Boogyz Donuts at 6951 Olive Boulevard in University City will close after service May 30, the doughnut shop announced on social media.
“This fantastic journey wouldn’t have been possible without you!” the post reads in part. “Your unwavering support in growing our name is priceless.
“However, after sincere thought and consideration, we’ve decided to set our sights on new goals and are closing Boogyz.”
Owner Jamil Jabbar tells Off the Menu, “I gotta let go to grow.”
Jabbar opened Boogyz in late January 2020 with a wide selection of yeasted and cake doughnuts. (The blueberry cake doughnuts were his favorite, he said in October.) Boogyz also features vegan doughnuts once a week.
Boogyz will be open this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The shop is teasing some kind of future, though.
“Please continue to watch our social media for upcoming news on Boogyz,” the closure announcement concludes. “Stay awesome, my friends.”
Jabbar says, "I'm not down for the count."
The year of takeout: 20 favorite dishes from new(ish) restaurants
Before I resume full-length restaurant reviews in the coming weeks, I wanted to highlight some favorite dishes from the new (or newish) restaurants I've tried as takeout during this pandemic year-plus.
Finding a way to write about restaurants over the past 14 months outside the torrent of openings, closings and other pandemic-related news has presented a challenge. I didn't approach the area's new restaurants in any kind of systematic manner, so please see this list as incomplete by design. There are many, many new restaurants I have yet to — and am eager to — visit.
These 20 dishes, presented in alphabetical order by restaurant, were highlights of the days and weeks and months that were bleak or scary or, more often than not, numbingly mundane.
I look forward to eating them again soon — in person.
Banh mi from the Banh Mi Shop
At Jimmy Trinh's Delmar Loop storefront, crackling baguettes cradle both the unimpeachable banh mi dac biet arrangement of pork-liver pate, head cheese, pork roll and ham (the Saigon Classic) and a lighter, brighter sauté of chicken with lemongrass. Barbecue pork, curry chicken and lemongrass tofu are among the restaurant's other banh mi fillings.
Where The Banh Mi Shop, 567 Melville Avenue, University City • More info 314-390-2836; thebanhmishopstl.com
The pub burger from Beffa's
If nothing else, the past 14 months have cured me of the belief a plump medium-rare burger can't travel a reasonable distance. Midtown institution Beffa's, reopened under fourth-generation owner Paul Beffa, delivers a juicy, blush-red patty with pub cheddar and bacon on a pretzel bun.
Where Beffa’s, 2700 Olive Street • More info 314-571-9367; beffas.com
Doughnuts from Boogyz Donuts
From classic glazed doughnuts to his own candy-spangled creations, Jamil Jabbar packs a wide variety of appealing treats into his narrow University City storefront. The house specialty is the blueberry cake doughnut, which will win over even the fiercest yeast-doughnut partisan.
Note: Boogyz Donuts is closing on May 30.
Where 6951 Olive Boulevard, University City • More info 314-354-8533; facebook.com/BoogyzDonuts
Gra dook moo (baby-back ribs) from Chiang Mai
With the northern Thai-focused Chiang Mai, Su Hill joins sisters Ann Bognar (Nippon Tei), Nina Prapaisilpa (Rice Thai Bistro) and Whitney Yoon (Sushi Koi) in one of St. Louis' most remarkable restaurant families. Gra dook moo — tender, garlicky oven-roasted baby-back ribs kissed with honey — is just one of many dishes I could highlight here.
Where Chiang Mai, 8158 Big Bend Boulevard, Webster Groves • More info 314-961-8889; chiangmaistl.com
Empanadas from Coffeestamp
Brothers Patrick and Spencer Clapp founded the micro roastery Coffeestamp in Fox Park in 2018; last year, they added a cafe. The menu includes a range of empanadas, from the Argentinian Pino (ground beef, black olive and hard-boiled egg) to the Napolitana (roasted cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella). Also try the choripan, a sandwich with Honduran chorizo, chimichurri, cilantro, onion and mayo.
Where Coffeestamp, 2511 South Jefferson Avenue • More info 314-797-8113; coffeestamp.com
Churros from El Papi Churro
El Papi Churro is the newest of the ventures on this list, but Carol and Junior Lara's mobile pop-up is such giddy fun I had to include it. Inspired by a visit to Carol's family in Peru, the pop-up serves churros with manjar blanco (Peruvian dulce de leche) as well as in combinations like Cinnamon Toast Crunch with honey and sweetened condensed milk. Look for El Papi next at the Ferguson Farmers Market on May 29.
More info elpapichurro.stl.com
Chicken gangjeong from Fire Chicken
Korean chicken gangjeong is the specialty of Fire Chicken, which Michelle and Sungmin Baik opened last August in Overland. The bite-sized pieces of fried chicken come in your choice of three sauces. I'm torn between the complex sweetness of the Fire sauce or the more direct chile punch of the Red sauce. Order one of each.
Where Fire Chicken, 10200 Page Avenue, Overland • More info 314-551-2123; facebook.com/FireChickenSTL
The Freddie G Sandwich from Freddie G's Chicken & Waffle
The classic pairing of chicken and waffles makes for a winning dish at Freddie G's Chicken & Waffle, which opened last July in Hyde Park. Airy waffles sandwich crispy, juicy buttermilk-marinated fried chicken, pickles and the signature vital, tangy G sauce.
Where 1435 Salisbury Street • More info 314-354-6515; freddiegschickenandwaffles.com
Korean street bowls from K-Bop
The food truck K-Bop opened a brick-and-mortar location late last year in the Delmar Loop, an everyday home for its signature Korean street bowls (a.k.a. cupbops). Top your bowl of rice, japchae and mixed greens with your choice of protein: e.g., chicken katsu (pictured), bulgogi or my favorite, jeyuk bokkeum (spicy pork).
