New MEAT: Getting Stuff'd
A brief tour around the menu at new-ish Hutong restaurant Stuff'd -- just a few guys with a dream of shoving food into other kinds of food.
There's a little white brick house in Jianchang Hutong that's quietly and resolutely doing The Lord's work: stuffing certain kinds of food into other kinds of food and serving it to people. It's called Stuff'd and their divinely charged mandate is to explore the culinary practice of ramming some food into some food to the attainment of new heights of delectability and spiritual satisfaction.
That's what they do. Most everything on the menu is stuffed -- nay, "stuff'd" -- with something else.
Beef Burger Stuff'd with 3 cheeses and bacon. Served with chips. (78rmb)
This is a burger patty stuffed with three cheeses and bacon... and then stuffed into a pita.
Mode d'employ: Basically, what we're looking at here is a big angry fist of meat, bacon, and cheese, stuffed into a pita, which is then stuffed into one of your major arteries. It's mean. It can't be denied.
Conceptually, it's very much of the culinary school of Bonkers Shit You Make When You're Super High (Advanced Classes) and I'm not going to lie to you: goddamn, this was a challenge to get down. I was sweating and breathing hard by about half-way in. Moaning heavily. By the end of it, the pita had broken apart and I had two handfuls of oily beef in both hands, and I was just rubbing it all over my face, motorboating it, like blaaaaarg.
But, no, it's real tasty. Real juicy and cheesy with some lovely mingling of sauces. No regrets. And when it was all done I was wracked with the deep satisfaction that comes with knowing that you're making every second of your existence count -- just double-fisting it from the banquet of life, so to speak.
Your humble professional food critic has sincere appreciation for a good gimmick, of course. For a size-comparison, here's the Stuff'd burger with Scott Sanders' 2009 Blaxploitation masterpiece Black Dynamite.
One. Bad. Motherfucker.
Doesn't look that big but it packs a punch, serious. Don't mess with this.
The Stuff'd concept sees a lot more traditionally stuffed items on the menu though: calzones, pot pies, and their front-running offering -- home-made pork sausages. They've got four options on the menu and they are thus:
-The Sage: Mixture of spices with beer.
-The Herbie English: Classic English banger with a load of fresh herbs.
-The Siesta: Spanish Chorizo influenced recipe with smoked paprika and red wine.
-The Spice of Life: Mixture of fresh chillies and spices with potato and mushroom.
Here's a World Cup showdown of the Spanish, German, and English varieties (left to right). It was noted that the German one was the biggest and most robust, whereas the English one was small and slightly timid, perhaps lacking in confidence.
Subtle variations for each of these but all-in, some very smooth, consistent, and fresh flavor. Mmmm, damn that's some smooth pork. Personally, I liked the intermingling of spice in the English one the best. It was scrappy yet resigned. You could really taste the faded glory of fallen empire.
Oh my, here's a lovely bit of sausage:
Mustard-wise we were looking at a French Dijon, Coleman's, and some Scando mustard -- nothing too exotic. They should up their mustard game a little. It would be nice to have a choice from, like, 10 different kinds of far-flung international mustards. Mustard is key, son. Get crazy with that shit. Ugandan mustard, let's do this!
Damage on the sausages: 30rmb per sausage or you can get the full meal deal for 60rmb, which is one delicious pork cylinder of your choosing plus chips, caramelized onions, side salad, and a small baguette. Good deal.
Thus concludes our brief tour around the bountiful and idiosyncratic menu of Stuff'd. We'll be back for those pot pies. Thumbs up. Go stuff'd yourself!
Oh, and they make their own beer too because... Beijing...
Stuff'd is at 9 Jianchang Hutong. Hours are 11:30am-2:45pm, 6-10pm. Closed on Tuesdays. 6407 6308.