A brief glimpse of the new Dirty Oscar’s breakfast menu featuring an interview with chef Aaron and behind the scenes look at DOA.
- Please enjoy the video full screen -
Chef Aaron seems to be striving for greatness. He made it clear to us that while positive criticism is nice, it does nothing to help improve his craft, something he seems passionate about. So, I’ve taken some time to reflect on the food we had that day, and put on my best critic hat to offer some detailed pros and cons for each of the dishes we were privy to this sitting, and the menu in general.
YAY…The menu is really exciting. The overall ambitiousness of this menu is rivaled only by that created by Chef William at Babblin’ Babs, a massive compliment to be sure, and while we’ve only sampled a a quarter of the menu, Chef Aaron seems to have succeeded with each dish. The old DOA favorites are still there, and there are plenty of standard breakfast items for the not-so-adventurous out there. You’ll also notice a void where the chicken fried steak used to be. We weren’t too hot on it when we tried it, and Chef Aaron was wise to remove it until it could be perfected.
BUT…There is a heavy emphasis on potatoes, and for some starch-phobes this presents a problem, but it is safe to say that they do potatoes right. Hash browns are served flat and crispy, which may not be perfect, but is considerably better than the mushy piles served in other breakfast joints. It would be nice to see some fruit options eventually. Maybe that breaks theme a bit though…? There too seems to be a shortage of veggie-friendly items, something that doesn’t affect us personally, but we can’t help but feel a bit for our herbivore cousins.
Toad in the Hole – an ambitious dish done right. It really is best when you have a little bit of everything on your fork, the sweet bun forefront with the fat in the yolk balanced by the saltiness of the bacon in the icing. The icing was just plain heavenly. I thought it might be nice to create another dish, maybe something more accessible like a waffle that featured the icing. Again, it would cater to the less adventurous a bit, but might be considered a compromise. A battle of conscience perhaps.
Monte Cristo Club – huge and full of flavor, but less adventurous than the others. The ingredients are fresh and flavorful, and this is a good choice for any hungry Monte Cristo lover, but probably our least favorite of the five we tried. Too much bread. We thought it would benefit from 1/2″ slices of sourdough rather than the 3/4″ slices it currently has, as it would showcase the ingredients a bit better. The preserves served alongside were a nice touch.
Habanero Shrimp and Sausage Benedict – our favorite. The habanero was persistent throughout but not overpowering. The shrimp was flavorful, but not overshadowed by the sausage. A powerful twist on a breakfast classic that is surprisingly balanced.
Lox and Bagel – the lightest item we tried, might be an audience favorite for the consistency and excellent flavor parings. The cold smoked salmon is lovely, and the lemon zest marscapone adds a unique twist that isn’t distracting. The bagel is as fresh as advertised. We’d like to see this paired with some fruit and maybe a custard egg instead of hash browns. Keep the light theme.
Salmon Frittata – huge. Chef Aaron said he intended for all his dishes to be shared, but this one is a true two-person affair. The salmon is delicious, combined with the fresh cream and tomato it almost has a subtle fatty crab-like characteristic. The additional potatoes beneath may be stylistically appropriate, but we’re not sure it’s necessary here. Another very tasty dish that should be shared.
Don’t be frightened by the sign…or lack thereof, DOA is top notch. We consider this the best bar breakfast in town, and is in the running for best breakfast period. We’re genuinely impressed with what Chef Aaron, a remarkably young guy, has been able to do in his short time at DOA. We can only hope his inspired menus continue moving the direction they currently are. Kudos DOA.
Mention us and get, nothing! Except maybe a high five because you watched a sweet video.Dirty Oscar’s Annex 2309 6th Avenue, Tacoma, WA