Never before have I felt as let down by the Twin Cities chowhound community as on Saturday. I heard a brilliant piece on Minnesota Public Radio on Saturday by Stephanie Curtis in search of the best version of the St. Paul specialty, the hot daego sandwich. So of course, my wife and I jumped in the car and headed straight to the east side to try it out.
For those of you in the dark, the hot daego is a spicy sausage sandwich with tomato sauce and melted mozzarella. It is also a deragatory term for Italians, and that was also talked about in the piece. While the name of the sandwich might offend, it is hard to imagine someone not enjoying this sandwich.
The three places mentioned in the MPR story were DeGidio's (W. 7th St.), Yarusso Brothers (Payne Avenue), and Dairy-Ette Drive-In (Minnehaha Ave.) all in St. Paul. We tried Dairy-Ette, which was deemed the best of the three on MPR. The place is a total throw back in time where you can get service in your car. It has been around since 1951 and it looks liek little has changed. They have cherry 7Ups, shakes, and most of all the hot daego sandwich (called an Italiano here). We had the Italiano and a grilled pork chop sandwich. I would give the Italiano (hot daego) a very good, and the pork sandwich a good rating.
So two questions:
1) Which place do Chowhounds think serves the best version of this St. Paul specialty?
2) St. Paul chowhounds, why have you been holding out on us? How has this never been mentioned when out-of-towners have asked about local specialties?