VIDEO: Toasted Ravs Baffle, Enchant Comedian Jim Gaffigan


Jim Gaffigan, shown here appreciating the nirvana of the T-Rav. - VIA YOUTUBE
  • Jim Gaffigan, shown here appreciating the nirvana of the T-Rav.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan launched his career in comedy with a bit about his love-hate relationship with Hot Pockets, but the comic has no conflicting feelings about St. Louis' local delicacy, toasted ravioli.

He does have one small quibble. In a clip from his February show at Stifel Theatre, he asked the local audience, "Do you know the difference between deep fried and toasted yet?"

Of course, we do not. But Gaffigan himself is only human, which means that any objection to our regional raviolian dialect fell away the moment he put a T-rav in his mouth — in fact, so deeply did the comedian fall in love, he dedicated the debut episode of his new YouTube series, "Jim Eats the World," to document his taste-testing of T-ravs from area restaurants.

Gaffigan's investigation featured four test subjects hailing from four beloved institutions: Trattoria Marcella (3600 Watson Road, 314-352-7706); Zia's (5256 Wilson Avenue, 314-776-0020); Anthonino's Taverna (2225 Macklind Avenue, 314-773-4455) and Pappy's Smokehouse (3106 Olive Street, 314-535-4340).

"This is a healthy sized ravioli," Gaffigan said after biting into the offering from Trattoria Marcella, which he praised for its dipping sauce, complex flavor and hefty size, concluding, "The contents inside of it are amazing."

In summary, while Gaffigan appreciated the distinctly chewy texture of Zia's ravs, the pastry and meat-filling of Anthonino's and the spicy flavor of Pappy's, he concluded that Trattoria Marcella had come out on top.

"They're all different, but they're all in the end one of god's great creations: fried bread."

Toasted ravioli, Jim. Toasted. Get it right — because while you don't have to understand the T-rav, you have to respect it.

Follow Danny Wicentowski on Twitter at
@D_Towski. E-mail the author at
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