Every region and big city in this country has a food specialty. San Francisco sourdough. Chicago deep dish pizza. New York hot dogs. Denver omelette. The Saint Paul Sandwich in Saint Louis.
What? Never heard of a Saint Paul sandwich? If you’re not from Saint Louis, you’ve probably never heard of it. This is a staple in St. Louis Chinese American restaurants, the ones we all get take-out from. Essentially, a St. Paul Sandwich is an egg foo young patty on white bread (usually sandwich bread) with mayo, lettuce, pickles and tomato. Chinese restaurant owners in the St. Louis area say they have to have it on the menu because people always ask for it.
According to the Dining Editor at St. Louis Magazine, George Mahe, The chef most often credited with inventing the St. Paul sandwich is Steven Yuen, who worked at the Park Chop Suey restaurant in the 1940’s, naming it after his hometown in Minnesota. There also are stories that say a similar sandwich came out of Denver around the beginning of the 20th century for logging camps and railroad workers. Others say they have seen the sandwich on menus in the city of Saint Paul, so while it may not have been invented in St. Louis, it is certainly popular there.