(Note to impoverished college readers: Chile-flavored ramen work best for this.)

True ramen, as opposed to the instant variety, has a long and proud tradition in Japanese cuisine. As I mentioned, U.S. cities with more ethnically diverse populations often have numerous noodle bars, and aficionados will debate which has the best or the spiciest or the most authentic ramen. While I suspected otherwise, I let myself imagine that BBC had a bubbling pot of pork broth in its kitchen.

Instead, they served me a bowl of instant ramen. Better than the eight-for-$1 type, with a few fresh vegetables thrown on top for good measure. But, still, instant ramen. I paired the ramen with an order of shrimp shu mai. The light dumplings didn't hold together very well, and their flavor was rather bland. Still, as this entire meal set me back just over $5 (tax included), I wasn't especially disappointed. And if, say, I stumbled out of a Central West End bar after a few drinks and needed something to eat now, a bowl of ramen or a banh mi sandwich would be just right.

Triple threat: Alexis Kim, an owner of BBC Banh Mi, Boba Tea & Crêperie
JENNIFER SILVERBERG
Triple threat: Alexis Kim, an owner of BBC Banh Mi, Boba Tea & Crêperie

Location Info

Map

BBC Asian Cafe & Bar

243 N. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108

Category: Bars and Clubs

Region: St. Louis - Midtown

Details

BBC Banh Mi, Boba Tea & Crêperie
Honeydew boba tea....$2.75
"Special" banh mi $4 Spicy curry chicken crêpe $4.95
243 North Euclid Avenue; 314-361-7770.
Hours: 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.-Wed., 11:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat.

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Consider BBC a 21st-century snack bar. Would I seek it out of its own accord? Maybe not. But in a city where convenience food so often means the same old fast food or deli sandwich, it's exciting to have at least one place that is, even in a very small measure, looking to the future.

I'll see you there as soon as I figure out how to drink my boba tea.

For daily dining updates, visit Ian's blog, Gut Check.
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