restaurant review: Dim and Den Sum

There are many things I love in life. Two of them are super speedy food options and cool, locally owned businesses. Dim and Den Sum has found a new place in my heart for embracing both.

c/o Dim and den sum's Facebook page

From their Facebook page: Our goal is to be the first street venders in Cleveland, Ohio. Not only do we want to provide healthy gourmet food we want to incorporate all local sources. We will serve Soul food with Asain flair from our Trucks at a price all can afford!

Via Twitter, I first learned about Dim and Den Sum and was giddy to see this food movement (pun intended) finding its way into the CLE. When I learned that the truck was up and running, I couldn’t wait. Luckily for me, I didn’t have to wait long as the truck visited a local business near my work this week.

I talked my boss into a quick lunch out on a beautiful day. We rolled up to the truck which was easily found due to its bright coloring:

Inside, Chris and his crew were cranking out the food:

We checked out the day’s menu taped to the side of the truck:

make sure to read the last few lines

…and we made our selections. My boss and I ended up ordering the same items:

The Tofu Taco included marinated Cleveland tofu, corn, Killbuck shitake pesto, watercress and lemon oil.

The Shank Taco had braised beef shank with corn-cilantro relish and teryiaki glaze.

tofu on the left, beef on the right

First, the Shank Taco: I seriously believe that it doesn’t get any better than braised beef. Sorry, vegetarians. This taco will definintely keep me committed to enjoying all that meaty deliciousness for a long time. Chris said he braises the meat for 18 hours before it goes into the taco. The heftier beef worked perfectly with the corn-cilantro relish, which added a nice, lighter balance in the taco. I could have ordered many of these bad boys.

Next, the Tofu Taco: Not surprisingly, this taco was much lighter than my first one, but it was a pleasant change of pace in my lunch consumption. Chris said that this Cleveland tofu (which I didn’t even know existed) is fantastic because it’s super low maintenance. All he has to do is marinate it and serve it.  Being a mushroom fan, I could have used a bit more of the shitake pesto. The lemon oil gave a nice citrus zing to finish it off.

My boss also enjoyed a Jjang Dawg: a Local dog with pulled pork, kimchi slaw, smashed tots, Bourbon soy bbq sauce:

She noted she splurges on a hot dog every six months. This one was definitely worth it. She liked the combination of flavors with the hot dog itself and all its toppings. She also said the cooking method of grilling the hot dog within the truck was definitely noticable and was delightful. She happily enjoyed her dog.

Chris from Dim and Den Sum admitted himself that while they are working out the kinks, business is booming. Within a 24 hour period, the truck was booked for three office parties, three birthday parties and three weddings! The Cleve obviously wants more portable and moveable food options. Hopeful Dim and Den Sum can add to the fleet of ’82 trucks and get all over the Greater Cleveland area STAT!

Make sure to check out their Facebook page and their Twitter feed for updates on where in the CLE Dim and Den Sum will show up next!

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