It's not every day that something comes along to shake up New York's fast-food scene. Sure, there are plenty of good, cheap choices already like Pita Joe, Artichoke, Crif Dogs, Shake Shack, and Pop Burger. But, now the city is going Dutch with the arrival of Danku.
The restaurant, on West 57th Street, sort of feels like an Ikea showroom with its European-style lighting, bulky butcher block tables and funky polka dots. The signiture dish - Dutch Krokets - can be eaten alone or paired with a salad.
The Krokets are huge. That means one or two can fill you up. And at $2.45 a pop that's a pretty good deal considering Tiffany's is up the block. They are also quite tasty. The crispy coating has a nice crunch and is virtually greaseless. Inside you'll found creamy fillings like Mac & Cheese and Chili con Carne.
We sampled three of the varieties. Beef Krokets stuffed with bits of beef in a dark gravy, and a tangy honey-mustard sauce for dipping. Chicken Curry Krokets are packed with curry flavor and served up with a yogurt-chive sauce. My personal favorite is the Spinach & Artichoke Kroket. It's more of what you might expect from a traditional potato croquette and served with a fabulously cheesy Danku sauce. The restaurant also serves up breakfast krokets stuffed with bacon, egg and potato or egg, potato and cheddar.
Also on the menu, an organic grilled vegetable salad ($5.95), and penne with sun-dried tomatoes, olives and pignoli nuts ($5.95). There are also Indonesian dishes like chicken satay with a peanut sauce ($4.75) and a sweet soy beef stew ($4.75). Sandwiches include a sliced Bell & Evans chicken panini with Dutch gouda ($6.95) and a Roast Beef and Celery Salad served on sourdough bread.
The one thing you won't find on the menu - soda. Only organic drinks are served ranging from teas and juices to free trade coffee and organic hot chocolate. There's also frozen yogurt available with apple cinnamon poppers.
Danku also goes to great lengths to be "green". We're told all of the packaging, straight down to the knives and forks, is eco-friendly and biodegradable and there's a special station for sorting. Service, while still a bit rough around the edges, was quite courteous and friendly. And for that we say, Danku!