For me, lunch at Corner 17 in The Loop is as much about texture and interaction as it is about flavor, an attribute I assure you it has in spades.
Your meal should begin on the business end of a wide-mouth straw, floating in a tall glass of milk tea, which is also known as bubble tea. The beverage is sweet and creamy, a combination of fruit and milk, with a bed of tapioca balls resting at the bottom of your glass. For the uninitiated, drinking bubble tea is an easygoing affair until a pearl of silky tapioca is sucked up into your straw and delivered into your mouth to be chewed on before being swallowed. The combination of sweet, creamy and chewy is fun, and a perfect way to pass time while you wait for the dish that should really bring you into Corner 17: hand-pulled noodles.
Longtime readers will know I have a soft spot for noodles of all kinds, but no noodle has been harder to find in town than the hand-pulled variety, that is, until now. Diners at Corner 17 should make for seats in view of the glassed in kitchen, where dough is kneaded then pulled, then pulled and twisted back upon itself until it is supple and pliable. At this point the dough is stretched, gathered up and folded over and over until noodles of the right thickness are formed; think fresh spaghetti versus the dried kind you’ll find at the market. Fans of watching a pizzaiolo toss dough before topping it and sending it into a waiting oven will appreciate the display. However, whereas pizza tossing is largely for show, there is no replacing the nimble and strong hands needed to turn a flour and water into noodles.
The result of all the show and effort are noodles that are long and chewy with a texture that pushes back when bitten into in a way that is quite unlike any other in St. Louis. Submerged in a thin but flavorful broth, these noodles steal the show – no small feat when it comes to cuts of roughly cut and browned pork rib, each with a line of bone and cartilage that acts as the perfect foundation for grasping with chopsticks. However, the wise diner will not be distracted by the warming broth or the salty, crisp ribs, and keep their eyes leveled on the prize: those delicious noodles.
Corner 17, 6623 Delmar Blvd., The Loop, 314.727.2402, facebook.com/pages/Corner-17
Tired of reheating last night's dinner for lunch? Every Monday, food writer Andrew Mark Veety guides you to some of the best midday meals in the St. Louis region, with great places to bring clients or enjoy an outing with your co-workers. Missed one of his columns? Check them out here.
Catch Andrew on the air every Tuesday at 10:45am on the Big 550 KTRS' Martin Kilcoyne Show, where he continues the conversation on his weekly lunch picks.
Hungry for more St. Louis food-scene news? Follow us on:
- FACEBOOK: facebook.com/feastSTL
- TWITTER: @feastmag
- PINTEREST: pinterest.com/feastmag
- YOUTUBE: youtube.com/FeastMagazine
- INSTAGRAM: @feastmag
Subscribe to our weekly ENEWSLETTER here!