Tasty Tuesday–C and C Food for Your Soul

I always love trying out a local restaurant. Way back before the pandemic hit (can you remember a time pre-pandemic?!?), I read about C and C Food for Your Soul in our local paper, and I knew that a restaurant that advertised fresh-made comfort food was a place I wanted to try. And then time lost all meaning, and for a while, I forgot that there were places outside of our house. But Ryan recently happened upon the restaurant’s Facebook page, and I finally remembered that I really wanted to try it out, so on Sunday, he picked up lunch. I got the mojo burger and fries and he had the meatloaf with mac & cheese and deep-fried corn on the cob (yes, you read that right).

The burger was excellent. It had the best qualities of both a smash burger and a thick burger…crispy edges, but still pink inside. It was served on Texas toast, which was different for me, and I really liked the pairing. I also enjoyed that the burger was topped with different lettuces, which was a nice change from the usual piece of iceberg (not my favorite member of the lettuce family). Ryan equally enjoyed his meal…he said the meatloaf was wonderfully BBQ-y, and the piece was big enough for two meals (helpful information when we place an order for a meal for the whole family in the future!). He also loved the sides, especially the corn on the cob. I’ve been told the staff at the restaurant is also excellent, and very friendly…I’m looking forward to going in there myself eventually!

I’m really glad that this relatively new place is hanging on through the pandemic, and I’m looking forward to trying out more items on the menu (I’m really interested in their desserts!), and seeing what other specials they have in the future!

The Farewell to Summer Feast

Tonight, we had our “Farewell to Summer” dinner, which was also a Beast Feast, because we wanted to celebrate the awesome job David Sandusky of Beast Craft BBQ did on Food Network’s BBQ Brawl this summer!

In keeping with the St. Louis theme, I made a gooey butter cake for dessert, only I overbaked it, rendering it not gooey. It still tasted good, though, so that was something.

The 2021-22 school year begins Monday morning!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Fried Onions

It’s been a while since I tried something new at Beast Craft BBQ, but I’m back with one of my favorite items on the menu yet!

I am a sucker for fried, or tobacco, onions. Not onion rings (although I do like those, too), or the gross ones in the can, but fresh, fried onions that are thinly sliced and breaded and hot and get tangled together when you try to pull one out of the pile. Pretty much anytime I go anywhere that has good fried onions on a sandwich, I comment that I would buy a box of just those, and Beast made my dreams come true. Perfect as a starter or a side dish to share (I mean, if you can…I can’t!), their fried onions are topped with cotija cheese, cilantro, and their awesome fry sauce. They’re crunchy and salty and have just a bit of a kick from the sauce. It’s seriously the perfect side dish! (Or lunch, as the case may be.)

In case you’ve missed it, David Sandusky, the genius behind Beast Craft BBQ, has been competing on BBQ Brawl on the Food Network. Next week is the final episode, which means he’s in the final four, and I can’t wait to see what happens, and what kind of amazing dish he comes up with next!

An American Icon

We’ve seen the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile three times now (today it was at Eckert’s), and based on their license plates, it has been a different vehicle each time!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Beast Craft BBQ currently has a delicious winter special on the menu…buttermilk fried chicken!

This item is a staple on the menu at Beast Southern Kitchen & BBQ, and I’m happy that they’ve temporarily brought it over to the original Belleville location. It’s not your basic fried chicken, because it’s dusted with creole spices, which give it a delicious kick. The breading was perfectly crunchy…it didn’t get soggy on its journey from the restaurant to our house. And I love that they put a piece of white bread under the chicken to catch the spices and the drippings. The plate comes with four pieces of chicken, plus two sides, and of course if you’re smart one of those should be Beast’s amazing sprouts with pork belly, but there are plenty of other options, too (we especially love the bacon mac). I love seeing the new ideas the Beast family comes up with at all of their locations (check out their sandwich pop-up in the Grove, a perfect example of how they’re rolling with the punches and thinking creatively to make the best of a rough time for restaurants!), and I can’t wait to see what hits the menu next!

Tasty Tuesday–Wing Runner STL

Time for a look at the newest concept from the good people over at Beast Craft BBQ/ Beast Butcher and Block…Wing Runner STL!

Who doesn’t love chicken wings, am I right? I was intrigued when Beast Butcher and Block announced a new sub-restaurant providing delivery and carryout wings running out of their St. Louis location, and I was ecstatic when I found out that it was also going to be offered right here in Belleville!

