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Chef Dave Santos’s Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up
Nov 10th, 2015 by donuts4dinner

Chef Dave Santos may be a free agent since closing his West Village restaurant, Louro, this summer, but he’s not taking any time off. I was lucky enough to get a reservation at his Nashville hot chicken pop-up in the Manhattan location of Bark Hot Dogs last week, where he was serving whole fried chickens using his special recipe that even the Tennesseeans in the room said was better than what they’ve had back home. My friends and I got two whole chickens with pickles, cole slaw, baked beans, and potato salad, but we also couldn’t resist Dave’s fried chicken sandwiches and Bark’s super cheap pitchers of beer. The people around us who hadn’t reserved the whole chickens were oohing and ahhing over our tray of crispy battered thighs and drumsticks, and some of them even asked to take pictures. The only complaint I heard is that this was only a pop-up and we can’t have Dave’s hot chicken every day.

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs
so crispy and glistening

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs
a line back to the entrance of people waiting for hot chicken sandwiches

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs
so good we had to take some home to eat later!

Dave Santos Nashville Hot Chicken Pop-Up at Bark Hot Dogs

Japadog – Japanese/Fast Food – East Village
Jul 24th, 2012 by donuts4dinner

My friend Erin online-introduced me to her friend Lizzie back in 2008, and we quickly became Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and blogfriends. And by that I mean that we never actually met, despite living mere miles from each other. (Although one mile in Manhattan is like ten miles anywhere else.) But after four years, we finally forced a dinner a couple of weeks ago at Japadog in the East Village. And I’m not saying that eating a metric ton of wasabi mayo together makes people get along better, but it sure can’t hurt.

Japadog NYC
Tonkatsu dog: deep-fried pork cutlet marinated in tonkatsu sauce with fresh cabbage

Like a sweet and sour pork belly, this meat seemed to consist of at least half chewy, melty fat. The cabbage added crunch and brightness.

Japadog NYC
Croquette dog: Japanese croquette (fried mashed potato) and Arabiki sausage

Lizzie ordered hers with a veggie dog, which you can do with any of Japadog’s dogs. This is for people who scorn the idea that a meal shouldn’t be made up entirely of carbs.

Japadog NYC

Lizzie’s other veggie dog, which I believe was the Oroshi with grated daikon radish and “special” soy sauce. You get an idea of how huge and fluffy these buns are from this picture, but it still doesn’t convey exactly how hard they are to fit into your mouth.

Japadog NYC
Love Meat dog: homemade meat sauce and melted cheese

This website says this one is “popular to all ages”, despite its suggestive name. This was easily my favourite of the two Japadogs I tried, because um, it’s covered in three inches of cheese. I loved the smoky flavor from the blackened cheese and the meat-on-meat of the thick coney sauce over the hot dog. The chili cheese dog is the archetypal hot dog in my book, and this one did not disappoint.

Rating One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarBlank Star

All of the dogs we tried were just right flavor-wise, and the never-before-seen toppings were so novel that a lesser restaurant might have skimped on the links themselves; these were cooked so that I felt that much-desired snap when I bit into them. My only complaints were with the price of each dog, which were sometimes twice as much as that of the Crif Dogs right down the street, and the fact that my butter and shoyu French fries were completely unflavored until the last quarter of the bag. However, the last quarter of the bag tasted like fries covered in movie theatre popcorn butter, so I can overlook that. Especially since the tables at Japadog are plenty, the staff is sweet and friendly, and the decor is casual but cute enough that you could take a date here and not look like a cheapskate. You’ll look like a fool with chili and cheese all over your face, but that’s totally charming.

Japadog
30 Saint Marks Place
New York, NY 10003 (map)

The KFC Double Down is Just as Delicious as You Think It is
Apr 13th, 2010 by plumpdumpling

I ate the KFC Double Down and have lived to tell the tale.

A co-worker told me about this amazing concoction of two chicken “filets” that act as bread for a sandwich of bacon, two kinds of cheese, and the Colonel’s special sauce a couple of weeks ago, and I was counting down the days until it was released. They say this thing is so meaty it needs no bun, but it also apparently needs no lettuce, tomato, pickles, nor onion. That’s right–this thing is UNAPOLOGETICALLY UNHEALTHY. And that is what I love about America.

Apparently this is what everyone else loves about America, too, because all ten to twelve people in line with me at the KFC near Grand Central were speaking with European accents. At first I thought, “HaHA! See? Everyone else is just as fat-crazed as we are!” But then I realized they were actually probably like, “We’re only here on vacation for two days. What’s the craziest, most ridiculously indulgent American thing we can eat?” Thank you, KFC.

KFC Double Down

As I walked home from KFC, my paper bag swinging beside me, I couldn’t decide if I felt

a) totally dirty, or
b) as if I had Willy Wonka’s golden ticket in my hand.

As soon as I bit into the Double Down, though, the concerns about my well-being melted away. The chicken was flecked with herbs on the outside, bright white on the inside, and juicy allllllllll over. The two strips of bacon, unnaturally pink as they were, were just the right amount of crunchiness, and the cheeses were that perfect sort of half-melted you only get at fast food chains. I understand that people are afraid of this mysterious Colonel’s Sauce, but it was just a sort of Southwestern blend: spicy, peppery, slightly orange-colored.

The sauce was abundant, though not so much that it made the “sandwich” messy, and I really could see myself eating the thing in public without too many shirt-spills, despite its unusual composition. One was definitely filling enough, which is a good thing, since it cost as much as a value meal at any other fast food joint.

KFC Double Down

And I got the grilled version, which means my arteries only half-collapsed ten minutes after I finished, and I only half-hated myself in the morning.

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