New York, NY, 10012
Parm on Mulberry Street is a no frills, hole-in-the-wall featuring a one-page menu that focuses almost entirely on its namesake. The place has Italian-comfort-meets-neo-diner vibes complete with kitschy wallpaper and grooved aluminum accents around the tables and chairs. I wouldn’t have been surprised to find the pedantic, no-nonsense Italian grandmother I never had fussing over her Sunday sauce in the kitchen. But I digress.
Of the six Parm locations in NYC, this one might be the tightest squeeze. Taking your seat requires the same dexterity as a game of Operation—it’s almost inevitable that you’ll brush into an adjacent table and drop a few apologies before sitting down.
After we passed the seating gauntlet, we quickly placed our order and sparked up a conversation to distract from hunger. After a slight lull in the conversation, the mozzstix arrived… The presentation was a classed up version of the cliché—a red woven plastic basket, lined with Parm branded paper and piled high with crispy sticks and a saucer of marinara.
Every dimension of the sticks showed promise. On the surface, these mozzstix looked almost too perfect. I picked one up and broke it in half. To my surprise the cheese was more or less room temp and had little give. With a bit of effort, I was able to stretch the cheese, but the cheese lost significant gooiness points here. That said, what the cheese lacked in texture, it made up for in flavor and volume. You could really taste every aspect of cheese from the light tanginess that danced on your tongue to the milky finish.
We were conflicted when it came to the breading. The breading itself was under seasoned, bland and generic. Even most frozen sticks pack more of a punch. But the crumbs that made up the breading were finely ground to create this picturesque outer crust with just the right amount of crunch and the just the right degree of thickness. Perhaps the blandness was intentional to highlight the cheese?
The sauce was this eye-popping, fire truck red. It was sweet and savory, like a perfect summertime home-grown tomato. That said it was not overbearing and complimented the equally picture perfect sticks on all levels.
When you took a bite of the stix, something incredible happened that the group coined as the “Caprese Effect.” Despite the fact that the sticks were clearly breaded and fried, the undeniable freshness of the cheese and tomato combined in such a way that you’d swear you were eating the classic Caprese combination of layered tomato, basil and mozzarella slices. Ultimately the negatives we found in component analysis, played in the dish’s favor.
|Price||$10 for 4 stix|