At It’s a Better Burger, staff focus on one thing: how to make the tastiest creations ever to fill slices of bread. Their entire menu can be broken into three distinct sandwich categories, featuring their gourmet burgers, chicken sandwiches, and specialty sandwiches, all of which showcase their love of this gastronomic genre. Burgers come in three sizes or with two patties, and can be topped with everything from barbeque sauce, pulled pork, and haystack onions to garlic mushrooms and sweet peppers. Their chicken sandwiches transfer the flavors of the burgers to a grilled or crispy chicken breast, while the rest of the menu is dedicated to classics such as the BLT and unique versions such as the chipotle salmon burger. They offer a select menu of diner fare with their burgers, pairing dishes with fresh fries, fried corn on the cob, hand-dipped milkshakes, and their famous cheesecake.
For more than 25 years, The St. Louis Funny Bone has hosted national touring acts and local comedic talent in its cozy club for diverse 90-minute stand-up sets. While headlining jokesters dominate weekend slots, humorous hopefuls can sign up for Tuesday night open mics. During open mics, 12 to 20 performers test out their material in four-minute slots. The club strictly adheres to the time constraint, reprimanding participants who exceed 240 seconds with a month-long ban from the club and a nuggie administered by the nearest carrot top. Up to 300 attendees per show can witness these plunders and successes while sitting in either the VIP or general admission areas. Both sections offer alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, along with appetizers such as pizza slices, chicken wings, and toasted raviolis.
At each of The Drunken Fish's upscale restaurants, chefs create traditional and specialty sushi, along with stir-fries and other Japanese entrees. Fresh tuna nigiri and garlic and soy-infused New York-style strip steaks make for tasty pairings with signature cocktails, such as the Madame Butterfly with raspberry vodka, mango puree, and pineapple juice. The Drunken Fish has three convenient locations within St. Louis, each featuring modern decor.
Chef and owner Raj left his native Punjab in 1994 to earn his culinary stripes working as a cook in New York City. After a year of training and practice, he relocated to St. Louis, where his expertise in the art of Indian cooking quickly won praise in the Riverfront Times, which dubbed his eatery the city’s best vegetarian restaurant.
Laden with meat-free options, the menu entices taste buds with spiced and nutritious ingredients such as saag paneer’s spinach and fresh cheese, aloo gobi’s cauliflower and potatoes, and chana masala’s tender garbanzo beans. Chefs also throw dairy to the wayside in many dishes, including the vegan mirchi bhajia—deep-fried anaheim peppers stuffed with potatoes and spices hot enough to peel the wallpaper off a doll’s house. A catering menu provides spreads for large groups and flash mobs that rent the on-premises banquet hall.
The cooks at Paul’z Burgerz & Dogz, which nabbed a runner-up spot for the city’s Best Burger in the Riverfront Times restaurant guide, churn out an expansive menu populated by tongue-thrilling twists on two Americana staples. The Cockadoolemoo burger combines a patty, bacon, and fried egg, blurring the lines between meals, much like a caesar salad sprinkled with Cap’n Crunch. The Windy City dog includes classic Chicago--style ingredients—mustard, relish, sport peppers, and terms of agreement prohibiting the use of ketchup—accompanied by chips and fries, which are made fresh every day. Visitors chow down in Paul’z’s lively, welcoming dining room, whose vibrant orange and red walls are decked out in autographed photos and headlines and wainscoted in corrugated metal, adding a slightly industrial vibe to the friendly establishment.
Kung fu has passed through 33 generations to arrive at Ohana Martial Arts. One of the instructors, Sigung Vincent Cabais, is the sole lineage holder to the ancient style of shaolin lohan pai kung fu. Comprised of a cavalry of other martial-arts experts, the Ohana team also specializes in other unique martial-arts forms including san shou kickboxing, Bruce Lee jeet kune do, and kajukenbo—a Hawaiian style that combines karate, judo, jujitsu, kenpo, and kung fu. Fifth-degree black belt Jim Greenwood also specializes in kyusho jitsu, which uses acupressure points on the body as a form of self-defense.
Schnucks Kids Camp is more than a grocery store. While they sell cooking ingredients, their coaches also teach the culinary techniques to transform basics into piping hot dinners. During live demonstrations, novice cooks stop by to watch and learn as chefs whip up featured recipes, doling out samples to passersby. They happily answer any questions about cooking methods and required equipment, helping budding cooks who want to recreate the dishes at home. Necessary ingredients for every demo dish are available for sale beside each demo station, rather than magically stowed under the coach's chef's hat.
The company also encompasses a more structured cooking school, with classes for couples, families, and kids. A sommelier teaches adults about wine-tasting basics in one session; in another, students learn to prepare market-fresh fish. Kids' classes, meanwhile, cover topics from fondue to circus-themed snacks.