Food Truck Finale

November Food Truck Friday

I was both happy and sad to head to Food Truck Friday this month.  Happy because it was a beautiful clear fall evening after days of rain and sad because it was the last one of the year.  When I arrived I got to see a rare benefit of the time change and that was the darkness really settting off the decorations they put up around the park.

The Christmas tree felt a little early but it was nice to look at and people were digging it.

I had a plan in mind for the food truck I was going to hit since I’d seen the list of trucks and map of locations.  I swung by the brew tent on my way to the target.  I got a Lonerider Viggo which was a smooth Oktoberfest lager that paired well with the chilly evening.  Beverage secured I headed for the Carolina Seafood truck.  The designated slot was empty, just a lone cone with a space number designation.  My plans were dashed but the bulgogi quesadilla from a truck I passed on the way seemed like a reasonable back up plan and I turned around to retrace my steps.

I slowed down to glance at the menu board for the Comfort Food on Wheels truck and the barker decided to pull me in.  He stepped over and proceeded to tell me about the great things they had on the menu starting with mango jerk chicken wings and chicken and waffles and great big chicken tenders, etc, etc.  I stopped him and decided to get the mango jerk chicken and waffles.  Well I think what we did was make up something new because when he told them the order the two guys cooking in the truck just looked at him like they didn’t understand the language he was speaking.  He had to tell them twice how to make the order happen and they eventually got it and I got my meal.


Those were some jumbo wings and quite saucy.  I expected it to be spicy but it was all the jerk with none of the heat and that was ok but I’d have liked a bit of pepper.  The mango was so subtle as to be almost non-existent but that didn’t really matter as the jerk flavor was good and the wings were meaty.  The waffle was whole wheat and they provided cinnamon maple syrup to go with it.  The waffle had a spongy cakelike consistency that I took advantage of and just pulled into quarters and dipped the sections in the syrup.  I was a big fan of that cinnamon syrup I have to say.  After finishing up the meal and using every scrap of napkin I had clean my face and hands I headed to the other beer tent to secure an after dinner, listening to the band libation.

The lady working the tent asked what I wanted and I said I was checking out the selection and she said “Oh we have some interesting choices this time.”  Of course my response was “Tell me more about those interesting choices,” and she offered to let me taste for myself the most interesting of the lot in her opinion.  The beer was from Amor Artis Brewing Co in Fort Mill just up the road and was called Walk in the Woods.  So as I was bringing the cup up for a sip I got a whiff of the beer and wasn’t quite sure what I was getting until the beer hit my tongue.  Pine, it was pine I was tasting.  She looked at me and said “what do you taste?” and of course I mentioned the pine and she added that there was also some oak bark and other stuff.  I took another sip and decided to go ahead and get a full cup.  When I asked for it her reaction of “Really?!?” and the face she made was worth it.  I took the what I now know was a Belgian golden ale with locally gathered pine needles, sweetgum leaves, and white oak bark and grabbed a seat to listen to the band.

I got about half way through the Walk in the Woods and decided even though it had some nice citrus notes as well the overall experience was too much like a beer that had a pine tree air freshner dunked in it.  The trio line dancing to Play that Funky Music also pushed me towards the exit even though they were kind of pulling it off.  So until next spring I’ll have to go afield if I want food truck fare.


Russian Yum

Russian Snacks

The October box from Universal Yums was loaded with snacks from the continents spanning country of Russia.


The nice thing was there were none that I really disliked but it was also pretty easy to come up with the “worst yum” for me as well.

As usual there was a nice mix of sweet and savory leaning more toward the sweet end of the snack scale.  My favorite was also the first snack I tried, the Blackurrant Zefir.

This snack was a chocolate covered marshmallow cream with black currant. The layer of chocolate was very thin and brittle. The marshmallow filling was the star. It was a bit firmer than marshmallow fluff and a nice tangy mix of black currant throughout. Really tasty and a winner from the start.

My second favorite was the Grapefruit Chocolate bar.

It had a very good quality dark chocolate providing a thick shell for a creamy filling.  The filling had a significant grapefruit taste.  It was authentic enough I expected a bitter aftertaste that never came.  It was just the citrusy grapefruit goodness with some sweetness that melded well with the slightly bitter dark chocolate.

The worst of the lot was the Holodets and Horseradish Husks.

I didn’t know what holodets was until I read it in the booklet.  It is cold meat jelly and that put visions of that congealed nonsense you wipe off of spam or something like souse.  Either way not an appetizing picture to start.  When I opened the package I got a whiff of something that smelled vaguely meaty but not appetizing.  Husk apparently means something like breadstick.  These were rye bread bits and I figured getting past the smell would get me a sinus clearing taste of horseradish but it was very very mild.  The texture was like a crouton and since they weren’t very good just eating them from the bag I tried eating them with a bowl of homemade vegetable soup.  They didn’t ruin my soup so they had that going for them.  Anyway not the best.

The most unusual wasn’t anything weird but more like something unexpected in the Tula Pryanik.

This was a nice big gingerbread cake made with milk and honey.  The Russian writing was raised and the whole thing was about an inch thick and had a thin line of filling in the middle that was brown and sweet.  The cake itself had about the same consistency as a cake doughnut and the gingerbread taste was milder than just about anything gingerbread in the US.

In addition to the ones pictured there was a toffee with peanuts, shishkabob potato crisps, fairy tale roll cakes, wheat snacks that were shallot and potato flavored, salmon and cheese husks and a big old pack of milk cookies with a chocolate glaze on the bottom.  Oh yeah the bag of candies was great with forest fairy honey peanut delights, juicy light peach & apricot jellies, and caramel dreams that had no caramel but did have lemon fondant and apple jam.

Good box of snacks.  If I read the clues right next months featured country it Holland.  I bet it’ll be Gouda.  (I’m not even ashamed)