Food Truck Friday

This blogs been in the hopper waiting a while since the event was May 3rd. I was meeting a friend and former colleague to catch up and I was in charge of finding a spot with food trucks. After a bit of searching, filtering and decision making our target was the Cabarrus County Food Truck Friday. The event is held at Gibson Mill in Concord and I have to say it was worth the drive.

The parking is around back by the Cabarrus Brewing Co., what a convenient thing. There are plenty of picnic tables with umbrellas outside and some seating in the brewery’s tap room. Another convenience is a satellite bar outside in a corner of the picnic area. The evening temp was just about as good as you could ask for and since I got there first I decided to recon the satellite bar and picked up a Spring Street Blue which was a blueberry wheat beer. It wasn’t bad, the blueberries added some nice color but the flavor I thought was a bit muted.

After a just a bit my friend showed and we toured the food trucks to find out which one was going to receive our patronage. After much consideration Big City Bites was the winner.

We jumped right on their special of 3 sliders and added a side of fries each. As they were taking a while to get the orders up we ventured into the taproom to acquire liquid accompaniment for the meals. Jody went with a bourbon barrel aged ale which looked, smelled and tasted like it meant business. I selected something more on the tropical scale with their The Floor is Guava. I only got that reference as I was writing the blog, initially I just thought is was a weird name but now I get it. In any event, the drink was a sour beer made with, surprise!, guava. The sour actually went pretty well with the sliders, especially the Cubano. Speaking of the sliders.

From left to right they are the Cubano, the Pulled Pork Italiano and the Chicago Italian Beef and anchoring the top of the take out tray were the crispy, well cooked fries. All three of these sandwiches were good and offered a nice variety of tastes. The beef sandwich had some peppers and crumbled cheese and was pretty good but #3 of the trio for me. The pulled pork had green peppers, roasted red peppers, shaved cheese and some tender, moist pork slotting it solidly in second place. As mentioned the Cubano was my favorite with the tender slow roasted pork, ham slices, with Swiss cheese, pickles and tangy mustard pressed and grilled. An excellent choice of meals to go with a years worth of catching up with a friend. Thanks Jody Sneed for sharing the meal and time.

As a postscript I believe they are running the Food Truck Friday every Friday until sometime in October. They had live music, are family and pet friendly so if you’re lost for someplace to eat on a Friday pile the family in the car and explore your food truck options.

France via Latrobe

Apparently I wasn’t done with French food in April although it wasn’t a close to home experience. I was on a work trip to Latrobe, PA and the first night I went to a long time staple when staying in Latrobe, Sharky’s Cafe.

My intent when I headed over was to get a stromboli, which has been a comfort choice on more than one occasion but instead I decided to try something new. In this case something new was their French Onion Burger.

This 10oz burger was topped with caramelized onions and a Gruyere and Swiss cheese sauce. Actually topped is an understatement, smothered is probably a much better word choice. Let me tell you when the server dropped that off and I looked at that and the one napkin the silverware was wrapped in I knew that wouldn’t do. When she came back around I let her know this looked like a multi-napkin affair and it was. The bun also wasn’t structurally sufficient to the task either and this was just a delicious mess that I’d recommend to anyone. As a side note dredging the tots through the excess cheese sauce was a pleasant experience.

On my last evening I didn’t feel like a restaurant but I wasn’t in the fast food mood so I was scrolling Yelp looking for something different and came across French Express just down the road. This was a take out cafe that just like the name says specializes in French cuisine. If I live in Latrobe I’d be a semi-regular here.

It’s a nice little shop with a few tables in the front of the store and some spices, honeys and other food stuffs around the edges of the store. You have the counter where you can order hot and cold items ready to eat or take home and heat. I selected a crepe, a slice of quiche and desert. The crepe and quiche were both larger than I expected so either would have been sufficient alone.

The quiche Lorraine was very good, light, fluffy, cheesy and hammy. Couldn’t ask for much more. The crepe was the biggest surprise. I went with a smoked salmon crepe which came in two separate containers. The crepe was very large with diced cucumbers wrapped up in it. The smoked salmon was in it’s own container and there must have been a half pound of quality salmon. So I embraced the roll-your-own philosophy and ate about half before I had to tap out. Nice choice and it was a great value for the price. Lastly was the desert. I don’t recall what it was called but it was a flaky pastry with a hazelnut flavored filling that on top of the other items capped evening and just put me over the top into a food coma.

So while Latrobe isn’t a local spot for me I found a couple of local spots while there that did the French cuisine thing proud.

Opening Day

Food Truck Friday

I am a couple of weeks behind posting and this was actually a couple of Friday’s ago. I’ve got stuff in the hopper now for the next few weeks but I wanted to start the catch-up with this one.

I’m not a hunter however I look forward to the opening of another season, my local Food Truck Friday season. I guess I do hunt for new food trucks and dishes to try during this season but my taxidermy bill is nil.

My day hadn’t been stellar up to the point I departed for the event. I’d flown earlier in the day and there was an almost hour delay getting bags from the plane to the carousel which peeved me a tad. I was counting on this first FTF to counteract that and it did. I rode in listening to 80’s music on the radio and got out to the strains of Journey’s Any Way You Want It from the evenings band, Kids In America an 80’s tribute band. They did a great job and as you can see from the photo committed to it with the hair and wardrobe.

With that promising start I was off to the beverage tent where the rotating tap selections included, Funky Buddha Black Currant beer.

It had a purple hue and tartness from the black currants that made this Belgian ale enjoyable from sip one. They call it a Tripel Lindy which seems like a Back To School reference to me and just added another point in its favor. It also had a 9 point something alcohol percentage which I noticed by the time I hit the bottom of the cup.

From that point I was in hunter mode searching for signs of something different and tasty. After reconning the array trucks available I backtracked to Momo Food Truck.

They had several options I was interested in but the special of dumplings over a rice bowl looked like a winner to me and spoiler, it was a winner.

Talk about fusion, there was a lot going on in this dish. The chicken was served with a gravy that had a definite Indian influence kind of like tandoori flavor with light tomato gravy. Accompanying that was plain basmati rice, steamed vegetables and oddly pico de gallo. The steamed dumplings were filled with minced chicken that was lightly spiced and had what tasted like a hint of coconut and the whole drizzled with a mustardy sweet sauce. Like I said a lot going on. I have to say this was absolutely worth having again.

I almost forgot, check out this utensil they were supplying with the food. I’d not seen this before and thought it was worth a pic. I didn’t need to cut anything so I didn’t test how sturdy it would have been with the knife snapped out.

The evening was a perfect temperature and as I shared a bench with a family, who’s kid knew every one of the 80’s tunes (good parenting), enjoying the breeze and my Sugar Creek Blood Orange IPA I felt the satisfaction of a successful opening day.