Spicy Pork Burrito from Seoul Taco

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I have a thing for finishing lists. Food lists are, for obvious reasons, my absolute favorite. So when JP sent me RFT’s 100 St. Louis Dishes You Must Eat Now, I gasped audibly. I’m going to eat it all. EAT IT ALL. This list will be conquered.*

JP and I began our list adventure with the  burrito from Seoul Taco on the Loop. After enjoying Seoul Taco’s badass Steak Gogi Bowl, I had multiple mediocre Gogi Bowls and then took a Seoul Taco break. But the list convinced me to give Seoul Taco a second try.

I opted for the spicy pork. It was awesome. The burrito was packed with spicy, sticky kimchi rice, bitter greens, and flavorful pork. Sour cream added a bit of tanginess. Seoul Taco won my heart back. And it proved that this list might know what it’s talking about. I look forward to eating the rest of it.

*I’m also currently working on eating through a STL Cheap Eats list, a NYC Spicy Foods list, and the America’s Test Kitchen cookbook so clearly I’m quite busy.


Egg, Spinach, and Tomato Sandwich from the Village

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I’m pretty particular about egg sandwiches. I want runny eggs, sharp cheese, and good bread. Add a little spicy Chipotle mayo (like on the egg sandwich at Ibby’s) and I’m in Heaven.

Despite fully-cooked eggs and the lack of sauce, the egg sandwich from the Village was quite delicious. The cheddar was only mildly sharp but well melted. The whole wheat bread was perfectly toasted. Bright slices of tomato added enough sweetness and flavor to replace any sauce.

Runny yolk would’ve made the good sandwich a great sandwich. Eating an egg sandwich should be a messy ordeal that requires the deft use of bread as a yolk mopper-upper (I did ask for my eggs over-easy but that detail was lost in translation).

That being said, the sandwich really was good and it was way better than the egg sandwiches served on weekday mornings at Bear’s Den.


Pulled Pork from the DUC BBQ

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DUC BBQ IS BACK. Sing it from the hilltops. Let the world know that spring has truly arrived. Nothing says “summer is coming” like sitting outside in the sun and eating DUC BBQ on a Friday.

The pulled pork was, like always, delicious. Today’s pulled pork was coated in a North Carolina style sauce. While I like the usual Pappy’s BBQ, I loved today’s BBQ sauce even more. The sauce was more tangy than it was sweet (and Pappy’s can be a bit too sweet for my taste) which made the meal feel a lot lighter than usual. Lighter is better when it’s warm outside.

Warm outside. Can you read those words?? Do you understand that fantasticalness of them?? I’ve been waiting months and now I can finally post that it is warm outside and there is BBQ and I ate it and it was delicious and the world is a good, good place.

P.S. I’ve heard the Bill Clinton is a big North Carolina BBQ fan.


Spinach Artichoke Turkey Panini from the Village

photo (12)Using spinach artichoke dip as a spread?? Brilliant.

I can ignore salsa. I can avoid guacamole  Put a bowl of quality spinach artichoke dip in front of me and I will eat it for days. I’m all about spinach artichoke dip. But I’ve never thought of putting it on a sandwich. In hindsight, it seems so logical.

Unfortunately, the sandwich didn’t really live up to the idea. The combination of sweet turkey and creamy dip was good. But there was way too much turkey on it. It wasn’t until I took off a layer of meat that I could taste the dip. The dip was boring. It tasted like bland cheese and pureed spinach. The tang that artichokes can provide didn’t come through.

I’m going to have to head to Trader Joe’s and then make a sandwich with their spinach dip (it’s awesome awesome awesome). Or I can just stick to ordering the Village’s Cuban Pork Sandwich.


Masala Lamb Quesadilla from BD

photo (12)Where have you been eating lunch on Tuesdays?? If your answer is anywhere other than BD, you are a fool. A foolish fool of fool proportions. Today was the second time I picked up a quesadilla from the WUrld Fusion station (only on Tuesdays) and today was the second time that FLAVOR HIT ME IN THE FACE.

