by Ian Froeb
The Gut Check One Hundred is our accounting of the 100 dishes in St. Louis that you must eat right now. These are the best dishes at the newest restaurants and the newest dishes at the best restaurants. These are the 100 dishes that define St. Louis dining in 2013. Our list culminates this fall when the Riverfront Times Best of St. Louis 2013 names the "Best Dish" of the year.
Since taking over as chef at Quincy Street Bistro (6931 Gravois Avenue; 314-353-1588), Rick Lewis has turned this unassuming corner bar and grill into one of St. Louis' most satisfying spots. You want a burger? Lewis serves one of the best in town. You want Southern-accented comfort food? Lewis offers buttermilk-soaked fried chicken, corn-fried catfish and pimento cheese in more dishes than you might have thought possible.
Right now, though, I'm obsessed with the BLT sandwich.
As I wrote in my review of Quincy Street Bistro a few months ago, Lewis doesn't assemble this BLT ($8) so much as craft it. The bacon is house-cured, thickly sliced and then grilled. It's delicious, of course, but the real star of the sandwich are the tomatoes -- to be precise, fried green tomatoes. The first time I ate them these were cut into wedges; on my recent return, they were more conventional slices. Either way, they are delicious, their jackets of crisply fried batter yielding to the tart and nearly molten interior. Fresh greens and a spicy Cajun mayo complete the sandwich.
Vegetarians need not feel entirely left out. Quincy Street's "Green Tomato Po' Boy" gives you the fried green tomatoes, greens and Cajun mayo, with pickles taking the place (to the extent that anything can) of the bacon.
Is there a dish that you think belongs among the Gut Check One Hundred 2013? Let us know!
The Gut Check One Hundred 2013 (So Far)
- Home Wine Kitchen's Fried Chicken - Riverbend Restaurant & Bar's Red Beans and Rice - Fork & Stix's Sai Oua with Naam Prik Nuum - Gobble Stop Smokehouse's Turkey Tips - Seoul Taco's Burrito - Five Star Burger's Green Chile Cheeseburger - Olio's Octopus Salad - Dressel's Porchetta "Louie"
- Cleveland- Heath's Seared Beef Tongue - Cleveland-Heath's Cauliflower Soup - Pastaria's Italian Ramen - Pi Pizzeria's "Grove" Pizza - Famous Szechuan Pavilion's Spicy Wonton Soup (Novice) or Yu Shan Pork (Advanced) - La Tejana Taqueria's Goat Soup - Hendricks BBQ's Ribs - Sauce on the Side's "Costanza" Calzone - Siete Luminarias' Guanajuato-Style Carnitas - Fork & Stix's Khao Soi