Where 6120 Delmar Boulevard • More info 314-884-8767; kbopst.com
Barbecue from Love at First Bite
Where to begin at Love at First Bite, the takeout-only St. Ann restaurant where chef Jason Lamont dishes up barbecue and fried rice, chicken sandwiches and a vegan St. Paul? I'll go with Lamont's smoked brisket, ribs or pulled pork, though his lobster — with fried rice or as a topping for loaded fries — might tempt you from the barbecue.
Where Love at First Bite, 10479 St. Charles Rock Road, St. Ann • More info 314-695-5440; loveatfirstbitestl.com
Detroit-style pizza from Motor Town Pizza
Motor Town Pizza, a ghost kitchen from Revel Kitchen, embraces the thick crust and ample cheese of Detroit-style pizza. My favorite pie gets to Motor City via Chicago: the Abe Froman's Ferrari tops the pie with sausage, onion, sporting peppers and giardiniera as well as brick and mozzarella cheeses.
Where 8388 Musick Memorial Drive, Brentwood (Revel Kitchen) • More info 314-514-5392; motortownpizza.appfront.ai
The pastrami sandwich from Nomad
Nomad, which opened just before the pandemic inside Tamm Avenue Bar in Dogtown, can already claim one of St. Louis' new iconic dishes. Chef Tommy Andrew, determined to be the "pastrami guy," serves up brined, smoked brisket intensely seasoned with black pepper and coriander. The sandwich adds Swiss cheese and the tangy house sauce on rye.
Where Nomad, 1221 Tamm Avenue • More info 314-696-2360; facebook.com/nomadeatsstl.com
Sandwiches from Pastaria Deli & Wine
The prepared-food menu at Gerard Craft's new restaurant-market hybrid Pastaria Deli & Wine features sandwiches distinguished by terrific ingredients and impeccable technique. The Volpi Hertiage Prosciutto sandwich rounds out its luscious namesake ingredient with cultured butter and accents it with lemon agrumato and giardiniera.
Where Pastaria Deli & Wine, 7734 Forsyth Boulevard, Clayton • More info 314-773-7755; pastariadeliwine.com
The fried chicken sandwich at Perennial on Lockwood
The pandemic didn't slow the proliferation of great fried chicken sandwiches. The version at Perennial on Lockwood, the partnership between the Olive + Oak and Perennial Artesian Ale teams, is first among equals, thanks to its buttermilk-brined thigh meat and Sichuan-inspired zing.
Where Perennial on Lockwood, 216 West Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves • More info 314-682-3823; facebook.com/perennialonlockwood
Cheesesteaks from Phillies Cheesesteaks
Mel Harlston offers a variety of cheesesteaks at his takeout-only University City shop, chicken teriyaki and buffalo chicken among them. But the signature dish is the daringly named Phillies Authentic Cheesesteak: steak, Cheez Whiz and sautéed onion. Authentic? Ask a Philadelphian. Delicious? Absolutely.
Where Phillies Cheesesteaks, 6800 Olive Boulevard, Unit F, University City • More info 314-925-8676; philliescheesesteaks.com
Sandwiches from ReVoaked Sandwiches
After cooking for the Gamlin Restaurant Group and the short-lived Oaked in Soulard, Stephan Ledbetter opened ReVoaked Sandwiches in late 2019 in the Central West End. He turns out smart sandwiches both familiar (Italian cold cuts) and of his own creation (the Chicken Popper, chicken in whipped jalapeño-garlic cream cheese with fried onions).
Where ReVoaked Sandwiches, 12 South Euclid Avenue • More info 314-349-9017; revoaked.com
Birria from Tacos La Jefa
Heriberta Amescua's birria was already a backyard sensation when she established Tacos La Jefa last fall in the Urban Eats incubator in Dutchtown. The weekend pop-up features birria de res as both tacos and plates — and be sure to get a cup of consommé for sipping and dunking. Amescua died in April, but her family is continuing her legacy.
Where 3301 Meramec Street (Urban Eats) • More info facebook.com/tacoslajefaSTL
The Korean crab boil from Tiny Chef
OK. Melanie Meyer's Tiny Chef isn't a new restaurant, per se, but the walk-up window inside the Silver Ballroom did become a solo operation last year. (The restaurant was previously Party Bear Pizza and Tiny Chef.)
At any rate, I can't think of a better takeout meal I've eaten over the past 14 months than Meyer's Korean crab boil, an occasional, advance-order-required special: snow crab in a silky, spicy gochugaru-garlic butter sauce with sautéed shrimp, roasted potatoes, sautéed bok choy, Korean cheesy corn and a boiled egg.
Check Tiny Chef's Facebook page for availability.
Where 4701 Morganford Road (The Silver Ballroom) • More info 314-832-9223; facebook.com/TinyChefSTL
Wings from Wing Runner
Wing Runner, a ghost-kitchen concept from David and Meggan Sandusky of the Beast barbecue restaurants, serves smoked, then deep-fried wings. Wing Runners' sauces are stellar, whether mild (roasted garlic butter, char siu), hot (the classic buffalo) or incendiary (habanero jerk).
Where 4156 Manchester Avenue (Beast Butcher & Block) • More info wingrunnerstl.com
Where 20 South Belt West, Belleville (Beast Craft BBQ Co.) • More info wingrunnerstl.com
Ramen from Zenwich
Blue Ocean Sushi owner Chai Ploentham imported his Chicago concept Zenwich to the Central West End last summer. The menu features both sandwiches and ramen, and while both categories impress, rich broths like the Taiwanese Spicy Beef and Black Garlic Pork Bone give the edge to Zenwich's ramen.
Where Zenwich, 8½ South Euclid Avenue • More info 314-833-3165; zenwich.com