha! The apple chunks, mozzarella, and sausage went well together as you would expect, although the Rupture Fresh Grind Ale was too hoppy and overpowering. At first I thought they had accidentally served the IPA a round too early!

The Wurst Pizza
The German Potato Salad Pizza was definitely something unique and I ended up getting extra slices of this one. The mustard vinaigrette and Gruyere cheese made this a tasty pizza, but again, the Odell IPA was way too bitter for me. I even made the "bitter beer face"!

German Potato Salad Pizza
Dessert was another winner with a Black Forrest Cupcake...chocolate for the second month in a row too! The 90 Shilling is a Scottish-style Amber Ale and was also quite strong despite the mid-range level of IBUs.

Black Forest Cupcake
Luckily, I got extra cupcakes from my table mates after donating most of my beers!


Odell Brewing Company =

PW Pizza =


I have walked by Turn several times on my way up to Sophie's bar on the second floor of the .ZACH building in mid-town and I was always curious about the first floor restaurant. It started out strictly breakfast and lunch, but luckily my friend Ann, who works in the building, notified me that they had recently started serving dinner Thursday - Saturday!

With the small theater right across the lobby, the location makes a perfect pre-show dining spot, but it's even better is when there is NO SHOW!

So my friends and I ended up having a lovely, quiet, Girl's Night Out with maybe only a couple of other tables occupied. A menu on the smaller side made it easier to order, but honestly, we all were torn what to pick.

For those who might be in a rush to make it to a show, you could easily make a dinner out of two or three small plates as everything we tried was delicious.

The Trio of dips included tarragon hummus, caponata, and tapenade.

Trio of dips! 
I could not tell that the Vegan Poke Tacos contained jackfruit since the mangos are what stood out the most, along with the crunch of the taco shells.

Vegan Poke Tacos
Unfortunately, I forgot to capture the Aranchini, and probably should have ordered more of them along with poutine, mussels, and baked brie that were also calling out to me.

Trying to eat a main course on top of a few small plates was quite a challenge, and I smartly brought my leftovers home.

Ann ordered the Shrimp and Grits, which were actually listed under the small plates...also known as "45s" since the chef is also a DJ. The main courses are "LPs" and dessert is the "Encore". But this was definitely main course-sized.

Shrimp and Grits
The Scallop Bowl was calling my name as well, but luckily Beth ordered it and even let us have a bite. There were a generous FIVE scallops in this dish! Beth loved the broth just as much as the scallops too.

Scallop Bowl
I admit I played it safe, but I really enjoyed the Risotto with seasonal vegetable from Urban Harvest. I definitely wanted to finish off the plate, but I wanted to bring a treat home for Patience.

Risotto with vegetables
You might not know Turn is open for dinner so if we keep it between us, it can be our special secret rendezvous spot. Yet, I have heard wonderful things about their brunch, so I definitely hope to go back, no matter what time of day!


Turn =

Monday, September 24, 2018


I had my old brunch / foodie friends back in town and they wanted to try someplace new. So I made them my guinea pigs since I had been wanting to check out Yolklore for some time.

I was initially surprised at how small the kitschy restaurant was and I suppose they always have a line out the door on the weekends? The size doesn't seem to scare off too many people, but I did notice a lot of to-go orders.

If nothing else, the time spent standing in line allowed us plenty of time to review the menu as there are some interesting unique dishes as well as plenty of typical breakfast items that can be ordered a la carte.

I ordered the Seasonal Frittata (which came with a small fruit cup) and a side of potatoes. The frittata had cheese, mushrooms, creme fresh, tomato jam, and topped with arugula. This really hit the spot!

Frittata and Potatoes
My friend Chris went traditional with the French Toast made with homemade brioche.

French Toast
Anne was brave and tried the Nest Egg, one of their specialties, where two eggs are cooked inside of a biscuit crust with bacon bits, cheddar, and pickled red onion decorating the top. Unfortunately, the "nest" part was very hard to break into to get to the goods inside.

Nest Egg
Although I'm not a coffee drinker, I was impressed that they provided reasonably-priced coffee that you can help yourself to once you order.

We were also lucky that a table for four opened up right as we got through the line, so be prepared to get a to-go order in case there are no places to sit. All items are served in recyclable trays that can easily be converted into a traveling container.


Yolklore =

Sunday, September 23, 2018

PW Pizza Earthbound Beer Dinner

I definitely think the weirdest beers in town are from Earthbound Beer. I've been to the old and new brewery locations and I'm still never quite sure about the beer I'm picking out.

