St. Louis is known for many things: the Arch, Budweiser Beer, Chuck Berry, Bob Costas, and Joe and Jack Buck. We are second only to the New York Yankees for the most World Series wins, we are the current Stanley Cup winners (Go Blues!), and former home to the Super Bowl Champion, St. Louis Rams. Yo, Kurt Warner! And we eat things that nobody else has ever heard of outside of St. Louis, like toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, and the slinger.
The area in the Lou famously referred to as “The Hill” is home to baseball greats Yogi Berra and Joe Garagiola. It is also home to our beloved toasted ravioli. As the story goes, a fresh ravioli fell into the fryer at a place called Mama Campisi’s on a day when Joe Garagiola was there. After this fateful event, these little pieces of fried heaven allegedly began appearing on menus around town. Served with a warm marinara sauce, all I can say is, sono così deliziosi!
The Gooey Buttercake, another St. Louis favorite, also came about by accident. Although nothing like a traditional cake, this chewy goodness is part coffeecake and part gooey custard. And if you’ve ever had a piece, you know how sinfully delicious it is. Some say that in the 1930s a baker mistakenly mixed up their ingredients for a traditional coffee cake and voila. Accident, or fate? You be the judge!
And finally, our favorite of the three, “The Slider.” A meal best appreciated and usually served between the hours of midnight and 3:00 AM, at places like the “Eat Rite” diner near Busch stadium, the Slider is essentially anything you want it to be. Yep, it’s that post-drinking, pre-pass out frankenfood that has become a right of passage for those who dare tread in our waters. The basic version is hash browns, eggs, and a hamburger patty smothered in chili, then topped with cheese and chopped onions, and it will leave you feeling a bit dizzy and crying fire in the hole the next day! But the best part of any slinger is it can be any combination of your favorite foods slapped on top of each other and consumed in relatively short order. We prefer to make a healthier vegan version that will not only leave you feeling satisfied, it’s also a great way to finish off all of those leftovers!
Our slinger begins with a basic Tofu Scramble from The Minimalist Baker, which we cook for about 8 minutes before adding a half pack of Trader Joe’s Vegan Chorizo. Made from soy and only a few other natural ingredients, their chorizo tastes just like its traditional counterpart, but without all of the disgusting greasiness. We layer scramble with hashbrowns or roasted potatoes, and then garnish with salsa, avocados, cilantro, hot sauce, 1/4 cup of vegan gravy, or my favorite Cashew Queso! In this picture, I also added a delicious vegan Chili Colorado. You’re welcome.