DELUX FOODIE: THE KITCHEN SINK
Words by: Shandress Denise
Ever remember hearing someone say, “I put everything, but the kitchen sink in it when they were cooking?”
Well that’s exactly the saying that lead head cook/ owner Anthony Ellerson to name his restaurant; The Kitchen Sink. Influenced by his father and the quality time they spent while in the kitchen; Ellerson picked up his knack for cooking. His desire for being an entrepreneur came from working in kitchens and seeing how he and the other staff were being mistreated and improperly paid. With his first location on Debaliviere (thanks to help from his family); Ellerson decided it was time to take his dream to the next level. Nestled in a historic building on Union; the Kitchen Sink’s second location was my dinner destination. As a frequent diner in the CWE, I had never even heard of the restaurant. So naturally, I had to stop by and give it a try. I didn’t have a taste for anything in particular….. so I figured why not. Upon walking through the doors, the atmosphere is inviting. The yellow painted walls; floor to ceiling patio windows, open bar and wood columns instantly reminded me of a parlor room hidden in an old house. The southern feel creates a warm feeling as the food aromas lure you in. When speaking with Ellerson that was the exact feeling he was hoping to grasp. As I walked to my seat, I was impressed by the look and more than ready to dive into the menu I had been stalking online earlier.
After I was seated and tucked into the corner, my eyes were going 80mph across the menu. Breakfast options, sandwiches, burgers and even entrees….. what do I choose? The menu was definitely power- packed with a variety of different options. Honestly, I hate going to dinner with no idea of what I want to eat. Why is that you ask? Well simply because
I end up ordering way more than I should only to find out I don’t want any of it (crazy huh?). I flipped the menu back and forth four or five times before I gave up and decided to just ask the waitress for suggestions (she was SO friendly by the way). I guessed she could sense my indecisiveness, so she rolled up her sleeves and dived right in with the favorites. Her suggestions included The Phat Albert (a huge burger…..ehhh pass), 4 Horseman (sounds interesting), The Kitchen Sink (shrimp & grits – I
eat this everywhere!), and The Mighty Mo. Not only was I curious about the dishes, my interest was now peaked about the origin of the menu names….so of course I asked (LOL).
[“As I was writing my menu, I realized everybody had the same thing so I wanted to do it with a twist. I figured when most people dine out sometimes it actually their first time trying that dish, so my menu names are from people I know personally to keep people intrigued.”-Ellerson]
Now we arrive at the conundrum. Everything sounded so delicious! With the American & Creole mix, I was still undecided. I requested a few more minutes from my waitress. Time was ticking and my taste buds were not cooperating. I finally decided
to take a chance and go with “The Mighty Mo.” A platter compiled with jambalaya; blackened chicken, grilled andouille sausage, blackened shrimp, crab cake and corn fritters were on the way. My taste buds had finally come alive!
With not much time between placing my order my food had finally arrived. At first glance, I was
a little disappointed. Why you ask? Well we all know we eat with our eyes first. So needless to say the presentation threw me off base. I wasn’t expecting it to come out like a five-star restaurant, but I definitely wasn’t expecting a replica of my dinner plate at home. Once I got passed the presentation, I dove right in. My first forkful was a scoop of jambalaya. It had a spicy kick that alerted my senses and taste palettes. The perfectly cooked rice was laced with all the necessary flavors a Creole jambalaya should have……so far so good.
Next on my plate was the crab cake. I’d have to say it was just okay to me. Seeing I am a huge seafood person, my expectations of crab cakes are pretty high. They weren’t the worst I’d ever had, however they weren’t my top five either. As I moved
throughout my dish, I regret to say the blackened chicken disappointed me. The enticing aroma that grabbed hold of me when it was first placed in front of me fell flat with the taste. On the up side, I will say it had plenty of flavor, but it lacked the moistness chicken should always encompass. I went on to sample the rest of the platter: the corn fritters (very tasty), blackened shrimp (succulent and flavorful) and the delicious andouille sausage that solidifies any creole dish.
While my dining experience continued……I heard the laughter of other patrons as they mingled with fellow patrons, as well as, the friendly and attentive staff. Interactions like this are the reasons why Ellerson loves the restaurant industry. “A family environment” he calls it as he continues to grow and create jobs. Sadly, my evening at the Kitchen Sink came to a close as my waitress returned to clean off my table and make sure I didn’t need or want anything else. Of course, we know no dining experience is complete without paying the bill. Once my bill arrived, I was satisfied with the fact I was full and only for $16 bucks! Though other dishes were less costly, I’d say this was definitely a bargain.
Service & Prices: Check!
Overall, I had some favorites and not so favorites about my dish. The service and atmosphere was great and I am definitely curious about other menu items. As Ellerson expands his locations, the option of carry out or dine in are available. So if you do decide to go, be sure to take a chance and try the IDK dish. You never know what may come out of The Kitchen Sink.
The Kitchen Sink
255 Union Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63136
Sunday – Saturday | 11am – 10pm www.letseat.at/thekitchensink
Be sure to check out the newest downtown location opening soon at the corner of 6th & Lucas!