Sauce Magazine

Jimmy Álvarez, Flickr, Creative Commons

You’ve been there: It’s late, you’ve waited hours to step up to the mic, you’ve reached the bottom of your soggy basket of fried pickles and the duo who thinks there’s a talent scout in the audience has gone up to sing “You’re the One That I Want” for the third time.  All you want is to humbly karaoke some Nelly, or possibly, some Alanis Morisette.  Will it ever happen?

Ligaya Figueras, executive editor at Sauce magazine, joined "Cityscape" for her last Sound Bites segment.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

For 14 years, Sauce magazine has provided St. Louis readers with food news, tested recipes, and reviews of the best places to shop, drink, and dine.

Working first as a freelancer, Ligaya Figueras was first published in Sauce in January 2008. She then became a staff writer—and finally, the magazine’s executive editor. In that position, she joined “Cityscape” many times for the show’s monthly Sound Bites segment, in which she explored St. Louis dining with the people who know it best.

Vince Valenza, owner of Blues City Deli
Sauce Magazine

The restaurant business is known for having small profit margins. It’s competitive and sometimes it’s the small things that make the difference between a successful restaurant and one that’s not.

Alex Heuer

In what is often a competitive playing field, some local restaurateurs are teaming up to make sure local food stays local and businesses prosper.

Ligaya Figueras, executive editor of Sauce Magazine, said that in the St. Louis area, food and drink restaurant collaborations began around 2010 between local craft breweries such as Schlafly Bottleworks and 4 Hands Brewing Co. Now, the newest collaborating restaurants, Kitchen Kulture and Sump Coffee, hope to keep the trend going.

Kelsey Proud / St. Louis Public Radio

Simon Lusky, team chef for the St. Louis Cardinals and owner of Athlete Eats on Cherokee Street, plans to start operating a food truck and open a new restaurant in Brentwood.

And, as reported by our partners at Sauce Magazine, the restaurant will re-brand as Revel Kitchen. The food truck will be called Revel Kitchen Food Truck and will debut at the magazine’s Food Truck Friday on May 8.

First row: The owners of Earthbound Beer, Los Punk; Second row: Tacos at La Vallesana, ArtBar
(Courtesy: Sauce Magazine)

In South St. Louis, Cherokee Street is booming.

That’s according to Kristin Dennis, co-owner of the Fortune Teller Bar and a member of the Cherokee Station Business Association’s board of directors.

The foundation of the street is Mexican fare and antique shopping but just within the last few years, more than 20 new food and drink establishments have opened.

“Every few months we have new businesses opening,” Dennis told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday.

Mamacitas Ancho Fried Chicken & Waffles from Atomic Cowboy
(Courtesy: Sauce Magazine)

There’s new interest in an old favorite: fried chicken. It’s one of the ultimate comfort foods, and has become a popular dish at St. Louis’ old and new restaurants.

Old Standard Fried Chicken is one of those new restaurants, opening in October. As its name indicates, the restaurant specializes in fried chicken.

David Choi demonstrates the grill for Steve Potter and Ligaya Figueras on Feb. 3, 2015, at Seoul Q in St. Louis.
Katie Cook / St. Louis Public Radio

It all started in the kitchen of David Choi’s grandma. It was there that Choi fell in love with the flavors of Korean barbecue and the communal act of eating together, and got the idea for Seoul Taco. Choi's Korean-Mexican fusion food truck hit the streets in 2011 and one year later became a brick-and-mortar restaurant off the Delmar Loop.

Sauce executive editor Ligaya Figueras sits with the magazine's 2009 "ones to watch": Cory Shupe, far left, T.J. Vytlacil, Cory King and Adam Alnether.
Jonathan Gayman / Sauce Magazine

Six years ago, Sauce Magazine put together its first “ones to watch” list. At the time, though, Adam Altnether and T.J. Vytlacil were just trying to get started.

“The year before that was kind of this meteoric rise in Niche that everything just kept coming to me,” Altnether told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. In 2009, Altnether was the chef de cuisine at Niche. Today, he’s a partner at Craft Restaurant Group and Niche’s executive chef.

