10 Weird Foods for the Adventurous St. Louis Eater, Including Pig Tails, Brains and Bugs
|The Seoul Done at Seoul Taco | Corey Smale|
(2709 Sutton Boulevard; 314-932-5851)
Strange Donuts isn't your ordinary donut shop. Sure, it offers the usual glazed, custard- and jelly-filled favorites. But each week also brings a new opportunity for experimenting with innovative flavor combinations, often in collaboration with local chefs. A recent team effort with Gringo yielded the "El Santo": guajillo-achiote marinated pork shoulder on a sweet-corn done topped with grilled red onion, pineapple and cilantro. Pictured is the "Seoul Done" created in partnership with Seoul Taco: a potato and pepper cake doughnut stuffed with spring mix that's dressed with a simple vinaigrette, Jack cheddar cheese and bulgogi beef topped with a chile glaze.
The hot salami sandwich at Gioia's. | Alex Donley
"Salami of the Head"
(1934 Macklind Avenue; 314-776-9410)
Gioia's Deli has been serving the salam de testa (salami of the head), also known as the "Hot Salami Sandwich," on the Hill for 96 years. The salami is handmade on site from ground parts of a pig's head (including the nose, ears and cheeks), beef top round and pork shoulder. After processing, the meat is boiled for more than two hours, giving it a salty, rich flavor. The salami is served on white, wheat or garlic cheese bread with pepper cheese, onions, peppers and hot mustard. Gioia's Deli sells more than 1,000 pounds of its "Hot Salami Sandwich" each week.
Evangeline's French Smoked Frog Legs | Don Bailey
(512 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-3644)
Chef William Coghlan wanted to offer a dish that that was unique in St. Louis, indigenous to Louisiana and influenced by French cuisine. And he's done it. Evangeline's frog legs are cold-smoked in-house. They are then dusted in fine ground cocoa, finished with a garlic butter and lemon white wine sauce, topped with shaved jalapeno, green apples and caramelized red onions and served with New Orleans Brabant potatoes.
Alligator Ravioli at Mangia Italiano | Collier Evans
(3145 South Grand Boulevard; 314-664-8585)
Alligator meat can only be legally sourced from alligator farms and is available to consumers via specialty grocery stores and mail order. It's popular in the Southern United States and is described as having a mild flavor and firm texture. Mangia Italiano's chef James Bonsanti specializes in working with wild game and exotic meats, and he's embraced the opportunity to bring this taste to St. Louis. His alligator ravioli is made with fresh pasta and tossed in a smoky mushroom tomato cream sauce with red bell peppers, corn, shallots, fresh basil and feta cheese.
Peanut Butter Jelly Bacon Dog at Dogs 'n Frys | Mo Mangal
Peanut Butter Jelly Bacon Hot Dogs
Dogs 'n Frys
(503 Paul Avenue, Florissant; 314-274-2000)
Dogs 'n Frys specializes in loaded hot dogs topped with big flavors. Popular favorites include the "Mac 'n Cheese Dog", with macaroni and cheese seasoned with breadcrumbs and topped with bacon bits; the "Sweet and Spicy Dog," with a piquant raspberry sauce, nacho cheese and seared jalapenos topped with barbecue sauce; and the "Peanut Butter Jelly Bacon Dog" wrapped in hickory-smoked beef bacon with peanut butter and grape jelly and topped with caramelized onions.