This Week's Dish: Spare No Rib Named to Zagat's Hottest BBQ Joints, Chef Chris Lee Launches Prepared Meal Service

By Heather Riske
In Food

Spare No Rib was named to Zagat’s 15 Hottest BBQ Joints in America, joining the ranks of newcomers in Atlanta, Dallas and Kansas City, among other cities. The Benton Park spot opened last November, and was recognized by Zagat in particular for its “don’t-miss” ribs with a cumin-coriander-cinnamon rub, pulled pork sandwiches and variety of street tacos and sandwiches. “In the new school of St. Louis, smoked meats are accompanied by salads and Mexican food,” Zagat says. “Find ribs and pulled pork, but beware the fish tacos, which, while excellent, can hardly be called barbecue.” The post also gave a nod to Spare No Rib’s sides, including baked beans, sweet corn and coleslaw. 2200 Gravois Ave. Ste. 101, Benton Park, 314.202.8244

Torta with Mexican bread, grilled steak, house-smoked pork belly, lettuce, tomato, and Chipotle mayo. Photo courtesy of Spare No Rib.

Torta with Mexican bread, grilled steak, house-smoked pork belly, lettuce, tomato, and Chipotle mayo. Photo courtesy of Spare No Rib.

After just a few months, Chef Chris Lee has left Mad Tomato to launch Chef’s Table STL, a prepared meal delivery service and catering company. The service provides affordable, chef-inspired meals and delivers them straight to customers’ homes. Lee decided to start the new endeavor after friends requested his help creating diet-specific meals. Currently, Chef’s Table STL is using the kitchen at Wild Flower in the Central West End while Lee hunts for a commissary kitchen, as reported by Sauce Magazine. Prices range from $5 to $9, and a different menu will be published each month. The July menu includes soups, salads made to order, sides like roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower rice pilaf, small plates such as Maki rolls and crispy Bora Bora meatballs and entrees including seared chicken, shepherd’s pie, pan-roasted salmon and gyro salad.

Renowned sushi chef Naomi “Hama” Hamamura is making a move, too. Sauce Magazine reports that Hamamura, previously executive chef at the Wasabi location Downtown, has been hired as the chef at The Dining District, the prepared foods and dining section inside the highly anticipated United Provisions grocery store. Hamamura has worked at a handful of restaurants in the St. Louis area, including the now-defunct Japanese steakhouse Robata of Japan and the Ritz-Carlton, and he also owned and operated Sansui and Sansui West, which are now closed.

Anthony Recker, backup catcher for the Mets and an amateur chef, gave the Wall Street Journal a list of his favorite spots to eat across the National League, and Pappy’s Smokehouse made the cut. “There’s always going to be a line, but the barbecue is amazing,” Recker told the paper. “It’s not far from downtown. The burnt ends are freaking awesome, the burnt end sandwich, amazing. The ribs are really good, too. Pulled pork. Everything. They’ve won a ton of awards. It’s awesome.” 3106 Olive St., Midtown, 314.535.4340

On Wednesday, July 30 at 3pm, 4 Hands Brewing Co. will release Volume #2 in their popular Wood Series in honor of St. Louis Craft Beer Week. The Wood Series is an ongoing series focusing on high-gravity ales aged in American spirit barrels. Volume #2 is an Old Ale aged in Bourbon barrels. “The character of the whiskey blends beautifully with a strong malt base,” 4 Hands says. “The resulting beer is full-bodied, combining rich caramel sweetness with robust Bourbon intensity.” If you can’t make it to the brewery on Wednesday, you can also purchase tickets on Tuesday good for one bottle. All bottles, at $12.99 plus tax, will need to be picked up by Friday, Aug. 1. 1220 S. Eighth St., Downtown, 314.436.1559

Yoga Buzz STL is a new project from certified yoga instructor Elle Potter that combines yoga and craft beer. Potter has taught yoga since 2008, and became more interested in beer a few years later as Community Manager for Zephyr Adventures, where she ran two seasons of annual conferences for beer, wine, fitness, health and food bloggers. Yoga Buzz STL combines her interests, offering an approachable way for newcomers to try yoga as well as a way to introduce yogis to the craft of beer and wine. The first session of Yoga Buzz STL will take place from 6 to 8pm this Thursday at the Schlafly Taproom. Tickets are $15, and the event benefits the St. Louis Brewers Guild. They’ll have live music from Lizzie Weber, and you can stick around after the yoga class for tastings of several Schlafly brews. Other upcoming events include more brewery classes at Urban Chestnut Grove Brewery & Bierhall on Aug. 7 and Morgan Street Brewery on Aug. 26, as well as a Yoga, Food, & Wine Retreat to Umbria, Italy, in November. 2100 Locust St., Downtown, 314.241.2337

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