Lunchbox: Dark Side of the Moo
Finding the Dark Side of the Moo
Sometimes success can stem from few strategic Google searches. For Tyrone Green, it led to the creation of Jersey City’s latest food craze, the exotic meat emporium known as Dark Side of the Moo. This past Monday, Dark Side of the Moo was kind enough to provide us with a sampling of their most popular items while having a quick chat with us about their beginnings as well as future plans. From the basic cheeseburgers or Cuban sandwiches to the more daring kangaroo or alligator sandwiches, we had an opportunity to taste the true cream of the crop.
Just before Superstorm Sandy struck in 2012, London-born Green was hard at work writing a book on commodity trading. Shortly after the storm, the mayor of Hoboken launched public appeals for food trucks to aid in the feeding of the flooded community. After some serious Googling and tremendous support from those around him, the Wall Street-working Green realized a lack of good barbecue in the Hoboken area and swiftly got to work whipping up some of the best pulled pork and cheeseburger sliders right from his own food truck. “Within three weeks, I was already bored of the sliders! They’re just so unoriginal.” Green told The Digest. “Not only did it feel uninspired, but I soon realized I’d get neither rich nor famous by simply sticking to bbq.” A few more Google sessions led Green to find a local supplier of yak, lamb, boar, alligator, and for those with tamer palates, your average beef patties (grass-fed or regular).
A Menu For Any Palate
When Green asked if we had any specific requests, we responded that, being his restaurant, he would know the best array to get an idea of the offerings. He arrived with just an insulated bag over his shoulder, but quickly proved to be an unexpected Santa to a very hungry staff. In a few short moments, Green had already served everyone a chocolate shake. This shake, however, was not your average chocolate shake. Green explained that they only use organic milk, organic ice cream from Milk Sugar Love in Jersey City, their own homemade chocolate sauce, and malted milk powder (because what’s a shake if it’s not malted?).
Before anyone could finish the heavy shake, Green had already laid out a true smorgasbord of sandwiches. To commence the feast, we began with the sandwich that won Dark Side of the Moo “Top Food Truck” at the Monmouth Park Festival, La Cinghiale (Italian for boar). Piled atop a long Italian roll, you’ll find roasted wild boar with a mix of herbs and spices (think garlic, oregano, fennel seed, basil, etc.), caramelized onions, grape tomatoes, roasted red peppers, an Italian four cheese mix (fontina, asiago, provolone, parmesan), and their homemade wild boar bacon, which takes 10 days to make. To top it off, it’s drizzled with a house-special truffle garlic mayo and mesclun. This thing is simply divine.
Next was Dark Side of the Moo’s most famous sandwich: The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. This aptly-named beast contains four different types of pork (bacon, bacon jam, pulled pork, and a pork roll) all on a regular cheeseburger and topped with chipotle mayo, homemade bbq sauce, and jalapenos. But from here on out, it was only exotic choosings. The yak burger, for instance, was much leaner than bison, yet had more flavor than your average beef burger. A lamb burger, appropriately named the Lamburghini, was prepared “Mediterranean-style” with feta cheese, parsley, garlic, mint, olives, tomatoes, and tzatziki sauce.
Surprisingly, only a few dared to taste the kangaroo or the gator. Green explained that the kangaroo has a flavor profile very similar to that of venison, and at only seven-per-cent fat, it’s a sure favorite during festivals. The alligator, on the other hand, is brought up from Louisiana (surprised?) and smoked in-house. The taste is close to that of chorizo but much less garlicky; almost like chicken or pork with hints of calamari. Green clearly knew his stuff, as he cleverly provided an order of truffle fries and cajun-style fries. All in all, Green’s choices gave us a good idea of the style of choosings Dark Side of the Moo offers.
When asked about sourcing, Green answered that they pride themselves on “working closely with the local community to source organic produce or finding suppliers who use sustainable, ethical farming practices such as Woodsedge Wools Farm or Natures Own farm. Our game meats never use antibiotics or growth hormones. They’re farm or pasture raised and never receive any animal-based feed.” This means that, aside from tasting better and having less impact on the environment, the health benefits are clearly evident: lower cholesterol, less fat, less palmitic acid, a healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids, the list just goes on.
Whether you’re searching for a new Taco Tuesday spot ($2 exotic meat tacos) or a solid wing-provider for Sundays spent in front of a Giants’ game, Dark Side of the Moo has got you covered. If curiosity is getting the best of you right now, and kangaroo and alligator seem to strike a fancy, make sure to swing by 52 Bowers St in Jersey City and tell them The Digest sent you.
Dark Side of the Moo: