After holding off on visiting Susan Feniger’s Street, Blackboard Eats finally presented me with the perfect opportunity to visit, a 30% off coupon. I had heard some mixed reviews of the place, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Having a reservation, we were seated immediately and were immediately presented with some sort of grainy yellowish dish. It ended up tasting kind of like a rice krispy treat, but more savory, and with something that tasted almost like dried currant mixed in, except that it wasn’t tart like a currant. Whatever it was, we certainly enjoyed it as we browsed the menu.
The concept behind Street is that it brings together different street foods from around the world and puts a bit a of a gourmet twist on them. It sounds like a great concept and few people love street food more than I do. But as I looked at the menu, I found it very hard to believe that much of this could be eaten on the street. None of the food seemed like any variation of it could be portable, but despite not seeming to match the name, the food did look delicious. After spending some time browsing, we finally figured out what to order. To share, we ordered the Kaya Toast and Lamb Kafta Meatballs. Then we branched off and I ordered the Tatsutage (tah-tsoo-tah-gey) Fried Chicken and Cheese Grits.
Then came the waiting game. Although we had sat down about 20 minutes before our neighbors, they received their first round of food before us. It wasn’t a big deal because our Toast and Meatballs came out shortly after, but it wasn’t a good sign. As for the Kaya Toast, this is Street’s specialty and the bread comes spread with coconut jam and a soft-fried egg, soy and pepper for dipping. The combination is very unique and very tasty. I have always loved the combination of sweet and salty and the Kaya toast executed this perfectly.
The Lamb Kafta Meatballs were another great appetizer and one of the few things I could imagine eating on the street. The meatballs came on a platter with Syrian cheese, grape leaves (which went straight to the girlfriend), date and carob molasses and some spiced flatbread. The combination of cheese was nothing short of delicious. The meatballs were juicy and flavorful, while the subtle cheese added some nice texture to the appetizer. I was also impressed by the tenacity of the flatbread. It was crackery and I expected my bites to reduce the remaining bread to crumbs, but it held up and made a great meatball holder.
Then came the next waiting game. 20 minutes after tackling the appetizers, our main course was nowhere to be found. Our distraught waitress appeared and apologized profusely. Apparently it was the job of food runners to get us our food and they were failing us miserably even though the couple next to us was just about finished with their meal. Without even being prompted, the waitress told us she would have the manager come out to talk to us. It was refreshing to see her notice the mistake without us needing to point it out, but we were still foodless. Soon after this, our meals came out and the manager came out to apologize. She said she had already taken the toast off our bill and would be willing to throw in some dessert. We told her we would have to see how we felt after our main courses, but could be tempted later. Then we dug into our main food.
The Tatsutage Fried Chicken was a very unique Japanese-style fried chicken. It was quite different from any fried chicken I had ever eaten anywhere, including Japan, but it was delicious. The batter wasn’t really crispy like it is here, but was thick and flavorful. It was marinated in soy, mirin and sake, which gave the chicken great Asian flavor, but the batter was likely so different because it was rice-based. It was another great, unique combination that I had never seen before.
Finally, there were the Cheese Grits. Although definitely not a street food, these are a great comfort food. Prepared with butter, pepper and white cheddar, they were a great side for my unique fried chicken. It was like eating in the Japanese version of the south. These guys were so buttery and cheesy that I really couldn’t have asked for them to be any different, well unless they had been served sooner.
When the manager saw we had finished our main course, she returned to our table to remind us that the free dessert was still available if we wanted. We figured why not, so took a look at the menu to see what they had for us. After much debate we settled upon the Thai Tea Creme Caramel and Fruit Crisp. Both of these were a good way to finish our meal, but weren’t really at the level of greatness of the rest of the meal. The fruit crisp was a little too sweet for me, but the Thai Tea dessert was pretty tasty and had that unique Thai Tea flavor. Anyway, for free dessert I had no complaints.
So after all was said and done and waited for, Street ended up being a damn good meal and better than I expected. The place is wildly inaccurately named, because there’s no chance that food would be served on any street, but it’s still a nice mix of international cuisine. Plus, with the 30% Blackboard Eats discount and the other food taken off, the meal ended up costing less than half of its original price. And we didn’t even have to complain. Not too shabby.