I know that growing up, my grandparents lived near Gravois right by Federhofer's Bakery. I remember if you turned onto Gravois going towards the direction of Grant's Farm, there was a place on the right (possibly near Kentucky Fried Chicken, that was either an old tavern or an old restaurant. I remember when I was old enough to read, I was totally grossed out and remember talking to my grandpa and mother about this and they would both tell me how they used to love brains and eggs or a brain sandwich. This disgusted me greatly. It does bring back memories though of the 1970's and early 1980's. I wished I could go back and visit those times for a while now and bring our kids. It's funny because my father was from Texas and growing up here, people thought I was crazy talking about eating brains, although they would eat calf fries! If anyone remembers the place I am talking about, please write in and tell me the name of the place. I think it even had a business sign stating they sold brains! Thanks for the memories!
St. Louis dining establishments stopped serving brains long before Mad Cow. I'd say it was mid-80s when you could no longer get them in St. Louis. They were simply considered declassé, not dangerous or illness-causing.
I recall -- from long ago --scrambled eggs and brains and fried brain sandwiches.
The brains that were served with the scrambled eggs tasted like mild chicken sausage. Never had a brains sandwich, though. As kids and even as adults
we would joke about getting 'brains" all the time.
Is the giant Brains 25¢ billboard/mural still somewhere on the south side?
It's on the side of a building somewhere, or it used to be.
Update: Here are images of that and what's there now:
Here's a link that talks about brain sandwiches. Alton Brown found them
re: maria lorraine
Rick Sebak's 2002 PBS show "Sandwiches That You Will Like" re-aired just last night in the Twin Cities on public television so it has been more recent than the 80s.. It featured a St. Louis restaurant's brain sandwich along with snoots, ears and rib tips. The website does not specifically name the restaurant and I wasn't paying that close attention. :(
The show is airing again Saturday in Minneapolis/St. Paul at 3:00 PM.
From your link above, Davydd, I found that the snoots, ears and rib tips resto was C&K Barbecue in St. Louis. But no mention of brain sandwiches anywhere in the write-ups of C&K.
I googled Rick Sebak "Sandwiches That You Will Like"
and Wikipedia lists the sandwiches.
Voila -- there it is -- a fried brain sandwich at Ferguson's Pub!
Here's a writeup:
"Ferguson’s – Fried Brain Sandwich
"But what’s a little different from the average place down the block is the menu of this Mt. Pleasant neighborhood tavern, which features...yes, a brain sandwich ($4.75). The kitchen’s open seven days a week, shutting down at 9 p.m. The bar, obviously, stays open for a later last-call.'
Dulcie, your answer was actually here on Chowhound all along
in a previous thread on this very thing:
"fried-brain sandwiches - a St. Louis thing?'
2925 Mt. Pleasant
St. Louis, MO
So, you're all set now, Dulcie. Try a fried brain sandwich and report back.
And, by the way, scrambled eggs and brains dish that I had? Well, the brains looked exactly like scrambled eggs too, but gray ones! Perfectly mild, just fine.
After I ate them, I felt really smart.
Difficult after the mad cow scare. Most of the old taverns in South City that used to serve them have given it up. But seems like I heard about a year ago that someone had them, at least intermittently.
For the unfamiliar: The brains are breaded and deep-fried. Bland flavor, usually quite tender.