We asked Redfin real estate agents in St. Louis to tell us about their city. Everyone knows about the Gateway Arch, but what truly distinguishes you as a local? Here are 21 signs you live in St. Louis!
1. You Love Provel Cheese on Your Pizza
For outsiders who wonder: What is Provel Cheese? “It’s white, soft and it’s a combo of cheddar, Swiss and provolone,” said Redfin real estate agent Tamika Evans. “It doesn’t taste like any of those cheeses, but it melts easily and people love it on St. Louis-style pizza.” What’s St. Louis-style pizza? Think a crackery crust and slices cut up in little squares.
2. When Meeting Someone for the First Time, You Ask Where They Went to High School
Also known as the “St. Louis background check,” it’s still common in the area. Why is this done? Does it make sense? In some ways, it does, according to this article in the Riverfront Times. So, if you’re in St. Louis, be prepared to answer this question!
3. You Wear Red to Work and School When the Cards are at Home
It might seem a bit much, since there are so many Cardinal home games. But St. Louisans love their baseball and the Cardinals have the championships to back up the locals’ claims to superiority. An especially good time: when the Cards whomp on the Cubs.
4. Gooey Butter Cake is Your Favorite Dessert
As gooey and buttery as its name implies, it’s short and dense — think of a lemon bar, or a soft, fudgy brownie. Often served with coffee, it originated in St. Louis in the 1930s, as the result of a baker’s mistake in the ratios of ingredients.
5. You Tie a Big Red Bow to the Front of Your Car During the Holiday Season
“Why do people do it?” said Redfin agent Tamika Evans. “I don’t know, but they do! It’s a way to get into the holiday season for some folks. And I think it’s great — it’s festive to see all those cars decked out like that.”
6. You Work with Three People Who Moonlight as Mayors
There are lots of little townships and suburbs around St. Louis proper. Each one of them needs a mayor, even if it’s only part-time. If you live in St. Louis, you likely know a few…
7. When Toasted Ravioli is on the Menu, You Order It for an Appetizer
First developed on “The Hill” in St. Louis, there’s no need to mince words: this is breaded and deep-fried ravioli. And it’s as good as it sounds! Also, just like the Gooey Butter Cake, legend has it that it was developed by accident, when a chef accidentally dropped some ravioli in the deep frier!
8. Nelly is Your Guy
He’s from St. Louis, so you know the words to all his songs and you loved it when he was an afternoon host on HOT 104.1. Also, he put the Ex’treme Institute in the heart of St. Louis. How cool is that?
9. You throw Pork Steak on the Grill in the Summer
St. Louis-style BBQ wouldn’t be the same without pork steaks. These are small-sized cuts from the pig’s shoulder, that grill well, though savvy cooks often bake or slow-cook them before finishing on the grill, to preserve the tenderness.
10. You Know Hoosier Means Someone From the Country, Not From Indiana
As an FYI to non-locals: if you’re in St. Louis and someone calls you a Hoosier, that’s an insult. It means you lack manners and class and come from a rural area. Just to let you know.
11. Goody Goody Diner is Your Breakfast Spot
“From the exterior, which looks like it hasn’t changed since it opened over 60 years ago, to the great home cooking inside, it’s hard to go wrong at Goody Goody Diner,” said Redfin agent Tamika Evans. “My favorite is the Good Morning Breakfast with grits, dollar cakes and sausage patties, my eggs lightly scrambled with cheddar. But don’t try to go for dinner — they close at 2 o’clock in the afternoon!”
12. You’ve Been to Forest Park a Thousand Times and Still Find Something New
Home of a combo World’s Fair and Summer Olympics in 1904 (yes, really!) Forest Park is over 1,300 square acres and includes an art museum, a zoo, a science center and two golf courses, among other things. It’s easy to get lost here and also easy to have fun. You can also find the Apotheosis of St. Louis, which is a statue of King Louis IX of France, the namesake of the city.
13. You Order Carryout Chinese Food and Eat It Out of the Box
Maybe the rest of the country still hasn’t got the memo, but you don’t need a plate to eat your carryout Chinese food. Just use the box! That’s what you do in St. Louis. If you’re wondering how, here’s a primer from the Huffington Post.
14. You Know Mardi Gras Isn’t Just for N’Orleans
St. Louis was named after a French king, after all. The annual Mardi Gras parade is one of the biggest parades in the Midwest, period. There are plenty of krewes who revel, there’s a Cajun cook-off, and the mayor holds a ball every year. So, yeah, St. Louis has a Mardi Gras!
15. You Know Yogi Berra, Lou Garagiola and Jack Buck Grew Up in the Same Neighborhood
Proud baseball fan that you are, you know that St. Louis isn’t just home to the Cardinals — it’s also home of “The Hill” neighborhood, where the three Hall of Famers all lived. Anytime someone questions St. Louis’s baseball cred, you bring it up.
16. Your Favorite Sandwich is a St. Paul
In St. Louis, you can get a sandwich at a Chinese restaurant. It’s called the St. Paul sandwich, which goes like this: egg foo young, onion, lettuce, tomato and mayo between two slices of white bread. Served with a pickle on the side. Taste testers at NPR describe it as “truly, shockingly tasty” and really cheap. So, you’re welcome, America!
17. You’re Pretty Fed Up with the NFL
First there was the Cardinals football team. Then there was the Rams. And now… you just don’t want to talk about it. What’s that? …You still don’t want to talk about it, you say.
18. You Know St. Louis is Famous for Two Types of Blues
There’s the hockey team, yes, but there’s also the music they’re named after. St. Louis blues music is a distinctive style that has more piano than traditional blues. Chuck Berry started playing it in his teens. Yes, that Chuck Berry — the one who went on to pioneer Rock ‘n Roll — was a St. Lousian. And James Crutchfield, well, he was known as the “King of Barrelhouse Blues” and spent the bulk of his career playing in the Gaslight Square District.
19. You Call Panera the St. Louis Bread Company… Because it Started Here
And in the St. Louis area, it’s still called St. Louis Bread, even today. And the corporate headquarters are still local, so the connection remains legit. So if someone asks to go to Panera, you know they’re not from here.
20. You’re Used to Anheuser-Busch Signs Everywhere
The makers of Budweiser started here in 1852, brewing the first nationally available beer. Obviously, Budweiser is huge everywhere, but particularly in St. Louis, where the headquarters are still located — and where every bar has a Bud sign out front.
21. You Like Red Hot Riplets…
BBQ-hot-sauce-flavored potato chips. Enough said!
For all you St. Louisans out there, which “signs” did you like the best, and what did we miss? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below. And if you’re thinking of buying or selling a home in the St. Louis, be sure to get in touch with our local Redfin real estate agents, or check out what’s on the market on Redfin.com.