Special Request: Charcoal House Coleslaw uses olive oil from family's own grove
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Special Request: Charcoal House Coleslaw uses olive oil from family's own grove

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Special Request: Coleslaw at the Charcoal House

Special Request: Coleslaw at the Charcoal House photographed on Thursday, Feb. 19, 2016. Photo by Laurie Skrivan, lskrivan@post-dispatch.com

Q • My wife is nuts about the slaw at the Charcoal House in Rock Hill. — Alan J. Steinberg, Creve Coeur

A • Quick, now. Name the St. Louis restaurant that imports olive oil from its very own olive grove near Kalamata, Greece. The Charcoal House, you say? Good answer.

Restaurateurs George and Steve Angelos came to the U.S. from their homeland as young men but remember a time when horse-driven stone mills were employed during the olive crush. Today other family members tend the olive grove while the brothers preside over the restaurant they’ve owned for almost 40 years, a destination for hand-cut char-broiled steaks, fresh seafood and courtly service.

“It’s real cozy and warm here,” George Angelos says, surveying couples and businesspeople talking quietly over lunch. At night, candles cast light off the white tablecloths. People like that Old World touch, he says. “You don’t find many restaurants like ours anymore.”

Maybe it’s the cocktails, which Angelos calls the best drinks in the county, especially the vodka martinis. Think icy cold glasses dipped into crystallized ice. Think free pours. Think jumbo olives hand-stuffed with rouquefort. No wonder guests often snap a photo.

Angelos says that the Charcoal House’s Greek-style slaw is popular at lunch, especially during Lent when guests often pair it with a fish sandwich, fresh sole broiled or fried on toasted rye. Angelos’ sister Olga Salas works in the Charcoal House kitchen and prepares fresh soup every day, ham and bean, chicken noodle and more. “Everything is fresh here,” she says. “No heavy stuff; we are very healthy eaters.”

In Greece, Salas says, this coleslaw would be served in the summer. “We make it with the right ingredients, our good olive oil, fresh lemon juice.” She insists on starting with a small head of green cabbage. “Big heads are old,” she says. “We want smaller, fresher.” And she grinds the cabbage by hand, including the heart, in an old-fashioned rotary grater. “It comes out nice, like the snow.”


Special Request is written by Town and Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.

To request a recipe

Would you like to request a recipe from a restaurant that is still open in the St. Louis area? Send your request along with your full name to reciperequest@post-dispatch.com.

Special Request is written by Town and Country resident Alanna Kellogg, author of the online recipe column KitchenParade.com and “veggie evangelist” at the food blog about vegetables, A Veggie Venture.  

Would you like to request a recipe from a restaurant that is still open in the St. Louis area? Send your request along with your full name to reciperequest@post-dispatch.com.

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

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