March 5 – Cheese Doodle Day

Well, I had a good run. For all of January and February I was doing pretty well with finding restaurants that highlighted the food for each national food holiday. Some were pretty easy–I mean, if you can’t find a decent pastrami sandwich in New York on January 14, something seriously wrong with you–and others I fudged a bit, like Heavenly Hash Day. (I’m still sore on Heavenly Hash Day.) But today? There’s nothing, absolutely nothing involving Cheese Doodles around the city. Fiddlesticks.

Cheese Doodles–or, as we sometimes know them, Cheez Doodles–were created in the 1950s, and are pieces of puffed, processed cornmeal, deep fried, and covered in a neon-orange cheesy powder. The description doesn’t sound all that appetizing, but if you’ve ever had a Cheese Doodle, whether crunchy or puffed (I prefer the crunchy ones!) you know how delicious and addicting they can be–and how you don’t want to stop at just one! They now come in a number of cheesy flavors, though the original can still be found in the snack aisle and in those endcaps at the local bodega. (I miss those Wise bags of Cheese Doodles for 25 cents! They were the perfect size!)

The Cheese Doodle does have a direct link to New York City, after all: the creator of the snack, Morrie Yohai, was a New York native, and his company, King Kone, originally manufactured Cheese Doodles in the Bronx.

You can’t really find any high-class establishments in New York serving an appetizer of Cheese Doodles on their tapas menu or anything, hahaha, but, reaching for a recommendation, any recommendation, and you can find the distinguished BondSt in NoHo (which, unsurprisingly, is on Bond Street). There, they have a spicy fried shrimp appetizer with a curious orange hue and a familiar cheesy taste. Lots of patrons have claimed it tastes exactly like a Cheese Doodle, for better or for worse. I haven’t checked it out personally, but I kinda want to see what a Cheese Doodle Shrimp would taste like!

BondSt
6 Bond St (between Lafayette St & Shinbone Aly)

www.bondstrestaurant.com

Some reviews from Yelp.com:

“The fried tofu was tasty and something new for me. Fried shrimp appetizer was yummy (someone said it tastes like a cheez doodle, very true!)”–Eddy B.

We also indulged in the spicy crispy shrimp. In a sentence: ORGASM IN MY MOUTH (can I even say that?) Well I am. I usually try to stay away from fried dishes, but this was one of the most succulent, well prepared dishes I’ve had in a really really long time. It had just the right amount of sweetness and the perfect amount of bite and acidity to cut it–the mouth feel was to die and the shrimp were so well prepared I’d go back just for that dish, maybe several of them.”–Victoria G.

Have you found a place in New York City that’s (gasp!) actually utilizing Cheese Doodles in their cuisine? Want to just talk about your favorite corner store to get those little quarter bags of snacks? Let me know about it in the comments!

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