Wing Runner currently offers 10 different flavors of wings (plus a cauliflower “wing” for the non meat-eaters who darken the doorstep of a BBQ joint). Sides are very limited, and because it’s a separate business, you can’t just tack items from Beast onto your order. We went with a bulk pack of 50 wings (there are seven of us, after all, but we didn’t finish quite all of them in one sitting!)…you can get up to five flavors, but for our first visit, we chose the four we were most interested in.

First up, my choice, the roasted garlic butter wings:

Of course we had to try the traditional mild buffalo (they also have hot buffalo, but not all of our children are open to that level of spice):

The spicy BBQ mustard was another popular request:

And the char siu, featuring sesame seeds, was our “wild” choice:

Well, not as wild at the habanero jerk…we got a 5-piece order of those to try alongside the other flavors.

Have you ever seen a better-looking plate of wings?!?

OK, on to the flavors. The habanero jerk was HOT. Like, scary hot. Even Ryan, who is the biggest fan of heat in the house, couldn’t eat more than two wings. So, if you order those, just be aware that your face may melt off. They’re excellent…I know that on a culinary level. But my taste buds would not thank me if I ate them again!

The other four flavors were all a huge hit. I don’t think I could pick a favorite if I tried…they were all delicious in their own way. The char siu was especially amazing…it was such an unexpected flavor on wings, and that just made it taste better. The spicy mustard had a great kick, and I loved the actual mustard seeds on the wings. The garlic butter had just the flavor I was hoping for, with the pleasant addition of cotija cheese crumbled over them. And the mild buffalo was exactly what you want out of a traditional buffalo wing.

I’m hoping it won’t be too long before our next order. I really want to try the shishito lime wings, and the fish sauce caramel sounds just unusual enough to be delicious. I’m also pretty sure I need to try the dry rub wings, too, and any seasonal varieties they offer in the future! It’s always exciting to see what new ideas David Sandusky and Beast come up with, and they never fail to disappoint!

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ at Home

We’re “back home” from our virtual vacation, and I don’t feel like cooking…so let’s take a look at Beast Craft BBQ’s family take home packs!

To be honest, more often than not, we would get Beast to go, even before COVID-19 shut everything down. I was still excited when they debuted their new family take home packs (they have offered up to three varieties, to feed two, four, or four to six), though, because it’s so much simpler than taking orders from seven people, and trying to sort it all out once we get it home!

So here’s the deal. A family take home pack for four comes with two pounds of the main course (pork, brisket, turkey, hot links, or smoked cauliflower), one pint of slaw, two sides (one quart each, and you can choose from pit beans, potato salad, bacon mac, cauliflower, and my favorite, sprouts with belly), a half pint of pickle slices, and eight tortillas. We have done this twice, and each time ordered two of the packs (turkey, bacon mac, and sprouts, plus an extra side of beans), to feed our family of seven.

Seriously, have you ever seen a more delicious looking plate of BBQ?!?

Now, even though this meal, as ordered, in theory feeds eight, we have managed to make it last for two dinners both times we ordered, and believe me, no one went hungry at any of the meals. The only thing we ran out of the first night each time was the tortillas, which makes perfect sense, and even though Beast has the most amazing tortillas, let’s face it, they’re not the star of the meal!

I really love that Beast has added this option for this weird time of carry-out/delivery only, and I wouldn’t complain if it stuck around once the dining room opens again, because it’s the perfect option for our family!

Tasty Tuesday–The Wine Tap (At Home)

Ryan and I have visited The Wine Tap on Main Street in downtown Belleville several times, but I don’t think I’ve ever shared the experience (which was lovely every time we went). As is the case for every restaurant in our area, the dining room is currently closed, but last week, they had a carryout special of charcuterie and cheese, so we decided to support a local business and give it a try.

As you can see, I took extra care to plate everything so it looked nice, and almost like we were at a restaurant. The cheese and meat selections were excellent (I love getting to try new things!), and I was amused by the spring-themed tulip and butterfly-shaped crackers. We were also able to get a bottle of wine (Zinfandel) to go with it, which was an extra-special treat.

Obviously, this isn’t something we can afford to do regularly if they keep offering options like this, but it was nice to support a local place in a tough time, and fun to feel fancy at home!