The quesadilla was filled with tomatoes, onions, and green peppers but that were overwhelmed by the lamb, cumin, and cilantro. “Overwhlemed by” in the same way that us mortals are overwhelmed by Beyonce’s fabulousness.The cumin and the cilantro amplified the rich gaminess of the lamb (and that’s what makes lamb lamb so this was a super lamby lamb quesadilla… get my happiness??).

After taking a bite that included a bit of the sour cream and the tamarind chutney, I couldn’t help but smile. The addition of sweetness, richness, acidity, and slight bitterness took it from being a yummy quesadilla to being a GREAT quesadilla.

The meat was a little chewy and the quesadilla was difficult to eat but the flavor more than made up for that. Click here to read the review of the other WUrld Fusion quesadilla if this post hasn’t already convinced you to check out the station at lunch next Tuesday.


The Best Mac & Cheese at Paws & Go

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Paws & Go sells four different brands of mac and cheese.

That fact captures the typical college student’s desire to cook perfectly. Sure, Paws & Go sells some raw vegetables, flour, uncooked pasta, and (beautiful) cheeses but I’d be willing to bet that most of what they sell is ready to eat or microwaveable. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re busy college students. Ain’t nobody got time for sauteing.

Ain’t nobody got time for bad mac and cheese either. So Alex, Brandon, JP and I did the difficult deed of testing out each brand to find the best.

Stouffer’s v. Easy Mac

Brandon described Easy Mac as “what you eat when you’re feeling down.” I describe it as “bleh.” It tasted like calcium powder, not cheese. According to everyone in the room, I put Easy Mac at a disadvantage because, apparently, I added too much water. I will have you know: I filled it up to the fill line and not a millimeter higher.

Anyway, Stouffer’s would’ve won even if the Easy Mac wasn’t soggy noodles in a pool of flavorless yellow water. Stouffer’s was a lot cheesier and the thicker noodles were more satisfying.

Amy’s v. Gluten Free

The Gluten Free was, undoubtably, the underdog because… it’s gluten free. Gluten Free was basically forced to play defensively the entire time and it did so poorly. JP said it wasn’t the worse thing ever but it basically was. The rice noodles were hard and tasted like plastic. The cheese sauce didn’t taste like anything. Don’t eat Gluten Free. If you’re gluten free… I’m sorry.

Amy’s, on the other hand, played a strong offense and dominated. The cheese sauce tasted like cheese (which is apparently a lot to ask). The noodles were thick and not mushy.

Amy’s v. Stouffer’s

This matchup was destined to be a close one. Both Stouffer’s and Amy’s featured cheese that tasted like cheese. Both had satisfying noodle textures. Brandon and Alex both liked Stouffer’s. JP and I both liked Amy’s. It would’ve been a tie except… I write the blog posts so I get to vote twice! So the winner is: Amy’s.

I liked the flavor that the whole wheat in the noodles added. I also thought the Amy’s cheese sauce was milkier and richer.

So here’s how the March Madness Mac & Cheese Bracket played out: 

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Cuban Sandwich from the Village

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Pork on pork. I’m a big fan of bacon, prosciutto, pancetta… basically any meat that began as a big but smoked pork AND ham sounded like it’d be a little too much.

I was totally wrong. The locally made pulled pork added a deep, wonderful smokiness that worked well with the sweet ham. Spicy chipotle mustard took the sandwich from delicious to DELICIOUS. That was all cradled between two slices of bread that are crunched up perfectly by the most intense panini press I’ve ever seen.

I thought I was only going to eat half (because of the whole “pork on pork” thing) but I ended up devouring the whole thing. Lord help me not eat one of these every day.


Veggie Bruschetta Burger from BD

photo (12)Bruschetta has long been a love of mine. It is typically served as an appetizer and, in its simplest form, bruschetta is basically garlic bread. But people top basic bruschetta with everything from tomatoes to artichokes.

I don’t really, however, understand the concept of a “bruschetta burger.” The above “burger” did have small chunks of tomato mixed into the patty.  It was also packed with a good amount of garlic. So I guess that is bruschetta-y?

