Sunday, December 23, 2012

Staff Meal - After Dark @District

When you are in the 5th week of a 6 week Nutcracker performance run, you get certain things down to a fine art. Any kind of routine, like for instance, my pre-show preparation or post-show wind down, I have pretty solid.  What becomes less apparent and in fact a bit of a challenge, is stepping outside of that box every now and then when the circumstances warrant, to shake up that structure.
As any one of us who is subject to the 'routine act' know, shaking things up, though hard, can often prove to be just the thing you needed, both mentally and physically.
Lucky for me, Staff Meal, one our prominent Food Trucks in Boston, has been working after hours to make such an 'outside the box' adventure in cuisine possible.  With a kickoff this weekend, the guys from Staff Meal have been popping up at District, a nightclub in the Leather District with a menu as interesting as the choice of venue.
When my friends and I first showed up, around 10 o'clock, the club had already been pretty packed with other dinners experiencing the special menu. Starting at 6, they serve food until 11, but guests can linger until 2 a.m. when the club itself closes.
It was a very curious thing, walking into a nightclub in search of food.
For a moment, I actually thought we were at the wrong place, but then one of the staff whispered to us, 'they are here', and the whole thing became even more shrouded in intrigue:)

Being friends of  Adam and Patrick, the two minds and bodies behind Staff Meal, and being the last reservation, we were treated to their whim and presented with an assortment of delicious and pretty crazy plates. Uncharacteristically, I didn't even look at the menu.
We started off with stuffed, fresh sardines, followed by the Chinese sausage steam buns with a spicy mayo.  
An especially exciting moment was the arrival of our slow cooked eggs with roasted mushrooms.  A friend of mine has a fascination/obsession with eggs and he was over the moon - I only wish I had had some bread to sop it up!

Another surprise came with the slider platter that showed up just before the main courses. You might think a burger on such an eclectic menu would be amiss...but that is a misjudgment - because a great burger goes amiss nowhere!
The meat had a strong, peppery/spicy taste, caramelized onion and mushrooms added a sweetness and blue cheese balanced the whole thing out.  The bun also had that 'feel like a kid again' squishy feel. 

The moment we had all been waiting for arrived shortly thereafter, just as the club itself was starting to transform, i.e. the lights continued to dim and the wait staff shed their jackets to done more 'club appropriate' gear.  A huge platter of Cantonese porchetta and Peking's pig head barely landed on the table before we dove right in.  Steamed buns and hoisin sauce were also served on the side, but honestly, the meat was so deliciously tasty and juicy that it needed no accompaniment.

The 'uh-oh' moment came after that last dish, when I was sure we were done and then the boys came out with a whole monkfish. I love monkfish  but have never, in all my dinners, been served a whole one. Perhaps it is not the prettiest fish on the block, but boy is it yummy. That evening, it was served with a spicy, Chinese flare and I could only manage a couple of bites before I had reached my capacity.
(No worries though, I had the rest packaged up to enjoy later:) )
It took a while to muster ourselves out after this performance.  By this time, the Latino night remixes had long ago started up a storm, and dancing was well under way. 
Surprisingly, it made for such an interesting and enjoyable experience, exciting, different and all-around thrilling.  And the best part? We had a major dance walk out of there;)

Catch another Staff Meal After Dark on one of these dates:
Sunday 23rd, 27th, 28th 29th and 30th.

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