If I’m being completely honest with you and with myself, I don’t want anyone to know about Dish Dive. I selfishly want it to be my little secret. My culinary ace in the hole.
At the same time, though, the food is so good that I want to proclaim its greatness from mountain tops and skyscrapers. I want to walk around like a Dish Dive Jehovah’s Witness, “Hi. Have you head about Dish Dive? It’s great. You should go.” I want everyone to know about Dish Dive so that they continue to make delicious food.
Good thing I have a restaurant blog where I can tell people about restaurants without having to go door to door. That sounds exhausting.
Here’s the main reason why I want to keep Dish Dive to myself: It’s small. Like, really small. Like, half the size of an old one bedroom/one bathroom house where the other half of the house is a barbershop small. It’s exactly that small, actually.
Because it’s such a small restaurant (one waiter easily and effectively serves the entire restaurant), it’s best to try to make a reservation before showing up. While it’s not impossible to show up and be seated without a reservation, just know that if you try to do so at 7:00 pm with a party of 6, you’ll likely have to find another place for dinner. They do not take online reservations, so you either have to call or text them to reserve your table (ahhh human interaction!!). The last time I went to Dish Dive, I made my reservation via text (to see how well it worked) and it was very easy and simple.
One other caveat about dining at Dish Dive: they’re a BYOB(and other drinks) restaurant, so if you would like to drink something with your meal, BYOB(and other drinks). Don’t bring water though, because they already have that and they’ll give it to you for free! (Suckers!)
The menu at Dish Dive is very reasonably priced. I would even say that, for the quality of food that comes out of the kitchen, I would be okay with paying more money for most items. The night I went, the most expensive item on the menu (Confit Duck Leg & Thigh with mixed mushrooms, baby bok choy, scallion, and broth) was $18. I mean, come on. That’s a steal!
That’s not what I had to eat though. I started with Beets & Green Salad with frisse & watercress, cashew & granola, herbed ricotta, pickled red onion, and pecan-apple vinaigrette and had the Braised Pork Belly with wild leek & jalapeno grit, french toast, and maple-sorghum braising jus for my main course.
The Beets & Green Salad was cold, refreshing, and well-balanced. It had chilled, roasted red and golden beets that tasted earthy. The granola was slightly sweet and provided an excellent flavor and texture contrast to the rest of the salad. The pickled red onion and the vinaigrette dressing helped to cut through the creaminess of the herbed ricotta that was the base of the salad. Each component simultaneously complemented and contrasted the others. A great start to any meal.
Now it’s time to undo all of the good I’d done by having a salad with the main course; Braised Pork Belly. This entree is the epitome of sweet and savory. The French toast was soft and custardy in the center, with a slight crunch on the exterior. I don’t know if it was pan fried or deep fried for a few seconds, but whoever made it clearly knows exactly what they’re doing with French toast. The jalapeno grits were creamy, cooked very well, and layered with flavors. First, they started off sweet (from the maple-sorghum braising jus, most likely), then you get the salt and dairy flavors, and finally the heat creeps up from the jalapenos. It’s really fun and exciting to experience a dish that continues to evolve as you eat it.
Pork belly is always going to be good; I mean, it’s really just a fancy sounding way to justify having a big ‘ol slab of bacon as a meal (the pinnacle of human ingenuity, creativity, and deception if you ask me), not that I’m complaining. But, this Braised Pork Belly was something else. This was great. This was one of the best pork bellies that I’ve ever had. The maple-sorghum braising jus reduced into a sweet glaze on the exterior of the pork belly. The meat was savory, juicy, and smoky. But the first and the most memorable thing I noticed about the pork belly was that the fat cap of the pork belly completely melts the instant you close your mouth. This causes a problem because it makes you want to say things like, “Woah!” or “Wow!” or “That blogger was right, this is amazing. I should read that blog more often!” but that would mean opening your mouth while there’s still delicious pork belly inside it, and you should never do that because then you’re missing out on the pork belly that your eating and that would be sad.
There’s an idiom that you may be familiar with that goes like “Good things come in small packages”. While that’s not true for things like rollercoasters, NBA players, and the Statue of Liberty, it is especially true for a place like Dish Dive where their tag line is “Better than good food”. I guess “Better than good things come in small packages” is more appropriate then.
Dish Dive packs so much greatness into such a small place that it’s mind boggling. Really, I have no idea how such amazing food comes out of such a small kitchen. It is legitimately one of my favorite restaurants. The service is attentive, the menu is simple and approachable (it’s literally a printed word document, ha!), the prices are very reasonable, and if you haven’t picked up on this yet, the food is incredible.
On second thought, never mind – yeah, just forget mentioned it. This is not the restaurant you’re looking for. More Dish Dive for me!