Schlafly's brewpubs, although known primarily for their craft beers, put just as much effort and though into their menu, seeking out high quality food from local sources. From the grilled cheese to the pulled pork to the ribs to the pizza, every dish has a little something extra to make it special (oftentimes, the little something involves fresh, local goat cheese, a decision that Gut Check supports wholeheartedly).
In the case of Bottleworks' (7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; 314-241-2337) turkey melt, the secret's in the sauce (and by "sauce" we mean "preserves"). The sandwich consists of thick slices of smoked turkey, a layer of baby spinach, a slab of warm brie and chunky sweet-but-not-too-sweet peach preserves on two slices of Companion bread, grilled to crispy, slightly buttery perfection. The preserves and brie compliment each other wonderfully, and even without the turkey, could make a satisfying sandwich. Think a more grown-up grilled cheese.
Normally the turkey melt's served with a side of slaw, but for $1.50 you can upgrade (at least, we feel it's an upgrade) to a side field greens salad. The field greens are topped with thick hunks of goat cheese, almond slivers, croutons and Bottleworks' warm, thick, sweet vanilla vinaigrette, which, we must admit, we've tried many times (and failed) to duplicate at home. Right now, the field greens salad comes with perfectly ripe grape tomatoes -- a nice contrast to some of the tomatoes we've been served lately.
Beginning last year, RFT restaurant critic Ian Froeb counted down -- in no particular order -- 100 of his favorite dishes in St. Louis. Now Gut Check has taken up where he left off. Check back frequently as we detail our 100 favorites, and don't hesitate to send us yours, too, either via the comments thread or at email@example.com.
#71: The Vegetarian Platter at Ranoush #72: Vegetarian Meatballs at Lucas Park Grille #73: Sizzling Rice Soup at Hunan and Peking Garden #74: Straw and Hay Pasta at Trattoria Marcella #75: Spaghetti Pomodoro at Babbo's Spaghetteria #76: Shrimp Fajitas at El Matador #77: Vegetable Quesadilla at Chava's #78: Companion Rustic Olive Bread #79: Salt and Pepper Shrimp from Wei Hong #80: Ba-Mee Mhoo Dang at Basil Spice #81: Catfish Platter at the Gumbo Shop #82: Shrimp & Andouille Flatbread at the Shaved Duck #83: Vegetarian Pasta at Terrene #84: Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms at Zia's #85: Legend Club at LeGrand's Market & Catering #86: City Coffeehouse & Crêperie's Nutella-Banana Crêpe #87: Raw Vegetable Lasagna at Scape #88: Quesadilla Azteca from Tower Tacos #89: The Perfect Pear at Foundation Grounds #90: Banh Mi Sandwich from Sweet Art #91: Chicken and Dumplings at Yummies Soul Food Cafe #92: Cuban Sandwich from La Tropicana #93: The Prosperity at Ruma's Deli #94: Cherry Cheese Danish from Missouri Baking Company #95: Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse #96: Egg Salad Sandwich at Township Grocer #97: Cheeseburger and Fries (Extra Crispy) at O'Connell's Pub #98 Mussels & Fries at Brasserie by Niche #99: Beef Taquitos Mexicanos at El Indio #100: Spinach Artichoke Dip at Cafe Eau