Boundary Road: Bison Hanger Steak

Boundary Road Bison

A stone throw’s from Union Station sits Boundary Road. The menu stays true to the appetizer/entree/dessert formula, eschewing small plates, share plates and other nonsense. What’s even more refreshing is that the most expensive dish is $27 and zero creativity is sacrificed, making it the perfect start to a night hopping around the best H Street NE has to offer.

Chef Brad Walker has a playful menu full of uncommon ingredients like quark and black pepper pierogis, chioggia beets, fregola, porchetta and jagerwurst. He also digs delicious proteins, like The Best Thing on the Menu: New Frontier Bison Hanger Steak with Roasted Cauliflower Puree, Spicy Kale and Sauce Choron. Bison has so much more personality than beef, and it also has less fat, fewer calories and more protein. The creamy cauliflower puree, a creative substitute for buttery mashed potatoes, means a healthy meat and “potatoes” kind of meal.

Boundary Road Foie

A little less on the healthy side is another must-try menu item: The foie gras torchon PB&J with grapefruit Malört marmalade. It’s in the appetizer section, but no judgment here if you draft it for Team Dessert. The dish would be a dash better if the foie was warm, but then it wouldn’t be a torchon. Torchons, after all, are an art. We think Grandpa’s Candy, an Applejack centric cocktail, would pair nicely with this gourmet bite that will have you rethinking your old favorite grade school snack for months.

Sundays are perhaps the most adorable nights to visit Boundary Road. They lower the lights and drop down a projector in order to show films. April promises to bring a lot of rain, so expect movies with this breed of precipitation in the title.

Bison Hanger Steak not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.

Toki Underground: Kimchi Ramen

Toki Underground

Korea and Japan play nice inside of this bowl… real nice. Traditional ramen is elevated and enhanced by the distinct flavor of kimichi in Toki Underground’s Best Thing on the Menu: Kimchi Ramen. Their other flavors are top of the line too, especially the homey and comforting red miso or the subtly sweet (never spicy) curry. But those who like heat, and a little bit of funk, should go with our pick for BTM.

Each piping hot bowl at Toki Underground is adorned with a crisp sheet of nori, breath-busting green onion, incredibly tender pulled pork and our favorite: an egg softer than a Ritz Carlton pillow. Brave customers (who have already braved a heck of a long line) can invite even more guests to their party bowl, like deep fried shrimp heads, pork cheek or “Toki Endorphin Sauce.”

All of Chef Erik Bruner-Yang’s ramen dishes are inspired by a Hakata Ramen shop in Taipei. In a fun coincidence, I spent two years living in Hakata (Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan) and can say with confidence that I prefer Chef Yang’s piping hot, flavorful bowls to even the most secretive train station ramen shops.

On a final note, it’s nice that Americans haven’t adopted the slurping system of cooling noodles. Let’s keep it that way. That sound still haunts my dreams.

Kimchi Ramen not your BTM? Post your favorites in the comments section.

Taylor Gourmet: Cottman Avenue

Taylor Gourmet Cottman Ave

When you enter a Taylor Gourmet you’re likely to be overwhelmed by the many streets of Philadelphia to choose from – 31 to be exact. Some favorites include Federal Street with layer upon layer of cold cuts; Pattison Ave stuffed with roasted pork and broccoli rabe; or the Callowhill with meatballs and marinara.

The Best Thing on the Menu: Cottman Avenue is in another league. It tastes like an afternoon spent gathering ingredients at the Italian Market in South Philly. Pepperoni, roasted red peppers, basil and fresh mozzarella top a fried and breaded chicken cutlet with just the right amount of girth.

We imagine you’ve tried Taylor Gourmet, maybe you’ve ever tried the Best Thing on the Menu. But, have you tried all the different ways to Taylor? BTM presents Teach Me How to Taylor – like Teach Me How to Dougie – but more delicious:

Football Sunday Taylor – Whether it’s a 1:00, 4:25 or 8:25 kick-off, Taylor Gourmet is your best friend on Sundays. Invite your friends and order a couple of larges. They’ll deliver them hot and ready to your house.

Late Night No Inhibitions Taylor – The 14th Street and H Street locations are open until 3:30 a.m. Come when the bars close, order, take a picture of your food and look at the picture in the morning to see what you threw down. You may surprise yourself with photos of fistfuls of risotto balls.

The Morning After Taylor – Breakfast hoagies are back. Good morning Filbert Street – bacon, hot capicola, eggs and American cheese!

Turn that Frown Upside Down Taylor – Have you taken Twitter to air your misgivings about sandwiches no longer on the menu? Consider it an opportunity to actually try something new OR move their current menu items around like a Rubik’s Cube to create your old standby.

I Just Finished a Marathon Taylor – For these rare occasions, the Philly Landfill is your must-order menu item: Genoa salami, roast pork, peppered ham, roasted red peppers and sharp provolone.

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There’s one more we’re waiting to try this December:

It’s My Birthday Taylor – This is when you beg the guys behind the counter to make you their best risotto balls because you plan to stick birthday candles in them in lieu of a cake. It also means you’re turning five…

However you Taylor, we’re super grateful to the sandwich bromance of David Mazza and Casey Patten for bringing a bite of Philly to the District.

Cottman Avenue not your BTM? Share your favorites in the comments section.