When I first heard about DishCrawl, I was definitely a skeptic. The thought of paying someone to take me around to unknown restaurants for an evening didn’t sit quite well with this control freak. But I got to say, after our first ever Dishcrawl Palo Alto last month, Meeps and I had a really good time!
DishCrawl is not your typical “food tour” targeted at tourists, charging an arm and a leg to have little small bites of restaurant that some “Expert” deemed to be the must-go places. It is more centered around promoting local business (not necessarily the most popular) and about trying out restaurants around a neighbourhood that one would otherwise not have wandered into.
Without having the risk of having a whole meal and not enjoying it, this is all bout a taste test of a handful of places and then coming back for a full blown dinner if you please on your own time. One of the key aspects, which made the experience more enjoyable was the crowd. The other “Crawlers” were everything I expected – people who love food, are open to trying new things and just a great time to be around. I was intrigued when I realised that they have expanded to almost all the other states in the USA and also some of the main cities in Canada! Definitely excited to read about the DishCrawls in Edmonton & Vancouver to see if my old favourites will be highlighted.
Anyways, I digress. Here is a recap of an event by Dish Crawl Palo Alto. We met up in at Destination #1, which was only announced a day before the event at 7:30pm. All other locations were a complete mystery and we only found out when we got there.
Destination # 1: Nola; a New Orleans themed restaurant that kinda tripped me out. I have never been to New Orleans but Meep said, it definitely reminded him of New Orleans. I loved everything about the place the moment I walked in.
We got to try a nice range of dishes:
Gator boudin with creole mustard and tabasco aioli; Alligator, pork and shrimp potstickers; Biscuits & Gravy
I was impressed with the extensive menu and from what we tasted – this place is a keeper! I am intrigued with the fact that they served gator meat.
Destination #2: Gyros, Gyros; a family owned corner spot serving a wide array of Mediterranean specialties in Palo Alto for about a decade now.
Hummus & Pita; Dolmas and Spanakopita
I definitely had food envy and was eyeing all the amazing looking kebabs that we were not served. We got some appetizers, which were not too bad. I have to say this place fell a little short considering how good the next spot is and the food is quite similar. But that could also be the choices of dishes we were served. I do want to head back and try some of those meat!
Destination #3: Cafe Taxim; described as a spot serving Instabul street food. Not that I would know how Istanbul street food is different from all the other Mediterranean food but that is what this place is suppose to serve.
We had: Lamb, Beef & Chicken gyro meat with Babaganoush & Haydari dip
The portions were generous being that this is the third location. I was stuffed but was impressed with the quality of the food – served piping hot. In addition, I was feeling pretty spoiled with all the different meats – chicken, beef AND lamb?
Destination #4; Monique’s Chocolates. Definitely a great way to end the evening.
Initially we were given a tasting of two dark chocolates from Columbia & Peru. I can’t really distinguish them but it was interesting.
Then owner Mark let us pick a truffle each – I ended up trying the “X Perimental” Chocolate …. the “Corned Beef”.
Nope, this is not just a name, there was actually corned beef in the chocolate ^_^. It was definitely interesting…. and let’s leave it at that. Meeps went for the more traditional 80% chocolate, which was a little too intense for me but not even close to the 100%. The 100% dark was strange and almost chalk like and not intensely bitter but just bland. Chocolate is not the same when it is not sweet in my books.
We also bought a couple to try and I have to say I must be quite boring. My favourites were the standard 60% dark and the white chocolate.
All in all, the whole experience was a whole lot of fun. After chatting with other guests, I have also heard great things about the San Jose and East Bay Dish Crawl. Full disclosure – I was given the opportunity to check out Dish Crawl as a guest and Meeps was the only paying customer here. The cost of the event varies depending on which area/city or what type of event it is but definitely something out there for everyone.