Medina Mediterranean Grill
Ibrahim Ead’s Medina Mediterranean Grill embodies some of the most important trends in contemporary dining. It’s a locally owned fast-casual operation. Its menu doesn’t sprawl but focuses on doing one dish — shawarma, beef and chicken — exceptionally well. And its menu also reflects Ead’s own experiences, growing up both here in St. Louis and in the Palestinian territories, with sandwiches such as the Summer in Dubai, a mashup of shawarma, chipotle-tahini sauce and pepper jack cheese. When Medina joined the STL 100 in 2016, I wrote it might be the “restaurant of the future.” The future is now — and here.
Hours: Lunch and dinner daily (closes at 5 p.m. Sunday)
Last year's ranking: Rest of the Best