Friday, September 2, 2011

Foodie Fridays: Food Truck Adventures (Part I)

Boston always seems to be a few years behind most trends, and the food truck craze is no exception. However, from my recent experiences, the wait was worth it. During the past month or so, I've noticed a lot more food trucks around, with offerings ranging from Vietnamese-inspired sandwiches to cupcakes to fried chicken. While my food truck adventures are ongoing (I haven't come close to eating at all of the city's food trucks or even hit up the majority of them), here are my experiences so far:

Kick*ss Cupcakes - I love a good cupcake, but I've found them frustratingly hard to find. Many of the cupcake places I've tried tend to be overpriced, dry, and too sweet. One of my favorite places in Boston for cupcakes is Kick*ss in Davis Square. However, there isn't an easy way for me to get to Somerville, so my cupcake cravings often went unanswered. Then the cupcake place got a truck and started coming into the city. Now I've gone to the truck an embarrassing number of times and managed to try a number of cupcakes. While the vanilla, chocolate, and Super Chocolate ($3.00 each) are all safe bets, my personal favorite is the Boston Cream Cupcake-A-Go-Go. It is basically a Boston cream cake parfait, with yellow cake layered with chocolate, custard, and whipped cream. At $4.00, it is a decadent and very satisfying treat.

Staff Meal Food Truck - The staff meal is a tradition at some restaurants, where the cooks prepare a meal for the restaurant's staff (hence the name). The Staff Meal truck is based on this idea, and it features what seems to be a rotating menu with creative takes on classic recipes. When I visited the truck, I asked the guys running it for a suggestion, and they recommended the "BlLT," which is basically a BLT with bacon loaf instead of regular strips of bacon. The bread is grilled and crisp, which results in a variety of textures and temperatures in the sandwich. With the bacon loaf (the cooks take bacon, throw it in a meat grinder, and form it into a loaf shape), the sandwich is tasty but very rich and makes for a filling meal.

Bon Me - Bon Me specializes in Vietnamese-inspired food and serves noodle salads, rice bowls (both white and brown rice), and sandwiches. You get to pick a protein (chicken, tofu, or barbecue pork), and it is served with the carbs of your choice along with greens and veggies. Their rice bowls are very good (I love the brown rice); the pork provides a salty and savory counter-note to the rice and greens. My only (tiny) quibble is that the pork can sometimes be a bit too salty. However, I'm looking forward to trying the chicken rice bowl.

Bon Me also has excellent chocolate rice pudding. I was never a huge rice pudding fan before, but this was enough to convert me. Be certain to show up early if you want the pudding - it sometimes sells out!

M&M Ribs - I must admit that the M&M Ribs' truck is a little hard to find, but it does seem to make regular appearances at the SOWA Sunday market. I came across it when I was having a serious craving for fried chicken, which is hard to find in Boston. Despite my initial hesitance when I came across the truck (who would think of buying fried chicken from a food truck), my cravings won out and I purchased some wings and fries. When I first got my food, I thought my fears were confirmed. The fries were on the pale side, and the chicken didn't have much of a coating. However, the food was good. The chicken was juicy and flavorful, and the thin outer coat was crisp (if not as crunchy as I would like), and the fries were surprisingly tasty in their greasiness. While I don't know when I'll make it back to SOWA (Sundays are usually reserved for work), I definitely want to try to the rest of M&M's menu.

Next up on the food truck front, I'm hoping to try Roxy's Grilled Cheese, the Redbones truck, and The Cupcakory. If there are other trucks you'd like to recommend, please let me know here or on my personal twitter account (@sweeks1980).