If you want ketchup or mustard at Twisted Ranch, it's going to cost you extra.
The condiment of choice at the new restaurant, set to open next week, is ranch dressing – 18 of them, to be exact. Twisted Ranch, St. Louis' first ranch dressing-inspired restaurant, is almost ready to open its doors at 1730 S. 8th St. in Soulard, in the former home of Sassy JAC's.
Co-owner Jim Hayden has wanted to open a restaurant for some time now, and co-owner Chad Allen has always had an affinity for the creamy dressing. The two developed the entire menu themselves, and say there were more hits than misses – though they soon learned desserts just aren't meant for ranch.
Everything on the menu incorporates ranch in some shape or form, but many dishes do so quite subtly. Hayden and Allen developed their own dry ranch mix, which is used to season everything from panko bread crumbs in toasted ravioli to a pan-seared boneless pork chop to the homemade crust for flatbreads in flavors like chicken bacon ranch and hickory-smoked pulled pork.
"We're trying to break away from the stigma of ranch dressing, in that people hear the words and think Hidden Valley," Allen says.
Indeed, the restaurant is using ranch in a lot of unexpected ways. They've developed those 18 different flavors of ranch, from garlic, buffalo and smoked paprika to Tzatziki, Chipotle and Thai. The latter flavors pave the way for items like the Cuban sandwich or chicken ranch gyro. Allen and Hayden say they hope to use the Thai ranch to incorporate a few Asian-inspired dishes on the menu.
In order to cater to the Soulard crowd, the menu is packed with bar grub – think deep-fried prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella, loaded French fries and plenty of sandwiches and burgers – but chef Johnathan Tinker says he's hoping to turn a few heads in the area with sous vide proteins like pork chops, steaks and ribs.
The restaurant features a full bar with about half craft and half macro brews. In keeping with the theme, of course, a Ranch-infused vodka with Twisted Ranch's homemade ranch seasoning will also be on offer.
Twisted Ranch, 1730 S. 8th St., Soulard, St. Louis, Missouri, 314.833.3450, twistedranch.com
Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect that Twisted Ranch's opening date has been pushed back a few days.
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