May 10, 2010
Like a baseball scout keeping tabs on an up-and-coming prospect, I’ve become a fried food scout. I first read about St. Anselm’s Newark Double in August 2009 and I’ve been craving it ever since. Much more than just another New Jersey sandwich overstuffed with fried food, this bad boy features two deep fried, custom made Karl Ehmer hot dogs, cornmeal-dusted fried onion and red pepper and French fries double fried in beef tallow (beef fat) vegetable oil all inside pizza bread from nearby Napoli Bakery. The dogs are spicy and flecked with visible Chile flakes. The onion and pepper are paper-thin. And the fries, cooked in the fat that made McDonald’s fries so delicious before 1990, are perfectly crisp outside and creamy inside (Note: Upon the Newark Dog’s debut, the fries were cooked in beef fat but that was outlawed by New York City’s Trans Fat laws). It’s an intimidating sandwich. I spent a few minutes holding it and repositioning before abandoning any eating strategy and just diving in, onion, pepper and French fries falling like a fried food avalanche. The toasted pizza bread is appropriately hearty to support the weight of its filling whether dry or doused in one of St. Anselm’s three housemade sauces. Sweet and spicy mustard was my favorite over thin ketchup and a spicy, smokey ketchup-based BBQ sauce. Eaten in neighboring sister bar Spuyten Duyvil’s outdoor backyard, this sandwich is a beer-drinking man’s best friend. And as far as cementing my legacy as fried food scout, like David Wright or Derek Jeter, the Newark Double is the franchise player.
Ready for dessert? Read on for chocolate truffles…
“We’ve already killed you with the deep fryer, no need to do it with dessert,” said St. Anselm chef Al Bacchiochi as he offered me a plate of two chocolate truffles. They’re made by Bacchiochi’s wife, a former pastry chef at the Austrian restaurant Wallse, and they’re excellent. A thin dark chocolate shell provides a surprising yet welcome coating to the rich ganache filling subtly flavored with Grand Marnier liqueur. The chocolate is Cacao Barry 64% extra-bitter Guayaquil, from Ecuador, and it provides an intense yet elegant end to a hearty meal.
St. Anselm 355 Metropolitan Ave at Havemeyer St, Brooklyn NY 11211 718-384-5054