Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Nosh Pit

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Pic from my personal Instagram

Three weeks ago, I went to a fabulous pop-up for a vegan restaurant called the Nosh Pit in Hamtramck, a multi-cultural city near Detroit. The Nosh Pit, which is a precious name, originally started as a food truck, and to gather buzz for its new brick-and-mortar shop, it hosted a free, donations-only event for folks to come and try some of their food in their sit-down space.

This was my first time being bougie enough to actually reserve a table somewhere! I asked my roommate, who loves vegan food, to be my date. 

We checked in and were kindly asked to take a seat anywhere at a long table, neatly arranged for the maximum 30 guests the pop-up would allow at a time. Being introverts, we sat at the far end, near the back, farthest from the entrance. Behind us was a huge chalkboard, listing off the options guests would be allowed to choose from. From this sample menu, each guest was allowed to choose an appetizer, entree, side dish, dessert, and drink. I selected a coffee-flavored root beer float as my drink, and it was one of the most incredible beverages I've had! It got its coffee flavor from a scoop of vegan ice cream, and the whole combination just tasted like a sublime liquid apple pie. 

Roommate and I decided to share a starter, which was a great idea, because the portions were generous! We selected the shakshuka, a spicy, chunky tomato soup that was amazing. It wasn't Thai food level spicy; rather, it was the perfect amount, a step up from your standard tomato soup. Roommate is not a fan of soups, and he loved this, so that's a good sign.

We also decided to share a side. For us, this was a no-brainer. We picked the hummus, which came with flavorful grilled veggies to dip. The Nosh Pit has award-winning hummus, and its clear to see why. It was delicately spiced and super smooth.

For our mains, Roommate and I both selected The Karen, a twist on a grilled cheese sandwich. This lovely sandwich comes with mustard aoli, pesto, and sweet red peppers along with the cheese on rye and grilled to perfection. It was perfectly crispy-seriously the most perfect texture you could imagine for a grilled cheese. The peppers added texture and didn't make the bread watery, to my delight. The pesto and aoli together were just phenomenal. Each sandwich came with a small side salad of fresh greens that was brightly dressed.

For dessert, roommate tried the lemon pound cake. I snagged a bite, and it was wonderful, perfectly lemony and a fab texture. For myself, I got a rose and cardamom donut. I consider myself adventurous with food, I love trying odd flavors and things many people may not have heard of before, and the combo of rose and cardamom sounded perfectly unique to me. It was a cute, pink little confection that had a lovely rose flavor without being too rose. I've heard rose is a difficult flavor to get right-either being too weak or overpowering-but the cardamom set it off, and it ended up being nice and sweet, as well as different. The folks at the Nosh Pit were smart, keeping the portion sizes of their desserts small. I have a small stomach and get full so fast, and at this point, we already had the rest of our soup and half my sandwich in boxes. So the desserts were just the right size and a lovely end to a beautiful meal.

While I don't think I could ever stop being an omnivore, the food at the Nosh Pit was fantastic. Such good quality, such awesome flavors. The staff were amazing as well, the restaurant seems run and employed with genuinely cool people who enjoy working there. I think its important to promote happy employees (working a day job in food service myself) and its always a good sign when servers seem happy and sincere. Roommate and I donated at the end of our meal, but I'd be happy to give them repeat service. Again, coming from a diehard meat eater, I think that's a great sign that the Nosh Pit is on the right track, doing something magical.

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