To my great surprise, the burger wasn’t mushy at all. The grill cook smashed it a few times and that crisped up the outside really nicely. The bean burgers have more flavor but the veggie bruschetta burgers have a more interesting texture.

 


Prosciutto and Apples Sandwich from Cherry Tree

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Does a combination get more classic than pork and apples?? Prosciutto and apples is even better than pork chops and apple sauce because the saltiness of the prosciutto rocks with sweet apples.

The middle section of the above sandwich from Cherry Tree captured the combination perfectly. Spices from the tender but crunchy apple relish added fall flavors while the salty-sweet pair did its thing. But the rest of the sandwich was lacking.

One end lacked apple relish and one end lacked prosciutto. I tried to spread out the apples a bit but there wasn’t enough relish to do that effectively.

The good news is that the baguette was so fresh and crunchy that I didn’t mind!!


Falafel from BD

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Falafel. Falafel. Falafel. When I suggested we have falafel for lunch, my friend Kristen told me to “stop making up words.” I wish I was funny enough to come up with a word as silly as “falafel.” It wasn’t until I brought Kristen to the small Israeli restaurant near my home  that she finally believed me.

“Falafel” refers to fried balls of mashed chickpeas. Falafel is a big thing the Middle East. It’s served on every street corner.

BD’s falafel sits on top of a pita and comes with feta cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and tatziki sauce. The balls fell apart quickly because they were fried to death. I liked the strong coriander and cumin flavors but the filling was floury. I loved the tatziki sauce. It was acidic, creamy, and full of sharp, wonderful garlic. The rest of the dish, however, was slightly boring. I should’ve asked for onions. I also should’ve added some hot sauce from the Mexican station and some pickled vegetables from the stir-fry station or Cherry Tree.


Chicken Biryani from BD

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Eating dinner at your desk because you have no time to enjoy it with friends is never a blast. But when the rice looks like confetti, it’s a little bit less dark.

It was the red, yellow, and orange rice in the Chicken Biryani that convinced me to go with the World Fusion meal tonight. “Biryani” is a label for a type of Indian rice dish that can be cooked with meat, vegetables, eggs, or fish. The key to biryani (according to Google) is that the rice is made separately from the chicken (if you’re making Chicken Biryani) but then added to the chicken right before it is fully cooked. That technique allows for some of the chicken’s flavor to transfer to the rice but also keeps the rice grains from clumping together.

BD’s chicken biryani was delicious. The meat was moist and rich. I could taste the yogurt and the cardamom the most. It was slightly spicy and totally delicious. The colorful rice added a lot of texture.

The chana dal side was also delicious. Chana dal is (again, according to Google) black chickpeas that have been shelled and split up. BD cooks them with pieces of diced tomato and zucchini. It packed some heat that built up slowly. I enjoyed the sweetness that the tomatoes added.

If you are eating at your desk tonight, I send you a message of solidarity. We will get through this week and we will make it to Spring Break. You might be eating alone but you are not alone. In fact, click here for a whole tumblr page devoted to sad desk lunches. Eating lunch at your desk is almost as bad as eating dinner.


WU Restaurants: Lulu by Chef Colby Walloch

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Lit candles rested in small piles of shell-studded sand at the center of each intimate table. Paintings of beaches hung on the walls and water trickled down the small waterfall in the corner. Everything about Lulu, Chef Colby Walloch’s pop-up in Studio 40, was calming.

Given the chance to create a sneak peek into his dream restaurant, Chef Walloch chose to go with the type food he started his career cooking: casual seafood fare from the Pacific Northwest (Chef Walloch grew up in Portland). He named the spot after his two-year-old daughter, who’s his “number one sous chef at home.”

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The atmosphere at Lulu matched Chef Walloch’s personality: quiet but confident. He clearly wasn’t going to serve sous vide foie gras or deconstructed champaign infused caviar (whatever that would be), only clean, well-executed interpretations of classic dishes.

The meal began with a crab shell filled with the juices that emerge when you cook a crab.

