I was just like other travelers before me as I stood under the Arch in St. Louis. I am in the Gateway to the West not for any particular reason, other than toasted ravioli tasting. The stomach filling and diet-breaking dish was reportedly born out of the Italian neighborhood southwest of the city. Ravioli can just be ravioli, but in St. Louis it is fried up like a fluffed up pillow and served as an appetizer, even if that palette starter is heartier than the main course. In order to understand this quintessential St. Louis food, you must do as I did, go taste it at some of the supposed best restaurants for toasted ravioli. Here are three tastings of toasted ravioli in St. Louis that are sure to leave stomachs bursting and taste buds satisfied.
Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill: This stop on the toasted ravioli tour of St. Louis is arguably essential. Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill boasts of being the original home of toasted ravioli, the very spot where it was invented. The story goes that that in 1947 when the current restaurant was called Angelo’s Oldani Pasta House, a non-Italian chef accidentally dropped ravioli in hot oil rather than boiling water. The mistake was applauded by the kitchen staff and soon landed on the restaurant’s menu. It is no secret that Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill maintains this story. As my waiter remarked, “Toasted ravioli WAS born here.” Under the description on the menu, their toasted ravioli is merely described as “the original”. Charlie Gitto’s on the Hill produces pillow-like toasted shells fried with meat, cheese and spinach. These pockets of goodness are then topped with Parmesan cheese and accented with marinara sauce. Charlie’s toasted ravioli will set you back $10.
Mama’s on the Hill: The toasted ravioli origins start to get a little doughy with a visit to Mama’s on the Hill. Also set up in the historic Italian neighborhood, Mama’s claims to be the original home of toasted ravioli. According to Mama’s on the Hill, toasted ravioli was born when a chef by the name of Fritz also dropped ravioli into hot oil instead of boiling water. Mama’s has her witnesses that toasted ravioli was born here. Mickey Garagiola, brother to Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Joe Garagiola, is said to have been the first to taste the mishap on the night that it occurred. Whether this is the original or not, Mama’s toasted ravioli is filled with meat and deep fried until a golden brown. Mama’s on the Hill prices their toasted ravioli at $7.25.
Lombardo’s Restaurant: While Lombardo’s doesn’t try to claim to be the inventor of toasted ravioli in St. Louis, it does credit the dish with helping the business prosper at its earliest stages. The Lombardo legacy of restaurants began in 1934 when Angelo Lombardo, Sr. came to St. Louis from Sicily and started a fruit stand. He would add on a small restaurant that served up toasted ravioli. The dish was a hit and quickly helped the business thrive. Now Lombardo’s has relocated from its original location in north St. Louis to a spot near Lambert Airport. There is also a Lombardo’s Trattoria near Union Station in the Durry Inn. Lombardo’s toasted ravioli is famous for its extra large surface area. The heavier and doughier toasted raviolis also differ in other St. Louis establishments’ versions in that they are topped with grated Romano cheese rather than Parmesan. Put most simply, Lombardo’s calls their toasted ravioli, “our toasted ravioli”. Lombardo’s Restaurant prices toasted ravioli at $7.95 while Lombardo’s Trattoria charges $8.95 for the good stuff.
Have you had toasted ravioli in St. Louis?
Don't forget to 'LIKE' us on Facebook!
Get new posts delivered by email:
Top Travel Deals on RSS
Win a Trip to One of These Amazing Destinations in Asia!Comments: 1Rating: 0 / 0
When plotting a trip to Asia, it can be difficult for travelers to know which points on the map they should include as part of their itineraries. Most nomads begin with those cities in Asia with stand out highlights and attractions. Here are six cities in Asia that pack in the grand allures....read more
Win a Trip with OneTravel and Etihad AirwaysComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Oh, the places you’ll go! Whether you dream of strolling down Kochi’s historic Princess Street or gazing across Hong Kong’s glittering harbor, you could be a simple vote away from the trip of a lifetime....read more
4 High and Low Tech Tips For Protecting Your Identity AbroadComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
If you don’t want to be a victim of identity theft on your next trip abroad, here are four high and low tech tips to follow to make sure you are the only one looking at your bank account or using your passport....read more
Basel on a BudgetComments: 1Rating: 0 / 0
During a recent (and very fun) city break in Basel, I discovered that with minimal effort and a bit of thrift that an amazing time could be had without breaking the bank....read more
8 Essential German Words To Help You Stumble Your Way Through OktoberfestComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Oktoberfest doesn’t come without its lost in translation moments. If you want to attend Oktoberfest in Germany, here are eight essential words to know....read more
California: CST #2090295-40, Nevada: SOT #2007-0081, Iowa: SOT #883, Washington: SOT #6027859380010001
Some of the content posted herein are the views and opinions of the individual blogger's and do not represent the views and opinions of OneTravel. It may be the case that OneTravel is partnering with a particular travel supplier mentioned in a blog post, however, all views and opinions expressed herein by parties other then OneTravel are by the respective bloggers.
© 2014 W K Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright for all material appearing on this website is owned by W K Travel, Inc. Persons accessing this website are authorized to view and print material from this website for information purposes only. Any other use of this material is restricted to non-commercial purposes and must include this copyright notice.
W K Travel Inc. owns the following Trademarks and Servicemarks appearing on this website:
OneTravel, OneTravel.com, and 1Travel. Trademarks and servicemarks for all other products and services appearing on this website are the trademarks and servicemarks of their respective owners.