Imbisswagen Freitag

German Food Truck

This last Food Truck Friday was one I was looking forward to even more than usual. I’d scoped out the list of trucks prior to and they had a new one in the mix, StrudelTeig.

A food truck with German food or at least German inspired food, sign me up.

As usual my first stop was the beverage tent where I procured a Catawba Brewing Co White Zombie witbeir to go with the warm evening and whatever I selected from StrudelTeig.

There was only a short line and all the options looked good but I settled on their Pretzel + Brat meal.

It was a nice choice. The bratwurst was a fine imported specimen that had a great taste. The pretzel was warm, soft and made from scratch and the sauerkraut was actually not very sauer due to it being “apple infused”. I didn’t really taste the apples but it did have a sweetness to it that I was surprised about until I reread the menu and saw the apple bit. I liked it and it paired well with the salty pretzel. Let’s talk about that pretzel. It was amazingly good.and if you notice it is a bit more rectangular than a regular pretzel and the holes are smaller. That’s because they use this for sandwiches as well including a grilled cheese that sounded pretty awesome. The obligatory mustard was a wonderful coarse ground Bavarian mustard that I dipped the brat and the pretzel in.

So while I sat enjoying my meal by the fountain a Journey cover band called Trial by Fire entertained the crowd.

They were ok but best when the music was a little louder than the vocals. I was more entertained by a group between the band and I.  I first noticed three “old ladies” really into the music.  Then it struck me the “old ladies” were actually about my age so what my mind meant was three “classic ladies”.  One really had the 80’s going and just to reinforce the whole vibe the rest of the Breakfast Club started showing up as well.  First was a dude wearing a flannel shirt with the arms torn off and long hair and a two day growth of beard channeling his inner Judd Nelson.  Next up was the jock wearing a Carolina Panthers jersey and his gothy / emo lady friend.  So in case you’re wondering they aged well after the movie and are hitting the Rock Hill food truck scene.

After being entertained for a while I decided to head back to the food truck and grab a Cherry Strusel Cake to go.  That and the interesting sodas they had caught my eye the first trip.  Turns out  first I had to deal with a significant line that wasn’t there the first time.  In a venue like this line standing is a bit of an art because you have a lot of traffic going perpendicular to the food truck lines and they need to cross somewhere.  I’m usually pretty good at line standing due to all my DragonCon experience but my mind wandered and the guy in front of me moved up and the gap between us opened a couple of centimeters and the crowd spotted the weakness in the line and surged for the opening.  It was like watching the sand in an hourglass go through the choke point.  I shifted back just a hair and hit the lady behind me who had apparently honed her sense of personal space on a Japanese subway.  Fortunately the line moved forward and during the shift I regained optimum distance to prevent line breakage.  Anyway I finally got my cake and soda.

The strusel cake was good, not too sweet and just enough cherry filling to give it a nice flavor without overwhelming the whole package.  Another thing I wanted to mention since you can see it clearly in the photo but these folks use wooden utensils.  The wooden knife did the job on the sausage but I wouldn’t want to try it on a steak but it was something I haven’t run into before and if your replacing plastic it’s not a bad way to go.

The interesting soda I selected was a Summer Pear, which was pear, green tea and honey.  I’m sure more than one of you went “Yuck!” but it was not bad at all.  The honey flavor was most prevalent and the pear was more of an undertone and the green tea seemed like an afterthought.  I could see adding some alcohol to this and calling it some fancy cocktail name.

In summary it was another enjoyable Food Truck Friday at Fountain Park.




Beach Week pt 2

More Surf City Cuisine

This week we continue with the restaurants visited during family vacation week and since it covers five places it’s longer that normal.  The first was breakfast at Batson’s Galley with my nephew.  I selected this place because they have country links sausage which are harder to find than they should be.

The place looks to have been around for awhile and has the appearance of a typical diner when you go in except it has a huge beach mural on one wall and a copy of the 10 commandments hanging behind the register.  We got seated as soon as we walked in and drinks provided in a jiffy.  I went with a simple breakfast seen in the picture and my nephew went for the chocolate chip pancakes.  They were definitely on beach time and it took longer than I thought it should have based on the number of customers and the lack of complexity in our orders.  Fortunately the food made up for the wait.  The eggs were scrambled firm and not overcooked.  The sausage was mildly spicy with a good amount of sage.  The potatoes were a surprise hit, lightly crisp outside, evenly distributed seasoning generously applied made them a great accompaniment to the sausage and eggs.  Per my nephew the chocolate chip pancakes were outstanding and the chocolate chip quantity and distribution were spot on.

Next up was lunch at Daddy Mac’s Beach Grille with my sister, brother-in-law and niece.  Daddy Mac’s is a second floor restaurant so you’re climbing stairs or waiting on an elevator that is slower than taking the stairs from what we observed since we took the stairs and beat the elevator.  They have a nice ocean view from inside as well as seating outside on a deck.  We decided to sit inside as it was a bit warm even with the breeze.

I got their shrimp and grits which were different from any of the myriad of others I’ve had over the years.  As a side note shrimp and grits is one of those dishes that no two places or people seem to make the same and has more variation from place to place than just about any dish I’ve seen.  As long as it has the two titular ingredients anything else is fair game and these folks threw me a curve ball with theirs.


When the server placed the bowl in front of me my first thought was, “These are some thin ass grits and what’s with the toast in the middle.”  Turns out that wasn’t toast but a grit cake fried or toasted brown with a plentiful helping of shrimp and mushrooms in a savory gravy that was delicious if unexpected.  I had a Mother Earth Brewing Endless River Kolsch style ale to wash it down.  It was light and paired well with the meal.  The other’s enjoyed their meals as well see below for the bonus pics.  This was another place on beach time when it came to time between ordering and receiving food.

The following day saw a trip to Surf City BBQ which had great reviews from the nieces & future nephew-in-law.  This was one of the rare spots that wasn’t within easy walking distance but still very close to the house so a sister & two brothers-in-law jumped in the car and off we went.  The restaurant is in a little strip center and doesn’t look that much like a good BBQ place from the outside but inside the atmosphere is BBQ joint.  I got a combo plate with pulled pork and chicken.

One thing to mention is they bring a basket of hush puppies to keep you going until the food arrives and are quality hush puppies.  The chicken was tender and tasty but no thrill ride.  The pulled pork was eastern NC style vinegar & pepper lightly sauced with more at hand on the table if you needed more.  Very enjoyable.  The fried cornbread square was different but good.  The Brunswick stew was good but Georgia hash is better and the green beans were cooked to perfection, tender but not mushy, with just the right amount of salt.  There was a lot of food and no room for the banana pudding the server was pushing hard.

Last breakfast outing was not the best.  I was walking to Spudee’s when I passed Beach Bunny Subs and Grill and saw they were serving breakfast and since I hadn’t been there I figured I might as well.  I should have kept walking.  Not that the food was bad but no busier than they were it took way too long to get my food.  I got seated right away but it took a while before the server came over to get my order for coffee.  When that got to me I decided to try the Tidal Wave Scrambler.

Then started the epic wait for my breakfast.  I don’t know what they were doing besides cooking back there but they must have been squeezing the eggs out of the chickens and milling the wheat for the gravy flour.  Anyway I finally got my scrambler which I’ll tell you about since you can’t see much beyond the gravy.  Two eggs, sausage, onions, peppers, hashbrowns, corned beef hash, cheese, stray tomato, smothered in sausage gravy.  That sounds like a ton of food and it was plenty but the hashbrowns weren’t well represented and in spite of the overly long wait the onions and peppers were essentially raw.  This was the worst experience of the week and I couldn’t recommend them at all.

On a happier note lunch was a family event to a restaurant recommended by the owner of the house we rented.  The Riverview Cafe in Snead’s Ferry has been around for a bunch of years and is locally known for their fresh seafood and pies.  They have a changing roster of specials each day as well as the menu to order from.  Just about everyone ordered something from the specials board.  I got the tilapia, shrimp & deviled crab and a Dogfish SeaQuench Ale.


The ale came first and it was quite the experience.  It is a combination of styles but the prevailing flavors are the lime and sea salt.  It’s light and refreshing and a great summer beer to enjoy with your seafood.  We also got a couple of baskets of hush puppies here to keep us from getting surly while waiting for the food.  When it came the tilapia was lightly breaded, fried and tasty.  The deviled crab was on par with those you’d get at a chain.  The shrimp though was the star of the trio.  It had a light batter that you could see the orange stripes of the perfectly cooked shrimp through.  The seasoning in the batter was outstanding and made for the best fried shrimp I’ve had in a long time and maybe ever.  The sides of mac & cheese and green limas were both above average.  I traded a shrimp for a scallop from another family member and it was a toss up which was better so suffice to say you couldn’t lose with either.  I was told the ribs were well worth considering too.

