Photo: J. Pollack Photography
Yesterday, we learned all about how St. Louis came to be the home of fast food. Here are some of the local delicacies that keep the city true to its hundred-year-old claim on fantastic junk food.
St. Louis Pizza
Rich and Charlie's Salad
Provel's a crucial ingredient in this salad, too. "It's a mainstay of all the St Louis Italian restaurants, and is known as Rich and Charlie's even if you're not sitting in that restaurant," Corbett explains. To make it at home, she says, combine iceberg, romaine, artichoke hearts, thin red onions and some provel, dress it in red wine vinaigrette and let it sit to wilt slightly.
Not toasted, but deep-fried, and served with meat sauce. "A couple of different restaurants vie for the title of inventing toasted ravioli," says Catherine Neville, editor of local foodie magazine Sauce. "A chef was said to have accidentally dropped ravioli into the deep fryer and thought it was delicious. It's been a menu staple ever since."
Maull's BBQ Sauce
The local BBQ dip. "Like any other place, we have our own signature BBQ sauce – it's tomatoey and a little bit on the sweet side," Corbett confides.
The European heritage is the reason that cold cuts are so outstanding here – for Italian treats, go to Volpi's on the Hill, and for meaty German staples, like Bavarian brats, G&W is unbeatable.
Gooey Butter Cake
"Everybody's mum made it growing up," Neville says. "And it's very sweet, like a coffee cake, except richer." Think of it like as a crunchy vanilla cake with extra thick and creamy frosting. "It's the most devilishly decadent concoction – the more goo the better. I've been known to scrape off the goo and leave the crust behind," laughs Corbett. It's now often served with a strong espresso to cut through the richness.
Home of the "concrete," a scoop of frozen vanilla custard (creamier than ice cream, it incorporates eggs into the recipe) that is pureed in a blender with a choice of thickeners from chunks of chocolate bar to a slab of cherry pie. The name, of course, is a nod to its jawbreaking consistency.