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    After eating many different versions, I’ve decided that – dare I say it? – a vegetarian Reuben can beat the traditional corned beef sandwich.

      The annual Ladue News Platinum List allows our readers to vote on the best of the best among metro-area businesses. See this year's top picks in the food category. 

        Jjigae is a Korean dish similar to Western stew, traditionally served boiling hot in a communal dish. This vegan version is just as hearty as the meat and seafood varieties, and the type of kimchi you use will determine its spice level. 

        The colorful Asian eatery HiTea, which debuted last summer in Chesterfield, offers unique food and drink options with an extensive menu that includes ramen, rice bowls, bubble tea and baked goods.

        The full-service barbecue eatery from Baileys’ Restaurants features traditional American “Q,” such as Carolina pulled pork and Texas brisket, with globally inspired flavors and specials.

        Kohlrabi, also known as the German turnip, can draw bewildered looks from shoppers, but the knobby purple or green vegetable shouldn’t be snubbed. 

        Taco Circus, in St. Louis’ Southwest Garden neighborhood, continues to specialize in Austin-style Tex-Mex, but lately has transformed from fast casual to full service, with expanded comfort food and a brand-new bar program.