My Meal Cost: $50.92 for 2 including dessert.
Health Rating A. Yelp 5 stars
I think I may be the last person in Pomona to write about this new spot. It seems like I was reading about it on every social media site and getting an unusually large number of word of mouth recommendations. But here goes anyway with my take.
The location is on 2nd Street in Pomona in what has been designated as "Antique Row," meaning on the east side of Garey. This shot-gun shaped space was formerly Kaiser Bill's Military Antiques and is next door to the beauty college. It couldn't look different from when it was Kaiser Bill's. The updated space has a hip modern feel, much like a Starbucks. However this is definitely no coffee shop.
Slummin' Gourmet was a food truck that was based in Walnut and this is their "brick and mortar" entry into the scene, a trend in Pomona that started with Mariscos Jalisco (the Jonathan Gold's 101 best restaurants in LA east LA food truck recommendation), and continued with Dia De Los Puercos (both to be reviewed in the future).
Based on all the good things we'd heard, we decided to stop by for a nice Saturday lunch, but were discouraged when we drove downtown and found that we had neglected to take into account that it was Antique Street Fair day. So we ended up having some fast food that day.
The following Monday, as we had an 11:00 am appointment, we thought, why not stop by Slummin' for breakfast. But when we got there, the metal barrier was down despite their posted hours. We asked about that when we finally got there and learned that this is something that can happen if they get a big catering job--beware!)
Finally, on Tuesday, Oct. 2, we made it there for lunch.
First off, don't be scared by the $50+ cost of our meal. There are less expensive items but we wanted to try their "best" items on this visit. Ordering is done at the counter and you pick up when your name is called. Not surprising as this is the model for food trucks.
The menu is on a board and apparently changes periodically. One of the items on the menu was lobster corn dogs. We had sampled a similar item at the Preview Party for the LA County Fair and The Lovely Mrs. C was anxious to try them here. I had a little harder time deciding as everything on the menu looked great. While I was intrigued by the fig and ricotta toast, I finally settled on the honey walnut shrimp tacos. For a side we decided to share an order of the garlic parmesan fries, while promising ourselves to try the chipotle maple sweet potato tots on a future visit.
As we came up to the counter, the young lady there offered us a small sample of their freshly made strawberry lemonade. Mrs. C loved it and so ordered. While the lemonade was delicious, made from fresh strawberries, it was a little too sugary and I try to not accerbate my diabetes so I decided on my go-to iced tea.
First, the corn dogs. I half expected some kind of flaked lobster meat with a binder (egg and breadcrumbs like a crab cake?), but this was a single piece of lobster meat (a claw?) which was dipped in traditional corn dog batter and deep fried and topped with a mild aioli and a side of sriracha ketchup. The corn outer had a crispy bite with soft inner. The sweetness of the corn meal coating melded really well with the sweetness of the perfectly cooked lobster. While Mrs. C doesn't "do" spicy, so eschewed the sriracha ketchup, I found it a nice balance and did dip a few of our fries in it.
On the fries, Mrs. C is not a big fan of overly garlic'd foods so was skittish about the fries, and tended to scrape the bits of fried garlic off. I however, found that even with lots of garlic on the fires that the predominant flavor that came through was not the garlic but the seasoned salt (paprika?), and the saltiness of the parmesan cheese. A good balances skinny fry, in my opinion.
My choice had been the honey walnut shrimp tacos. First of all, this is in no way a taco! The "shell" is two leaves of lettuce with the fillings nestled between. However! It was absolutely delicious (although I'd call it a lettuce wrap). Not only was there the sweetness of the honey sauce, the sweetness of the shrimp, and the candied walnuts, but there were surprise "pearls" of melon which made the flavors explode in your mouth.
After finishing our meal, we decided that this will probably be it for the rest of the day so decided to splurge on dessert and get some of their fresh pastries (Mrs. C. had been watching them cook some in the open display kitchen--I had my back to it so missed out on that).
The Lovely Mrs. C. decided she wanted the peanut butter cookie, and I was immediately drawn to the Bombolinis, asking what they were. The counter clerk said that they were small fried "donuts" filled with cream. What they actually were filled with was a ricotta cheese. These small "donut holes" were almost savory even with a very light dusting of powdered sugar. The dough itself was not overly sweet and the ricotta filling was more cheesy than the kind of sweet cream that I had originally envisioned based on the description. It was, in my case, a very pleasant surprise and I'll be happy to have them again.
The peanut butter cookie was very peanutty with cropped peanuts and what Mrs. C. described as having a lot of peanut butter.