NYC hit by hybrid food trend

By Caroline Ogulnick, Staff Writer

Ramen, hamburgers, doughnuts, bagels and pretzels are all enticing foods on their own, but sometimes eating the traditional versions can become a little repetitive. Chefs and restaurants looking to spice up their menus are getting creative in the kitchen by mixing different and unexpected foods together. While not all of the experiments have succeeded, many of the current trending foods are hybrids of items that are typically served separately.

One of the most popular hybrid food items is Keizo Shimamoto’s Ramen Burger. Shimamoto gained inspiration for his Ramen Burger when he traveled to Japan to study how to make ramen for four years. He grew up in California eating both ramen and hamburgers, and showcases his Japanese-American culture through this unique creation. The original Ramen Burger consists of a prime ground beef patty with a special shoyu glaze and market- fresh vegetables sandwiched between two ramen noodle buns. It is available Monday through Friday at Ramen Co. in the Financial District at 100 Maiden Lane, and at both Smorgasburg locations in Brooklyn on weekends, though Smorgasburg is closed for the winter season.

Holey Cream, located at 796 Ninth Ave., offers another trendy hybrid food: the Ice Cream Donut Sandwich. Foodies no longer have to resort to the typical chocolate chip cookie and vanilla ice cream sandwich. Holey Cream’s Ice Cream Donut Sandwich allows customers to personalize the dessert with the doughnut flavor, ice cream flavor and toppings of their choice. The treat is decently priced at $7.45, and is large enough to be shared between two to three people.

Bagels and French toast are undeniably some of New York’s most popular breakfast foods. The East Village’s famous bagel shop Tompkins Square Bagels, located at 165 Avenue A, is home to the French Toast Bagel. The delectable combination captures the essence of a classic New York bagel and your favorite French toast. A French Toast Bagel is only $2, however, many often add to the sweetness with one of the shop’s specialty cream cheeses, such as Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough or Birthday Cake.

The City Bakery, located at 3 W. Third St., offers a hybrid baked good that the bakery itself describes as having a “cult following” — the Pretzel Croissant. The slightly sweet, slightly salty treat is such a customer favorite that the hybrid food has a website in its honor. The Pretzel Croissant takes 48 hours to make, and the result is a pastry that is crispy and salty on the outside yet flaky and buttery on the inside.

Although they are unexpected combinations, these hybrid foods are fun to eat. The delicacies are found throughout the city, so you can create your own personal hybrid food tour, with a French Toast Bagel for breakfast, a Ramen Burger for lunch and an Ice Cream Donut Sandwich for dessert. If you still have room, you can have a Pretzel Croissant as an afternoon snack.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Dec. 2 print edition. Email Caroline Ogulnick at [email protected]