Tag Archives: Lunch Truck

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16 Jul
 
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Review of “Slapfish” Truck- Slapping the Food Truck Trout

14 Jul

I really love fresh seafood. Although if I want really fresh seafood, I have to go to an expensive restaurant where they call me Sir and scoop up my breadcrumbs between courses.  I like fancy smancy restaurant service, although I dont always want to sit through the two hour dinner experience to get a nice piece of fish. Another issue I experience with local seafood restaurants is their lack of knowledge and commitment around sustainable fishing practices.  

There I was innocently sitting at my desk contemplating lunch, thinking that I could totally go for a fresh  piece of fish. I came to the conclusion that I didn’t want a greasy fast food filet, nor did I feel like a $20 tab at a local restaurant. I went into Twitter to investigate the location of local food trucks and noticed a tweet from my friends at “SeaBirds Truck”. Their tweet indicated they will be at a new location with 5 other trucks, including a seafood truck called “Slap Fish”. I automatically loved the name because it reminded me of a 6th joke about self-gratification…but I digress.   

Before I left to the food truck lot, I visited their website and learned that they specialize in purchasing fresh seafood “directly from well-managed, family run suppliers of sustainable seafood” . I also learned that they take their sustainability pledge seriously by submitting their menu to the Aquarian of the Pacific’s sustainable seafood program for review. They had me at “fresh seafood”, but the rest was a big bonus…I’m having fish for lunch!

I asked the girl taking order what was their best item and she responded back with the standard response “everything is good” followed by “it depends how hungry you are”. I said “…blah blah ..just tell me two items that I really need to try”. She recommended the “PBLT” sandwich  (Pork Belly Lobster Tomato) and the “Fish Taco”. The whole menu looked good, the next time I will have to try the “Losticle” ( small lobster tail on a stick!)

The Pork Belly Lobster Tomato Sandwich (PBLT)

 

This sandwich starts with a toasted brioche bun and stacked with crisp lettuce, generous portion of lobster in a sweet mayo sauce, tomato and topped with crispy pork belly.This dish was “Food Porn!” This sandwich was so stuffe, I had a hard time getting my hands around this big boy. When I took a bite, the bread was fluffy, crunchy and guey all at the same time.

PBLT Sandwich (Pork Belly Lobster Lettuce Tomato)....you will make the O face too when you try it

When I bit further into the sandwich, the lobster and mayo gushed forward into my mouth and it was sweet. When I bit down and chewed on it, I tasted the savory and saltines of the pork belly and the freshness of the produce. It was a little bit of ecstasy in my mouth…I think I even pulled a little bit of an “O Face”. I would highly recommend this dish to anyone. I even liked how they garnished the paper bowl with a lettuce wedge and roasted red pepper, classy touch.

“Fish Taco”

Fish Taco with crispy fish, cabbage and two types of salsa...Amazing

When I received the fish taco I was like “Woahhhh that’s big!”  I noticed that he used a standard size flour tortilla to hold in all the ingredients and a toothpick to hold it all together. The fish  (Hake) was lightly battered and flash fried, giving its crust a light and crunchy exterior. The fish itself was  firm with a mild white flesh and a sweet and savory flavor. The taco was also stuffed with cabbage,cilantro, salsa verde, chunks of mild green chilis, and their slightly spicy tomato sauce”. My tongue was doing the happy dance in my mouth as the  sweet, spicy and savory all mixed together in a symphony of flavors. This was one of the best fish taco I have ever tasted,  It will be hard going back to a Rubios or Wahoos after this!

My final thoughts

I am very happy to discover the Slap Fish Truck.  I was eating high-end restaurant quality seafood at fast food prices, I paid only $10 for both dishes. This was an amazing price for extremely fresh seafood, made to order and using advanced cooking techniques. On my scale of 1-5, The Slap Fish Truck receive a 4.5 out of 5, a rare score on my scale. The food was amazing and even platted nicely. It is obvious that Chef Andrew Gruel and Jethro Naude take their craft seriously and bring the same professionalism to their food truck .  I will definitely recommend this Food truck to my friends and family. Good job guys…I will be back for more!

Visit their Website: http://slapfishsocal.com

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Review of Kogi Truck – “Confessions of a Kogi Truck Virgin”

9 Jul

Like any Friday at 11:00  in the afternoon, I am already thinking about what food I am going to eat for lunch.  So what does any good foodie do when he has a hankering for a Friday afternoon guilty food pleasure? The answer, scour social media for food truck met ups. My friend Alex was bragging, on Facebook, how good his Kogi calamari taco was and how much he enjoyed eating it. I’ll admit, I got a little jealous and I even wrote that response on his wall. You see, I am a food truck stud and have nailed most of the food trucks in Orange County and even some in L.A., San Diego and Santa Barbara. Although the one truck I have not been able to tap is the Kogi truck. Why you may ask, has your blogger yet to nab the Kogi truck?. Because Kogi plays so hard to get and then when you find it there is always a big group of guys waiting to throw a couple singles in her window. This elusiveness has made it the stuff an urban legend. 

