Sunday, August 2, 2020

Where we are quaran-dining in July

Unfortunately, I was not able to participate in "Take-out Friday" early in the month, but managed to squeeze in some winners and luckily, there are FIVE Friday nights in July this year!

When things didn't go as planned, a quick comfort meal of Chicken Lo Mein from LuLu's Asian Kitchen hit the spot. They are on our short list of top notch Chinese take out and be sure to hit up all of LuLu's restaurants.

Chicken Lo Mein
Getting back to supporting hyper local restaurants, I finally got the chance to pick up dinner from Biggie's, one of the places I walk by frequently when getting my exercise in. As soon as I said Biggie's, Patience said "STEAK SAMMICH"!! They put it on cheesy garlic bread so you know it's pretty amazing.

Steak Sandwich
I decided to try something different...Chicken Marc's (who is Marc?) is chicken topped with meat sauce, chopped broccoli, ceram sauce, cheese, parmesan, and then baked. You know I loved all that cheesy goodness on top, although the top was a little crunchy.

Chicken Marc's

Then we wrapped up the end of July with a repeat of El Paisano!

Resources:

LuLu's Asian Kitchen = https://www.luluasiankitchenolive.com/

Biggie's = https://biggiesrestaurant.com/

Saturday, July 25, 2020

PW Pizza Rahr and Sons Beer Dinner

One of the few times I can get Pai to leave the house during the week is to go to our monthly PW Pizza beer dinners so it's one of the things we miss attending A LOT.

In June, PW Pizza has started up a "take out" version of their beer dinner by packaging a four course meal, along with the paired beers! (This way you don't have to worry about sell outs either!) This is a nice way of getting back to things we used to love to do.

Half and Half PW Pizza...smelled sooooo good!
I had never heard of Rahr & Sons and I did miss the background information that the invited speaker would normally give, but it looks like the beer is from Fort Worth, Texas.

The Popeye Hawaiian Salad was a generous portion, so we had to save some of that for another night. This was paired with the very light (4.5% ABV) Adios Pantelones. Definitely a summer beer that you'll want to drink when it's hot out, so the title is a fit! (I really loved the pineapple chunks with the raspberry vinagrette dressing.)

Popeye Hawaiian Salad

First Course
The winning pairing of the night, believe it or not, was the Pork Schnitzel Pizza. Yes, I said pork. Yet, the pork was very breaded so it tasted like chicken to me and the spaetzle was covered in provolone. The Blone Helles Lager was so smooth and easy to drink, I preferred it over the first beer.

Pork Schnitzel Pizza
The Quad Pep Pizza (is that a college campus reference?) defintiely had a lot of "pep"...pepperoni and peppers to give it a kick. The Dadgum IPA was wisely paired with it, but the hops were not for me. This is when we really missed our beer dinner tablemates. (Don't worry, Pai stepped up and finished all the beer.)

Quad Pep Pizza
The dessert course included a delicious Gooey Butter Cake and again was smartly paired with the Ugly Pug, a Schwarzbier, or black beer. Very smooth to drink, much like a guiness.

Gooey Butter Cake

Dessert Course
Definitely looking forward to more of these "take out beer dinners" as it gives me an extra night off from cooking, as well as bringing back more pizza into our lives again!

Rahr & Sons Menu
Please feel free to email me if you'd like me to pass on the information on the next beer dinner. Unlimited diners can sign up!

Resources:

PW Pizza = https://pwpizza.com/

Rahr & Sons = https://rahrbrewing.com/

Friday, June 5, 2020

Where we are quaran-dining in June

I realized that the original blog post for our quaran-dining series March through May was getting rather long so I think I will start a new post for June.

Week 11 - June 5th: To keep with the theme of this week, Pai suggested we select a POC-owned restaurant, so her pick was Krab Kingz on Delmar. This "seafood boil" dinner was one of the best we've had in a while, and we definitely prefer the tin pan over a plastic baggie.

The Loaded Platter - Crab Leg Boil
Patience ordered an extra "crab bundle" so that we wouldn't fight over three of them. As a bonus, there were a couple of hard boiled eggs as well. Plenty of shrimp and potatoes and andouille sausage leftover for dinner tomorrow night too!

Week 12 - June 12th: I was talking to our bestie Julia about how she still has never had Mai Lee so we used this week's take out meal to finally pop that cherry! We ordered some Korean BBQ beef and rice for her, while Pai got her favorite duck curry and I ordered the rice noodles (yes I always get #65 so deal)!

