One source has the origin of the St. Paul sandwich dating to the early 1940s, when Chinese
|A St. Paul sandwich|
Food writers James Beard and Evan Jones believed that the Denver or Western sandwich was created by "the many Chinese chefs who cooked for logging camps and railroad gangs in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries" and was probably derived from egg foo young. They believed that the early Denver sandwiches were actually St. Paul sandwiches.
This sandwich was featured in the PBS documentary Sandwiches That You Will Like in 2003 and will be feature in a book by artist Kelly Pratt to be released in 2016 called Stately Sandwiches as the sandwich chosen to represent the state of Missouri.
It is usually only available in Chinese restaurants in the St. Louis metropolitan area as well as at least one Chinese American restaurant in Columbia, Missouri, Chinese Wok Express on Broadway, at Happy Garden in Jefferson City, Missouri and at Yen's Chinese Food restaurant in Springfield, Missouri, the owners of which are originally from St. Louis. It is also available in Chinese-American restaurants in California and Oregon with regional names such as "Egg Foo Young on Bun" at Lung Fung in the Kenton neighborhood of Portland, OR.