Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis?

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rumaki
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2011/07/11 11:59:07 (permalink)

Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis?

I'm going to St. Louis in early August for a conference, and wonder whether anyone can recommend a place to find a good Saint Paul sandwich (egg foo young on white bread), preferably either in the downtown area (near the Renaissance Grand Hotel) or on Metrolink?  I won't have a car, and I'm not very familiar with St. Louis geography, but I'm happy to ride the Metrolink train.   Most likely I'd be searching for the Saint Paul sandwich late afternoon or early evening on a Monday.
 
I found a thread on this topic from 2006, but does anyone have any more up-to-date suggestions?
 
Second, can anyone suggest any Roadfood-type place for a fairly efficient Roadfood lunch near that same hotel?  I've agreed to have lunch with another conference attendee, but we won't have much time between conference workshops.
 
I will be making  return visits to Hodak's and to Ted Drewe's (thanks to kind friends who do have a car), but I'll have at least one meal on my own and was hoping it could be a Saint Paul.
 
Thanks in advance.
#1

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    zataar
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/11 12:19:44 (permalink)
    St. Paul sandwich, yum! There are a number of Chinese Express locations, I'm sure there is one downtown. They do a good St. Paul. I haven't had one for awhile, but the location I went to had several different varieties. That was the location on Hampton. Extreme Glow would be the person to ask.
    #2
    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/11 12:27:54 (permalink)
    I don't know anything about where to find a decent St Paul sandwich in St Louis, but I can tackle your other question.
     
    I have found that downtown area to be completely devoid of any kind of decent "Roadfood"-type places.  It is a redevelopment district, and as such, has attracted cookie-cutter, appeal-to-the-masses kinds of places.  
     
    I have been to The Dubliner (On Washington, a few blocks west of the convention center), which is a perfectly fine Irish pub-style place, but there didn't seem to be anything particularly St Louis-y about it.
     
    A bunch of people that I know ate at the buffet at the casino in downtown.  It is walking distance (underground corridor) from the convention center.  They said that it had a wide selection - but, that seemed to be about the nicest thing they could say about it.
     
    Unfortunately, the best place I could recommend to you, Pappy's Smokehouse, is close, but probably not quite walking distance close.  And, according to Google Maps, the public transportation options aren't convenient to getting you there in a timely manner.
     
    Good luck.  My experience has been that St Louis is a tough city to navigate (for the purpose of seeking out Roadfood) without a car.
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    rumaki
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/11 12:40:05 (permalink)
    Thanks so much to you both.  The online reviews for the Chinese Express are pretty negative, but I'll see what the options are.
     
    Just as a technical point, I won't be at the Convention Center. The conference is taking place at the Renaissance, 800 Washington Avenue -- which I realize isn't far from the Convention Center.   That said, I don't think Pappy's Smokehouse will be feasible for that lunch I mentioned, because we only have a little more than an hour between sessions.   The Dubliner looks possible, however.
     
    I agree that St. Louis is hard to navigate without a car.  That's why I'm glad a couple of friends will have cars and are willing to go to Ted Drewe's and Hodaks.
     
    What about traditional "red sauce" Italian?  Accessible by car is fine for that one.  I know there are many Italian restaurants in St. Louis, but the reviews I read online seem so mixed, it is hard to figure out which ones might actually be good.  Not looking for upscale sophisticated Italian cuisine -- just the traditional kind, with toasted ravioli (which seem ubiquitous in St. Louis -- even Hodak's serves them).
     
     
     
    post edited by rumaki - 2011/07/11 12:45:00
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    ann peeples
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/11 12:49:43 (permalink)
    I started a thread about where to eat in St.Louis awhile back. Cant help you with the St.Paul sandwich, but there were great recommendations for Italian restaurants. Unfortunately, we only were able to go to Ted Drewes because of time constraints, so I cannot personally recommend anything. Check out that thread.
    #5
    rumaki
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/11 12:58:12 (permalink)
    Thanks, Ann, I will check for that thread.  I had searched under "St. Paul sandwich," but not for Italian restaurants.
     
