As our St. Louis trip draws to an end, I want to share the mouth-watering food you can find over here with as many people as I can. You may not immediately think of St. Louis cuisine as part of your culinary check-list, but you most definitely should. There are some dishes that you can only find in this city and that are well worth the visit.
St. Louis-style Pizza
What makes this pizza different from all others?
1. Extra-thin cracker-like crust made without yeast
2. Use of Provel cheese, specifically invented for St. Louis-style pizza, it has a low melting point that gives it a buttery texture at room temperature
3. It is always cut in either squares or rectangles but never wedges
As someone who doesn’t enjoy eating the crust, I fell head over heels in love with this pizza. Toppings that go all the way to the very edge of the dough? What a genius idea! Every bite has the right topping to crust ratio.
The most recognizable brand is Imo’s but you can find this type of pizza almost anywhere in St. Louis and the surrounding areas. If you’re still not convinced, Don Draper aka Jon Hamm, a native St. Louisan, approves (skip to 1:45).
Ted Drewes Frozen Custard
Summers are brutal in St. Louis with humidity that you can pretty much cut with a knife. It can definitely be unbearable and that’s coming from someone who’s from the Philippines. It’s no wonder the people of this city had to come up with a delicious way to cool off. What is frozen custard? It’s similar to ice cream but with the addition of eggs. It’s creamier, smoother, stays colder longer…it’s far superior in my opinion to gelato or regular ice cream. Think soft-serve but better. Ted Drewes is very famous for its frozen custard and if you don’t take my word for it, what about Bobby Flay’s? The concrete is basically where they mix in whatever toppings you like into their vanilla base.
I’ve had the cookie dough and the S’mores…wow. Mind. Blown. You have to try it. Once you get to one of their two locations, you’ll realize by looking at the license plates of all the parked cars that people drive from all over the US for this.
St. Louis-style BBQ
Yes, they do have BBQ in Missouri and it’s pretty darn good too. Oh no, did I just use “darn”? I’ve been here too long. In any case, St. Louis BBQ is some of the best I’ve ever tasted and I love my BBQ so I should know. Pork is the main thing they use. Their tomato-based, sweet and slightly acidic sauce is what makes it different from the rest. Their ribs are also different because they don’t use baby back but rather the spare ribs, which I prefer.
Now this might seem just a tad bizarre but I promise you that you will get addicted to these things and then once you’ve had a taste and then leave St. Louis, the craving will stay with you and torture you until you go back. You cannot find these anywhere else, at least we haven’t yet and believe you me, we have searched and searched. How can I describe these little squares of heaven? Basically it’s breaded and deep-fried ravioli stuffed with either meat or cheese, served with marinara sauce on the side. You can eat it as an appetizer, as a main course, as a snack, I’d eat it anytime, anywhere. Oh man, nothing can compare to that first crispy, chewy, saucy bite of toasted ravioli. Alright, my mouth is watering, I’m going out to get some.
Lion’s Choice might be a fast-food restaurant but their roast-beef sandwiches are sliced fresh when you order them and are so yummy.
The good news is that Panera now has locations all over Toronto. Fun fact: the first location of Panera was in Kirkwood, Missouri in St. Louis County where my boyfriend’s parents live.
Happy Tuesday and bon appétit!