A Tripe Called Quest (Sorry ‘Bout That Title)

Potnar's Restaurant

Potnar’s Restaurant

How does the old saying go? “When in St. Louis, do as the St. Louisians do?” I was back in my birth town for the Thanksgiving holiday.  I wasn’t cooking this year (super yea!) Aside: I am a teensy bit pretending to be happy about that.  I actually enjoy cooking for Thanksgiving. I just like to pretend that I am tortured by it.  I consider this to be a part of my charm. I don’t think anyone else does though…. End of Aside. This left me with some downtime so I thought I would explore some of my childhood treats. I had some Old Vienna salty snacks and what else…. oh yeah, a tripe sandwich!

Whut?  You have never heard of tripe?  I mentioned it once before on another post.  In case you still needed to know exactly what it is I looked it up on the innanet. Here is the definition I found. tripe noun 1. the first or second stomach of a cow or other ruminant used as food. 2. informal nonsense, rubbish “you talk tripe sometimes”. Now, I dunno about talking tripe, but let’s talk tripe.

Because it is stomach lining (Mmmmmm) it is extremely tough!  It absolutely has to be tenderized before you fry it.  First, you would boil it for hours until is a soft, pliable consistency.  Let it cool and then it’s time to bread it in one of two processes (soak in milk and then dredge in seasoned flour or just dredge in seasoned flour). Then, you just deep fry it… healthy, right? Now, it’s time for more deliciousness! It is accompanied by White Bread, Hot Sauce, Pickles, Mustard, and Raw Onions. I swear I’m not making this shit up! Eating this sandwich is like saying,” I refuse to have fresh breath today!” LOL  I promise you, when you get that tripe cooked nice and tender and it comes hot outta the fryer to greet it’s accompaniments it really is super tasty!

My new "Potnar" see what I did there? Holding Fried Shrimp

My new “Potnar” see what I did there? Holding Fried Shrimp

Ihad my tripe sandwich at my old faithful restaurant in St. Louis, Potnar’s 9987 Lewis and Clark Blvd, St. Louis,  Mo 63136. It is a family owned business.  They make all of the other delish fried items too, but I really go there for the tripe. Plus, I like to say their name like, “I’m going to my Potnar’s for some tripe!” LOL When I got there they did have a amazingly delicious looking Butter Pecan Cake that was calling me from the refrigerated case.  I ordered a slice, but the cake was already sold for Thanksgiving (I cried a silent tear). I ordered my tripe sandwiches for the fam and waited patiently for them to get done.  They are fried to order, because people are not constantly eating tripe (even in St. Louis)! I asked for a double, please do not ever do this. I thought that meant an extra piece of meat ( I like my tripe sandwiches extra tripey).  I ended up with two damn tripe sandwiches! LOL Anyway, they were cooked perfectly, with just the amount of pull you want in the tripe and seasoned very well. If you are in the area I would definitely recommend stopping there, especially for your first tripe experience.

Since I love to learn about all things food and I’m trying to get you to try it, I wanted to do a little more research about who else eats tripe in this big, old, world. I already knew about Puerto Ricans and Menudo Soup,  more recently Mexican people with Tripa tacos and wouldn’t you know it Romans with their Trippa alla Romana! So, I guess I not only was doing what the St. Louisians do,  but also what the Romans do after all!  If you get a chance to try it, put on your big kids’ pants and do it. C’mon, live a little……