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St. Louis: St. Paul sandwiches

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I just discovered this site, and had to comment on one of my favorite pigout foods mentioned in some earlier postings: St. Paul sandwiches. We are talking here about egg foo yung on white bread with lettuce, pickle, and mayonnaise. I know, it sounds bizarre, but one of these babies, together with a half-order of pork fried rice, can make me smile. I used to pick up this low budget feast frequently at Park Chop Suey when I lived in Lafayette Square in the mid-'80's. They are still open, although I can't vouch for current quality.

Generally you can find St. Paul sandwiches at the low-end Chinese carryout places found in lower income neighborhoods. I had one recently in University City at a place on Olive Blvd. whose name I cannot currently recall.

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  1. I have never heard of this bastardized item before, but you inspire me - it would be easy enough to make one anywhere Chinese takeouts can be found...do they put the gravy on? What kind of egg foo yung is this? does it have meat in it?

    3 Replies
    1. re: jen kalb

      No gravy on this sandwich. Mayonnaise makes it. I've had pork and chicken St. Pauls, and all other versions of egg foo yung would work just as well as far as I'm aware. Not every Chinese place offers it, however. The House of Wong in Clayton, for example, which is otherwise a terrific food bargain (particularly considering its location in the heart of the Clayton business district) does not make St. Paul sandwiches.

      By the way, I'd be curious to find out where the name came from. My pet theory (composed of whole cloth) is that the name is some occidental's interpretation of a Chinese appellation. Does anybody out there know?

      1. re: Alan
        j
        Jennie Grotpeter

        Cheap carry out Chinese in St. Louis! I love the stuff. My personal fav (complete with St. Paul sandwiches) is Wong's Inn behind the White Castle at Big Bend and Manchester Rd. in Maplewood. Been eating there since I was a kid (and we won't talk about how long ago that was) and even grabbed dinner there tonight. I must concur, however, about carry out pot stickers. I make 'em better myself, but if I want to eat them out I head to Yen Ching on Brentwood Blvd. The sizzling rice soup there is yummy, too. But, alas, it is not quick carry out. Did run into Mark McGuire there once, though...
        About the name "St. Paul": there was a discussion about the name at the Food Network site a while back, but I don't think they ever reached any conclusions!

        1. re: Jennie Grotpeter

          BY FAR THE BEST ST. PAUL SANDWICHES ARE AT MAI-LEE'S ON DELMAR @ I-170, HANDS DOWN! THEY'RE HUGE AND FILLING. GRANTED, THEY'RE A LITTLE MORE EXPENSIVE, BUT WELL WORTH IT!!!!

    2. Alan: Wow! Another St.Louisan. That makes two of us!
      Actually, we have a few other folks now and then. I hope you make this site a habit.

      There are two low-end Chinese spots that I know on Olive, one is Chong Wah and the other one, strangely enough, is La Chong Wah. There are probably more but these two fit your description. Come again soon. pat

      1 Reply
      1. re: pat hammond

        I grew up eating something my parents would call a St. Paul sandwich. It was eggs scrambled w/ browned hamburger on toast w/lettuce, pickles and mayo. My mother is from central Missouri and my dad grew up in Kansas City. They both went to college in K.C. My dad also had family in Minnesota, which is where I always assumed the St. Paul sandwich originated. It was a common meal in our household, although I haven't eaten one (or even thought about one) in many years. I'm going to have to ask the folks for their personal take on this.

      2. g
        Gabriel Solis

        Actually, Lam's Garden, the Chinese place in the Schnucks shopping center on Olive, and every other cheap chinese place in St. L make these. I admit I've never had the courage to order one, and now that I have a description, I'm sort of glad...

        Oh yeah, I think that Chinese place by Schnucks is Hon's Wok. In my experience it's about the best cheap Chinese takeout in town, though I've had some totally unpalatable items from it. The Lo Mein is pretty nice, as Lo Mein from these sorts of places goes, and the "Buddist Delight" is nice. Stay away from the Pot Stickers and the General Tso's Chicken, though.

        Gabriel

        1. I don't know if it's still there, but I used to get St. Paul Sandwiches at Chong Wah XI on Lindell, across from the car wash. I think this is a St. Louis invention. I think I heard once that "chop suey" was also a St. Louis creation too. (Along with iced tea and the ice cream cone).