Week 13 - June 19th: While I was out of town, Patience took a video of her Salt + Smoke dinner. She must have missed me because she ordered for two! Geez!


Week 14 - June 26th: We're trying a new restaurant! How exciting! I heard a lot of rave reviews from those early adopters of Chicken Out.

I ordered the Mo Parm Mo Fowl sandwich (clever!) and got THREE sides so I could try them all! Crinkle Fries (with cheese sauce of course), Mac & Cheese (duh) and the Old Skool Creamy Slaw (tasty). My andwich was seriously messy and I saved half so I could eat the sides. hehe

Chicken Out Chicken Parm sandwich with sides
This is a great addition to the loop and the college kids are going to love it. I hope it'll be open late on weekends for them too.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Where we are quaran-dining

Yesterday I was asked where we are ordering from as I have been promoting a once a week "order out" to everyone.

I feel like A LOT of restaurants now have their curb side or delivery services set up so there are quite a few choices out there. But my strong recommendation is to order your favorites so that your favorites will still be there after this is over. Also, order local or hyper local in your area of town.

We have mostly chosen places that we can order through Postmates, but there are also a handful of delivery services so that you do not have to leave your house!

You can find a restaurant on the St. Louist Post-Dispatch's page:
https://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/dining/restaurants/restaurants-where-you-can-get-takeout-and-delivery-in-the/html_fc41d5c6-d9ec-5031-858b-0236b6deb60b.html

Both of the STLfoodie magazines have lists on their websites as well.

Anyway, here is our list thus far:

Week 1 - March 18th: Our beer dinner was cancelled so we ordered PW Pizza. Looks like it's going to be cancelled agains this month as well.

Week 2 - March 27th: Pai was craving Mexican, so we ordered from Mission Taco Joint, which then lead us to purchasing avacados and queso each week.

Week 3 - April 3rd: When Pai isn't craving guac, she craves ramen. Nudo House was the easy choice there.

Nudo House Ramen
Week 3 1/2 - April 7th: We ordered various sundries from the Tower Grove Farmer's Market, which they deliver on Saturday mornings. Boxes of produce, meat, etc, go live on Tuesdays at Noon! We finally got our hands on some Larder & Cupboard jams and Baetje Farms goat cheese.

Larder & Cupboard Jam
Week 4 - April 10th: A this point, I had been getting inaundated with Pasta House emails. (They have some really good deals and they deliver!)

Week 5 - April 17th: Pai saw a Facebook post that Felix's Pizza would be selling all their pizzas in 18 inches! We also got the trashed wings too.

Week 5 1/2 - April 21st: I had ordered from Katie's Pizza and Pasta as they have switched to selling frozen pizza and pasta bakes. Since their delivery takes 3-5 business days to order, it made for an easy meal during the week. It's easy to order from their website, and it makes a great gift to someone (just make sure it's in their delivery range).

Katie's Pizza and Pasta - Pasta Bake
Week 6 - April 24th: Pai had ANOTHER crazing for Mai Lee. You can't go too long without it! Nothing really needs to be said here... you know how good they are.

Week 7 - May 1st: Since this question was originally asked by our friends in Webster Groves, they said they had ordered from Guerilla Street Food repeatedly, so I felt as though we needed to take our turn. We hadn't had it in forever and we had really missed it.

Guerilla Street Food Chicken Adobo
Week 7 1/2 - May 5th:We celebrated a friend's 40th birthday in her front yard spaced apart with Olympia Kebob House. It was a little messy to eat, but it made for a fun picnic.

Olympia House Baklava 
Week 8 - May 8th: Since the birthday dinner fell on Cinco de Mayo, we celebrated Ocho de Mayo instead with El Paisano, which is our neighborhood Mexican restaurant and I walk by it just about every day on my walk.

El Paisano 
Week 9 - May 12th: Pai wanted Nudo House again...she has to have it at least once a month! At least I mixed it up by ordering Yo Lo Mein with chicken this time around.

Yo Lo Mein with chicken

Week 10 - May 19th: SOMEONE wanted a margarito and we knew that we could get some to go from La Catrina, which is our friend's favorite place. I always get soft tacos and the usual rice and beans come with it. To prevent a fight, we each got our own bag of chips, guac, salsa, and queso! hehe We did have some leftovers, but definitely on purpose.

Tacos, chips, salsa, guac, queso, and margaritas!