    I've been to both Hodak's and Ted Drewe's before, so I'm familiar with what they serve.  Thank you.
     
    Another observation about the dwindling options for distinctive food in downtown St. Louis: while attending a different conference in St. Louis at the convention center years ago, I was able to go to Miss Hullings cafeteria, which was a Roadfood book regular -- but sadly, it has closed.
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    The Travelin Man
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/11 12:58:51 (permalink)
    I just equate that whole area around there as "the convention center."  If I remember right, with a good arm, you could throw a rock from the Ren and hit the convention center!
     
    As far as "old school" Italian goes, I am partial to Lou Boccardi's, probably for no other reason than it was the first place I went to (like that) in STL.  I tried to go to Cunetto's House of Pasta the last time I was in town, but - SURPRISE! - they were closed.  I have a local friend (works at Wash U) who has tried to steer me towards Charlie Gitto's, but I just haven't gotten there.  All of these places are in the section of STL known as "The Hill."  Not at all in/near downtown/convention center, but anyone in town could tell you how to get there.
    #7
    zataar
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/11 14:20:07 (permalink)
    rumaki

    Thanks so much to you both.  The online reviews for the Chinese Express are pretty negative, but I'll see what the options are.

     
    It has been a number of years since I've had a St. Paul from Chinese Express. It was the first place I had one. To some, they are an acquired taste, but I think a St. Paul is unique. The best one I had was at Mai Lee. Not close to downtown, unfortunately.  I would second Cunetto's House of Pasta and add Gian-Tony's to places on the Hill.
     
     
    #8
    Extreme Glow
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/13 20:11:32 (permalink)
    I'm sure you can get a St. Paul at Hunan Manor on 7th.  It's been a downtown fixture for years and it's only a few blocks from the RG and the convention center.  I have to admit that I haven't been there in a long time.
    http://www.diningmax.com/go/hunanmanor
     
    A good lunch option would be Everest Cafe on Olive Blvd between 7th and 8th.  There have a very nice lunch buffet.  If I go downtown, I eat lunch here.
    http://everestcafeandbar.com/
     
    For Italian on The Hill with toasted ravioli, I would recommend Charlie Gitto's (not the one downtown!).  Personally, I would go for the chicken speidini.
    http://www.charliegittos.com/
     
    If you are going to Ted Drewes on Chippewa, you might want to stop at Aya Sofia across the street beforehand for some really nice Turkish cuisine.
    http://www.ayasofiacuisine.com/
    #9
    Davydd
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/13 22:09:31 (permalink)
    The classic Italian Restaurant I went to was Favazza's on the Hill a few years ago. I was with a group on business and one of the group also happened to be a Favazza family member so I suspect we got the first class royal treatment. I thought the food was great and totally different than you would find in the Twin Cities.
     
    http://www.favazzas.com/
    #10
    Sfreader
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/14 08:51:47 (permalink)
    I second the vote for Charlie Gitto's.
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/14 11:02:26 (permalink)
    I can't help but wonder if someone in St. Paul sells a St. Louis sandwich...
     
    Brad
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    rumaki
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/07/14 11:30:52 (permalink)
    Thanks again for all the recommendations! 
     
    The Everest Cafe looks like a great choice for lunch, given that they have a buffet.  I generally don't care much for buffets, but with our time constraints, it would make sense.  I visited Kathmandu some years ago, so it would be fun to have Nepalese food again.
     
    Thanks, too, for the Hunan Manor recommendation.  They list several St. Paul sandwiches on their online menu, and they are open on Monday, so I am pretty confident that is where I'll go for that.
     
    Finally, thanks to all for the Italian restaurant recommendations. I'll leave the final decision to my spouse, who is an Italian-American from New York, but I have to confess that Davydd's statement that Favazza's is unlike the Italian offerings in the Twin Cities will be a big plus with him.   
    #13
    rumaki
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/08/16 17:50:37 (permalink)
    Thanks again to everyone who provided responses to my questions.
     
