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Inebriation and Gluttony: Food trucks make me sick … in a good way

Last Friday, a few food trucks came over to Stanford Circle. As a proper foodie, I went and essentially bought a few plates here and there … and I’m a little embarrassed to describe the amount of food I was able to eat and the amount of money I blew in that short span of time (although it was totally worth it!)

So for this post I’m going to talk about interesting controversies and facts about food trucks in general as well as review the food I’ve sampled, complete with some food porn.

For those who haven’t been to a food truck event, food trucks are basically restaurants on wheels. They usually cook the food right there on the spot, come in many shapes and sizes, and serve an interesting array of cuisines. They originated from after the American Civil War, where chuckwagons (what food trucks were called way back when) would be stocked with various supplies as people were expanding westward. From being called chuckwagon to mobile canteens to roach coaches, food trucks have evolved greatly and are a current rising trend in the food industry.

In my experience, food trucks are a way to obtain really unique cuisines at random places, so if you’re not at a food truck rally you can see them parked in front of a park or an outdoor concert, ready to serve their goods. Due to the recent rising trend, the law has stepped in to ensure that these operations are not potentially illegal or dangerous. In some states, food trucks are not entirely legal and those in advocacy are fighting but rest assured, they are legal in the state of Florida. It makes sense though, because being cooped up in a truck with sometimes-questionable means of refrigeration and sanitation for long periods of time makes me a little uneasy. Fear not though, because more often than not they carry permits!

For about a few years now, I’ve been following the South Florida/Miami food trucks religiously via their website and many individual food trucks have Twitter accounts so tracking them down is a thousand times easier than how it was originally. Last Friday, I had the pleasure of sampling food stuffs from Sakaya Kitchen’s Dim Ssam a GoGo, Jefe’s Original Fish Taco and Burgers, Catered Bliss, Top Fries, and AZ Canteen (the Andrew Zimmern food truck). There were a few more out there, especially dessert ones, but I was about to implode from the amount of food I tried to fit in my stomach that I was not capable of fitting dessert even if I tried.

This is what I got from each food truck:

  • Dim Ssam a GoGo: Kimchi eggrolls. This truck seems to fall more into the East Asian cuisine type, and after browsing the menu, it seems like predominantly Korean food. Korean food is the bomb, super spicy and involves a lot of pickled things like bamboo shoots or fish cakes. These eggrolls didn’t disappoint. I love kimchi and they came with a spicy dipping sauce that definitely tied everything together. 
  • Jefe’s Original Fish Taco and Burgers: Pork taquitos (comes in 3), a fish taco, and a beef taco. The burgers were much too large for me to be able to finish so I decided to go for the smaller things and I don’t regret my decision. The tacos were reasonably inexpensive and had great flavor with double tortilla to hold everything in. The taquitos were phenomenal, albeit deep fried. There was hot sauce and guacamole on the side and drizzled on top, which were great additions to the tacos and taquitos.
  • Catered Bliss: Vegetable samosas. Hands down, Indian food is my favorite type of cuisine and the spicier the better for me. These veggie samosas were actually not spicy but were wonderfully flavored and came with two per order. The accompanying green chutney (I’m going to guess coriander) was the right sauce to pair with these samosas, and in the end they were just normal samosas, nothing particularly mind-blowing about them.
  • Top Fries: Allioli parmesan fries. These fries were so mind-blowingly good! Allioli sauce is basically garlic mayo, which although it sounds kind of gross, you would be surprised. When I first got them, they seemed a bit questionable because it was a pile of white goop with cheese sprinkled on top of fries, but the smell coming from them and the party in my mouth after eating them definitely proved to me that you can’t judge a book by its cover. I wish I could eat this every day.
  • AZ Canteen: Andouille, oyster and crab gumbo, cabrito sausage grinder with cabbage slaw. I am a soup person (hell, I’m a food person! But soups have a special place in my palate) and this gumbo had a great, rich and thick flavor I was kind of sad it was over. Cabrito is essentially goat (I had to ask the guy what the hell cabrito was haha) and it had a great flavor, although the bread it was placed in was much too large for the amount of other things inside, so every mouthful felt like eating a massive amount of bread, which isn’t the most appealing for me. Andrew Zimmern from Bizarre Foods is known for eating what people would normally consider gross food from around the world, and this truck had a few odd things such as tongue but otherwise, nothing too out of the ordinary, which was a little upsetting.

My word of advice is to go explore that food truck if you have a few extra dollars to spend. More often than not you will be in for a nice surprise. The biggest downsides to all of this would be the fickle schedules and sometimes it costs more than grabbing lunch at any old food chain, but do me a favor and try it at least once before you graduate, especially since they rally at Stanford circle. Happy eating!

Catherine Wong is a senior studying microbiology and immunology, born and raised in Fort Lauderdale. After growing up in the restaurant business as well as being an avid watcher of the travel channel and food network, she would like to share her love of gastronomy to the average broke college student. Her hobbies/interests include books, music and, of course, food.

Inebriation and Gluttony is about making smart food choices within the boundaries of a college student, like transforming that sad microwave ramen or taking advantage of cheap local fare, all while not breaking the bank and not busting your gut. Join the foodie movement and get cultured, learn some cool things about food, and most importantly practice gluttony at its full potential. 

February 1, 2013

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Catherine Wong


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