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Bryan Roof’s Favorite Recipe: The St. Paul Sandwich

He travels the country in search of regional specialties, so it only makes sense it's something he first tasted on the road.

Published Nov. 18, 2021.

My Favorite Recipe is a new column where we ask America's Test Kitchen cooks, cast members, and luminaries about the recipes they can't stop cooking.


You can tell a lot about a person by what they like to cook. As a new member of the America’s Test Kitchen’s digital team, I used this fact to my advantage to get to know some of ATK’s greatest food minds (and figure out which recipes I should add to my ever-growing to-cook list).

For Bryan Roof, Cook’s Country TV cast member and executive food editor, who travels the country in search of the best regional eats, it was a memorable conversation he had in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant that catapulted the Saint Paul Sandwich to the top of his list.

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Hey Bryan, what’s your favorite ATK recipe?

Bryan Roof:
The Saint Paul Sandwich is the recipe I think about fondly from being on the road, because it was a new concept for me. I went to the restaurant in Saint Louis, Missouri, that’s famous for making it; the owner was taught the recipe from the guy who created it several years ago. He walked me through how to make it . . . they deep fry it in a wok, to maintain its nice round shape, for so long, too long—longer than you think they ever should. You honestly question if it’s going to be any good, but it’s frickin’ good!

St. Paul Sandwich

So for those of us who aren’t able to sample it at the original restaurant, why should we recreate it at home?

BR: I could talk about the delicious browned eggs, the fragrant bits of onion, the play between pickle, mayo, omelet, and soft white bread . . . But why do I really think people should make it for themselves?  Because it's one of the best sandwiches you've probably never heard of.

St. Paul Sandwich

This crispy egg foo yong sandwich—actually a St. Louis specialty—tastes great in any city.  
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I heard there was something else that happened when you were visiting the restaurant—something that made the Saint Paul Sandwich special to you.

While we were there, we were talking to the manager of the restaurant and got around to the Chinese zodiac calendar. The guy told us, “I’m a dragon, and my uncle’s a dragon.” And I said, “Well, wait a minute, I’m a dragon too!” and then [staff photographer] Steve Klise, who I had been travelling with, said, “Guys, I’m also a dragon!” So we had four dragons hanging out in a Chinese restaurant in Saint Louis.

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