Our new, favorite beef tartare is Korean.
Not to long ago, local blogger Dive Bars 2 Five Stars wrote a blog post about a meal at Joo Joo Korean Restaurant & Karaoke. His photo of a raw beef dish nestling an egg yolk caught my eye. I had never seen a Korean beef tartare before. Soon after, we all met at Joo Joo and tried it for ourselves, along with several more dishes.
Joo Joo’s spread of banchan is more concise than Asian Kitchen spread of 20 dishes. They are slightly larger portions, though, and we liked everything. At Asian Kitchen, there are usually one-two banchan that feature tiny dried fish.
Even bad pizza is good pizza. Fortunately, the pizzas I am about to tell you about are very good pizzas.
St. Louis is known for a special, cracker-thin pizza topped with Provel cheese. St. Louis-style pizza is everywhere. Provel is everywhere, too.
Jake and I have never encountered St. Louis-style pizza or Provel anywhere else during our moves or travels. When we first visited our local grocery stores, we were surprised that about half of the frozen pizza options were St. Louis-style. And if you visit an Italian restaurant, you may find that dishes you’re used to seeing topped with mozzarella are topped with Provel. Those that dislike Provel will want to read menu descriptions carefully when ordering chicken parmesan, manicotti, and, sometimes, even fish! Side salads might also arrive covered in shredded Provel. Some side salads I’ve ordered were composed of a 50/50 ratio of lettuce to shredded Provel.
This photo is the only documentation of one of my favorite food quests of all time.
Back in 2011, I didn’t give much thought to photographing my food. I read a lot of food blogs but taking photos of my meals just didn’t occur to me. That is, until that trip to Mexico.
In my last post I described the revelation that is the twirling, spit-roasted al pastor tacos in Puebla, Mexico. We ate many other foods in Puebla that have stuck close to me through the years; Freshly fried churros, banana leaf tamales soaked in mole, toasted grasshoppers, amaranth seed bars, and chiles en nogada. The most memorable meal we enjoyed is one that we chased on a winding bus ride somewhere between Puebla and Cholula.
Tacos are love.
At least to me they are. You can keep your Valentine’s candy and roses that will just die anyway, and stuffed bears holding hearts. You can also keep your poetry, unless it’s about tacos, of course. Mexican street-style tacos are like everything nice in food cradled between two soft corn tortillas.
This weekend, we continued our St. Louis taco quest. Previous outings brought us to La Tejana, Taqueria El Bronco and Taqueria El Bronco again (and again).
A while ago, Whiskey & Soba mentioned how El Morelia, a Mexican grocery store in nearby Bridgeton roasts al pastor on a spit for Saturday and Sunday taco lunches. I never forgot this.
One thing that’s evident is how collaborative St. Louis’s food people are. Chefs and restaurant owners often work together on pop-ups and mash-ups and take-overs. And at any given moment, you’ll spot a restaurant offering a special food item created with another restaurant such as a special burger or pizza. I often see chefs giving shout-outs to restaurants at which they are enjoying meals and really, never hear restaurant professionals bashing their competition.
Between the classics, openings, and collaborations, we’re never going to run out of places to try during our time here.
Sameem Afghan Restaurant quickly rose to the top of our “must try” list. I kept reading enthusiastic reviews and blog posts such as this one by Good Food STL. According to Sameem’s website, it’s the only Afghan restaurant in Missouri. Before our visit, Jake had never tried Afghan food before; technically I had.