This Week's Dish: Sump Snags First And Second Place At Coffee Fest, Enjoy An Italian Evening At Al Fresco At The Cheshire, Heavy Riff Brewing Co. To Serve Vernon's BBQ

 In Food

St. Louis’ coffee community was buzzing with excitement following the great success of Sump Coffee and Goshen Coffee Company at Coffee Fest in Downtown. Sump barista, Dylan Connell, nabbed first place in the America’s Best Espresso competition, beating out Goshen Coffee, whose shots were still good enough to clinch second. Come October, Connell will make the trip out to Portland, Oregon, in order to compete in the national competition against the five other regional Coffee Fest winners. Sump also competed in the America’s Best Coffeehouse competition, where owner Scott Corey and his team won second place.

Image courtesy of Sump Coffee ALIVE Magazine Coffee Fest Competition Saint Louis St. Louis STL

Image courtesy of Sump Coffee Co.

With the warmer weather certainly here to stay, embrace the pool and patio season while enjoying a taste of Italy at Al Fresco at the Cheshire, on June 12 from 6-10pm. Guests will savor seasonal Italian dishes, crafted by Basso chef Patrick Connolly, along with refreshing Pinnacle Vodka cocktails, craft brews from Urban Chestnut and live music from a DJ starting at 7pm. Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door and can be purchased here.

An ideal summertime pairing is in the works at Heavy Riff Brewing Company, where guests will soon be able to enjoy Vernon’s BBQ, while sipping on one of the microbrewery’s craft pints. Popular items from Vernon’s storefront in University City like the “porktopia” that’s loaded with pulled pork, pulled ribs, smoked ham and house-cured pineapple-ginger baconwill be available along with other hot and cold sandwiches. Vernon’s also intends to incorporate Heavy Riff products into the menu with beer-inspired dishes and by baking bread made from the spent grain of the brewing process.

The food truck craze continues in St. Louis with news that the former Memphis mobile eatery, Graze, has moved to Franklin County. Owner Amelia Timms brings a focus on fresh, local fare with a seasonal menu anchored on a rotating variety of salads and sandwiches. Many of her dishes are influenced by the flavors she experienced during years of traveling from military base to military base with her naval officer husband. Catch the newest St. Louis food truck rolling on the streets by following Graze on Facebook or Twitter, @GrazeFoodTruck.

In other food truck news, Shaw Park in Clayton has teamed up with the St. Louis Food Truck Association to launch Food Truck Sundays. The new food-truck event kicked off on June 8 and will also occur on the second Sundays of July and August. Deli on a Roll, Holy Crepe and Bombay Food Junkies were just a few of the ten trucks on the lineup. The trucks serve from 4-8pm and guests also enjoy live music, beer, sangria and also special activities for the kiddos during the evening.

Late last month, The Crossing announced that Brad Watts had officially taken the helm of the Clayton kitchen as executive chef following Mike Craig’s departure. Watts’ needed no introduction to the staff at The Crossing, having spent the past 12 years working throughout the Fiala Food family of restaurants, including past executive chef roles at Acero, The Crossing and the now-closed Liluma. Most recently, Watts acted as the front-of-house manager at The Crossing. No major plans for revamping the menu were released following the announcement.

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