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Blues players fueling fans in more than one way

Sugarfire Smokehouse naming sandwiches after St. Louis stars Elliott, Tarasenko and more

by Pat Pickens @Pat_Pickens / Staff Writer

St. Louis Blues goalie Brian Elliott ate up 31 pucks in a 2-1 win against the San Jose Sharks in Game 1 of the Western Conference Final on Sunday. This spring, fans in St. Louis have been able to eat him up too.

Inspired by the Blues' run through the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and keeping with its penchant for naming daily specials after trending St. Louis topics, the Sugarfire Smokehouse has been making sandwiches named after Blues players at five locations in eastern Missouri.

The establishment has named sandwiches after Elliott, forwards Vladimir Tarasenko, Steve Ott, David Backes, Ryan Reaves and Troy Brouwer, and defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Alex Pietrangelo among others this spring.

"The Blues-inspired specials at Sugarfire have been a huge hit, mainly because we've all been inspired by the Blues' phenomenal playoff run, and our staff is all huge hockey fans," said Mike Johnson, the chef at Sugarfire's flagship restaurant in Olivette. "The entire city has really rallied behind them, and the Blues are all the buzz right now, so we like to feed off of the playoff tension while still keeping it fun."

Tweet from @SugarfireWashMo: The 'Oh Baby Backes' - pulled baby Backes ribs, tangy Lexington slaw, house bacon, pepperjack, hat trick #42 sauce.

Tweet from @SugarfireWingH: Brian Elliot's @BrianElliotNews @StLouisBlues 'MOOSE CLUB' and long live the note with the BLUE NOTE BURRITO!!#LGB

Elliott's sandwich, called "The Moose," has turkey, pulled pork and house bacon. The "Oh Baby, Backes" is a monstrous sandwich with pulled baby-back ribs, Lexington slaw, bacon, pepper-jack cheese and special hat-trick No. 42 sauce, named for the Blues' hulking captain.

Yet, both sandwiches pale in comparison to the "Tarasenkshow Triple". The Tarasenkshow has three patties, lettuce, tomato, pickles and special '91' sauce and is named for the dynamic scoring Russian wing.

On May 5, the O'Fallon location debuted "Tarasenko De Mayo tacos". Johnson's restaurant unveiled the "Tarasenko De Mayo double burger", which had two patties with bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, pepper-jack cheese, bacon mayo, pub cheese and jalapeño.

Tweet from @SugarfireWingH: THE TARASENKSHOW @SugarFireSmoke!! 3 grass-fed patties, American cheese, special 91 sauce!! @tara9191 @StLouisBlues

Tweet from @SugarfireWingH: Happy #TaraSenkoDeMayo everyone! Let's go @StLouisBlues #lgb #WeBleedBlue @tara9191 #bbq #CincoDeMayo

Besides sandwiches, the restaurant's chefs have creatively come up with a variety of dishes to celebrate members of the Blues. Ott, a depth winger who has one assist this postseason, has had three different sandwiches named for him, including his "Beer Bra-Ott" that debuted at the restaurant's St. Charles location next to "Steen-ed mussles," named for St. Louis forward Alexander Steen, on April 21.

Tweet from @SugarfireStChuk: Thursday Specials #Roarbacon @StLouisBlues #delicious #bbq #smoke #brats #beer #eateverything

Johnson and his chefs create the menu, and their restaurants close after they sell out of food -- a daily occurrence. They've also started taking ideas from Blues fans, adding a tasty element to the excitement surrounding St. Louis' postseason run.

"We've all contributed to coming up with the names of each special," Johnson said. "We've even asked our fans on Facebook to contribute, so the whole community has played a part."

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