The Animal is Back: Look Inside The Dam

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       Hand-packed sliders at The Dam's soft opening. | Nancy Stiles
  •        Hand-packed sliders at The Dam's soft opening. | Nancy Stiles

Ladies and gentlemen, the Animal is finally back! The Dam (3173 Morgan Ford Road; 314-771-3173) had its soft opening Monday night, and friends and family got to taste the hand-packed burgers, hand-cut fries and homemade dipping sauces. There were also drinks courtesy of next-door-neighbor Amsterdam Tavern (3175 Morgan Ford Road; 314-772-8224).

See also: - The Dam to Open August 12 - The Dam to Open Next to Amsterdam Tavern - Big V's "Animal": An Appreciation

       Homemade cookies, brownies and cupcakes. | Nancy Stiles
  •        Homemade cookies, brownies and cupcakes. | Nancy Stiles

"The Animal and the Mean Green, which is a big favorite -- our veggie burger -- will both be on the menu here," owner Michele Racanelli tells Gut Check. The meat, a black angus beef, is delivered fresh every day from Miller Creek Farm and is antibiotic- and hormone-free and served on Companion buns.

Non-alcoholic drinks are also local; Coen uses a company from Illinois called Excel Soda. The drinks, like old-fashioned grape soda, root beer and black cherry soda, are made with real cane sugar. The Dam will also be serving to patrons of Amsterdam Tavern; the owners are longtime friends of Racanelli. "We all actually went to high school together at Bishop DuBourg. We're all south city kids," she says. "South city girl opens place in the neighborhood she grew up with the guys next door -- it's going to be a good fit!"

       Peeled and hand-cut Belgian-style fries with homemade chili mayo. | Nancy Stiles
  •        Peeled and hand-cut Belgian-style fries with homemade chili mayo. | Nancy Stiles

Continue for more photos.

       The Dam's soft opening. | Nancy Stiles
  •        The Dam's soft opening. | Nancy Stiles
       The food raffle at The Dam's soft opening. | Nancy Stiles
  •        The food raffle at The Dam's soft opening. | Nancy Stiles
       Burger and baby-toting guests at Amsterdam Taver, next door. | Nancy Stiles
  •        Burger and baby-toting guests at Amsterdam Taver, next door. | Nancy Stiles
       The Dam has about 20 seats around the counter. | Nancy Stiles
  •        The Dam has about 20 seats around the counter. | Nancy Stiles
       Busy already! | Nancy Stiles
  •        Busy already! | Nancy Stiles

You can check out the full menu here. The Dam's grand opening will be Thursday, August 15.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. Email the author at nancy.stiles@riverfronttimes.com or follow her on Twitter.


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