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The juice tasted more like crab than any crab I’ve ever eaten. It was fresh but decadent and super salty (in a good way). “This tastes like the beach,” Nate said joyously. It reminded me of the summer nights I’ve spent on Cape Cod, happily licking the fresh shellfish drippings off of my fingers. I’ll take dipping my bread in crab juice over olive oil any day.

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The first course was a small square of pork belly coated in BBQ sauce with cheddar grits. It seemed like a deviation from the Pacific Northwest concept but Chef Walloch explained that the dish, like the rest of his menu, was “rooted within home.” The BBQ sauce stems from his time working for a southern family. The grits came from the Tillamook Creamery, a creamy on a river near Chef Walloch’s childhood home.

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The grits were wonderfully creamy and slightly sharp. The cream did a good job of mitigating the sweet and spicy BBQ sauce. I was most impressed by the texture of the pork belly. I’ve had really dry fat-free pork belly and really jiggly fat-filled pork belly. Chef Walloch rendered the fat perfectly, deftly avoiding both of those results. The crispy outside of his pork belly gave away to a tender inside.

The next course was a mixed local greens salad served alongside a piece of steelhead that was sitting on a bed of roasted mushrooms.

IMG_5583Thin slices of pickled radishes added acid to the peppery local greens and strong blue cheese. The steelhead – which is a species of trout that lives in the Pacific Ocean – was covered in an acidic pesto-esque sauce. Charred, earthy mushrooms grounded the light flavors in the buttery fish and the sauce.

Chef Walloch followed it with my favorite course of the night: chowder.

IMG_5592Chef Walloch’s Portland take on New England Clam Chowder was the night’s superstar because (a) it was delicious and (b) replacing the crab with fried oysters coated in a cornbread breading was an imaginative but understated twist.

A deep bacon-created smokiness ran through the cream. On its own, the cream soup was a bit too salty for me. But with the oysters, the saltiness was replaced with wonderfulness. The breading added crunchiness, which is a texture that soups don’t often include.

The next course was a heaping pile of Dungeness crab legs covered in a chili garlic sauce. Here’s an action shot of Chef Patrick McElroy helping Chef Walloch plate:

IMG_5598 When my plate arrived, I stared at it, wondering where to start. “There’s no elegant way to eat this,” Chef Walloch warned. I rolled up my sleeves, grabbed the crab leg openers, and started cracking away.

IMG_5603I’ve never had spicy crab before. The combination of chili, garlic, lime, and cilantro added Asian flare. Actually getting through the shell was a challenge but we were rewarded with bites of succulent, tender crabmeat.

The meal ended with chocolate cake that Chef Walloch added as a “nod back to the first dessert” he ever cooked in a restaurant. It was 1987 and the pastry chef didn’t show up so Chef Walloch was forced to learn on the spot. And learn he did. I don’t love chocolate (I know… it’s a sin) but I loved Chef Walloch’s chocolate cake.

IMG_5615When I cut into it, warm chocolate oozed out and into the salted caramel sauce and thick whipped cream. Every bite was decadent beyond belief. The salty sweetness from the caramel cut through the rich, bitter chocolate. Yes. Yes is all I can say.

Lulu was clearly a true manifestation of Chef Walloch’s dream concept; its understated elegance could only stem from genuine passion.

As I was leaving, my friend Ish said: “it’s not fair, you get to go to all of them.” Ish, you’re right. It’s not fair and I hope that never changes. I get to eat delicious food while watching talented chefs like Walloch do what they love to do.

You can experience some of the magic too. If you’d like to attend a WU Restaurant dinner, “like” Dining Services on Facebook and join the event when they raffle off tickets for the next one. The dinners only cost $12.95. $12.95 for a five course meal is unheard of.

The very talented students over at Kuumba have posted a beautiful video about this night. Check it out:

Kuumba TV is a student group that creates short documentaries about creativity on our campus.


Chicken Banh Mi from BD

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After Tueday’s awesome quesadilla, I returned to Bear’s Den with the hope of finding another flavor explosion. When I saw the chicken banh mi I thought: “perfect!” Last year, I ate an awesome awesome awesome chicken banh mi sandwich from the DUC. Banh mi sandwiches always bring the flavor.

