Now open in the former To Soho space is Maruso Street Food & Bar. The joint has been rehabbed with a long bar, some fresh seating, an open kitchen, and an eclectic throw-together urban vibe that actually reminds me of my friend Wick’s first apartment. It’s street food, after all, and there is no geographical discrimination, the menu has snacks ranging from pierogis to arepas to Buffalo wings, plus bowls filled with Vietnamese noodle soup, Korean bulgogi, and more. Hand Helds include a banh mi, Philly cheesesteak, a Jersey piled hot dog, and something called the “Iron City” sandwich which puts the fries IN the sandwich with the pastrami and Amish slaw. There’s also all day breakfast, which makes drinkers happy.
Maruso is named for a generations old family-recipe soy sauce that is still made in Taiwan. Slim bottles are on the tables and the bargirl said this is the only place to get it locally. It’s thicker than average and packs a dusky, earthy, salty wallop.
There are some local and craft beers on tap and in bottle, but you get the feeling that the list of mojitos and specialty drinks such as The Monkey Gland will get more play. This may be the first joint serving boozy bubble teas, and I just have to stop and think about the wisdom of getting sloshed on a drink with a built-in choking hazard. One of those globbies gets stuck in your lung, and you’re done. But hey …. you’re only 22 once, right?