I can’t have been the only one who really didn’t know what to expect from Parka. There was Dogwood and Rustica, so was it a coffee shop? But there was an Erick Harcey component, so could it be noshy fare as well? It was going to be inside of new indie boutique Forage Modern Workshop, so would this be a management by contract or consulting gig? Kinda yes, kinda no, and yet so much more.
What we have here is the first restaurant by a new company, Stock and Badge. The owners of this company, and of Parka, are Erick Harcey of Victory 44, Steve Horton of Rustica Bakery, plus Greg Hoyt and Dan Anderson of Dogwood Coffee. Right? Coffee, bread, and porkiness all join forces for the greater good. Having admired each other’s work and crafts, they decided that they should band together and go forth as a team. These guys have a plan, they have a mission: Stand behind quality food with quality ingredients and create places that aren’t cliche. After Parka gets cooking, the plan is to open a commissary which would seek the right FDA certifications so they could butcher and produce charcuterie for use in multiple spots. In fact, if you want to see how this collaboration is already improving your life, you should check out the new food menu at Rustica which Harcey has worked on. Oh, they have plans for that spot too.
“We are all in this together, whether we next do a pastry shop, a coffe shop, something big or something small, it doesn’t matter because we’re all excited by each other’s crafts and the possibilities” Harcey told me. They want to be a force, ala Parasole or D’Amico, but they have rules on how they’ll get there, “We collectively made a pact that this company will grow through its people. We’re in the people business and we can only move forward through those we help grow.”
Lofty stuff, but exciting! Have a look at Parka as your case study if you want, it’s a cool space with a small menu of Harcey dishes that bend toward the comforting and classic, but with that modern surprise: the “Salisbury” pork chop is basically taken off the bone, turned into a juicy, rich sausage mix and put back on the bone before being sous vide. With everything on the plate it totally evokes Salisbury Steak circa Swanson’s (but way better). Ham and pickle tater tots come with a foamy, effervescent cream cheese whiz and little dots of pickle gel, but they’re still hot, crispy hunks of fried tater n’ ham. And that’s a momma recipe meatloaf sandwich pictured above.
Of note, Chef Chris Olson who lastly was the Executive Chef at Masu MOA (and is known for a certain foodist pancake breakfast), will be running the kitchen while Harcey maintains his Victory 44 kitchen.