It may not be easy to beat standout hits such as the Dead Elvis Burger (candied peppered bacon, fried banana, sunnyside up egg, peanut butter and mayo on a brioche bun), but after launching Dirty Oscar’s Annex’s spring menu, Executive Chef Aaron Grissom is determined to up the ante yet again. The latest menu launched in early May, featuring his signature emphasis on local ingredients, out-of-the-box concoctions and reasonable pricing. Although D.O.A.’s classics – Dirty Burger, Fried Chicken and Waffle, Elk Sliders – remain on the new menu, newcomers such as the Porketta Panino and Citrus Salmon Sope are sure to become hits.
The Citrus Salmon Sope ($13) features orange flower honey and citrus cured Pacific salmon over fry bread, with pickled radish and sweet apple salad, topped with cilantro oil and roasted green chili crema. “I am really excited about the Salmon Sopa, because we’re doing everything ourselves,” Grissom said. “We try to stay true to that goal as much as possible.”
Items on the menu feature local ingredients, but at a price point of $14 or less, this goal was not easy to achieve. “We do pay more to use local vendors, but it’s important to us to know where our food comes from,” he added. “We work closely with local farmers, and I know many of them by name.”
The menu features a number of new small plates, such as Zucchini Cups (Panko crusted zucchini stuffed with lemon zest marscapone and fried basil, $7), Prosciutto Rolls (prosciutto baked crisp, stuffed with basil, chevre, sweet apple and red cherry balsamic, $9) and bacon candy (Hickory smoked, thick-cut candied peppered bacon, $6).
Gourmet salad options also range from the traditional (Caesar, $8) to exotic (Petite Eruca, $8, with arugula and basil leaf, Washington blueberries in grilled citrus vinaigrette with chevre, cherry tomatoes, charred spring onion). The Minneola ($9) is no ordinary salad either, featuring tangerine suprems, marcona almond dust, manchego cheese, arugula and butter leaf in mint vinaigrette, orange chips and shaved baguette.
The restaurant’s first true dessert item is featured on the spring menu as well, in the form of dark chocolate cheesecake ($7). But like rest of the menu, Grissom puts his own signature spin on this dessert, offering hand-rolled truffle-style cheesecake balls over orange infused white chocolate cream, topped off with spun sugar.
Overall, Grissom’s ability to create traditional dishes with a unique twist has been well received in Tacoma, and D.O.A.’s regular following more than demonstrates his success. “We’ve probably quadrupled our food sales just this year alone,” he said. “We’re wondering when it will begin to plateau, but we haven’t seen any signs of that happening yet.”
D.O.A. is also hosting its first beer dinner June 21, featuring a minimum five-course meal paired with Silver City Beer. For more information, visit www.dirtyoscarsannex.com.
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