Review: Crispy Edge

first impression | There is a special charm with little neighborhood restaurants, reinforced when the owner is there, walking around greeting his guests. That is the case at Crispy Edge, a funky little eatery opened by David Dresner, Wash. U. grad and business major. He says he took a shine to potstickers (that’s where the name comes from) and wanted to try filling them with all kinds of interesting ingredients. Open only on weekends, the fare ranges in flavor, and while the storefront is unremarkable, the inside has character. It’s intimate but not crowded, and the patio out front is inviting.

wash it down
There are plenty of beers and wines by the glass, as well as a handful of craft cocktails. We had the Sinful Cider ($9), a tasty blend of bourbon, cider and lemon. The hearty spirits were well balanced with sweet cider and mouth-puckering lemon.

must try
» azteca potstickers: $5.50; Three chia seed dough pockets have a bean filling with Mexican flavors like cilantro and lime and are served with a picante tomato dipping sauce. I enjoyed them, especially the crisp, fried exterior paired with the creaminess of the mashed beans inside.
» chorizo date: $6; This unlikely combination was my favorite potsticker. The sausage wasn’t too spicy and balanced perfectly with the sweet dates. Nothing jumped out as a dominant flavor, and the dough was ever so subtly tinged with turmeric, another good choice.
» vietnamese spring roll: $8; Don’t miss this traditional dish, which came as chicken potstickers wrapped in lettuce leaves with a divine, tangy-sweet nuac cham sauce and salty peanuts.
» for the party: $16; A hearty entree platter of two pork ribs over bacon cheddar mashed potatoes and a trio of buffalo chicken potstickers. The ribs were meaty and good, topped with a bit of barbecue sauce. The potstickers, however, were not my favorite. The filling had a smooth texture incongruous with what you think of as buffalo wings.
» couscous tabouleh: $4.50; With its cool pasta, pickled red onion, mint, parsley and feta, it’s a refreshing complement to the doughy main attraction.
» from the sea: $18; Another entree that was well-orchestrated. Ahi tuna slices came topped with pickled wasabi cucumber salad (also an à la carte offering) and an order of traditional pork potstickers. The assortment of Asian flavors all worked well together, and each element was tasty. The tuna was done correctly (rare), while the cucumber salad was divinely flavored with sugar, vinegar, wasabi and sesame seeds.
» tikka masala: $6; Vegetarian potstickers (plant-based chicken) with delicious Indian flavors like coconut, cashew and cilantro.
» apple pie: $2.50; For dessert, get this potsticker with little cubes of apple in a sweet filling. Its house-made bourbon caramel dipping sauce was buttery and creamy—loved it!

Crispy Edge is an appealing, friendly place, and I liked the creative potstickers for a change of pace. Prices are reasonable, and best of all, it’s got a great vibe.

4168 Juniata St. | 314.310.3343

the dish | From the Sea: sesame ahi and traditional pork stickers with wasabi cucumber, citrus ponzu and katsuobushi