I was snooping around the 900 block of West Fulton Street recently, checking out the former Follia and Fulton Lounge spaces. I was hoping to catch a glimpse of Alinea's Grant Achatz or Nick Kokonas perhaps, scoping out the two properties at the corner of Morgan and Fulton, where their upcoming Next restaurant and the Aviary, a cocktail lounge, will be. There wasn't much activity going on, but as I looked across the street, I noticed a familiar sign for Dodo - the briefly-opened breakfast and lunch joint in Ukrainian Village - in the window of Dino's Morgan Inn.
Turns out the old Dodo (which was in the space on Damen where Jam is now) is taking over the menu at Dino's on the weekends, while on weekdays, the menu sticks to the protein-laden starchy basics of eggs, burgers and sandwiches for the truckers and dock workers still pushing pallet jacks of beef and produce around Fulton Market all morning. When I inquired about the menu, the owner said it wasn't that busy that particular morning, so she would be happy to make something from her weekend-only menu. I remembered doing a story on the place about three years ago, and really becoming enamored with their Japanese pancake (pictured, above). It begins with shredded carrots and cabbage, bound together with some eggs and flour. After a few minutes in a skillet, it's flipped over, then plated, almost looking like a frittata. A slightly sweet, tomato-based okamiyake sauce is drizzled over the top, and somehow works really well with the little bit of Japanese kewpie mayo that's squirted on as well. Random shards of scallion are scattered over the top for a bit of contrasting texture and bite.
Greek yogurt & fruit (photo by Joseph Storch)
The place is a relic. I love the formica and the old wooden chairs; the florescent lights and the 50s-era diner counter. There's a big window up front, which lets in lots of morning light. As you spread out your morning paper on the table, and dig into your Japanese pancake or Greek yogurt with fresh berries and granola, the possibilities of the day ahead seem endless.