When a co-worker of mine, a proud Watertown resident, mentioned to me that his new favorite restaurant was called Strip-T's, I laughed in his face and called him a pervert. Then he gave me a bite of his roast duck leftovers from the night before and suddenly...he had my full attention. Wait, there's a past Momofuku chef serving up bizarre foods in a Watertown diner? Yes, and you should probably check it out.
My Strip-T's experience was unexpectedly charming. The new chef, who is the original owner's son, just took over after a five year run as the Chef de Cuisine at David Chang's Momofuku Ssam Bar in New York. He merged Strip-T's quirky diner food menu with haute cuisine, using original flavors and ingredients--which makes for some pretty ridiculous dishes. From the first appetizer to the finishing touches, there was never a dull moment.
The Maine Shrimp was a special that night; we were lucky enough to catch Maine shrimp on the menu during the month or so that its in season. The weird part? They're meant to be eaten with the shell and head ON. Yup, the whole thing...after a healthy scoop of the red peppery hummus-like dip, of course. The texture of the shell was like a popped popcorn kernel, so it was thin enough to chew without hurting your mouth. Biting into the shrimp releases the intense garlic and red pepper flavor, most of which is concentrated in the shrimp's head. Ever consumed an entire shrimp shell before? It was a first for me.
The whole table went wild for the cauliflower appetizer. Chorizo, cojita and pickled red onion added the perfect spicy and acidic flavor elements to cauliflower, while providing varying textures. Remind me never to cook cauliflower without spicy pork again...
The grilled romaine dish with oxtail, poached egg and chili vin was my favorite. The romaine added a light watery crunch to the rich combination of egg and oxtail, then the grilled part added a smokey taste to the mix.
The buttermilk fried chicken is a conversation starter to say the least. It comes with your choice of waffle or grits and the foot of the chicken is still attached, looking like it's giving you the finger. The crispy chicken skin gave way to juicy meat, which paired well with the waffles. My only complaint is that it was served with regular syrup. I think the ridiculous chicken is worthy of it's own original sauce. No?
Keilbasa and clams was another first, but Strip-T's pulls it off. Also served with potatoes, dijon sauce and sauerkraut, it reminded me of the food at Oktoberfest but with brighter flavors.
As if the meal would end with anything normal, they serve a little bowl of homemade marshmallows when the check comes around.
Strip-T's is definitely worth the trip to Watertown, plus it's affordable with no entree priced higher than 20 bucks. Last but not least, make sure to exercise EXTREME caution when using the restroom. I'll let you see for yourself what I mean by that.
93 School St
Watertown, MA 02472
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About the authors
Michelle Zippelli is a Boston based hedonist who is committed to finding the best food that Boston has to offer. She has lived in Boston for 6 years and works in online marketing. Michelle loves meatballs, live music, exotic cheeses, Mexican food, spur of the moment dance parties, and all things pickled.
Jacki Morisi is a self-proclaimed bon vivant extraordinaire. A Boston native whose waking hours are exclusively focused on travel, music, food, and fare ... emphasis on food and fare. She's a firm believer that just because you're living on a young professional's budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice taste, and carries this mantra into each and every dining endeavor.