Upscale touches beauty fast-casual Whitebox Eatery

February 27, 2015 - table lamp

Whitebox Eatery is one of a some-more aptly named restaurants to open in St. Louis in new years. The appealing space on a belligerent building of a Plaza in Clayton (formerly Stratton’s Cafe) is a white box, essentially: white walls and tables and chairs, all of that seem even brighter set opposite a hardwood floor. The daily cleaning checklist contingency be epic.

Brendan Marsden, co-owner of Modesto Tapas Bar Restaurant on a Hill, non-stop Whitebox in Aug with partners Tom Ferrara, Ben Goetten and Jon Rankins. It’s a fast-casual spot, portion breakfast, lunch and weekend brunch. Order during a opposite — a menu is posted on flat-screens above a fritter trays — and afterwards take your series to your table.

(Unless you’re removing your plate to go, in that box we mount awkwardly by a kitchen pass, perplexing to stay out of a approach of servers and other diners while we wait.)

Whitebox, however, is a some-more counsel fast-casual operation. Your plate arrives during a list fast adequate to be convenient, yet not so fast that we think it was taken from a vacuum-sealed bag and waved underneath a feverishness lamp. There are even a few tiny touches — heavyweight flatware rolled into cloth napkins; coffee from internal spit Blueprint Coffee — that give it an upscale feel.

Likewise, a menu relates a contemporary ingredient-driven shimmer to customary breakfast and lunch dishes. (Pastry cook Jamie Hardesty now runs a whole kitchen; opening cook Jon Hoffman recently left a restaurant.) So in lieu of another tedious ham-and-Swiss sandwich, a panini ($9.95) offers slices of really good baked ham dressed with brie, piquant arugula and a sweet-sharp fig mustard.

A bracingly sour lemon-olive mayonnaise cuts by a thick smoke-stack of coppa, salami, mortadella and provolone on a Italian sandwich ($10.50), elevating what could have been a ho-hum cold-cut assemblage. A hop mayonnaise works a identical pretence on a roast-beef sandwich ($9.95), yet my sandwich did humour from beef that had been roasted until dark pinkish trending toward well-done.

Here we see a intensity obstacle of Whitebox’s model: small things that competence not bug we so most during a reduction costly fast-casual mark mount out here. we wanted to adore a turkey-sausage breakfast sandwich ($7.50) — glorious housemade sausage with a boiled egg, cheddar cheese and a allegation of apple butter on a buttermilk biscuit — yet staid for like when a biscuit valid too crumbly.

The brioche French toast ($9.95) delivers 4 thick slices of bread with such ideally calibrated eggy benevolence that we frequency need syrup. Yet a menu also promises toasted pecans and roasted pears. Were these baked into my French toast? Were they a ornament that a kitchen forgot? we searched in vain for justification of either.

Weekend brunch competence be a best approach to knowledge Whitebox. It includes dishes from both a breakfast and lunch menus as good as special selections. This includes a excellent delivery of shrimp and forage ($12.95), with smoked shrimp over forage thickened with (but not impressed by) cheddar cheese. Roasted onions and a light shellfish gas give a plate a poke of additional flavor. A standout dish, generally given a price.

A new further to a brunch menu is a chronicle of chilaquiles ($10.95), a normal Mexican dish. Whitebox serves a tostadas in an earthy, softly sharp guajillo-chile salsa and tops them with chicken, avocado, cheddar cheese and a boiled egg. The duck needs some-more seasoning — it tasted usually of itself, as if grafted onto a plate from another credentials — yet as a whole a chilaquiles are messy, gratifying fun.

The fritter box facilities both honeyed and delicious treats. In a city lousy with dry, achingly sweetened muffins, a mixed-berry accumulation that we sampled here was a relief, ideally wet and some-more reliant on a fruits’ healthy sweetness.

Whitebox doesn’t eschew a latest trends. Besides a fast-casual indication itself, there are costly extract blends (pineapple with kale and other greens; honeyed potato and pear; all $6.95), and a coffee menu includes a unexpected entire prosaic white. But a restaurant’s concentration on peculiarity shows that this plain white box is built on plain foundations.

Where Whitebox Eatery, 176 Carondelet Plaza, Clayton • Two stars out of 4 • More info 314-862-2802; • Menu Fast-casual breakfast, lunch and brunch transport • Hours Breakfast and lunch daily, brunch Saturday-Sunday

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