One of my clients and friends, chef Marvin Woods, is working as a consultant in St. Louis. Knowing that I am newly replanted here, Marvin asked if I could recommend any of the street foods indigenous to the area. The very first thing I mentioned was the shrimp St. Paul served at one of the many Chinese take-out places in the city. I could not give him the name of a specific restaurant but I could tell him about that sandwich.
I hadn’t eaten a real St. Paul since leaving St. Louis years ago. As far as I know, they are only served here. If anyone knows differently, please share.
So what is a St. Paul? It is an egg foo young patty served with a slice of tomato, sweet pickles, mayo or Miracle Whip (there is a difference) between two pieces of white bread. That’s it in a nutshell and if I tell you that I’ve tried to make my own with Ohio egg foo young patties to no avail, believe me. It does not taste the same. No comparison.
When I was young and dumb, a shrimp St. Paul absorbed a lot of alcohol in my system after a night out drinking. The sandwich also satisfied PMS cravings.
I’ve had four since returning and found the best of the four in Illinois. Frankly, my constitution cannot take eating around until I find the best in St. Louis.