    Unfortunately, when I went to Hunan Manor in downtown St. Louis for a Saint Paul sandwich on Monday around 5:00 p.m., it was closed -- it appeared, permanently.  (I thought it might be closed because it was Monday, but I checked back a day or two later and it still appeared to be closed.)  I never did get a Saint Paul sandwich.  I ended up getting a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich "to go" from Culinaria.  The sandwich was huge (I ordered a whole, not a half, not realizing how big it would be), and very rich, and I couldn't finish it.  Very reasonably priced. http://www.culinariaschnucks.com/
     
    I went to Everest (the one on Olive Street) at lunchtime on Tuesday, and had some excellent vegetable pakora (grease free and with a tasty crust) and a good Nepali chicken dish with rice. However, if I were to go back, I would choose the buffet. The variety looked excellent. Unfortunately, the person I was with (who was a little dubious about Nepalese food) wanted to order off the menu.  It was good, but I would have liked to have tried some more things. http://everestcafeandbar.com/
     
    I went with a friend to Sweetie Pies "at the Grove" for soul food for dinner on Tuesday -- in my case, that meant fried chicken wings, green beans, mashed potatoes, corn bread, and fabulous lemonade.  It was all good, though not quite as hot as I might have liked (other than the mashed potatoes, which had just been refreshed on the cafeteria line), and the service was very friendly.  My friend had the salisbury steak and enjoyed it as well. http://www.riverfronttimes.com/locations/sweetie-pies-the-grove-41863/
     
    I went to breakfast at Roosters for breakfast Wednesday morning with another friend. We each had one of the breakfast crepes -- goat cheese, romaine, tomato and bacon.  The filling was very high quality (artisanal cheese and locally-sourced bacon), but the crepe itself left me cold -- cardboardy consistency.  If I was to return, I'd take the option they offer of making their crepes as omelets.  http://roosterstl.com/
     
    For dinner on Wednesday, my husband (who had just arrived from Washington, DC) and I went to The Hill.  We had reservations at Gian-Tony's for 5:30, but got to The Hill around 4:30, so we had some time to kill.  We went to Di Gregorio's market http://www.digregoriofoods.com/retail.html and to Gelato Di Riso http://www.gelatodiriso.com/main.html  before dinner, and enjoyed both. (We hadn't intended to have gelato before dinner, but the guy in the shop warned us that the varieties of gelato we saw displayed probably would be sold out after dinner.  Soe we each had some gelato -- hazelnut chocolate for me, and espresso for my husband.  They were both very good.)  The market is excellent -- very clean and orderly, with lots of variety of both fresh and imported foods, including excellent Italian wines.  I wish we had an Italian market of that quality in the Twin Cities.
     
    We enjoyed Gian-Tony's very much.  We'd chosen it because we liked the idea that they grow some of their produce, and that they take reservations.  We shared tostati and involtini (both very good, especially the involtini); I had the "mushrooms stuffed with seafood" appetizer as a main course, and my husband had chicken with lemon sauce, which came with a house salad and a side of pasta.  The marinara sauce was excellent with the involtini, the tostati, and on the pasta, but I thought it overwhelmed the delicate seafood in the mushroom appetizer; if I were to have that dish again, I'd ask for the sauce on the side.  Service was very attentive. http://gian-tonys.com/
     
    After dinner, we went to Crown Candy Kitchen for (more) dessert.  Great atmosphere -- made me think of the Candy Kitchen in "The Music Man." They had black walnut ice cream on the menu, which is one of my all-time favorites and often hard to find.  I had two giant scoops -- and it was delicious.  http://crowncandykitchen.net/
     
    The morning we left St. Louis, we went to the Goody Goody Diner.  This was the highlight meal of the St. Louis part of our trip.  I had three fried chicken wings and half a waffle; my husband ordered the famous Wilbur omelet.   I also asked the waitress whether their biscuits were good. She told me they were outstanding, but that she always has them grilled.  So we ordered two biscuits, grilled. They were truly outstanding. I haven't had grilled biscuits since I ate them in Hathaway's in downtown Cincinnati several years ago.  Those were good; these were from another dimension of excellence entirely.  The chicken wings were also delicious. There was nothing wrong with the waffle, but it was a Belgian-style waffle, and I prefer my waffles much thinner. That's just a matter of taste; if you like Belgian waffles, you'll like Goody Goody's.  I washed it all down with a frosted mug of their superb root beer.
     
