Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.
It should go without saying that there’s something tremendously appetizing about seeing your carbs made right before your eyes at a restaurant, be they bread, noodles, cake, or what-have-you. That said, it’s all too rare to get the kind of show provided on the regular at Magic Noodle in St. Paul: An athletic pasta-slinger stretching and swinging a mass of fresh noodles destined for the plates and bowls of the restaurant’s customers.
Those noodles are the heart of the restaurant’s Chongqing Spicy Noodle Soup, where their tender, chewy, tackily absorbent nature complement the soup’s warm, soothing, Szechuan tingly (but not otherwise terribly spicy) broth. Minced pork and herbs give the dish substance and contrast, making for a seriously mellow and pleasant dining experience. When we went to Magic Noodle on a weekday lunch the restaurant was thronged, suggesting that there’s a serious public interest in this kind of a noodle-to-bowl connection. Here’s hoping that more places take inspiration from this kind of a show-and-taste business model.
THE DISH: Chongqing Spicy Noodle Soup, $11
THE PLACE: Magic Noodle, 1337 University Ave W, St Paul
THE REASON: Tender, chewy, fresh noodles accented with a balanced and warming broth make for a satisfying meal