Budget Crunch: 10 delicious dishes and sweet deals to try now

It’s time for Budget Crunch, wherein intrepid reporter Holly Fann offers 10 tips on delicious menu items and sweet deals happening now. Got $10 and some change? Grab a friend and sample, split and stuff yourselves with these steals.   BC_Sep15_01   1. The wood-fired oven at Red Guitar Bread is now used for more than just Alex Carlson’s artisanal breads. On Friday and Saturday from 8 p.m. to midnight, you can order a 10-inch wood-fired pizza like the Rosa, topped with red onion, Gruyere, rosemary and pistachio, most for $10 each. Walk into the bakery at 3215 Cherokee St., and watch your pizza bake or head next door to the San Loo Bar and have a beer. Carlson will deliver your pizza when it’s ready. 2. On Saturday, Sept. 19, Pastaria pastry chef Anne Croy will whip up batches of her famous geloni, a gelato-filled cannoli shell dipped in Askinosie chocolate. This weekend, enjoy roasted banana gelato dipped in dark chocolate, raspberry gelato dipped in white chocolate with Japanese matcha or avocado-lychee gelato dipped in a milk chocolate. You get all three for $9, so save room for dessert. Need extra incentive? A portion of proceeds from the geloni sales benefit the Usher Syndrome Coalition, which raises awareness of retinitis pigmentosa, a hearing loss and eye disorder.   BC_Sep15_04   3. You can count the number of local bakeries that offer canelé on half of one hand. For a sublime example of what a canelé can be, make the drive out to 4 Seasons Bakery in St. Charles or pick up a dozen Wednesday afternoons at the Schlafly Farmers Market, where 4 Seasons sets up shop from 4 to 7 p.m. At around $2 apiece, you will want to indulge in more than one. 4. Let a glass of wine bring out your inner artist at Lucky’s Market in on Sept. 23 when you join the free Painting and Wine with Pinot’s Palette event from 6 to 8 p.m. Paints and paper, as well as a selection of wines, chocolates and cheeses. Space is limited, so email brookeb@luckysmarket.com for reservations. Can’t make it next week? Keep an eye out for the October class.   BC_Sep15_02   5. Next time you pop in to Bolyard’s Meat & Provisions for a pasture-raised pork chop, grab lunch, too, when you snag the latest weekly sandwich. Previous iterations include the Pork ’N Rye – ham, porchetta di testa, bread-and-butter pickles, cheddar and beer mustard on thick slices of rye bread, are all made in house. The sandwich changes weekly, so online for updates. Add a bottled soda of your choice to your sammy for an even $10. 6. A nod towards the flavors of cooler weather, Planter’s House bartender Kate Kinsey created the off-menu All About Eve cocktail, a balanced drink Kinsey described as Old-Fashioned-esque with strong apple brandy notes. Walnut liquor, honey and orgeat keep the brandy company. For $10, you’ll sip one coupe of glorious liquid autumn.   BC_Sep15_03   7. Don’t miss a sip of the weekly Blueprint roast available at The Mudhouse, which offers the local roaster's ever-evolving blends on its pour-over menu or for sale by the pound. Sip a 12-ounce V60 pour over for around $3.50 or go fully caffeinated with the 24-ounce Chemex for around $7. 8. Eating ice cream and sniffing butts is what it’s all about at Puppy Yappy Hour Friday, Sept. 25 from 5 to 7 p.m. at I Scream Cakes on Cherokee Street. Owner Kerry Soraci opens up the connecting outdoor space attached to her shop so puppies and their people can enjoy social time while lapping up 50-cent ice cream specials for pups and $1 to $8 specials for humans. Sniffs are free.   BC_Sep15_06   9. A craving for great bagels and lox can come out of nowhere at any time. Good thing Kingside Diner in the Central West End serves a generous portion: close to 6 ounces of house-made lox, served with the traditional red onion, capers, chives, cream cheese and a toasty bagel. The $10 platter is a deal for those who love tasty cured salmon at any time of day. 10. Douglas Marshall is the self-proclaimed Tamale Man, offering up handmade pork, chicken and veggie tamales  hot and ready at his stand at area farmers markets. Nine bucks will buy you four large tamales, enough to share with a friend. If you’re not hungry now, you can purchase Marshall’s tamales frozen and indulge at home. You’ll find Tamale Man at the Schlafly Farmers Market on Wednesdays, the Webster Groves Farmers Market on Thursdays and at both the Midtown and Kirkwood farmers markets on Saturday.   Holly Fann is a longtime food writer who currently blogs at GastrononicSTL.

-photos by Holly Fann