I heard on This American Life last week about how kids are doing this new drug called 'Cheese'. There was a bit by this comedian talking about how kids are doing this thing called 'Cheese'. What is Cheese? It is simply tylanol PM crushed up, and mixed with heroin. Apparently it gets you all woozy and sleepy, then you get this high. But basically, it's heroin. What does this have to do with DBGB? Not much, but refutiate riddle me this, what kind of a restaurant is it? It's run by a French restaurateur, Daniel Boulud. And when Steph and I went, we ate a thai sausage, beef bone marrow, and hamburgers with french fries. So is it a French restaurant? A restaurant that has some French food on it but other food as well? Sometimes it's easier to not get caught up in how to categorize a restaurant, and just visiting to check out if the food is worthwhile for yourself.
We started off the meal with some Thai sausage. The sausages are made with pork, lemongrass and red curry. It come swith a small pile of green papaya salad, basil fried rice, chili sauce, and quail egg. See what I mean about the French food? The sausage was absolutely fantastic and it's something that you should definitely try. There must be a whole world of Southeast Asian sausages out there that aren't getting enough love.
Then we followed that up with bone marrow. Mmmmm... It was some beef bone sliced down length-wise (smart choice) and katz's pastrami, watercress, pickled mustard seed, and rye bread toast. There's only a little bit of pastrami which is good because it would then detract from the awesome bone marrow. They sliced the gone length-wise which makes it much easier for you to spoon out the fatty bone marrow. For a good comparison, imagine beef butter. I mean, you know butter does come from cows but this is different. This is the Kevin Garnett (circa 2006) - full of intensity and just looks crazy.
We finished off the meal with a tri of burgers. The three burgers are the Yankee (beef with tomato and onions), the Piggie (beef topped with daisy mays pulled pork), and the Frenchie (beef with confit pork belly). Order like this and you'll find yourself too stuffed for dessert. You should be sure to check out their awesome beer list to go along with a decadent meal at DBGB. They have beer from all over the world.
Sure, a place like this is priced the way any popular place would be priced. Meaning, it's just enough to make you know you're spending but not so much as to make you feel like it's out-of-reach. It's the New York version of Vegas slots. It's a good time and noisy, and your wallet feels it when you walk out at the end. Worth a trip to try out the different beers and sausages they have, but maybe you too will walk away from DBGB wondering what kind of restaurant it is.
I've been pondering this idea lately because a new restaurant called Xiao Ye just opened. And it's opened by a Taiwanese dude who's trying to put Taiwanese food on the map. I'm reminded of this today from a tweet by Nicholas. When you're really proud of the stuff your country does, you want other people to like it too and you want other people to like it the way you like it. I feel that a lot with Taiwanese food. But the truth is that we all have memories tied to foods that make them special for us. No, you don't have to be born in Italy to like linguine and you don't have to be from the States to like pie. There are some foods that are harder to accept though. Stinky Tofu (wikipedia), is a popular street food in Taiwan and something that I grew up eating. It's probably a bit much to just be like "EVERYONE! EAT THIS SHIT NOW! AND LOVE IT!" Seriously, if I had power like that to automatically make people like food, I would get bankers to automatically like giving me money for free. So if the memories aren't there, and the food is kind of difficult to like... then I'm all about gateway drug types of food. Foods that get 'outsiders' acclaimated with the flavor profiles of the food. If people need non-traditional foods to get more familiar with the tradtional, then I think that's great. Although it doesn't alwas mean that people who like one thing will like another. Either way, I'm looking forward to trying what Xiao Ye has to offer, but also to see what the reception will be like. Categorizing a Taiwanese or French restaurant has never been more difficult in New York and I fucking love it.
DBGB Kitchen and Bar
299 Bowery St.
New York, NY 10003
(I invite you to follow me on Twitter so you can get more updates.)