We ordered pies to take home for later; a chocolate, a coconut cream, and a lemon.  I don’t have pics because they didn’t travel well and the meringue stuck to the box top on two of them which was ok with me because I find meringue on a pie to be just an obstacle to overcome to get to the good stuff.  All three pies were quality, not as good as mama’s pies but pretty good.

Overall the week’s dining experiences were positive and most were enjoyed with various family members so that just made them a bit better.  Already looking forward to next year.

Beach Week pt 1

Surf City Cuisine

I did a lot of dining out during the family week at the beach so I’m splitting the blog into two parts rather than turning it into picture laden novella.  Our tradition is breakfasts and lunches are “on your own” events and we tend to split up into loners or small groups.  Suppers are everyone at the table family events where we take turns cooking for the whole group.  This year we added the grown kids to the rotation and it was a joy watching them working together, playing music and having a great time cooking for all of us.

Sentiment out of the way let’s talk about the food scene in Surf City.  The house we rented was located such that over half the places I visited were within walking distance including the first place I hit with my sister and brother-in-law for breakfast, Fractured Prune.  This is a doughnut shop where they make the doughnuts to order and you pick a glaze flavor, a drizzle & topping.  They have some pre-named combo like the Peach Pie which has peach glaze, powdered sugar & pastry crumbles.  There are hundreds of combos.  The kids they had working here were all really friendly and willing, nay eager, to explain how it worked and help you pick the flavor combo that fit your want.  So many calories, so little time.

For lunch we walked to the end of the road to the Hot Diggity Dogz stand.  The weather was pleasant and there was a nice breeze blowing so dining outdoors was not a problem.  At first I couldn’t tell if the young guy working the order window was fake enthusiastic or really that dang happy with his job.  Turns out he was that dang happy.  After we got served and no one else was at the window he came out to check out how liked the dogs and chat for a bit.  Nice kid.  For my part I got a Beach Dog & a Surfer Dog.

The dogs are all beef and served on a potato bun.  The Beach Dog is further dressed with chili, mustard, onion & slaw and quite tasty.  The Surfer Dog was decked out with mustard, melted cheese and bacon and as you no doubt assumed it was worth the walk.

The next morning after a cup of coffee and wave watching therapy on the deck I strolled down to the New York Corner Deli for some breakfast.  It has the New York deli at the beach feel I’m sure they were going for.  They have a deli set up where you can get meats, cheeses, salads, etc that you’d expect and they have a simple but something for everyone breakfast menu.  I didn’t spend much time looking at it though because I knew what I wanted; a toasted sesame bagel acting as a delivery vehicle for sausage, egg & cheese.

The bagel was nice and chewy with toasted sesame seeds on the exterior.  I very much like toasted sesame seeds and when you throw in the breakfast ingredients it was delicious.  I was surprised to find the sausage was sliced up links rather than a patty.  I just assumed they’d use patties since they are roundish like the bagel but the substitution did not hurt the overall experience at all.  The coffee was nothing special but it was coffee so it served its purpose.  I did get a dozen bagels to take back for the others and discovered at that point the bagels are not necessarily made on site since a couple of the types I selected were still frozen.  In fairness they did let me know up front that was the case in case I wanted to change my mind.  I didn’t and when toasted back at the house and smeared with cream cheese they did the job.

After some beach time and reading lunch was courtesy of Spudees a few blocks away.  Another outside dining experience but the tables & picnic tables had umbrellas to provide some shade from the sun so it was pleasing.  I checked them out online before heading there and they had me at poutine.

This was likely the most Canadian poutine of the several I’ve had.  It consisted of french fries topped with a generous serving of cheese curd and both of those covered with hot beef gravy.  The fries were well cooked but not crispy.  The cheese curd initially had the consistency of mozzarella but softened and melted under the heat of the beef gravy which also had a hearty flavor profile.  I got the medium size and brothers & sisters let me tell you I needed the walk back to the house because it was a boatload of food and good enough I ate every single bite.  They had several other types of poutine as well but I had to try the original.

