Anyone with good bread recommendations is automatically a hero in my book. So when Andy Cohen – who is already right up there for his hilarious talk show Watch What Happens Live and for being Exec Producer of F&W favorite Top Chef (starring our own Gail Simmons) – came around with a list of his favorite bread-centric places in St. Louis, I freaked out.
Cohen, it turns out, is from St. Louis. And grew up in the food business. “My great grandfather started a food manufacturing company called Allen Food. I drove a fork lift one summer, I made deliveries in a van. I worked in customer service. I spent a summer on a factory line like Laverne & Shirley screwing on bottle caps,” he says. (To which, I say, can I please see some video footage?)
Cohen’s cousin Josh Allen is still in the St. Louis food business. His beloved bakery Companion is celebrating its 20th anniversary. In honor of the big birthday, Cohen is starring in their new ad campaign. And also sharing some high carb favorites. “It’s impossible to not eat carbs in St. Louis,” says Cohen. Hurray for that!
Here, Cohen’s awesome St. Louis suggestions.
Pretzel Croissant. This new, special edition item, created for Companion’s 20th anniversary, sounds like it could be the Midwest Cronut. Especially because it’s described as an all-butter French croissant, sent through a pretzel lye-bath and topped with crunchy bits of pearl sugar. Says Cohen: “It’s so good, it's pretzely, but has a little crunch to it. It’s savory but it's sweet too.” And unlike the Cronut, you can get it by mail order.
New Yawker Sandwich (smoked salmon and cream cheese on poppy seed bagel). “This I love,” says Cohen. “It’s my go-to. I love smoked salmon, plus their bagels are great and fresh.”
Dressel’s Public House
Made-to-order potato chips. “I’ve been going there with my parents for at least 30 years,” Cohen confides. “It’s a family owned pub. Their potato chips are thinly sliced and fried. I get a basket of those and a bottle of ketchup; I spray ketchup on the chips and it's so delicious.”
Five Star Burgers
Straight up Five Star Burger, served on butter-toasted brioche bun. “I’m a burger aficionado and that’s a great burger. It’s right near where my parents live. I get the Five Star with lettuce, onion, double pickle. Ketchup and mustard is all I need. And of course cheese.”
East Loop pizza (mozzarella, roasted chicken, pesto and onions). “I love Pi. They have both great deep dish and thin crust pies. They have all kinds of everything that you can possibly want. But if you’re making me choose, I love thin crust pizza. I’m obsessed with it.”