Except today. BD’s banh mi (which is one of this week’s chef inspired sandwiches) was disappointing. The baguette was soggy even though the chicken was bland and dry. The slaw served as the only real source of flavor but the pickling wasn’t strong enough to bring much to the table.

I added some of what I think was pickled diakon from the topping station but that did nothing except add more acid. None of the other toppings seemed applicable. Some cilantro, cucumbers, or a spicy chili sauce would’ve been great (I just realized that I should’ve walked over to the Stir Fry station!).

The DUC’s banh mi had a lot more going on. The  chicken was moist and slightly charred, which added smokiness to the acid in the slaw. It was all stuffed into a hollowed out, super crunchy baguette. But that sandwich has been M.I.A. since last spring.


Bean and Chicken Quesadilla with Mango Salsa from BD

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Bored with the food you’ve been eating? Treat your condition with flavor. The only possible side effect: insatiable cravings for more.

Today’s lunch special at the World Fusion station (Tuesdays only) gave me the dose of flavor I’ve been needing. It was a quesadilla filled with rice, beans, and chicken, topped with a mango, red pepper, and cilantro salsa.

At first, I took a bite of the quesadilla without the salsa. I enjoyed the spiciness of the chicken and the slight hint of cumin (I think?). Then, I cautiously added some of the salsa. I’m never a huge fan of fruit in savory dishes.

I took a bite and… FLAVOR HIT ME IN THE FACE. The brightness of the cilantro and the sweetness of the mango amplified the cumin. The acid in the salsa cut through the heaviness of the rice and beans. Delicious.

It came with a mango custard that also rocked my world. It was creamy but light. The mango came through nicely but wasn’t overwhelming. It hit just the right level of sweetness.

BD continues to surprise me with great lunch options.


Baked Ziti from the DUC

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I’ve only been 20 for less than a week and I’m already a grump. This morning, when I looked out the window and saw snow I thought: “Awh come on!! Seriously??” My childhood is officially over. Snow used to make me smile. Now, instead of white, soft flakes dancing down to Earth, I see a grey sky and little pellets intent on ruining my day.

In defense of my aged self, St. Louis snow does seem to be particularly aggressive. On the way to the DUC, it was actually smacking me in the face and laughing about it. Luckily, the DUC greeted me with a plate of warm baked ziti.

The ziti had a good ratio of cheese to sauce. The noodles were slightly too soft (but that’s generally what you get with baked pasta). But the marinara sauce made up for that. It featured the hint of garlic and slight spiciness that define comforting marinara sauce in my mind. It wasn’t the most thrilling pasta but it did capture homemade warmth.

The side of squash was slightly soft but not mushy and covered in delectable herbs. I loved the sweet roasted onions. I was also a fan of the side salad. It was a simple, classic, refreshing Caesar salad that balanced out the heaviness of the rest of the plate.

Stop by the Vegetarian station today or next Thursday (I think) if that sounds like your kind of lunch. Stay warm!

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Chicken Pesto Pizza from BD

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I’ve made a lot of progress. It was almost four months ago that I revealed, on Fooducated, that I suffer from a crippling fear of dry poultry. Four months ago, I would’ve cringed at the cubes of chicken on the above slice. I would’ve seen them out of the corner of my eye, let out a loud gasp, and then run over to a different station. But not today.

Today, I looked directly at those chicken cubes. Today, I looked past their obviously dry exteriors and into their chicken cube souls and said: “I know you are not dry. I believe.”

And they weren’t! The chicken cubes were moist because they were sitting in huge pools of grease. My pizza slice was greasier than Robert Pattinson’s hair (no offense Rob). I loved the strong, nutty flavor of the pesto and the bright slices of basil. The thin crust was crispy. But it was all overwhelmed by the waterfalls of grease that cascaded down my hands with every bite.


Shumai (Shrimp Dumplings) and Thai Banana Tempura from the WashU Wok

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For a while, I was obsessed with the WashU Wok street food station. Almost every Fooducated post was about one of their snack-sized dishes. Then I ate through the whole rotation. I had to force myself to stop lunching there for the sake of my fooducation.

