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Grace Meat + 3 chef shares comfort recipe for country fried steak
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Grace Meat + 3 chef shares comfort recipe for country fried steak

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Comfort cooking doesn’t get any better than country fried steak. The steak pounded ever so thin nearly fills a big skillet. The breading of self-rising flour, cornstarch and flavorful seasonings nearly guarantees a brown, crunchy crust and a fork-tender bite.

For Grace Meat + Three owner Rick Lewis, this Southern classic hearkens back to his youth, and to time spent in the country with relatives who farmed.

His grandmother, Kate Lewis, and his mom, Sharon Lewis, both influenced his cooking. Lewis says. He learned to love gardens from his grandmother. “She cooked fresh from her huge garden, pickled vegetables and made everything from scratch. Casseroles, meatloaf, fried chicken — she made comfort foods in her cast-iron skillet I inherited. My mom cooked great meals for our family, day after day.”

Rick’s wife, Elisa, also grew up in a home where cooking was important and valued. “My mother was a modern cook,” she says. “She prepared things she could freeze, then pull them out, and we’d be ready to go for dinner.”

Rick and Elisa grew up knowing that cooking good foods and sharing meals with family and friends mattered.

At Grace, this husband and wife duo created a community restaurant that serves Southern-style food with a warm hospitality to match.

When the pandemic closed dining rooms throughout the region, the two worked out a plan to keep Grace open for carry-out and delivery meals in short order. They also instituted “Giving Grace,” a program to support out-of-work restaurant employees in the St. Louis area by providing a certain number of free meals for curbside delivery each day, a program that has helped many. One man’s story stood out for Rick Lewis.

“The man walked up to our window with his two little girls in hand to thank me personally for the meal we provided. It touched me,” he says. “It’s not easy to ask for help. I gave the girls each a hand pie and they walked off.”

Throughout the pandemic closure, Rick and Elisa Lewis have found new ways to serve their community’s food needs. In addition to their Grace Chicken + Fish window, the couple has opened a second window, Grace Backyard BBQ.

They are open for Saturday and Sunday brunch carry-out and curbside from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. They are offering a Mother’s Day Brunch special meal as well as brunch. Grace Meat + Three

4270 Manchester Avenue


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