Sit down at a booth where the tabletops were painted by a local artist. While you’re reading the menu, try not to get distracted by the large, five-foot wide burger sculpture, or the stoplight hanging casually over the bar. During the time you wait for your food to arrive, take a trip to the restrooms, where more of this off-the-wall art continues, including a mural of a burger praising goddess, and where graffiti lines the walls.
This is Street: a restaurant dishing out contemporary, American cuisine with an Asian twist. Located in Portsmouth, a few beats outside of Market Square, where the Wildcat Transit conveniently drops off. Walk inside, and set your senses free. Friendly chatter, dissolved by clanging pots and pans, echoes its warm industrial style of exposed air ducts, adorned with paper lanterns and string lights. Absorb the aroma of tantalizing ingredients brewing from the kitchen, which can only be the curry combined with chipotle, garlic, and ginger. Graze the menu, and you’ll see items that stretch from cinnamon-sugar empanadas, Korean BBQ, to Thai ribs and bibimbap.
Now wait anxiously as your food is being prepared. This is the most difficult part, but don’t worry– curry fries to the rescue!
I, myself, ordered the Cemita: fried chicken, avocado, fried queso fresco (Mexican cheese) sprinkled with fresh cilantro, jeweled pickled onion, and a sesame seed bun slathered with chipotle mayo. They don’t mess around: this sandwich has some serious crunch. When you first bite into it, you get the crunch of the fried chicken, and the crustiness of the queso fresco. Counteracting this is the gooey cheese, and the creaminess of the avocado. The chipotle mayo is lightened by the fresh cilantro and the acid from the onions cut through its heat.
On the side was a large basket of curry fries, which is an order large enough to feed three hungry adults. Seasoned with curry spices, drizzled with curry mayo, and served with a side of– you guess it– curry ketchup. This is an order you don’t want to pass up. The fries, like the sandwich, packed some colossal crunch. Not those soggy, bottom of the barrel fries. No, these came with a crispy, fried outer crust, able to withstand any obscene amount of curry mayo and ketchup.
From the moment I walked in, all I could ask myself was “how did I not know about this sooner?!”
The best part? Restaurants like Street are only a bus ride away from campus. With the use of Wildcat Transit, you have access to Dover, Portsmouth, and Newington. Grab your friends and head to the Fox Run mall, or spend the day window shopping in Market Square. With the Wildcat Transit, students are mere minutes from cities off campus. Take advantage of the bus services that are available, after all– they’re free to students!
When in Portsmouth, take a turn down Street. You never know where the road will take you.