Sauce Magazine executive editor Ligaya Figueras called the cheeseburger at Death in the Afternoon in St. Louis one of her most memorable meals of 2014.
Carmen Troesser / Sauce Magazine

Looking back on 2014, Sauce Magazine's editor and restaurant critics shared their favorite new restaurants, meals and drinks.

Best New Restaurants

Restaurant critic Michael Renner picked Peacemaker Lobster and Crab. Chef-owner Kevin Nashan imports fresh seafood daily. "He's brining in Maryland crabs. He's bringing in Maine lobster," Renner told "Cityscape" host Steve Potter.

Restaurant critic Matt Berkley chose Planter's House.

Bar manager Joel Clark mixes drinks at The Purple Martin in St. Louis.
Sauce Magazine

Joel Clark, who has been called one of St. Louis’ top craft cocktail bartenders, lost his sense of smell after suffering a seizure in December. Losing a sense is traumatic in itself, but losing the sense of smell also means Clark has lost his sense of taste.

Andrew Jennrich, left, is the head butcher at The Butchery, Truffles Restaurant's new meat market. Brandon Benanck, right, is Truffles' executive chef.
Meera Nagarajan / Courtesy of Sauce Magazine

Butcher shops are changing. Whole-animal butcher shops, using local farm-raised animals, are popping up in St. Louis. In this month's Sound Bites segment on "Cityscape," we talked to local butchers about the benefits of the new trend.


Wine glasses
Slack12 via Flickr

It turns out wine may not be as highfalutin as many believe.

Wine has only been part of American culture for the last 30 years, sommelier Patricia Wamhoff said, while in Europe it’s part of everyday consumption. More people are looking at wine as a hobby, sommelier Andrey Ivanov said. “It’s very accessible nowadays.”

So we put these experts to the test:

Do you look down at a $5 bottle of wine?

Lou Rook III is Executive Chef at Annie Gunn’s restaurant in Chesterfield, Missouri.  He’s also the author of a new cook book, Rook Cooks.

For our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine, host Steve Potter talked with Rook and Sauce Magazine Associate Editor Julie Cohen.

Jonathan Gayman

“The excitement begins with a complimentary half glass of sparkling Lambrusco – the real stuff, fizzy and dry from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region – and an amuse-bouche,” writes Sauce Magazine food reviewer Michael Renner.

Mike Randolph is the chef-owner Little Country Gentleman which opened in the Fall of 2012.

(Courtesy: Sauce Magazine)

Sauce Magazine readers are accustomed to the annual readers’ choice edition which comes out in July.

At the end of 2012, St. Louis Public Radio has partnered with the publication in our monthly Sound Bites segment to talk about some of the best dishes, trends, and things to look forward to in the coming year.

file photo

Our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine is about bread.

Host Steve Potter talks with Managing Editor Stacy Shultz, Josh Allen, owner of Companion Bakery, and Ted Wilson, the soon-to-be-owner of Loafers Bakery.

Among other things, they answer Sauce Magazine readers’ questions about bread.

Erin Keplinger

Two restaurants which offer Filipino food have opened within the last few weeks.  Emilio Bombais is the owner of Café Manila, a seasonal food stand at the Kirkwood Farmers Market, has opened Manila Bistro in downtown Kirkwood.  Ammie Maminta-McSwain along with her niece, Abby Hernandez, recently took over the Shell Corner Café in downtown St. Louis and offer Filipino food during the lunch hours.

(Libby Franklin/St. Louis Public Radio)

Root, a new restaurant from executive chef Brian Hardesty, opened in Richmond Heights a week ago today.  In the sixth installment of our series Sound Bites, created in partnership with Sauce Magazine, producer Libby Franklin checks in with Hardesty about his latest project, which seeks to shine a new light on old cuisine.

(Screen Capture via Sauce Magazine Video directed by Work/Play)

2011 was a good year for St. Louis food trucks.

The mobile eats trend exploded on the St. Louis scene after one of the first trucks, Pi On The Spot, hit the pavement in 2010. Now, an ever-growing number of trucks and wagons take to the streets each day, tweeting out their locations so hungry diners can line up for a meal on the run.