Time was you couldn't swing a cat in this town without hitting a Ruma's Deli. The local chain had locations in strip malls and shopping centers throughout much of the city, but these days Brock Ruma holds down the fort at the last Ruma's in the known universe. And God bless him for that: Ruma's Deli is a haven for Provel, that processed cheese food that makes St. Louisans drool and leaves out-of-towners aghast. Ruma's signature sandwich is the Gerber, and its genius is in its simplicity: ham and Provel, toasted on garlic bread. When the cheese melts on this open-faced sandwich, the mystical properties of Provel bubble over with deliciousness. Its cracks and crinkles may look like a scale-map of the ocean floor, but in either the six- or twelve-inch incarnation, the Gerber will be gone in a flash. If you don't dig on swine, Ruma's offers the Prosperity, which substitutes roast beef and gravy for ham, and nearly every dish includes Provel in some fashion.
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