Dishes 41, 42, & 43: Tuna Burger, Steamed Clams, and Famous Buffalo Wings at North 3rd, 3rd and Brown, www.norththird.com
It was dark, literally too dark to see the menus in North 3rd—not that I noticed, I was distracted by the portrait of the overweight belly dancer dominating my line of sight. Caitlin and Greg checked out the clientele, a mix of hipsters and twenty-thirty-somethings who got something that we didn’t—I prefer spaces that are organized in the traditional sense, not the yard-sale sense. And my engineer buddies are of the same ilk. We like order, themes, and Excel sheets. Still, there’s no arguing with good taste.
Greg went for the dumplings, Caitlin for the pierogies, and I ordered the tuna burger, steamed clams, and buffalo wings. (“I’m hungry?” I don’t think the waitress bought it.) We all had a bit of everything, and Greg came out the victor; the dumplings were juicy, tender, and perfectly browned. The tuna burger had a pleasant ginger wasabi flavor in the center; if you like tuna, you’ll love this. Order it medium or medium well; I chose medium rare and found the better cooked areas to be juicier and more coherent with the wasabi flavor. The clams with chorizo were—clams with chorizo. But the steamy wings were meaty, rich with chicken flavor, and “not too saucy, you know? How sometimes it can be too saucy?” as Greg put it. Yes. They can be much too saucy. However, friends can never be too saucy.
After The Office jokes all night—Caitlin’s favorite show—Greg made the discovery of a century. “Lauren, swish your clams in my salsa!” (That’s what she said.) The clams are steamed with some chorizo and cilantro, and the salsa on the dumplings has a heavy dose of cilantro and onions that puts the icing on the cake. And—if you haven’t noticed this trend already, I’ll come out and say it—we ditched dessert in favor of the low budget option, deep-frozen Ben and Jerry’s, Everything But The… shared three ways with the spoon that I keep in my handbag in case of emergencies. (Surprisingly handy. Think of all the times you have to use plastic spoons. Then re-live those moments with a pathological hatred of plastic spoons. Hence spoon in handbag.) Towards the end, it got a little melty, a little drippy, a little saucy, if you will—but I wouldn’t have it any other way.