#92: Dumplings at Lona's Lil Eats


The handmade dumplings at Lona's Lil Eats. | Jennifer Silverberg
  • The handmade dumplings at Lona's Lil Eats. | Jennifer Silverberg

Lona Luo's handmade dumplings garnered quite a following for her Soulard Market food stall — so much of one, that it allowed her and husband Pierce Powers to open a brick-and-mortar operation. The digs at Lona's Lil Eats (2199 California Avenue; 314-925-8938) may be different, but the dumplings remain as good as ever.

See Also: At Lona's Lil Eats, Huge Flavor From a Tiny Village in China: Review

Luo's dumpling wrappers are thin and supple, but sturdy enough to hold their mouth-watering beef filling. It's a mix of peppery minced steak, smoked mushrooms and onions. The secret pop of flavor comes from finely chopped house-fermented pickles — a nod to Luo's tiny village in southwestern China, where pickling is a big part of the culinary culture. The dumplings are fried to a crispy golden brown and served with a chile-sesame vinaigrette layered with flavors of smoke, salt and tanginess. Storefront? These dumplings are good enough to earn her a culinary empire.

Previously: #93: A St. Louis-Style Pizza from Frank & Helen's Pizzeria #94: Singapore Mei Fun at Bek-Hee #95: The Monte Cristo at Three Flags Tavern #96: The Meatloaf Blue Plate Lunch at Farmhaus #97: Comet Coffee's Chocolate Chip Cookie #98: Canestri Cacio e Pepe at Pastaria #99: The Granola Pancakes at Whitebox Eatery #100: Chicken Noodle Soup at Grove East Provisions

Follow Cheryl Baehr on Twitter at @CherylABaehr. E-mail the author at Cheryl.Baehr@RiverfrontTimes.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.