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Happy Purim!

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Purim starts tomorrow, and I just wanted everyone to know that I was into Purim before it was cool.

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Me, rocking Purim, on the front page of the Ottawa Citizen
with my mouth full of food.

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Dirt Candy Was in Idaho

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One of the fun things about owning Dirt Candy that I never expected is to wake up and find pictures in my inbox of Dirt Candy food that folks have made at home. It’s so awesome to see how people are taking what I’m doing and doing something totally new with it. But Andria Friesen in Idaho stepped up her game in October 2013 by holding an entire Dirt Candy dinner. She does these dinners as an annual event, always focusing on one chef, and after eating at Dirt Candy during a visit to New York, she picked Dirt Candy.

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And made a portobello mousse brain.

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Read the rest of this entry »


Dirt Candy Birthday Toast!

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The last week of Dirt Candy’s 5th Birthday Party is here! This week, from 1/28 to 2/1 we’ll have Mushroom Toast on the menu. This is my riff on Hong Kong’s famous snack, Shrimp Toast.

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MushroomToast

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Born in Hong Kong, shrimp toast became an Australian snack favorite and a staple of Tiki-themed menus in Polynesian restaurants across America in the 1960′s. My version has replaced the shrimp with shiitake mushrooms, water chestnuts and Chinese chives (along with a bunch of other secret ingredients). The ingredients are chopped fine, spread on triangles of bread, then deep fried and served with a spicy chili garlic sauce. They’re the kind of thing I could eat about a dozen of at once, which makes sense. If doughnuts are just sweet fried bread for dessert, then Mushroom Toast is just savory fried bread for dinner. What could be better?

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Return of the Kimchi Doughnuts

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The Kimchi Doughnuts are back! A longtime favorite appetizer, they were voted by Dirt Candy diners as the dish they’d most like to see make a re-appearance. So, for one week only (1/21 – 1/25), Kimchi Doughnuts with watermelon radish kimchi and cilantro will be back on the Dirt Candy menu. And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s “doughnuts” not “donuts.” Because they’re “nuts made of dough” not “do my nuts.”

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Start Drinking at Dirt Candy This Week!

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Nothing makes dinner go down better than booze! And starting on Tuesday, 1/14, for one week you’ll get a free pour of our sparkling wine when you dine with us. It’s part of Dirt Candy’s 5th birthday celebration!

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Aw, yiiiiisssss! Meet our new sommelier

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Next week…back by popular demand: the return of the Kimchi Doughnuts!

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Dirt Candy Holiday Greetings and Hours!

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At Dirt Candy we are at least semi-human, and that means that when the holidays come we all like to crawl off into dark places with a bottle of plonk and some day-old cake we got on sale at Gristedes, just so we can make the pain go away. You don’t want to see that, so Dirt Candy will be closed for the holidays! From December 22 until New Year’s Eve, it will be like someone went back in time and kept our parents from ever meeting and now it’s like Dirt Candy never existed. But starting on January 1st we’ll be open again and you’ll be welcome to come and join us for our month-long fifth birthday celebration in the New Year!

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But until then…

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Happy Holidays!

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Hanukkah

And happy belated Hanukah!

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See you in 2014!

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Holiday Store Shipping!

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The gnomes that work in the Dirt Candy Store have just informed me that they are on the verge of a walk-out. In order to avoid this, I’ve agreed to give them the holidays off. But what does this mean for you?

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Anything ordered after midnight on 12/20 will not be shipped until after 1/6. That means that you have until this Friday night at midnight to place any orders you want, and they’ll ship out on 12/21. But after Friday at midnight, anything you place an order for won’t ship until the first week of the new year.

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Harsh? Inconvenient? Irritating? Absolutely. But if you have a problem with it I can only shrug and say: take it up with my gnomes.

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“And we’re not interested.”

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Big Dirt Candy is Coming in 2014!

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Last night I met with Community Board 3 and they’ve chosen to send my liquor license application on to the State Liquor Authority, and so I’m finally able to sign my lease and announce: a new Dirt Candy is coming!

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For the next year, Little Dirt Candy will continue to operate as usual, although you may notice that everyone there has an extra spring in their step. Then, in Fall 2014, Big Dirt Candy will open at 86 Allen Street, right on the border of the Lower East Side and Chinatown. The company that was there before us was a Chinatown Bus Tour Agency, and they weren’t big on flashy decor, so we’ve got a lot of work to do.

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What will happen to Little Dirt Candy? I’m not sure yet, but I’d love to hear your ideas.

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What will happen at Big Dirt Candy? It’ll be Dirt Candy, only bigger! There will be a bar where you can wait for your table! There will be ice! No more two month wait for tables! There will be more than one non-alcoholic drink on the menu! The chairs will have four legs! Most importantly, everything I’m doing, from the design, to the menu, to the kitchen layout, is being built to preserve the best things about Little Dirt Candy. Sure, this restaurant is tiny, but there’s a fun atmosphere here where the line between the kitchen and the dining room is gone and where you don’t feel like a bunch of isolated tables scattered across the floor of an eat-a-torium where no one cares about you, but where, on its best nights, it feels like you’re all guests in my house having a party. That’s what makes Dirt Candy special, and that’s what’s it’s still going to be, whether it’s Little or Big.

