Food is stronger than common sense: why did we decide to go to such place as The Rag Trader when we know that we hate noisy places, preferring quieter ones so we can enjoy a nice conversation while having a great dinner? This place kept popping up on Opentable.com and their menu was mouth watering, offering lots of dishes to share inspired from a wide range of cuisine. When we arrived, we realized our mistake, the place being packed and loud, but had few minutes of hope when they told us our table was upstairs. Yes, I thought that maybe upstairs was quieter, more geared towards diners. I was wrong: there was a large group of incredibly loud people (one of them could probably be heard from the West Coast). They first tried to seat us next to them but I politely declined. Still, we were close and I wish they sat us in that taco van that is on one side of the room…
We started the meal with their cauliflower and feta fritters, served with a cilantro and sumac aioli. These fritters were superb: not greasy, slightly crispy on the outside, the inside was a soft mix of cauliflower and cheese that was perfectly balanced, with just a hint of the cauliflower taste. I think that even somebody who hates cauliflower would love it.
Jodi then ordered their vegan burger, that was made with a Beyond Meat patty, vegan cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce, onion, vegan secret sauce on a pretzel bun. It was ok, definitely not the best veggie burger I had (Saxon + Parole is amazing).
On my side, I decided to try two of their appetizers: the fried chicken sliders that were delicious and not spicy as I expected from the sriracha aioli, as well as the baby back ribs smothered in a pomegranate molasses. The sliders were my favorite: the ratio bread chicken was fine and the chicken was sublime. It was crispy on the outside and perfectly cooked, the chicken was moist and not dry at all. The ribs were good too, falling off the bone, with a nice sweetness from the molasses.
I would go back to The Rag Trader as their food is quite good, but probably more for lunch, hoping I will not need a Tylenol after that...And don’t be surprised if I did not mention dessert: we just wanted to leave as soon as possible!
Enjoy (I did...food only)!
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The Rag Trader - 70 W 36th St, New York, NY 10018