But then Gary, a classmate of mine, told me about the new banana tempura with a sweet coconut glaze (in the background of the shot). I made the same dish over winter break so I obviously had to check it out.

The WashU Wok does it better. My tempura was too thick; the WashU Wok’s batter was light, airy, and wonderfully crunchy. The fried-to-order banana was warm and soft. The coconut sauce added a rich but slightly sweet touch. Yum. Yum. Yum.

The Shumai (in the foreground of the shot) were not as delectable. They had the right ratio of filling to dumpling skin and the shrimp tasted fresh. But it they needed salt. Salt from soy sauce specifically. I should’ve grabbed a package from the sushi station.*

*Speaking of the sushi station, I watched a student grab a spicy tuna roll and then walk away without paying. No wonder our meal plans keep getting more expensive. We’re indirectly stealing from each other.


Chef Inspired Smoked Portobello Mushroom Sandwich

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The soggy, smoked portobello was super smoked, as in two-packs-a-day smoked, as in a little too much for me. The olive relish that I added from the condiment bar did temper the intensity of the smoke and it added flavor.

But, once I opened the sandwich up, I realized that the smoked mushroom was overpowering everything else. There was a vibrant red pepper spread. It worked well with the sharp red onions and even sharper, completely fantastically delicious cheese (I think it was white cheddar). I took the wet mushroom off and just ate the bread with the toppings.

The ciabatta was cold and the whole bottom half was soaked through but it didn’t taste as refrigerated as the baguette I had a few days ago. I think that might just be the nature of ciabatta. So far, none of the other chef inspired sandwiches have come close to being as delicious as the Italian Grinder.


WU Restaurants: The Rusty Spoon by Chef David Rushing

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Close your eyes. Oh no wait, open them so that you can read this.

Okay, now imagine you’re hiking in the hills of Italy. The calm bluer-than-blue ocean is on your right and lush greener-than-green trees flank your left. A small old woman with deep wrinkles and grey hair emerges from the bushes. She invites you into her home and then feeds you. For hours. And hours.

That woman is this man:

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He’s Chef David Rushing and little-old-lady-feeds-you-like-family was the feel at The Rusty Spoon, his pop-up restaurant. The Rusty Spoon was the first of five WU Restaurant dinners, which is a Dining Services series that highlights a different campus chef every two weeks.

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Chef Rushing is the Chef de Cuisine at Ibby’s but he’s in the midst of moving to the South 40. His sous chef for the night was Tom Dixon, General Manager at the DUC. The Rusty Spoon concept, Chef Rushing explained, is a celebration of tradition.

In truth, the meal was a celebration of everything from ingredients to family to Italy to food to beauty.

Chef Rushing set the scene perfectly. One long table stretched across the demonstration kitchen. A rustic plank of wood collected by Rushing stretched across the table. Our menus were attached to thick block of woods with nails crafted by Rushing himself. Our silverware was wrapped in towels that were held together by old bent spoons (also collected by Rushing).

Multiple mason jars filled with different vegetables sat on the centerplank (hehe, get it?).

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The meal began with the contents of those jars. Red beets in spiced apple cider. Yellow beets. Carrots in sweet vinegar. Green beans sprinkled with spicy pepper flakes. Turnips in a white wine vinegar. Mushrooms in what I think was olive oil and stuff. I should’ve brought a paper and pen. In fact, I should’ve brought an entire notebook.

Every time I took a bite of one thing, three other items magically appeared. There was bread with locally made butter. Marinated olives. Artisan salami. Celery root covered in farm egg mayo. Chicken liver mousse. Cauliflower and white bean hummus. Lamb sausage with an apricot and mint spread.

Everything was delicious. The yellow beets were memorable because I’ve never had yellow beets before. They were less earthy and slightly sweeter than the red beets. But the red beets weren’t overly beet-y either. The apple cider they’d been marinated in took the edge off. The mushrooms were dancing on the line between mushy and hard, which is exactly where they should be. The mayo-coated celery root was both rich and refreshing.

Chef Rushing truly paid homage to winter and the vegetables that manage to grow in it. The acidic items opened up our palates, preparing them for the awesomeness that loomed ahead.

