Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Late night eats in NoLibs

Warm summer nights (sans rain showers) mean drinks in the backyard and a late night run to one of the rapidly multiplying street cart vendors in the neighborhood. No longer do we have to endure crappy pizza at 2am with the likes of Dapper Dog, the Always Sunny Grilled Cheese Co. (when they bother to show up), Side of the Road Chicken and even Darlings Diner. We sampled a couple of the above mentioned one late Friday night. I like where this thing is going.

Do you have suggestions on other late night eats in NoLibs?  Hook food baby up and let me know where they're hiding.

Dapper Dog - located in the Garden Variety space at 2nd & Poplar
A standard on the Food Baby rotation. They specialize in super tasty dogs with specialty toppings like the Coney Island (chili, banana peppers, and shredded cheddar cheese), Dolce Vita (tomato sauce, pepperoni, sharp provolone, and parmesan) & Jersey (grilled potatoes, peppers, onions, and American cheese). This night I tried my luck with the Mack - basically one of the Dapper dogs topped with a mound of mac & cheese. It definitely does the job of filling the void in your stomach left by numerous beers. However it wasn't my favorite on the menu - that honor still resides with the Reuben special they had a few months ago - feel free to bring that one back anytime now. I'm also a fan of the Chicago.  
The Mack from Dapper Dog

Always Sunny Grilled Cheese Co.  - located in the Garden Variety space at 2nd & Poplar
Almost an enigma of a food cart, I've seen their links and menu posted on the Garden Variety website but have yet to actually see the cart to get a taste. Has anyone actually checked this place out yet?  Would love to get some feedback.

Garden Variety - home to Dapper Dog, Always Sunny Grilled Cheese Co, Chris' Taco Stand
2nd & Poplar
9pm-3am Fridays & Saturdays

Side of the Road Chicken - located on 2nd street just south of the Piazza
Run by a guy named James, who is super friendly and knows a thing or two about jerk chicken. You can smell his cart from a block away. That waft of undeniable authentic Jamaican jerk spice gets the blood pumping. I was lucky enough to find myself in Jamaica 10 years ago and have been searching diligently for anything close to that taste. This is pretty damn close.

For $7 you get two chicken quarters - thigh & leg - that have been slowly roasting and smoking over a charcoal fire for what must be hours. The pieces are nearly black when they come out, with an unbelievably good charred skin. James throws a piece of wheat bread into the bottom of each container, presumably to sop up any of the juice that happens to run out. You'll want to hold onto that for later. You also get a choice of 3 or 4 fruit/pepper sauces that he's prepared to suit different tolerances for heat. I got a dose of habanero pineapple that left my lips tingling. Yumm.

Jerk Chicken from Side of the Road

Side of the Road Chicken
2nd Street between Wildey & Laurel
Friday & Saturday nights
(215) 240-8268

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