Restaurant Review: Yolklore
St. Louis has really stepped up its game in the locally-owned fast casual restaurant department. Yolkore, an amazing breakfast spot in an unassuming area of the Crestwood neighborhood, is possibly leading the pack with this movement. They've only been open since August of 2016 and with each of my visits the food has been flavorful and creative all with consistent quality. I love the fact that they locally source their produce, meats, flour, coffee, etc. - it adds to the all-around good vibe I get from Yolklore. In addition to their solid menu of breakfast/brunch entrees, there is also excellent coffee menu, fresh squeezed juices, a la carte items, kids menu (more on this in a bit), and sweets.
Speaking of sweets, one of the co-owner's Mary has an extensive pastry and baking background and it shows. She made a cake for my daughter's birthday and it was AMAZING. The ordering process was easy and Mary far exceeded my expectations with her creativity. I just gave her the color scheme for the party and she ran with it. We loved the look (and taste!) so much that now each member in our family is strongly considering this exact cake as his or her requested birthday cake.
Back to the main menu, so far we've tried several items but keep coming back to one consistently which is the Mary B.E.A.R. sandwich ($8) - house ciabatta bun, brie, boiled egg, apple butter, arugula, pickled red onion, and we add bacon ($3). Each entree comes with a side of fruit or crispy potatoes. My husband and I usually split this sandwich along with another entree so we can try more things. Although he has considered going rogue and getting a Mary B.E.A.R. sandwich all to himself because it's that good.
On more than one occasion our other split entree has been the Pancake Roll up ($9.50) - 2 scrambled eggs, house turkey chorizo, cheddar, pickled jalapeno, fire roasted salsa, lime crema. The roll up is spicy, delicious, and the pancake used has a light crepe-like texture. I also love their Mushroom Frittata ($9.50). And, to keep things interesting Yolklore features a special on the weekends alternating savory and sweet. Most recently we enjoyed Coffee Braised Beef with cheesy grits, chimichurri, and sous vide egg (slow cooked for a creamy result). This dish had such amazing flavor, I could've licked the plate clean. And, this is coming from someone who doesn't eat much beef and who hasn't given much thought to grits.
As far as the kids menu, there are five items to choose from and each comes with a side of fresh fruit all for $5. Our daughter calls Yolkore the "grilled cheese place" because of her affinity for their hearty grilled cheese on whole wheat with cheddar. She's a major fruit fan and that makes Mommy happy too as typically a lot of the kids menus are carb loaded. If she does good job of eating her meal, the three of us usually split a piece of the Gooey Butter Cake because it is one of the best versions of I've tried.
Another fun idea that Yolkore rolled out last year was their introduction of cooking classes as a way to connect with the community. My sister in law and I took a "Classy Appetizers" class in December and it was perfect timing to get ideas for all the holiday parties to follow. The class was $30 per person and lasted about two hours. We loved getting fed too - it said heavy snacks and drinks, and it was definitely enough to feel full and ideal because the class started at 5:30pm which would've been dinnertime. Our snacks were hearty samples of a few of their menu items and then samples of the items that Chef Mary demonstrated for us. She made pumpkin curry soup with toasted mustard seeds, caramelized onion pear galettes, and mushroom tartar - pictured below. I ended up making the galettes for a family party and thought they turned out well. My rookie mistake was assembling them and then walking away to multi-task while the oven preheated which made the puff pastry get a little warm and so when baked they didn't puff up as much. Not perfect looking but still tasty!
A few other things:
- They renovated a former restaurant's spot within this unassuming complex and it has a drive-through. So you can order delicious atypical fast food from the comfort of your car. Mind blown.
- As mentioned, it is fast casual so no table service. You order at the counter, pick up your own utensils/napkins/brewed coffee/water. They call your name when the food is ready and comes in these nifty little compost friendly trays. When finished, you throw the trash away, put the utensils in canisters for cleaning, and stack the trays to be composted.
- The kitchen is open making it fun for kids to observe and the space is more inviting.
*Family Friendliness Rating: 9.5/10 for a diverse kids menu with five unique items to choose from and each comes with fresh fruit for only $5. They give Yolklore branded stickers to the kids while waiting in line. Fast casual concepts get points automatically. The half point away from perfect is because of the seating. It's decent for the size of the space but if you go when it's crowded, you may have to sit at high top communal table or counter, which are no problem without a toddler but I prefer a non-communal standard height table and chair for a wiggly toddler.
Open Mon-Fri 6:00am - 2:00pm and Sat-Sun 7:00am-2:00pm with specials served weekends