Alice Eats: The Hungry Dutchman
An important part of my job as a food writer is listening to the recommendations of others. I would have been unlikely to try this hole-in-the-wall in downtown Essex Junction if a family member and longtime line cook hadn't wholeheartedly endorsed it.
But for all their good intentions,recommenders sometimes lead me astray. Unfortunately, I was not as taken with the Hungry Dutchman as I had hoped to be.
Much as I would have loved some pannekoeken or Indonesian curry, the "Dutchman" only refers to the brothers who own it, Timothy and Thomas Roorda. They run the kitchen, while an older woman genially takes orders.
There were so many options, it was difficult to choose dishes that I felt might do justice to the place, so I stuck as much as possible to what had been recommended.
That meant wings were right at the top of my list. Specifically, the Caribbean jerk wings, which my friend had said were among the best he'd ever tasted.
The chicken itself was perfectly crisped, but for me, the sauce ruined the petite wings. It was gloopy and oversweet, it reminded me of General Tso's chicken, without a hint of the Caribbean. Kudos, though, to the Roordas for making their sauces in-house. There are about a dozen different ones for the wings alone.