Week 11 - May 26th: I've been focused on dining at restaurants in my neighborhood and luckily I have A LOT of options. I'm biased when it comes to Aya Sofia since the owners are good friends. I really should go more often and I really should order something different. But I get the same thing EVERY TIME! Musakka!!

Turkish Salad

Musakka
This was plenty for two meals!! And don't forget about dessert! Baklava!


Baklava
To see where we ate in June for Quaran-dining, go here: https://www.stlcheesegirl.com/2020/06/where-we-are-quaran-dining-in-june.html





Sunday, March 22, 2020

Vom Fass Raclette Class

While helping to close down Larder and Cupboard, my friend Cindy's store at the end of 2019, we reminisced about our favorite classes that were held there.

My favorite class has to be the "Raclette Class", where scraping melted raclette from a fancy cheese-heating machine was the grand finale. See: https://www.stlcheesegirl.com/2016/05/fondue-class-at-larder-and-cupboard.html

Cindy immediately perked up and shared that Vom Fass, her Swedish retail next door neighbor, was hosting a raclette class at the end of February! We both signed up immediately!

Vom Fass
Since it's a lot of work, Vom Fass only holds these classes a couple of times a years. (They could probably make a mint doing it once a month!) Heads up...next one is rumored to be in November.

If you love cheese, even half as much as I do, this is an awesome experience.

The store is closed at night to make room for three large, round tables, with a hot plate in the center of each one. Just below the cooking surface for the meats are rows of small squares to melt your cheese. Vom Fass perfectly cut aged and young swiss slices to be placed on the squares so the meats and cheese all get hot together before they are combined on your plate.

Table spread with meats cooking in the middle...
The table is also covered with various toppings too...bacon, ham, pineapple, corn, gherkins pickles, black olives, garlic, and bread. And you can have a small potato as well.

Before...
I made sure to cut up the potato first so when the cheese was melted, I could smother the potato as well as the cooked meats I picked out.

And after! Meat, cheese, mushroom, and tomatoes covered in cheese!
In addition to the slices of beer, tomatoes, garlic, and mushrooms were my favorite items to be topped by cheese.

The $65 also covers drinks... we started off with some rose bubbles to clear the palatte, and bottles of both red and white wine poured by the staff throughout the night!

This is a great social event as you have lots of time to chit chat with your table mates while the meat cooks and you can see how others are adding toppings to their cheese.

And somehow there is always room for dessert! The owner's husband made these beautiful panna cottas himself!
Panna Cotta
You can check for upcoming classes at Vom Fass (hopefully things will be back to normal come May) here: https://www.vomfassusa.com/blogs/events

Resources:

Vom Fass = https://www.vomfassusa.com/blogs/stores/st-louis

Larder and Cupboard = https://www.instagram.com/larder_cupboard/

Pictures by Patience Scanlon

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Kitchen Conservatory with Nico Shumpert

Normally I don't take cooking classes, much less fancy cooking classes at Kitchen Conservatory, but over the holiday season, we decided to treat ourselves to signing up for one of Chef Marianne Moore's classes - with cocktails to boot.

Cocktails R Go stirred up the drinks and the class was appropriately called "Booze and Bites"!

While the cocktails were a smash, unfortunately, Chef Marianne was not available to teach the class.

--record scratch--

This isn't the first time I failed to get Chef Marianne to cook for us.

Instead, we got the opportunity to meet Nico Shumpert... an "up and comer" in the St. Louis scene.

Chef Nico Shumpert
We got a front row seat for his culinary show... delicious food and great stories! I hope you catch him around town, although he mostly does private cheffing these days.

Anyway, here are some of our boozy bites...

I told Nico to go easy on the spice for the Spicy Cannellini Bean and Prosciutto Flatbread with Gin and Tonic Quick Pickles. I could have eaten a whole tray of these babies.

Spicy Cannellini Bean and Prosciutto Flatbread with Gin and Tonic Quick Pickles
Of course it was paired with "The Best Gin and Tonic" made from local product Pinckney Bend gin and Pinckey Bend tonic syrup! (That's where the pink comes from.)

Goat cheese with a BOOZY tomato jam...what the what??

Sure enough, 1/4 cup dry gin was mixed into the jam!

Crostini with Whipped Goat Cheese and Boozy Tomato Jam
Another favorite for me was the Blini with Gin Cured Salmon, Crispy Capers, and Dill Creme Fraiche.
Blini with Gin Cured Salmon, Crispy Capers, and Dill Creme Fraiche
Blini's remind me of brunch and with brunch, a French 75 is well paired with this!

