(During this article’s genesis, Onion Maiden had yet to open their first brick-and-mortar and had primarily shared their amazing wares via pop-ups and the like. However, now they have their very own shop located at 635 E Warrington Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15210!!! More reviews to follow…)
It’s not often ecoRDN dines out, we are thrifty and enjoy cooking so much that most of our food consumption happens within the comforts of our hobbity domicile. We practice mindful eating so are in-the-zone for most meals in regards to the balance of protein to carb and vegetable ratio. Thus when ecoRDN does decide to check out a new eatery we don’t feel bad about eating comfort foods with a little extra in the way of heavy and/or unbalanced offerings. Sometimes it’s perfectly acceptable, and on the occasion in mention, our intro to the amazing world of Onion Maiden, we downed dawgs and tots with carnivalesque gusto to a backdrop of blazing metal and classic punk.
Onion Maiden is a pop-up based in Pittsburgh, launched in 2015, and offers a fusion of plant-based American-Asian comfort cuisine. Nostalgia food like tater-tots, nachos and dawgs grace their menu with a brilliant array of house-made toppings which create a modern uber-foodie twist to these timeless classics. Pairing these delicious foods with nerd-core puns and the end result is exactly the type of tongue-in-cheek non-pretentious food-love magic ecoRDN adores.
ecoRDN dug in for dinner during Onion Maiden’s Feb 4 – 6 run at The Vandal in Lawrenceville, and opted for the Kimmy Gibbler (dawg with kimchi, korean mayo and fried onion), Hurricane (dawg with 1,000 island, kraut and caraway), Emperor Palpatots (tots w/ cashew cheese, lentil chili, salsa and jalapeño) and for dessert, the Terrormisu.
Onion Maiden‘s dawgs are delicious, although they are not house-made the quality is remarkable. Seitan-based instead of soy, the dawgs have the perfect balance of flavor and texture to represent the core of the wonderful dawg experience. Now let’s talk about Onion Maiden‘s buns, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill factory job, but instead a chewy cloud complete with cornmeal finish for the appropriate amount of toothsome crunch. They are made with white flour, so definitely not something we would choose to consume often, but for the special occasion they absolutely rule.
The Kimmy Gibler‘s Korean fusion was perfect, the salty garlic kimchi crunch and the creamy mayo make this dawg fun as well as damn tasty. The same is said about the Hurricane, a tube-reuben if you will, topped with thick, rich 1,000 island dressing, warm kraut and an adornment of toasted caraway seeds for a great finish. Emperor Palpatots are spot-on, loaded tater-tots smothered in dreamy cashew cheese and honestly some of the best tasting plant-based chili ecoRDN has ever eaten, at home or otherwise. A perfect amount of heat and salt without being overly piquant or obnoxiously salty, and the spice blend is out-of-this-world, a blast of comfort that reminded us of childhood Summer’s past eating out-of-the-box tacos, a totality of warm cumin comfort love. Rounded off with salsa and fresh jalapeños, the ingredients created a savory bowl of awesome contentment. Heck YES.
Moving on to dessert, ecoRDN felt strongly compelled to order the Terrormisu. (How could we not with a dope name like that?) What makes this treat unique is Onion Maiden‘s own Eddies in place of the classic lady-fingers. Eddies are a slick twist on the classic cream-filled treat owning fabled shelf-life expectancies. Dense vanilla cream filled cake, amaretto, coconut and matcha may sound a little bit odd, but trust us if there is one thing ecoRDN knows it’s cake. And the Terrormisu is a big win, a terror of a win! Icebox cold and perfect, the marriage of flavors is spot on, the slightly bitter matcha keeps everything honest, and prevents the sugar coma from derailing a grand dessert experience. Holy Cow this is a great cake!
Tune In Next Time For More Plant-Based Ballyhoo with ecoRDN
Thanks For Reading, Eat Well & Stay Gold !