To Elevate the Simple

(Alright, THIS is my last post before I leave, I swear!)

            When we take a look at some of the most iconic, some of our favorite items offered out of the various Food Trucks throughout the country, we tend to see a hodge-podge of different approaches taken to elevate the food to such heights. Some keep purely traditional to their style, just doing it fantastically. Others look to fuse and twist, add a little extra something, while others purely take certain dishes and channel it to the Street styles. They work hard, do a lot, and come out with a fantastic product.

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            Of these different approaches, there is one more that has recently been standing out to me, and which I think many may not be giving the credit it’s due. That is, leaving something as it is, but in its best version (yes, I will explain what I mean here). Taking a very simple, very staple menu item, not changing it in any sense, and making sure each element is of heightened quality. This particular style has been seen in a few of my recent burger reviews, such as Melch’s extremely simplified burger, elevated purely by the quality of the meat and the fantastic pretzel bun. If anything, though, my last post on AZCanteen’s burger offers an almost perfect example.

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            The use of goat may be debatable, but it has no differing in burger flavors and formula in any sense besides that. Onions and Tomatoes are just roasted, the bun is Brioche, and the handmade Pickles are still of the traditional variety. Already this combination is fantastic, yet somehow this strategy, this ideal, of sticking to the true nature of the dish itself with only changes of quality, is somehow able to increase the quality of it all in an exponential way, creating an eating experience at the same level, if not even higher, than some of the other previously mentioned.

            Though I didn’t really start thinking about this until dinner last night. We decided to do a good ol-fashioned Chili Dog meal, as we already had a can of Hornel in the pantry, and it was my job to grab the dogs and buns.

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            Yeah, not homemade or anything, but it’s still chili. As this was one of our last meals before vacation leave, however, I wanted to make it a little special, so my eyes were peeled in the store.

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            My first find was a Jalapeno-Cheddar stuffed bratwurst. Grilled up, it offered a simple, juicy brat with flavors to match the traditional chili.

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            And what is a chili dog without its bun? What did I happen to find but a small 4-pack (exactly what I needed) of Pretzel Roll Buns. Sliced and toasted, these offered a fantastic way to eat these awesome dogs, while still keeping in the whole “bar food” feeling.

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            Didn’t have everything I’d need to TRULY elevate these (would love queso fresco on top, then make my own beer chili) in the same style as AZ, but it turned out tasty, and we both ended up very satisfied at the end.

            So next time you’re on the street, or at the store, and you wanna try a new version of a particular craving (burgers, dogs, taco, etc), maybe edge away from something “different,” and think about finding a way to make it as-is, just better.

            And yes, this shall be the last strange and oddly-worded post that you’ll have to read through for at least 12 days

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