This Cantonese delicacy, traditionally cooked heads-on and shell-on, left American diners completely flummoxed about how to eat the battered shrimp. Down the crustaceans, shells and all? Peel the shrimp and lose all the salty batter? Nibble away all the batter and then peel the shrimp? Eat heads or no?
Wei Hong Bakery & Restaurant (3175 South Grand Boulevard; 314-773-8318) solves the dilemma by offering both shell-on and shelled versions. For many years, Gut Check ate them shells and all but now opts for the shelled version. The batter is light and airy with a pronounced saltiness. The peppers are mostly found in the form of sliced chilis studding the onion-and-pepper base on which the shrimp rest. Diners fearful of too much heat can just focus on the shrimp. Plus, ordering the salt and pepper shrimp with the heads removed obviates any rude jokes about head-eating from your less-refined dining companions.
Beginning last year, RFT restaurant critic Ian Froeb counted down -- in no particular order -- 100 of his favorite dishes in St. Louis. Now Gut Check has taken up where he left off. Check back frequently as we detail our 100 favorites, and don't hesitate to send us yours, too, either via the comments thread or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
#80: Ba-Mee Mhoo Dang at Basil Spice #81: Catfish Platter at the Gumbo Shop #82: Shrimp & Andouille Flatbread at the Shaved Duck #83: Vegetarian Pasta at Terrene #84: Seafood Stuffed Mushrooms at Zia's #85: Legend Club at LeGrand's Market & Catering #86: City Coffeehouse & Crêperie's Nutella-Banana Crêpe #87: Raw Vegetable Lasagna at Scape #88: Quesadilla Azteca from Tower Tacos #89: The Perfect Pear at Foundation Grounds #90: Banh Mi Sandwich from Sweet Art #91: Chicken and Dumplings at Yummies Soul Food Cafe #92: Cuban Sandwich from La Tropicana #93: The Prosperity at Ruma's Deli #94: Cherry Cheese Danish from Missouri Baking Company #95: Bread Pudding with Whiskey Sauce at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse #96: Egg Salad Sandwich at Township Grocer #97: Cheeseburger and Fries (Extra Crispy) at O'Connell's Pub #98 Mussels & Fries at Brasserie by Niche #99: Beef Taquitos Mexicanos at El Indio #100: Spinach Artichoke Dip at Cafe Eau