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More than anything, I’m building Big Dirt Candy for you guys. You’ve been awesome to know for the past five years, and I think you’ve all earned an upgrade!

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LevelUp

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Dirt Candy Turns 5 Years Old…in January!!!

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This October, Dirt Candy turned 5 years old and I am a terrible restaurant owner who totally forgot about it until the last minute. In the future, Dirt Candy will write a hurtful memoir called Amanda Dearest full of horrible stories about how neglectful and abusive I was and I just want you all to know that it will be nothing but lies.

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Dirt Candy and me in happier days.

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But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate! So this January, 2014, I’m going to be celebrating Dirt Candy’s 5th Birthday all month long, and you’re invited. It’s in January partially because I forgot to put anything together for October but also because I think it’ll be a lot more fun to do some celebrating in January, traditionally a freezing cold month when not much is going on and everyone is all sad face after the holidays. So come get your spirits jump-started with the month-long Dirt Candy Birthday Party in January 2014.

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Week of January 1st - for the first week of January, we’re celebrating Dirt Candy’s 5th Birthday by giving free hush puppies to every table. Bury your face in delicious maple butter and jalapeno hush puppies, then sing happy birthday and let the crumbs fly out of your mouth!

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Basically, this. In a bowl. With butter.

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Week of January 13th – for seven days, we want you to drunk dine! All tables get a free pour of Dirt Candy’s sparkling rose’ when they sit down. There is no better way to start a meal than with a glass of something bubbly that picks you up and takes you to a place full of unicorns, and that’s what this will do. Or, at the very least, it’ll give you a nice buzz before you have to pick up your menu and make decisions like you’re still at work or something.

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It’s going to pretty much be like this. All the time.
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Week of January 20th – this week, the old dish is coming back. I asked you guys to vote on which old dish should come back on the menu, and first it got narrowed down on Facebook. Then I took that list of five dishes and turned it over to you guys to vote on. And the winner? Kimchi Doughnuts, by 76 votes (Chard Gnocchi had 65; Asparagus Paella had 55; Celery Salad had 22; and poor Spinach Soup had 7 – don’t worry, Spinach, we still love you)! So starting 1/20, come on down and get some Kimchi Doughnuts.

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Democracy in action!

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Week of January 27th – a while back I made a special mushroom-only version of the classic Hong Kong treat, Shrimp Toast. It was a lot of fun, so this week it’s back. For the week of January 27th, you can order two snacks, either the jalapeno hush puppies or Dirt Candy’s Mushroom Toast. Choices! We’re all about choices!

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Mighty Mushroom Toast.

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It’s a food fiesta during the glummest month of the year. So beat back the post-holiday gloom with Dirt Candy’s month of birthday in January, 2014!

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50 Shades of Doughnut

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Sometimes customers bring the kitchen crew at Dirt Candy treats, and treats are always welcome. But sometimes a customer goes that extra mile and brings us treats with a theme. So a huge thank you to Kelly who brought us Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream and donettes. Why? Well, if you were at packed, standing-room-only, Dirt Candy Food Porn-a-copia at GoogaMooga, then you know exactly what these treats mean. If you weren’t there, then realize that these foodstuffs mean that things are about to get very, very dirty at Dirt Candy.

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menu


Menu

Snack

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Jalapeno Hush Puppies $6
served with maple butter
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Appetizers

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Mushroom $13
portobello mousse, truffled toast
pear & fennel compote

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Cucumber $12
roasted cucumber hot and sour soup,
black sesame, garlic chili oil, wood ear
mushroom, cucumber jelly

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Tomato $13
tomato cake with smoked feta,
yellow tomato leather, herb puree

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Potato $12
warm potato salad, crispy Japanese
yams, grilled sweet potato, olives,
bitter greens, apples

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Entrees

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Beets $20
salt-roasted beets, thai green curry,
beet gnocchi, whipped coconut galangal cream

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Pepper $18
fennel & pepper tofu,
parsley spaetzle, grilled
yellow pepper broth,
mustard crumbs

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Broccoli $21
smoked broccoli dogs,
broccoli kraut, salt &
vinegar broccoli rabe

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Corn $19
stone ground grits, corn cream,
pickled shiitakes, huitlacoche,
tempura poached egg

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- everything on the menu can be made vegan on request.

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Dessert

Rosemary Eggplant Tiramisu $12
grilled eggplant, rosemary cotton
candy, mascarpone

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Ice Cream Nanaimo Bar$11
sweet pea, mint, chocolate

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Popcorn Pudding$11
salted caramel corn

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Celery Cheesecake Roll$10
celeriac ice cream, peanut filling,

& candied grapes

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- vegan dessert selection changes regularly, please ask your server.

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Our wine list (and other beverages)

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Gift Certificates

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