Schottzie's Gives a Whole New Meaning to "Brain Food"

Categories: Eat This?!

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       The brain sandwich in all its glory. | Zach Garrison

When considering St. Louis' best neighborhood bars, Schottzie's Bar and Grill (11428 Concord Village Avenue; 314-842-7244) has to be at the top of list -- it's a classic. Schottzie's is the type of place where, at high noon, a regular saddles up to the bar and promptly orders a pitcher of beer, Keno is the game of choice and brain sandwiches are served up with style.

That's right, a sandwich that prominently features brains. Don't be alarmed: Schottzie's has perfected the art, gaining quite the reputation along the way. At this point, if you want to call yourself a true St. Louisan foodie, you'll have to make a pilgrimage to south county and try it for yourself -- like we did. After all, the modern take on the brain sandwich is said to have its origins in late 19th-century St. Louis. Read on for a preview.

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The question bartender Josie Berry most often gets is: What does brain taste like? "I don't know," she responds. It's not that she hasn't tried the sandwich; in fact, she's sampled it many times. "Nobody can tell you," she explains. "It's weird." Fair enough -- this is obviously something that has to be experienced firsthand.

The sandwich is a popular choice, and Schottzie's routinely sells out before the week is up, so we arrived early and secured our spot. It takes twenty minutes to prepare and fry the brains. While we wait, Berry explains that, thanks to the Mad Cow scare, Scottzie's has switched to pig for its source of brains. But no one can tell the difference, apparently.

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        Welcome to Schottzie's! | RFT

When the sandwich arrives, the scene in Hannibal -- where Dr. Lecter, the cannibalistic protagonist, is on a plane preparing to eat the brains of one of his over-confident pursuers -- comes to mind. Lecter is seated on a plane next to a curious young boy, with whom the good doctor gladly shares his meal, instructing, "It is important to always try new things." Heeding this advice, we take our first bite.

The pig brains are fried in a lightly seasoned breading and served plain between two huge slices of rye bread with a side of red onion and Grey Poupon (fancy!). It is surprisingly soft and tender, very fatty and a bit mushy -- the exterior texture is like a fried pork tenderloin...sort of. But the dark brain meat within?

It tastes like, well, Berry was absolutely right. It tastes like nothing we've ever had before. The breading is peppery, flavorful and familiar -- nothing unusual there. But the brains just defy easy description. Here's our best attempt: a cross between pâté and scrambled eggs. If anyone has a more accurate description, fire away in the comments.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. Email us!






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Schottzie's Bar and Grill

11428 Concord Village Ave., Green Park, MO

Category: Music


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18 comments
Sj Braun
Sj Braun

rather have a tongue sandwich

robertj.mccollum
robertj.mccollum

Slap some provel on there, hand me a pitcher ice cold Busch, and I'm set for the night.

Sharon Heitz
Sharon Heitz

Tasted like a crispy airy chicken breast

Sharon Heitz
Sharon Heitz

Hot crispy fresh brain sandwiches served on grilled buttered sourdough bread with sliced onion at Maple Bowl in Spanish lake Mo in the 70/80's, delicious!!'

Sharon Johnson
Sharon Johnson

Pish posh, unless it is served with fava beans and a fine chianti...

Denise Acsay
Denise Acsay

I enjoyed them as a child prepared by my mother and with my dad at his favorite lunch place downtown, but given the terrible conditions animals live in and die in, meat fed with other dead meat, hormones, antibiotics and genetically manipulated, never! If I knew the rancher and the processor, maybe.

Robert Hilligoss
Robert Hilligoss

I have already eaten ALL the brain sandwiches that I am going to eat. No more for me, but mom and dad loved 'em.

Tom Sincox Jr
Tom Sincox Jr

Wimpy's in Washington, Mo has been serving Brain Burgers for Decades

Colin Wood
Colin Wood

Its dense and kind of sweet Kristen Lavin. Its kind of a throwback thing. Almost all of our grandparents will be able to tell you about it. I remember my great grandmother always ordering brain sandwiches whenever they would take me out to eat as a child. R.I.P Gram. Neo retro foodie nerd stuff. Imo its something to try someday when you have the chance but nothing go outta your way to seek out.

Kristen Lavin
Kristen Lavin

But was it good????! Nobody ever said if it actually tastes good or not..

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