Waldman brothers drop latest T-Rav Taster video

Jon%2C+Jeff+and+Jacob+Waldman+taste+the+toasted+ravioli+at+Pasta+House+for+their+T-Rav+Tasters+blog+and+video+series.

Bill Motchan

Jon, Jeff and Jacob Waldman taste the toasted ravioli at Pasta House for their T-Rav Tasters blog and video series.

Jordan Palmer

Back in July, Jewish Light writer Bill Motchan introduced you to the Waldman brothers and their noble quest of finding the best-toasted ravioli in St. Louis, then sharing their findings with the world.

Jeff, Jon and Jacob Waldman have the dedication and skill for their task. It’s all part of their mission to create awareness for the St. Louis dish and help the local restaurant industry emerge from a bleak 2020, said Jeff Waldman, leader of the trio.

T-Rav Tasters on the web is hosted by the sports and entertainment blog Korked Bats, which has a national following of nearly 40,000. Waldman doubles as a sales rep for the company. The idea for a toasted ravioli rating blog had been frying in his mind for a long time.

Jon, Jeff and Jacob Waldman taste the toasted ravioli at Pasta House for their T-Rav Tasters blog and video series. (Bill Motchan)

“It’s been a minute, but the T-Rav Tasters (TRT) are back,” wrote Jeff this week on Korkbats.com. “This time we took a trip to a St. Louis establishment. A staple of the 314. Next to the arch and wearing jorts to baseball games, Pasta House is near and dear to every St. Louisan’s heart. With them adding a new location off Ladue Rd., my brothers and I had to hit it up.”

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TRT was on hiatus after the birth of Jeff’s first son. But, the boys are back.

The Waldmans belong to Congregation Temple Israel, where each celebrated his bar mitzvah and likely had toasted ravioli celebrating the events.

The target of the brothers’ pursuit: toasted ravioli. (Bill Motchan)

So far, the Waldmans have tasted classics at restaurants including Rigazzi’s, Anthonino’s Taverna and Farroto’s. They are especially excited about an upcoming tasting that features their longtime favorite, Pasta House.

The episodes are largely unscripted. Jeff Waldman said they just go with the flow, but they did make the decision after the first couple of episodes to use a structure and hire a professional videographer to improve production values.

During recording of the Pasta House episode at the restaurant’s new 8831 Ladue Road location, the Waldmans opened the shoot by offering some history of the business and how many meals they have eaten there, which is in triple digits. Then they got down to business with beer and toasted ravioli.

The tasting covers criteria such as sauce, taste, presentation and structural integrity. They perform a couple of strange tests, too, such as dunking a toasted ravioli in beer. Take after take, the brothers crack wise and chomp on toasted ravioli.

Jen Duerfahrd, marketing director for Pasta House, said the T-Rav Taster visit would help generate awareness of the restaurant’s new Ladue location and, of course, for their toasted ravioli.

“I think T-Rav Tasters is great for St. Louis,” she said. “And I have three boys, so I can relate to this.”

Her comment came right after Jacob Waldman stuffed seven toasted ravioli into his mouth.

Although much of the content is played for laughs, the Waldmans are serious about their love of toasted ravioli and spreading the word to people outside St. Louis who aren’t familiar with them.

At left, Jon, Jeff and Jacob Waldman shoot a T-Rav Tasters segment outside a Pasta House location. (Bill Motchan)

“Toasted Ravioli Awareness (TRA) is very important to us,” Jeff Waldman said. “People need to know what St. Louis is known for foodwise, other than the way we awkwardly cut our bagels.”

“Also, we’re trying to help local businesses, because we come from that small local business background, it’s in our blood in the Waldman family,” Waldman said. “My grandfather started Laurie’s Shoes back in 1951. So small family businesses are important to us, and supporting local restaurants was an important piece of this for us, too.”

The Waldman brothers’ T-Rav Taster videos can be found on YouTube (@korkedbats).