We definitely had a weird beer right out of the gate with the Fuzzy Pickle Gose. I'm not the biggest fan of Gose beers and then adding a pickle smell on the nose...OY! Just when you think it can't get any weirder, the pickle beer was paired with a Watermelon Gazpacho! I left a lot behind this course...

Watermelon Gazpacho
Yet, Earthbound also brought very normal beers such as the Irish Red Ale. (There aren't too many local breweries doing red beers so this was nice to see.) This beer was well paired with the Roasted Turkey Pizza that came with Gruyere, Brussels sprouts, and bacon on top. (Luckily all the bits I didn't like were well covered by the cheese!)

Roasted Turkey Pizza
Back to the strange flavors, the Doing It Extreme IPA was paired with a Pork Chop Pizza. Nothing wrong with that per se, but the pizza also came with grilled peaches on top. I believe the name of the beer came from all the variations of hops that went into the beer.

Pork Chop Pizza
Luckily, all these weird beers and pairings meant that I had plenty of room for dessert - finally a chocolate one! The Chocolate Cake was well paired with the Midnight Mass Stout.

Chocolate Cake
I probably won't ever like anything too out of the norm. I guess I'm getting old and predictable in my old age! HA!


Earthbound Beer =

Third Wheel Brewing

As much as we love all the craft breweries popping up, we don't usually cross over into St. Charles County much.

Regardless, Third Wheel Brewing had been on my list for a while since I'm a big fan of Abbey Spencer. I first met Abbey at Craft Beer Cellar as my cicerone instructor. This was the first time I had met a female who knew a TON about beer. (I know she is tired of talking about it, but it's a true statement.) Not to mention she is a super cool person overall.

I was totally stoked to hear that she was opening up her own brewery and that it's been well received. I couldn't wait to try it for myself.

Most of the time, Patience and I want to try the whole menu, but this time I just flat out ordered way too much food. For a brewery, they have a large selection of items to choose from. For those of us who drove all the way over from the city, we (mostly me) were starving, and that is probably what lead to all the extra ordering. Whoops!

Third Wheel sticks out in the strip mall that it's in, but the huge warehouse interior makes it a perfect space for a brewery.

Third Wheel Brewing
Even on a busy Friday night, there were still quite a few open tables and you can just seat yourself since it's also "serve yourself". You can't miss the huge bar in the middle for ordering drinks (they have more than just beer!), with a window opening on the side of one wall for food. And you can easily see the brewery magic happening at the far end through large windows.

The best part of the brewery was that everything is CLEARLY LABELED with huge signs.

The best way to tackle ordering the food and the beer was to split up...half of us went for beer, while the rest of us ordered at the kitchen opening. They smartly gave out buzzers to avoid any overcrowding near the food window too.

I was sad that the poutine was already sold out, but at least I still got to try the deviled eggs and a couple of types of chicken wings. The Cherry Wings were the best, although I could handle the "spicy" wings easily.

Cherry Wings and a beer flight

Spicy Wings
The deviled eggs were unlike any other I have ever had! Squares?!?! I had to pull the bacon strips out, but the chipotle maple syrup still gave plenty of flavor.

Deviled Eggs
My friends didn't help me much with the eggs as they were too busy with the pork rinds, officially known as Cracklin' Chicharrones. You can also get them dusted with a Red Hot Riplet seasoning and they come with a Chipotle Ranch dip on the side.

Cracklin' Chicharrones
Since we all loaded up on appetizers, not too many of us could make it through our main dishes. I highly recommend splitting something!

Classic Brew Cheese Burger and Waffle Fries
 The Ophelia Grilled Chicken is brined in Third Wheel's Olphelia's Wit!

Ophelia Grilled Chicken Sandwich and side salad
The Trixie Grilled Cheese is also no joke as it comes with four types of cheese on Mr. Meowski's sourdough bread!

Trixie Grilled Cheese and Waffle Fries
I made the mistake of ordering a Grilled Chicken salad and beer cheese soup. The salad was HUGE. I got through the soup and some of the chicken. I was just too full from wings and eggs!

Pan Seared Chicken Salad and Beer Cheese Soup
With all this food, especially all the spicy options, I was happy that there were plenty of lighter beers to balance it all out.

I hope they can keep up with the large and diverse beer menu because there was something for everyone (lighter beers for me, stouts for Pai, Irish for Julia) and everyone was happy.

There are a few different flight choices so you can do a sampling too.

Make sure you get to this's worth the trip!

By the time we were done, we needed ALL the wheels to get us home!


Third Wheel Brewing =

Photos by Patience Scanlon