Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Some Chop Suey on the North Side

Lydia wasn't feeling well, so I took her to urgent care. The earliest opening we could find was at a place in North County. North County is quite a bit different than the parts of town I usually play in, so why not eat someplace new?

I had been interested in the St. Louis chop suey tradition for some time. There was a story about it on NPR which only furthered my interest. According to the story (here), St. Louis had a Chinatown in the downtown area that was demolished in order to build Busch Stadium. This sent Chinese restaurateurs into black neighborhoods where "rent was low and demand was high".
Well we strolled into Yet Bun II Chop Suey and took a look at the menu. Many of the items seemed commonplace for a typical Chinese place but there were some exceptions. Tripe sandwich, cheese fries, and Jack sandwich were some unexpected additions. I couldn't even find chop suey on the menu, but I ordered it anyway. It consisted of chopped beef and vegetables with a dark sauce served over rice. It wasn't super exotic, but delicious. We also got a St. Paul sandwich.

The place even had the protective Plexiglas shield like in the NPR article. So authentic. After finishing our order the guy let me choose a free Vess soda. Peach sir, peach.

The St. Paul sammich is like a St. Louis delicacy, which brings to mind the horseshoe of Springfield, IL fame. Does every city have it's own sandwich? A St. Paul is basically a Chinese omelet on bread. It was an egg foo young patty with mayo, onions, and maybe some lettuce. It looked and sounded kind of gross but tasted pretty good.

As for the origin of the St. Paul sandwich's name, an NPR humorist theorized: "You know how this got its name? St. Louis fixed himself an egg foo young sandwich, and somebody asked him, "Who made that monstrosity?""

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