1. I spotted hardback copies of one of my favorite foodie books, The Apprentice by Jacques Pepin, on the discount racks of the Creve Coeur Borders.  I can’t possibly recommend it enough.  It’s incredibly interesting as a whole but, with Pepin’s insane skill, the really interesting bits are his years at Howard Johnson’s.

It’s hard to imagine a time when people were attempting to make chain food that actually stood up to some level of high standards.

2. Guanciale.  Salume Beddu was slinging some made with Fararr Out Farm Berkshire jaws at Tower Grove recently and it is delicious.

Toast some good bread, render some up like lardons, and top it with arugula and a fried egg cooked in the rendered fat for the ultimate (and fast) after-work snack.

3. Grits.  I’d been unimpressed by Revival‘s in the past, but this week, cheesy grits baked in a dish and topped with a slice of ham and a sunny-side up egg were absolutely perfect.  It doesn’t get much better than egg yolk running over anything.

4. Getting much better…the Fat of has made an appearance at Niche.  Lamb belly is now the final savory course of the tasting menu and it’s ridiculously good–everything a solitary slice of tender lamb gut was meant to be.

Lamb – mushroom, cauliflower, tapenade (& Brussels Sprouts when I had it)

5. A guilty pleasure: Chicken Modega and a side of white cavatelli at the Town & Country Rich & Charlie’s.  Bonus: it was $28 for two of us to eat.  Bonus 2: That Rich & Charlie’s is BYOB. Bonus 3: It was enough for lunch the next day too.