I know you have a lot going for you, both right now, at this moment, and throughout the grand course of your life. You are in the Baseball Hall of Fame. You are married to a gorgeous woman who once drove audiences wild in the hit melodrama Baywatch Hawaii. Roger Clemens didn’t take enough steroids that one-day to cause him to jam that shard of broken bat into your neck as opposed to just sidearm whipping it in your general direction. According to Fangraphs somebody named Michael Barrett was a worse defensive catcher than you were between the years of 2002 and 2009. You, more than likely, have bench pressed 220 lbs before.
Does St. Louis have its problems? Sure. Our murder rate is slightly above average. A certain vocal minority of Cardinal’s fans are legitimate morons, who, in spite of all the evidence that would suggest the contrary, can both afford dial up internet and read. Our casinos don’t serve free booze, which is a real slap in the face to all the homeless people who sleep inside in forced sobriety. But I will be goddamned if I let you Mike Piazza, or anyone else, impugn the culinary wonderment that can be found in this city. Because the food in St. Louis is the best food in the world. Here’s why...
1) Our Pizza Is The Best Pizza: I know, I know, you don’t like provel cheese because it’s
“processed” and you only eat traditional margarita za, which is covered in nothing but a thin layer of pure cow semen. The problem with this argument is that it is dumb as F because cows are female and therefore do not produce semen, meaning that your pizza cheese isn’t a natural occurring substance in the world either and is therefore also “processed,” and you therefore are missing out on the holy grail of dairy foods by being an uppity douche who probably never, ever spills milk products onto the crotch of his J Crew chinos while having no idea what he is talking about. Because provel cheese is exquisite. It is gooey. It is luscious. I am not sure, but I am pretty sure, that it is what Abraham Lincoln put on his salad. Because there is no way that Honest Abe is both lactose intolerant and a moron.
The other common complaint about St. Louis style pizza is the cracker crust, which causes some people to compare the entire endeavor to a cheese wiz and triscuts spread, which, like, BFD nerds. If you don’t like cheese whiz and triscuts then you got your own problems. One of them is that you will never be invited to one of my Bachelor In Paradise watch parties ever. Another is that you are also probably the kind of person who wears a newsies hat in public. Spoiler alert: both of these things are serious social faux pas.
2) We Got Slingers: If you have never had a slinger then my life is inherently better than your life, which kind sucks for you given the fact that I once had a girl tell me that my pimples were "lighting up in the dark" when I tried to dance with her during a Juvenile song at an 8th grade mixer. Seriously. That happened. Anyways, slingers are the single best food item on the planet. And that includes exotic meats like rhinoceros that you can only eat if you are captured by the antagonist from the short story “The Most Dangerous Game.”
For those of you who do not know, here’s what a slinger consists of: a bed of hash browns, covered with two hamburger patties, several over easy eggs, a layer of chili, shredded cheese and perhaps, if you are a communist, countless shards of chopped onions. It’s like a chili mac made with breakfast food that will literally tickle your entire body with elation and show you the true meaning of life. It’s also something that the Fake News sources who have covered the local cuisine here in the 314 often forget to mention in their impartial “reviews” due to their irrefutable desire to drag our nation down with their oversight and lies. You said you can’t get a good meal here Piazza, but somehow claim to be eating like a king in Italy? As we say here in the Lou, that my friend is pure Hogwarsh. And I speak with authority. I’ve been to Capri homey, and I literally didn’t see one can of chili in the entire goddamn place.
3) We're Somehow Still The Only Place With Toasted Ravioli: T-Ravs are also a favorite target for the media turds that savage the St. Louis style menu of scrumptious nourishment, primarily because they are not, in fact, toasted a point which I will concede while at the same time responding with this: get off your GD high horse dweebs. Who cares if toasted ravioli is fried instead of toasted? Do you know that Koala Bears aren’t actually bears (they’re marsupials. God, crack a book for once in your life)? You probably didn’t, because actions like Googling “things with misleading names” are apparently beyond your diligent fact-checking threshold. But now that you are aware I hope you shut the hell up. Because no one is going to talk junk about a cuddly little Koala Bear on my watch and get away with it. And that’s exactly what you’re doing by mocking the “toasted ravioli” moniker in any sort of public setting. Exactly
The second knock against toasted ravioli is that they aren’t that creative. Like you dropped a regular ravioli in a deep fryer and out came something awesome, and that somehow is your region’s claim to culinary fame? Big whoop. Toasted ravioli were literally invented by accident, not ingenuity. Again a point I will concede. And now I will counter it with even more inarguable rationality: if T-Ravs are so easy to make, then why don’t they have them in other places? Deep fryers and beef filled circular noodles exist all over this great land. And yet somehow we are the only place that realizes how much happiness can come from their combination. If having toasted ravioli proves our lack of creativity, then what the hell does not having it say about everywhere else? Yeah, that’s right. I can think and stuff. Boom. Roasted.
4) Pork Steaks. Ever Heard of Them?: In St. Louis we have regular cow steak. We also have irregular pig steak, a cut of pork we cover with BBQ sauce and often devour with our hands assuming that there are no men or women of the cloth present who may be offended by our undeniable gluttony. Why do we, the good citizens of eastern Missouri, need both beef steak and pork steak? If you are asking this question, then you suck as a person. Also you are a bigot against pigs. And I, for one, will not stand for that. Pigs give their lives in order to gives us healthy and protein rich sustenance. I will not allow their sacrifice to be disrespect by people who don’t understand how delicious a thick slab of their dead carcass can be.
5) We Take Ourselves, And Our Grub, Way Too Seriously: Look, do I like being so sensitive about my hometown, aka the best hometown on the entire planet, that I have to fire off a poorly constructed, 1,500 word blog post every time a borderline Hall of Fame catcher criticizes our local food scene? Yes. Yes I do. That St. Louisan sense of insecurity exists for a reason, to drive me, and my fellow city dwellers, to a level of loyalty unknown to the people who are not from where I am from. That insecurity propels us towards greatness. That insecurity ignites the passion we need to keep doing the things that we do well.
One of those things is food. We have the best pizza, and the best barbeque. The most celestial sandwich in the world is the hot salami from Gioia’s Deli on The Hill, and the planet’s finest burger is grilled over at Seamus McDaniel’s in Dogtown. The fried chicken at Hodak’s is so divinely breaded that it will make atheists show up to church on Sunday, and the fettuccine at Cunnetto’s is so bountiful and rich it will totally validate the literal days of life expectancy you are losing with each bite. I could go on and on, mentioning all different varieties of culinary delights, ranging from classy steak joints that serve a 64-ounce Prime Rib that is better than any Vegas buffet cooks 8 to divey hole-in-the-wall joints whose deep dish pie is better than anything you could ever get in Chicago, but I will stop here instead. Otherwise I would be listing stuff forever.
Rather for now I will conclude with this: Mike Piazza, for all his attributes, doesn’t know shit about St. Louis. And he, evidently, doesn't know shit about food. As our civilization’s greatest poet, and aforementioned St. Louis native, Nelly once said: till you top the Super Bowl keep your mouth on lock. And you Michael Piazza, unlike copious amounts of former Cardinals, have never even won a World Series. So go ahead and lock your vocal cords up now. Because what you said was dumb. And now, in my eyes as well as the eyes of an always rational and never reactionary general public, you are too.