More goat cheese was used to hold together the Apricot Truffles with Toasted Pistachios.

Goat Cheese and Apricot Truffles with Toasted Pistachios
Another full flavored Spicy Garlic Prawns with Warm Baguettes and Charred Lemon

Spicy Garlic Prawns with Warm Baguettes and Charred Lemon
The night was rounded out with a Vesper, also known as a James Bond Martini. (Shaken, not stirred.)

Cocktail Menu
And if kitchen gadgets is your bag, you're going to love all the items for sale at Kitchen Conservatory too!

Resources:

Kitchen Conservatory = https://www.kitchenconservatory.com/

Nico Shumpert = https://nicoshumpert.com/

Marianne Moore = https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariannemoore/

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Bulrush

"Wow," Patience said. And that was just the first thing we ate...the Loaded Cornbread.

Loaded Cornbread
"God damn delicious," said Beth, in summary.

Let's just say Bulrush exceeded my expectations.

Fun  Cocktail Menu Cover!
My birthday kept rolling right along and this is another top restaurant that you should try this year. Oh, by the way, we were only sitting at the bar with the limited menu and that was amazing on its own.

The cockatil menu is quite extensive though, with a lot of seats around three sides the bar. I highly recommend going during the week to get a spot.

Cocktail Menu
Beautiful cocktails

Pai's Manhattan
The bar's food menu is "shown" on the wall.

Bar menu
The Venison Burgers were soft and tender, so we ended up ordering two orders of these.

Venison Sliders
When I saw "Bread & Pickles", I thought they meant "slices" of pickle, but it actually consisted of a variety of pickled apples, beets, and a couple of other vegetables.

Bread & Pickles
All the items were a dense collection of flavors, with many layers, and I was surprised to feel full at the end.

And when you share small plates, that means there is room to try BOTH desserts!

Pawpaw Bread tasted more like a dense carrot cake.

Pawpaw Bread
The Acorn Macarons just melted in your mouth. Oh my! I would have sworn it was chocolate.

Acorn Macarons
Hopefully someday I will get the chance to try the full menu, where you get to sit at a bar in front of the chefs, but it is pricy.

And before you go...it's tradition to get your picture taken in front of the colorful, artsy wall!

Beth, Pai, and I
Make sure you put this restaurant on your list for this year! I have no doubt the menu will be seasonal, so be sure to hurry and go for each season.

Resources:

Bulrush = http://bulrushstl.com/

Photos by Patience Scanlon

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

PW Pizza Cigar City Brewing

Patience is a huge fan of Cigar City Brewing from Tampa, Florida, so it was random luck that they were picked to kick off the 2020 PW Pizza Beer dinner series!

As per usual, the first course was my favorite since it was the lightest beer of the night. The Florida Cracker is not some kind of slur, but a reference to the colonial-era settlers and the crack of their whips. Regardless, this Belgian style white ale had a lot of flavor. The canjun shrimp had a little bit of kick, but luckily there was plenty of cheesy grits to cool off with.

Cajun Shrimp & Cheesy Grits
The Four Pocket Pizza was a reference to the four pockets that you'll find on a guayabera shirt, the quentessential shirt you'll find a Cuban man wearing when you think of Cuba. I also learned that with four pockets and two hands, you'll be able to carry a six pack!

The tropical theme carried onto the pizza, which had pineapple and four pockets worth of cheese. (A little on the greasy side with nothing to soak it up, unfortunately.) The Guayabera Citra Pale Ale was another winning beer for me since the beer was actually not too hoppy.

Four Pocket Pizza
I love the name, Jai Alai, for the next beer (an IPA) since I remember my parents used to go and watch the game and gamble on the players many years ago. (I won't say how many!) While my tablemates raved about how mild the flavor was, I got nothing but hops. This was the best pairing since the large amounts of BBQ pork matched the flavor well.

Pilota Pizza
I was not too thrilled that a Double IPA, the Florida Man, was saved for the dessert course. At least the hoppiness cut through the sweetness, but I'd rather have the sweetness any day. Florida Man definitely had the most fun label.

Warm Chocolate Bread Pudding
Yet, the best beer for Patience, an imperial stout, served as the bonus beer down in the 21st street bar. So at least she got to drink a pint of it, and I would definitely recommend it if you love those big beers.

Menu
Here's hoping someday we can go and visit this brewery in person!

Resources:


Cigar City Brewing = https://www.cigarcitybrewing.com/