Editor's Note: Inspired by this month's Thai Issue, Out To Lunch columnist Andrew Mark Veety will be sharing his favorite stops around town for great Thai cuisine. Check back every Monday in March for his picks.
I can’t think of a restaurant that has generated more excitement among the well-fed legions of St. Louis’ finest accomplished eaters than Fork & Stix, a sparse yet cozy Thai spot that recently took up residence on The Loop. And when it comes to Fork & Stix, I can’t think of a dish on the menu that has captured the hearts and stomachs of diners more than their take on khao soi, also known as Chiang Mai Noodles.
Truth be told, I ate several of the versions of khao soi to be found in St. Louis in my research for this month’s Thai Issue, and I fell for the dish (the Fork & Stix version in particular) for many of the same reasons I love steaming bowls of pho and tonkotsu ramen – each decadent bowls of noodles and broth in their own right.
Yet, like pho and ramen, khao soi becomes so all consuming not because of the tangled nests of chewy noodles, but because of the broth it’s submerged in. In the case of Chiang Mai’s namesake noodle dish, this means a thin broth that threads the needle between soup and curry, vacillating with each spoonful between sweet and sour; salt and a touch of spice, hitting the hallmarks of Thai cuisine in the process.
I’d be remiss if I ignored the noodles in this dish though, and khao soi shines from the inclusion of noodles prepared two ways. The first are boiled and then submerged in the broth, the second fried and piled high above it all. Take a spoon in one hand and chopsticks in the other, alternating between sips of broth and strands of tender and crisp noodles, contrasting textures that would be entertaining in any dish, but are all but required to keep pace with the decadent soup they swim in. My bet is that it will soon be a favorite of yours as well.
Fork & Stix, 549 Rosedale Ave., The Loop, 314.863.5572,facebook.com/pages/Fork-Stix
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 1:25pm on the Big 550 KTRS' Martin Kilcoyne Show, where he continues the conversation on his weekly lunch picks!