Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fun Playing with Dim and Den Sum

Dim Sum, as many of you know, is a Cantonese reference to "The Heart's Little Treasures." In practice, Dim Sum generally consists of small plates of dumplings, cakes, rolls and other dainty goodies, usually labor-intensive to make, and quick and easy to eat. Cleveland-area Chefs Christopher Hodgson and Jeremy Esterly have turned the concept inside-out with their historic (read: first legal in Cleveland) food truck: Dim and den Sum. Combining modern communications technology (ie Facebook and Twitter), cooking technology (a mobile kitchen) and eclectic crafting on Slow Food, Soul Food, and Asian themes, these two young Chefs have created a new food sensation, which appears at various venues around the Greater Cleveland Area. Where and when they will be serving is where the social network tech comes in.

Last Thursday, I had an 11:30am appointment in Willoughby, and was rushing to get caught up on my  morning info-overload when I saw a post on the Facebook Wall of fellow blogger Cleveland Foodie:  "Want to try Dim and den sum? Work on the east side? They are coming to my office parking lot tomorrow at 11:30 - stop by!" An inquiry or two later, I learned that they would be serving until 1:30pm, "or until the food runs out." Hopeful that I could make it after my appointment, I found myself flying into the parking lot of 24865 Emery Road just about 1pm. And imagine my distress to see that they were obviously gearing up to drive out! As my mind considered parking in front of them to stop them from leaving, I was rescued by yet another Cleveland food blogger, Heidi Robb (of Life in Recipes), and another gentleman, who emerged from their vehicles just as I was hitting the driveway apron. Thank goodness, and lucky for us!

Why so lucky, you ask? Because we all got an awesome lunch for a little money!

The Uniquely Decorated Dim and Den Sum Truck

Chef Chris informed us that everything on the menu was still available except tater tots (because he'd already shut and cooled the fryer). And he was out of tomatoes. And singles. And we said: "no worries!"

First up - a sandwich for the gentleman:

Brisk-wich: Slow roasted brisket, asian baked beans, spring onion relish, pickles

Heidi ordered two sets of sliders:

Chicken slider: chicken confit, watermelon slaw, homemade hot sauce 

Pork Slider: Pulled Pork, kimchi-onaise, seaweed salad 

I did not get to taste any of those, but they sure looked fabulous! I had briefly considered taking my lunch back to my office to eat, but the sight and smell of the other items sealed it. Back in my car, as Dim and Den Sum rolled past my rear window, I dug into my packages!

Shortrib slider: Braised local shortrib, corn salsa, teryiaki sauce 

What a lovely introduction to Dim and Den Sum! Melt-in-your-mouth tender shortrib, crunchy fresh onions and corn (not super sweet, but better than I would expect for May), and mild teriyaki adding salty bite against the sweet salsa.  A toothsome appetizer.

PBLT: Slow roasted pork shoulder, thick cut bacon, tomato relish, sriracha mayo, red leaf lettuce

PBLT = Pork, Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato.

This DDS signature sandwich was a little sad to be missing it's tomato components - but pork fat definitely made up for it!

This last photo is included to show off the bacon more. It is a most worthy bacon - deeply tasty, not overly salty, and richly porky. Mine was just a tad undercooked, such that it was a bit too chewy, but I'm not holding that against it - conceptually, and in execution (but for the doneness of the bacon) it was a fabulous sandwich, which I anticipate happily eating again. The pulled pork was perfectly cooked and flavored, and the sriracha mayo made my lips tingle with pleasure. Though the menu described the greens as red leaf lettuce, my sandwich also had peppery micro greens, which added even more depth to the flavors, while the leaf lettuce added crunch. All in all, a lunch worthy of committing a parking violation to get!

Dim and Den Sum posts the info on where and when it will be serving to Facebook and Twitter, and provides menu and other information on its website. The website says that they are also available for catering or corporate events. I highly recommend playing with their food (I hear the tater tots with truffle are to die for!) if you have the opportunity to do so.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post! I'm headed to Cleveland in August and will try to catch them somewhere.