    My husband thoroughly enjoyed his Wilbur.  As others have observed, it looks like it should be a  "heartburn special," but he suffered no ill effects. http://www.goodygoodydiner.com/
     
    As we were leaving, we ordered  a double cheeseburger for my brother, who had been unable to meet us for breakfast but was joining us at the transportation museum.  Even though it took a while to meet him -- we stopped at Faust Park to ride on the vintage carousel en route -- the cheeseburger was well wrapped, and stayed warm. My brother loved the cheeseburger, and noted they even included a package of "wet wipes" with the cheeseburger.
     
    From there, we went on to Illinois, which is another story. 
     
    Again, thanks to everyone for your help with this trip!
     
    #14
    ann peeples
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/08/16 18:02:43 (permalink)
    Glad you found some good places!! Too bad about the St. Paul sandwich.I have never had one, but am now on the look out in the Milw. area.
    #15
    Extreme Glow
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/08/16 19:02:56 (permalink)
    Too bad about the Saint Paul.  I called Hunan Manor just now and they are open... maybe they were on vacation?
     
    I really like DiGregorio's and Crown Candy... they are fun to visit.
     
    While I like Sweetie Pie's, I now go to Mama Josephine's for my comfort food fix. Everything is cooked to order, even the chicken and dumplings, which arrive surface-of-the-sun hot.
     
    http://mamajosephines.com/
    #16
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/08/16 19:17:25 (permalink)
    I will be in St Louis in 3 weeks. I'm hoping to return to Mai Lee for a St Paul which I last visited 5 years, I understand that they moved from University City to Brentwood.
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    ScreamingChicken
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/08/17 08:55:56 (permalink)
    Rumaki, what time of morning were you at Goody Goody?  I'm picturing you having chicken wings and root beer for breakfast...which is A-OK by me!
     
    Brad
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    rumaki
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/08/17 10:31:17 (permalink)
    We were at Goody Goody at about 8:30 a.m.  The fried chicken and waffles are available starting at 8 a.m.
     
    It was a great breakfast!
     
    I am so frustrated about Hunan Manor.  I probably should have called the restauirant, especially because they were listed in the St. Louis guide that I picked up at the airport. 
     
    But I did try all the doors and walked around the perimeter of the building, and it was locked up tight.  Oh well -- next time! 
    #19
    Extreme Glow
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/08/17 11:04:03 (permalink)
    wanderingjew

    I will be in St Louis in 3 weeks. I'm hoping to return to Mai Lee for a St Paul which I last visited 5 years, I understand that they moved from University City to Brentwood.

     
    Mai Lee would be a good place to get one.  Their new location is a bit awkward to get to... they are on a short road connecting Eager and Hanley that has no parking is usually very busy. You have to park in the Metrolink parking garage across the street (or take the Metro).
    #20
    wanderingjew
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    Re:Finding a St. Paul Sandwich in St. Louis? 2011/08/17 11:12:28 (permalink)
    Extreme Glow

    wanderingjew

    I will be in St Louis in 3 weeks. I'm hoping to return to Mai Lee for a St Paul which I last visited 5 years, I understand that they moved from University City to Brentwood.


    Mai Lee would be a good place to get one.  Their new location is a bit awkward to get to... they are on a short road connecting Eager and Hanley that has no parking is usually very busy. You have to park in the Metrolink parking garage across the street (or take the Metro).

    Extreme Glow
     
    Since I'll be staying downtown, It looks like taking the Metro will be a great idea.
    Thanks for the advice.
     
    #21
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