An Eclectic Diner in St. Louis’ Central West End

At Kingside Diner in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood, restaurateur Aaron Teitelbaum has developed a menu full of unanticipated contradictions. One could opt for waffles with sausage gravy and cheddar cheese, a kale salad with spiced pepitas and grilled cauliflower, or even gluten-free quinoa pancakes. Paleo protein bars aren’t out of place alongside cinnamon rolls or the Kingside Slinger—a pile of eggs, hash browns, chorizo chili and pulled pork—which recently made an appearance on the Cooking Channel show, Cheap Eats.

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There’s also Teitelbaum’s favorite, the chicken sandwich. “The batter on the chicken is light and fluffy,” he says. “We do a pimento-cheese spread on there that’s spectacular and a coleslaw with Dijonaise that makes it unique.” It’s a departure from the fine-dining restaurant which Teitelbaum also owns, Herbie’s, but there are also clear synergies. Both reflect the highest of expectations for delicious food and beautiful ambiance, each delicately inlaid into its surroundings.

Well-integrated into the “chess campus” of the Central West End neighborhood, both the World Chess Hall of Fame and Chess Club and Scholastic Center are nearby, where passersby can bear witness to the intersection of art, history and culture of the game.

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Teitelbaum is also looking to expand the venue’s bar program, which should be an easy sell in summer when the weather begs for patio seating and frosty beverages, like those boozy shakes. They’re made with ice cream from the local legend Crown Candy Kitchen—in case you’re in need of another reason to try one.

While Teitelbaum reflects fondly on his days working exclusively as a chef, he has seen his own personal strengths of team leadership, encouragement and motivation flourish.

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