 But I digress, at about 11:15 Alex sends me a response on Facebook,  indicating that the Kogi truck will be in Irvine during lunch. My ears perked up at this news and I canceled my 11:30 meeting. When I arrived, the line was already 30 people deep. From the looks of the crowd,  they were also food truck studs and have already experienced the pleasure of the Kogi Truck. I came to the conclusion that I was a Kogi truck virgin and was getting a little nervous about my first time.  As per my normal routine, I chat with the people in line and ask them what is good. A couple of them gave me a little smirk that communicates, “we have a Kogi truck virgin on our hands”. Another guy whispered to me, “You can’t go wrong with any off it’s dishes….just bring some protection if you are going to eat it in your car”.

I ordered the Kimchi quesedilla, the short rib taco and the calamari taco, based on recommendations in line . The total for all three dishes came out to $11, not bad for a lot of food.

The Kimchi Quesadilla

The Kimchi Quesadilla was made from a giant flour tortilla that is filled with Kimchi and cheese.  The tortilla appeared to have been dipped in sweet chilli sauce and grilled to make the exterior enameled with the sauce. The seasoned tortilla are then stuffed with the Kimchi (fomented Korean cabbage) and cheddar cheese and then grilled again to melt it all together.  The tortillas were crispy, as if they had been deep friend, but they were just grilled on high heat with lots of oil.

The Kimchi Quesadilla

 The dish was extremely messy with the oil, chilli sauce and Kimchi juice and it saturated the cardboard container.  The dish was sweet on the first bite; although within a few seconds, the spiciness caught up and moved to the front of the tongue.  

Lifting the skirt of this quesedalla to show it's tangy and spicy Kimchi and cheddar cheese

This dish was unique and had some really good flavors. My only complaint is that it was too salty and left me craving for a tall glass or water (a beer would be better).

 

Calamari Taco

The calamari tacos are served in the traditional street style, small corn tortilla stuffed full of ingredients and served overflowing. Inside the tortilla was grilled calamari, onions, Korean radish and Kogi’s secret Korean bbq sauce.

Beware of the squid, she bites back

Although the recipe of the sauce is a secret, I think it contains Korean hot pepper paste, soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, hot oil, sesame oil and a dab of fish paste. The flavor was sweet, tangy and had a delayed spicy sizzle on your tongue. The spiciness was not overpowering,  but enough to let you know it’s in charge. The calamari protein had a sweet flavor; when paired with the sauce, it provided a nice balance of flavors.

The Short Rib Taco

The short rib taco was the last dish I ate because it is the sweeter of the dishes. I needed something to cool my mouth after eating two rich and spicy dishes in a row. The short rib taco is also constructed from corn tortillas and filled with a nice helping a slow stewed short rib in a sweet tangy Korean BBQ sauce.

The sweetness of the short rib taco cools down the taste buds

 The sauce was not the same as the squid taco, it was a little more sweet and subtle. The taco was topped with a sweet and tangy salad. The vinegar in the salad helped to cut through the protein and opens up the taste buds.  This dish was a perfect happy ending that helped calm the tongue from the heat and relax the palate from the salt.

My Final Thoughts

Although Kogi has obviously been over-hyped in social media,  there is no doubt that the dishes do live up to the lore. I am glad that I have managed to finally try the Kogi truck  and experience is Korean-Mexican fusion dishes. The Kogi trucks are masters of social media, using twitter to update their loyal followers. They have also managed to thrive lone-wolf  style by jilting the trend to congregate in herds of other food trucks. This unpredictability and difficulty finding a Kogi has given it the mystic of the hot high school hot girl that everyone want to meet. I give the Kogi truck a 4 out of 5, meaning I will come back often and recommend it to my friends. The dishes were creative and amazing, but by no means any better than some of the other food trucks out there. I would highly recommend that you try their food at least once and make your own decisions. Even if you don’t like spicy, there are plently of dishes you may like.

Kogi BBQ Truck http://www.kogibbq.com/

Find truck locations on Twitter @kogibbq
Kogi Korean BBQ on Urbanspoon
 

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Review of Bacon Mania Food Truck and Dabling with the 7 Sins

8 Jun
 Review of Bacon Mania Food Truck and dabbling with the 7 sins

Go to fullsize image
Senator Weiner (pronounced like it is spelled LOL)

There I was innocently working in my office and occasionally reading Drudgreport.com, getting the latest news and gossip. Of course the biggest news was Senator Weiner sending pictures of his package to young college girls on Twitter….what a dumbass. Believe it or not his name is Senator Weiner (life is sometimes poetic). This dude is definitely engaging in some of Dante’s 7-deadly sins of lust and pride. But enough gossip news, I was getting hungry and my smart phone was abuzz with twitter notifications about Food Truck arrivals. Today I tried a food truck I never tried before, the “Baconmania Truck”. You gotta love these guys basing their truck theme around one of the most glutinous foods around..BACON!