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The merguez lamb sausage was part of that awesomeness. I love lamb with all of my heart but do understand that some people are turned off by how gamey it can be. Rushing mitigated the gaminess of the meat by adding some beef (I think?) and spices and then balanced it out with an apricot and mint jelly. The combination of the sweet apricot, bright mint, and rich lamb would convert haters.

Despite its deliciousness, the lamb sausage couldn’t compete with the chicken liver pate. Seriously, it was a jar of everything that’s good in this world. Rich and flavorful beyond belief. Two of my friends and I once ate $40 of pate in 10 minutes (I know: gross). If it’d been Rushing’s pate, we would’ve finished in 3.

But wait. The dinner wasn’t even close to over yet. Next up: handmade pastas.

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According to Rushing, “strozzapreti” means “strangled priest” and it’s hand-twisted noodles. The non-uniformity of the noodles matched The Rusty Spoon’s authentic, homely feel. The pesto noodles pictured above were good but the beef and mushroom noodles pictured below were excellent.

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The classic combination of rich and tender beef with mushrooms did the strozzapreti more than justice. It was simple enough to highlight the noodles but flavorful enough to be interesting. Interesting and comforting.

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Beautiful, shiny rectangles of sage carmel butternut squash arrived with the pasta. They were insanely sweet and wonderfully soft rectangles of fantastic. Pure candy. I had to stop myself from inhaling the entire plate.

Fingerling potatoes with smoked mayo also arrived with the pasta.

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I heard someone say “whoa these potatoes” when she bit into one. That whoa was well deserved. The comforting roasted potatoes were bumped up a notch to whoa-tastic by the addition of the rich (I’ve used that word a lot in this post) and slightly smoky mayo.

The savory part of the meal ended with Tom Dixon’s mussels.

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The sauce was subtle enough to let the delicate flavor of the mussels come through. It was also delicious enough to be downed on its own. I soaked piece after piece of grilled bread into the white wine and cream sauce. If there weren’t 18 other people in the room, I would’ve grabbed the bowl and chugged it.

Okay… not chugged. That’s gross. But you get my point.

When we returned from a tour of the South 40 kitchen (did you know that Dining Services has the largest refrigerator in the state of Missouri?), two cheese plates featuring three local cheeses and these adorable cans awaited us:

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The cans were filled with a chocolate hazelnut cake, a cherry and blueberry trifle, and whipped cream.

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When mixed, the contents of each can became bites of decadence. The sweet cherries cut through the richness of the chocolate and cream. I couldn’t stop eating even though I’ve never been fuller in my life.

Chef Rushing’s dinner is the one too beat. And that’s not only because he went first. He left no detail unconsidered while actualizing a coherent and consistent concept. That something beautiful and delicious can be and is created in one room for one night for sixteen students on a college campus is a testament to the passion of both Dining Services and Chef Rushing. It’ll be difficult to match the ambiance, the decor, and the authenticity, much less the food.

I look forward to seeing what the remaining four chefs do. If you’re sitting at your computer screen drooling, then make sure to like the WUSTL Dining Services Facebook page so that you can sign up when they release the event for the raffle for the next WU Restaurant dinner. I’ll also be covering it on Fooducated and sharing the info on the Fooducated Facebook page.


Vegetarian Super Food Tacos from the Grizzly Grill in BD

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I giggled when I saw the name of this dish. An image of tacos wearing capes, flying into the mouths of hungry vegetarians popped into my head. Then I realized that by “super,” Dining Services probably means “good for you.” Oh well.

Anyway, they were filled with Monterey Jack cheese and a soy product made to taste and look like meat. Corn and onions were mixed in with the “meat.”

They were made to order, despite being in the display case, and cooked just the right amount so the tortilla was crispy and the cheese melted. The “meat” didn’t actually taste like meat but it didn’t taste bad either. Just different. I also enjoyed the addition of corn and onions. The dish wasn’t particularly exciting but is was filling.

If you decide to order them, I suggest you add some hot sauce because that would’ve made eating the tacos a bit more interesting.