I saw the Rioja week deal and proposed that we meet at Tia Pol. My dining companion today was Dominique of Dominique Eats Out. She happened to be visiting the final stop of 93 plates at the same time of the wrap party and we exchanged info. This was the first stop on what turned out to be a mini food-tour (we went to Limelight Marketplace and did a couple desserts, that review is coming soon).
Dominique is an actress, and what kind of diva-in-training would she be if she wasn’t half an hour late? At 20 minutes late, I ordered the Fried Chickpeas:
I used to make pasta fagioli with these things instead of chicken when I was poor (still am, probably will be making this again soon), and I threw some onions in along with the rest of the pasta. As a bachelor, you tend to make things in bulk and then eat them over a few days. I noticed that the onions turned purple after a few days due to oxidization, but I never really thought that affected the taste … couldn’t have been good for me.
There’s no way these things are good for me, either. They arrived as Dominique sat down – she started taking them out of the dish with a spoon, and I just went in with my fingers. She’s new to this food blogging thing, so I had to explain the rules to her. She asked me later if she could double dip, I said “Honey, I don’t think you noticed, but I’ve been double dipping the whole time.” Meningitis and Hepatitis are just more common among food bloggers, and there’s no way around it.
I’d also ordered The Croquettes:
Here’s the croquette review on Foursquare:
When you put one of the croquettes in your mouth, every problem in the world evaporates for about 45 seconds. Then returns, heavier than ever. But man, those 45 seconds…
How could I not order them. There were two available: ham and asparagus.
Glorious. That’s a pretty bold statement for these things to live up to, but they came damn close. If it weren’t for the Patatas Bravas, I’d have said they did.
When I die, I want these potatoes at my wake. They’re fucking amazing. The paprika is smoked and en EspaÃ±ol, it means “Paprika of the Truth.” I hesitate to think that Paul Pierce could have the culinary expertise to develop this fantastic dish, so I’m guessing his nickname stemmed from an experience with the paprika, maybe in a pickup game on the streets of LA.
Sometimes I get to a restaurant where their non-meat dishes are the best. I want the meat to be the tastiest thing on the menu, but sometimes, it’s the fried chickpeas. Moving onto the proteins, Dominique ordered the Deviled Eggs:
Standard deviled eggs with the super sweet smoked paprika, I thought they were a bit too vinegary. What do they do with the other half of the egg not pictured here? Is this like a Baker’s Dozen kind of thing they have going on? I don’t get it. I want my other egg.
Next up; The Calamari Po’Boy:
How can you see Calamari Po’Boy on the menu and not order it? Dominique said that the calamari she had in the states was too chewy. I rarely meet a calamari I don’t like, so I dismissed this, figured that this was just something she told people to avoid eating calamari and my guess was that she was going to like this stuff. She did.
It felt more like a calamari banh mi to me, but doesn’t it look like one as well? It’s on a baguette, I am pretty sure the green stuff there is cilantro, and it was spicy. I’ve only had a few Po’Boys in my life, so I may be off here, but you have to admit, it looks curiously banh mi-ish.
The last dish we had was the Lamb Kebab:
Plunged into a piece of the baguette, the juices drenched the bread. I sopped up what was left of the juices with the other side of the bread and went to town. Tasty. Not as nice as the smoked lamb at Fatty Cue (I have that in my notes – I should write these closer to the day that I eat this stuff), but still pretty good.
On a scale of one to fucking money I give Tia Pol a pretty awesome. The Calamari Po’Boy is pretty good, but the theory is better than the taste. I don’t feel like it’s going to be worth a full dinner here, but you’ll be doing fine if you order the croquettes, the potatoes, and the chickpeas and then grab entrÃ©es somewhere else.
205 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10011