Cheese Crisp with Bacon

  As  usual, I chat it up with folks in line and ask them whats good.

 

I received many suggestions including the “Bacon and Cheese Crisp”, which is shredded cheese melted on a grill and festooned with bacon. It is then quickly removed and cooled to form a crisp. Brilliant! The other recommended dish was the Chilli

Chilli..is that Senator Weiner in that suit?

Soup with included a couple of types of beans, bacon, sausage and some other mystery ingredients. The dude in the suit, who was chowing down, managed to mumble out that “it was some of the best chili he ever had” (not direct quote but close). I asked the truck owner what she recommended and I told her I wanted something big, one of their signature

 

dishes and NO PULLED PORK! The owner recommended a dish called the “Rico”, which is a 1/2 pound hot dog, wrapped in bacon, smothered with sweet grilled onions, bacon chunks and grilled jalepenos. I also ordered “Rico”and the “Speedy Gonzalez” which is bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers.

When the order arrived, I was shocked by the size of this Hotdog. It was huge! (throw in your favorite “that’s what she said” joke here). As I walked back to the office, people were staring at my hotdog and a couple of women even stopped me and asked if they could take some pictures of my lunch. Instantly,  I had  thoughts of the twitterverse abuzz with pictures of me holding a giant bacon wrapped hotdog at waist level. This was not good, what if these pictures ever surfaced if I decide to run for President?

So enough of the thinly veiled food references to Senator Weiner, back to the Food Review…

“The Rico” a.k.a “The Senator”

"The Rico"hot dog. Giant 1/2 pound hot dog wrapped in bacon and smothered with grilled onions, more bacon and some jalapenos and chipotle dressing. This is the picture Senator Weiner should have been tweeting.

This beast of a hot dog shares its name with another weiner from the early 90’s, “Rico Suave”. This sleazy Latin pop star who wore excessively  tight leather sequenced pants, bandana and long greasy hair and suffered from the deadly sin of pride. “The Rico” hotdog is not far away from the singer in terms of greasiness and excess. It is served on a large hot dog bun, a small layer of grilled jalapenos, a 1/2 pound hand-knotted all-beef hot dog (wrapped in bacon),  grilled sweet brown onions, trimmed chunks of bacon and topped with a chipotle mayo sauce and a light dusting of paprika. This is one of the most formidable hot dogs I ever encountered, this thing is a beast. The size of the weiner was larger than a baby’s arm and the girth as thick and wide as a hot-sauce packet.

Bigger than my hand and bigger than a baby's arm

When I took my first bite, I first tasted  the savory fat flavors in the bacon and sweetness of the grilled onions. As I bit through the hot dog, I could taste the quality of the hot dog itself as the skin was firm and contents juicy.  The bacon wrapped around the hot dog added to the intensity of the flavors.  

It's thick and wide!

As I began to chew, the spiciness of jalapeno and chipotle dressing kicked in. The flavors were sweet, savory, spicy and fatty all in one beautiful mouthful! By the fourth bite, my mouth was starting to feel a little bit of the heat and sting of the spicy flavors. It was not so spicy that I wanted to stop eating, but rather spicy enough were you wanted to eat more. For a person who likes spicy, this is a walk in the park with a low-moderate level of heat.  For a person who doesn’t like spicy, you may request no jalapeno.  Just like “Rico Sauve”, “The Rico” hot dog will seduce you and tempt you to eat the whole thing. I tried to eat the whole thing and had to tap-out half-way through.

“The Speedy Gonzalez”

I needed a pair of side-kicks to go along with the giant hot dog I ordered, so I got a “Speedy Gonzalez”. This dish consists of two jalapeno stuffed with cream cheese, wrapped up in bacon and then deep-fried. The bacon is  crispy. When I took a bite, I experienced the crunchiness of the fried bacon, the firmness of the fresh jalapenos and the sweet gushiness of the cream cheese.

stuffed with cream cheese

The flavor was spicy, salty and creamy… a great combination. The frying had intensified the flavors of the jalapenos and were very noticeable despite the fatty flavors or cream cheese and bacon.  The jalapeno itself had a nice bright green color, indicating freshness.

These are definitely messy dishes and you should come with a bib. Right now, I am still experiencing the deadly sins of gluttony and sloth as I am paying for the my excesses this afternoon.  In a few minutes I will be going to 24-hour fitness once again to pay penance for my lunch-time sins.

On a Scale of 1-5, meaning I will likely eat at the “Bacon Mania Truck” again and try new items and will tell my family and friends about it. This is a great truck with lots unique items that I would still like to try,  including the PBJ balls…. maybe next time.

Review of Dos Chinos Food Truck – The Stoner Burrito and the Garden Grove Taco

27 May

This blog post has moved to http://tomsfoodieblog.com

http://tomsfoodieblog.com/review-of-dos-chinos-food-truck-the-stoner-burrito-and-the-garden-grove-taco/  Please change your bookmarks

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