The next day after another grueling regimen of wave watching and a stroll to the beach some of us headed to The Shuckin Shack for some shuckin seafood.

It would have been wrong to go to a place called the Shuckin Shack without trying the oysters so I had a half dozen steamed.  They were ok if you baptized them in butter and added some of the provided horseradish.  I’ve honestly had better served up by my grandfather & cousin but as I said they weren’t bad.  For my real food I got the crab cake sliders.  They had good crab flavor and held together reasonably well considering they got a bit squeezed being a sandwich and all.  The tartar sauce they brought was tasty as well and unlike most was laced with horseradish.  There was no hurry up in the game of our waiter but about half way through we picked up a second server who was helping things along and she was great.  She had some pep in her step, a smile on her face and a pleasantly professional demeanor.  It didn’t change the flavor of the food but I liked the metal serving trays they used and of course there was a bucket recessed into the table to toss your various shells and detritus into.  Overall it was a better than average lunch.

That’s a wrap on part 1.  In summary the first half of the trip was loaded with great to good service and delicious food.

Amazonian Yum


Opening this month’s Yum box I was greeted with the bright flag of Brazil and on the flip side of the welcome were the first puzzle and some quick facts.

The box was filled with a great looking assortment of sweet & savory snacks.

Like last month I’ll cover my favorite, runner-up, least favorite & most unusual of the 13 snacks and this month I managed to snap some shots of the actual food before chowing down.  None of the snacks were too weird or totally out there but some were certainly better than others.

My favorite was the Amori 1000 – Chocolate covered wafer with coconut filling. Based on the description unless someone figured out how to screw up this combo the Amori 1000 was going to be near the top of the heap for me as chocolate and coconut are a combo I love. Of the two chocolate covered snacks this had a better but thinner layer of chocolate than the Cory Pao Dimel.  It also had crispy wafers and nice layers of coconut creme filling in a triangular shape. No one screwed up, this was a great snack that I’m glad I can’t buy on a regular basis because it wouldn’t do my A1C any favors.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.

There was a tie for the runner-up.  Both of the pepper crackers made the list.

Delicitos Pimenta – Pepper crackers. These little pillows of crunchy pepper flavored snacks were unexpectedly great. As I was eating the first cracker I got a whiff of a vinegary pepper smell that started the anticipation then it hit the taste buds. Pretty salty and the pepper flavor is strong and I was waiting for the accompanying burn. It never came. All the flavor and none of the burn on a crunchy pillow cracker. Definitely a winner.

Snacks! Pimenta Calbresa – Calabrian chili crackers were another winner.  There were a ton of these little crackers in the tube shaped bag. They are about 3/4-1″ long (18-25mm for you metric folk) and if they had been segmented they’d have reminded me of the mealworms they sell for bird food, just in shape not taste. The taste of the calabrian chili was like a smoky paprika to me and the size and shape made for a satisfying crunchy snack. They do have a ton of salt too so have a something to drink close at hand.

My least favorite was Pipoca Vivozinha – Sweet Puffed Corn. These reminded me of Super Sugar Crisp cereal in both taste and texture even though they are different grains. They weren’t bad but there’s a reason I never asked for that cereal as a kid unless it had a rocking prize.

The oddest of the lot was one of the small candies.  Bananada com Chocolate – Chocolate covered banana bar. The chocolate covering was dark and had a good, if slightly artificial, taste. When I bit it I expected a light colored filling since it was supposed to be banana but the inside was black like an extremely ripe banana and the taste was similar. It was good but the texture was a bit different than expected and the black interior could be offputting and the taste had kind of a tobacco taste underlying the banana and while that probably sounds gross the overall flavor was okay.

In addition to the snacks detailed above there were some chocolate covered honey bread cookies that reminded me of a moon pie minus the marshmallow plus two different gummy candies, one loaded with sprinkles and the other flavored yogurt flavored.  The other small candies were a peanut flavored one that reminded me of peanut butter fudge but not as sweet and more like a marzipan texture plus a coconut one that tasted like the coconut bars I got as a kid whenever we stopped for gas on long trips.  Plus a few more that I won’t detail but I’m glad I got to try.

Finally if you want to experience a curated batch of Brazilian music videos check out the link below.