This is the new location of the former Athlete Eats on Cherokee Street. The concept is the same: healthy, entirely gluten-free, fresh meals that are made-to-order with as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. It’s open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner (closing at 8 p.m. most days).
Service is very personal and friendly, like you’ve entered a brotherhood of sustainability and responsible eating. The environs are clean and fresh (although the open kitchen can leave your clothes smelling like a cooktop). As you might imagine, cold-pressed juices and smoothies rule here, and the tea and coffee selections (Kaldi’s) are impressive. The Beety (beet, apple, parsley and ginger) was refreshing and a lot of beverage for $6.
I’m always impressed when a restaurant focuses on a small, cohesive menu, which is the case here. The place offers delicious proteins to add to your choice of ‘base’ (wraps, rice bowls, salads or eggs) and four different flavoring styles (Asian, Southern, Mediterranean and Latin) that finish off the dish. You can have these straight-up vegetarian (or mofu), or choose one of the animal proteins, which were top-notch. That’s probably because these are premium and mostly local: Deppe Farms bacon and pulled pork from Washington, Missouri; Mofu from St. Louis; and free-range chicken and grass-fed beef from Jones Farm in North Carolina. The salmon is organic Faroe Island fish.
We started with a cauli-rice bowl with house-smoked salmon, which is a base of cauliflower put through a ricer to yield rice-size bits of the vegetable—clever and tasty. The salmon was served smoked and cold in large chunks atop the cauliflower rice. The style we chose for this dish was ‘Southern,’ which meant the following were added to and tossed with our protein: tiny sweet potato cubes, Southern greens, onions and sunflower seeds. The dominant flavors were bitter greens and lightly smoked fish.
My favorite was the grass-fed shredded beef over quinoa with Latin flavoring mixed in. That meant black beans, corn kernels, jalapenos and tiny bits of pineapple interspersed with the delicate quinoa and the scrumptious beef (which was a good-sized portion and perfectly spiced).
Don’t pass up the Cauli-Tots ($4), little puffs of mashed cauliflower, whipped egg and cheese. They’re like cauliflower muffins and quite delicious dipped in ketchup. Also terrific were the waffles ($4), light squares made with a vanilla-cinnamon batter offered with either butter and maple syrup or PBJ.
As a handheld option, we tried a whole wheat wrap (the only menu item containing gluten) filled with pulled pork and Asian fixings: edamame, shredded cabbage, carrots, red peppers and sesame oil flavoring. The pork was excellent, and all ingredients were fresh and worked well together.
Next came a scrambled eggs base done Mediterranean style with diced beets, carrots, chickpeas, red peppers and almonds. Our protein was smoked salmon. This blend was less successful, as some of the ingredients just didn’t work well with the eggs (like beets). But in general, the dishes at Revel Kitchen are surprisingly satisfying, in both taste and satiety.
the scene | Casual healthy-eating spot
the prices | $7-$12 bowls, sandwiches, wraps and omelettes
the chef/owner | Simon Lusky
the favorites | Mofu Wrap, Pulled Pork Wrap, Beef Quinoa Bowl, Smoked Salmon Cauli-Rice Bowl
culinary pedigree | Johnson & Wales
favorite ingredient | Cauliflower
favorite cookbook | Modernist Cuisine by Nathan Myhrvold
favorite st. louis restaurant | Lona’s Lil’ Eats
most memorable dining experience | At the chef’s table at Animal in L.A. He did things I never saw before; it certainly sparked the imagination.
guilty pleasure | Dark chocolate Raisinettes
8388 musick memorial drive | 314.647.2222
Photos: Bill Barrett