Hit List: 3 new restaurants to try this September
From a monster food truck to Chinese street food in The Loop, don't miss these three new restaurants.
1. Nudo House 11423 Olive Blvd., Creve Coeur, 314.274.8046, Facebook: Nudo House STL
St. Louis-area ramen fans have flocked to Nudo House, the long-awaited noodle shop from Mai Lee’s Qui Tran and Marie-Anne Velasco. Step up to the counter and place your order, then watch the team fly in the open kitchen. Bowls of steaming ramen hit the tables – be sure yours is the Shroomed Out, an unctuous vegetarian option filled with springy noodles, rich soymilk-based broth and meaty braised king oyster mushrooms. It’s topped with baby bok choy, pickled bamboo shoots (menma), fragrant garlic oil and a glorious, gooey marinated egg. If you’re looking for something handheld, try the Banh Mi Pho Dip, Nudo’s take on a classic French dip. French bread is stuffed with tender shredded brisket, flank steak and the usual banh mi accouterments, and served alongside a cup of beefy pho broth. Finish your meal with a cone of the rotating house-made soft serve; keep an eye out for lychee and mango.
2. Pie Hard 8201 W. Main St., Belleville, 314.791.3514, piehardpizza.com
Monster food truck Pie Hard eats normal-sized food trucks for breakfast. Chef-owner Michael Pastor stacked a 20-foot shipping container atop a flatbed, then added a 2½-ton pizza oven for good measure. The truck is making its way into St. Louis and the Metroeast for special events, but regularly parks outside its commissary kitchen to fire up 10-inch wood-fired pies. Put that massive rig to work and order pizzas like the Vladi with vodka sauce, pickled shallot, tender meatballs and crisp fried rosemary atop a toothsome, charred crust. Try a Mexican-inspired pie, the Al Pastor, with a sweet-savory mole sauce, shallot, thinly shaved pork belly, cheddar, queso fresco and wedges of sweet pickled pineapple. And save room for dessert: Pie Hard scoops house-made strawberry-balsamic ice cream between two sea salt chocolate chip cookies and tangy lemon gelato between light meringue disks.
3. Bing Bing 567A Melville Ave., University City, 314.669.9229, Facebook: Bing Bing
The newest addition to The Loop’s international bill of fare is actually just off Delmar Boulevard. Bing Bing specializes in jianbing, a popular street food snack in China made up of eggy pancakes. Sturdy enough to handle like a burrito but thin enough to be mistaken for a crepe, these jianbing are offered in two styles: the cornmeal-based Shandong style and the slightly more delicate mung bean-based Tianjin style. Each is filled with a jumble of flavors – smooth scrambled egg, crunchy wonton and slightly sour Chinese pickles. Add your choice of meat and sauce (the slightly sweet barbecue pork married well with the hoisin-like house sauce, while the golden crispy chicken played happily with the teriyaki-based traditional sauce), then watch as it’s all wrapped up to order.
Catherine Klene is managing editor, digital at Sauce Magazine.
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