With an array of new restaurants and up-and-coming chefs, St. Louis is undergoing a transformation from flyover city to bona fide food destination.
One of the best examples of this transformation is the local Vietnamese restaurant Mai Lee, whose owner Qui Tran bubbles over with pride for what his family has created and uses his position to help future talent realize their potential.
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A gerber sandwich is an open faced sandwich that uses crusty French bread lathered with garlic butter. It’s topped with ham and provel cheese that melts perfectly.
A Gerber is a delicious open-faced ham and cheese sandwich that originated in St. Louis and is a staple in the city.
It is a simple, open-faced sandwich that is layered with ham and Provel cheese which is a processed blend of cheddar, provolone and swiss. This cheese has a buttery and smokey flavor that makes it a great addition to a gerber sandwich.
If you can’t find Provel cheese, you can also use a combination of mozzarella and provolone or swiss. Just make sure to get a thinner layer of the cheese for better melt.
The Gerber sandwich was invented at Ruma’s Deli in 1973 and named after their customer Dick Gerber. At one point, Ruma’s claimed to own a trademark for the name and sent cease-and-desist letters to other area restaurants.
Toasted ravioli is a deep-fried, breaded appetizer that was invented in St. Louis and is a favorite at many Italian restaurants in the area.
To make toasted ravioli, freeze the filled pasta dough before frying it. Then dip it in flour, egg and bread crumbs before frying.
The fried pockets of pasta are then served sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and accompanied by marinara sauce for dipping. It’s a simple but delicious dish that is sure to please.
There are several flavors of toasted ravioli to choose from at STL Toasted, including Buffalo chicken, spinach artichoke and loaded potato T-ravs. The herbed ricotta-stuffed three-cheese version uses mozzarella and Parmesan-reggiano to create the look of a traditional penne.
The original beef and Buffalo chicken t-ravs feature shredded beef and Frank’s Red Hot sauce, while the spinach-artichoke ravioli is a twist on spinach dip. The loaded potato T-rav features creamy mashed potatoes, bacon, cheddar and green onions all nestled into a fried pasta shell. You can pair it with a side of green onion-flecked sour cream for an indulgent appetizer that is hard to resist.
Provel Cheese is a processed white cheese made from cheddar, Swiss, and provolone that has a low melting point and a gooey and almost buttery texture at room temperature. It is traditionally used as a pizza topping but also adorns many other St. Louis dishes like cheese soups, toasted sandwiches called Gerber sandwiches that are filled with ham and garlic butter, and some pasta dishes.
The cheese is produced by Kraft Heinz, but locally based Imo’s is the exclusive distributor and manufacture of the cheese. It’s sold at Schnuck’s, Hy-Vee, and other grocery stores.
It’s also available for sale at restaurants and delis around St. Louis, including Luigi’s Restaurant.
As Bon Appetit reports, it was trademarked in 1950 by a Chicago purveyor of imported meats and cheeses. But there are a few other theories as to the cheese’s origin.
Originally invented in 1947, the Provel cheese is made from a mixture of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone. It has a lower melting point and a gooey, smoky flavor that fans love. It can be eaten straight out of the package or melted into a variety of dishes.
4.St. Louis Style Pizza.
The St. Louis style pizza is a favorite among locals, and many tourists. The pie features a thin cracker-like crust made without yeast, and a special blend of cheese called Provel. It is cut into squares instead of wedges, and served in restaurants around the city.
Monte Bello Pizzeria claims to be the oldest pizzeria in the city, and it has been serving pies with edge-to-edge toppings since 1950. Its walls are covered with murals painted by a former customer who was paid in beer, and its tables are draped in the same red checkered tablecloths that were on the original board.
It’s a tradition that hasn’t caught on as quickly as other pizza styles, but if you’re in the mood for a unique and tasty slice of pizza, it’s worth the hunt.
The key to the classic pie is a thin cracker-like crust, a special blend of cheese known as Provel, and a sweet tomato sauce. It’s also best to top the pie with crispy bacon, which provides a satisfying textural contrast to the melty cheese and crust.
5.St. Louis Style Ribs.
While they are similar in many ways, there are a few differences that set St. Louis style ribs apart from baby back ribs.
First, they’re cut from the spareribs that are leftover after the belly meat is removed. These are larger and longer than baby backs, with more fat on the meat, which means they are packed with flavor.
Second, the sternum bone, cartilage and rib tips are trimmed off so that they form a rectangular shape and more uniform appearance. This makes them easier to cook and eat.
Third, the tough membrane that covers the back of the ribs is removed. To do this, insert a butter knife between one of the bones and the membrane to detach it.
Next, place the ribs bone side down on your grill and cook for about 2.5-3 hours until they’re tender. Flip once half way through to make sure they’re cooked all the way through. Add a sauce of your choice to the ribs during the last few minutes of cooking for a flavorful BBQ experience.
6.BBQ Pork Steak.
Pork steaks (also known as Boston butt or pork blade steaks) are taken from the shoulder of the pig, making them a more affordable cut compared to ribs. This part of the pig doesn’t do as much work as other parts of the pig, so it has good marbling, which helps to keep the meat tender and juicy.
Pork steak is one of the most popular cuts of pork for grilling or smoking. It’s easy to cook and can be used in so many recipes from pulled pork to a simple barbecue sauce.
In fact, most of the best bbq in st louis are pork steak based! It’s an extremely versatile cut of meat and can be served as a main dish or in a variety of dishes such as pasta salad, side salad, or mashed potatoes.
If you’re looking for an extra special treat, you can slather a delicious BBQ pork steak with fruity sauce such as peach or blueberry! Then top it off with some grilled vegetables and a side of mashed potatoes.
7.Ice Cream Cone.
The Ice Cream Cone is one of the most classic and recognizable desserts in America. Whether you’re craving a scoop of vanilla or a thick, fudgey concrete, it’s hard not to love an ice cream cone.
The idea of eating ice cream in cones dates back to 1820. A recipe in William Alexis Jarrin’s 1820 cookbook, The Italian Confectioner, suggests rolling almond wafers into a horn shape and serving them with cream.
A similar concept was later developed by Agnes B. Marshall in her 1887 cookbook Mrs. A.B. Marshall’s Cookery Book, which calls for a cone-shaped pastry to be rolled around cream.
During the 1904 World’s Fair, Syrian concessionaire Ernest Hamwi was selling zalabis, a crisp, waffle-like pastry. As demand for ice cream outstripped his waffle-making capabilities, Hamwi quickly rolled a zalabis into a cone to serve as a convenient ice cream receptacle.
The popularity of ice cream in cones skyrocketed after the 1904 Fair. Italo Marchiony, a Chicago-based Italian immigrant who sold homemade ice cream, is often credited with inventing the ice cream cone, but it’s unclear who introduced this new dish at the Fair.
8.Frozen Custard Concrete.
Frozen custard is similar to ice cream, but it has a denser consistency and doesn’t contain as much air. This is because frozen custard is made with eggs in addition to milk, cream and sugar.
This dessert is often served in a sundae or concrete, but you can also make your own concoction by mixing your own mix of toppings into the custard! You can choose from an endless list of combinations, including peanut butter cups, hot fudge and cookies.
There are a lot of different frozen custards on the menu at Ted Drewes, which is one of the best places to get this delicious dessert. The shop is popular among both locals and visitors and has been selling this frozen treat for over 80 years.
At this small stand in Maplewood, you can order a concrete, sundae, shake or malt. They also have slush floats and snow cones to enjoy with your frozen custard. They also have a drive-thru to save you from walking from your car to the window.