Bizarre foods? Us?
A St. Louis-themed episode of Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations will premiere Monday — with segments focusing on St. Louis-style pizza, toasted ravioli, pork steak and gooey butter cake.
And in light of the beating we've taken lately from the national media — from that misguided piece focusing on, of all things, a St. Louis-focused Wikipedia page, to the guffaws greeting the recent announcement that a Ranch-dressing-themed restaurant would open in Soulard— it was hard not to wonder: Are they making fun of us?
They are not.
As it turns out, Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations is less focused on the bizarre than the, well, unique. It's a spinoff of James Beard winner Andrew Zimmern's Bizarre Foods, which itself visited St. Louis and the Ozarks area back in 2013.
The spinoff is less about eating things like, say, durian or pig snouts and more about iconic dishes. The show premiered in January with an aim of telling the world "in simple, easily digested terms what the classic 5 or 6 foods are in the world’s great cities." Such heavy-hitters as Paris, Athens and Boston are being featured in this premiere season.
Places with bizarre food scenes? Nope. Ones with delicious, and distinctive, dining scenes? Absolutely — and that makes St. Louis' inclusion a pretty nifty honor.
We don't know the full roster of local places getting a shoutout, but we do know that Zimmern and his crew filmed locally at Charlie Gitto's on the Hill, which was featured for its toasted ravioli, and Park Avenue Coffee, famous for its gooey butter cake. Chili Macs Diner has also announced it will be featured in a segment on slingers.
And for the pizza segment, Cicero's in the Delmar Loop was the star. The music-loving eatery will host a viewing party during the Monday premiere, with free pizza in the bar area and half-off all St. Louis beers.
Now that's something to celebrate.
Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destination will air Monday at 8:30pm on the Travel Channel.
Editor's note: This piece was updated after publication to include details about the show's slinger segment.
Cicero's, 6691 Delmar Blvd., University City, Missouri, 314.862.0009, ciceros-stl.com
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