Jellybean & Julia’s

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http://www.jellybeanandjulias.com/  

https://twitter.com/jellybeanjulias  

Main Location: Etc

            With an Anoka-based Deli found in the basement of a building on Main, Jellybean & Julia’s rolled onto the Streets late last year. Though most of us central Food Truck goers may be unaware of this considering how much off the beaten track they usually are. With their main Truck-sites revolving around wide-distance Wineries, and other stops with similarly-far locations, visiting the mobile operation requires a lot of either luck or dedication. I myself only found the chance to try them during an “Anoka Sidewalk Show” (which I am… relatively close to, at least compared to Goose Lake) where they parked out front of their Deli.

            A big black truck with bright pink and electric-blue logos reminiscent of certain artificially-colored candies, the imagery of the van much belies their actual menu. Kept simple for the often un-truck-seeing wineries (I’m guessing), the stark white marker board offers a couple un-complex Burgers (Cheese and Loaded), a Pulled Pork, and two Bacon-centric items (one being a Wrapped Hot Dog, the other a Grilled Cheese). All of which one can get with a side of Fries. From what I garnered from the Chef/Server, this is basically THE set menu, with little to no other changes or additions.

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            Oh, and not to be dissuaded from a lack of detail, they DO sell the Mexican Bottled Coke! I myself didn’t know that with the menu only saying “coke,” so I figured I’d at least help spread the awareness.

Food: 6

            With a limit of only one item for me that day (had a party later, I so didn’t need to eat multiple things beforehand), I limited myself to the Loaded Burger and a side of Fries. About a 1/3lb patty I believe, this little fella is topped with Cheese, Bacon (both a given), Grilled Onions and a Roasted Garlic Mayonnaise.

            Bun is toasted very nicely, and both the burger and toppings offer a moist juiciness to the palette. It ultimately is a good and enjoyable burger, however this comes in a very simple, average fashion; it’s the kind of burger one expects to find in a pub or bar. It’s definitely a good burger, with little real flaws, but again there is nothing in it that makes me really wish to rave and express the quality. Sort of like a Patty Melt… it’s all juicy and tasty and good, but really that doesn’t have too much to do with the actual burger quality.

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             Fries are highly unimpressive; though hand cut, or BECAUSE of it, they’re all soft and highly salted. I can’t tell if they’re fried only once or just not done all that well twice. They are sorta nice dipped into the Bourbon-Apple-BBQ sauce they have in the giant pump outside (though they really need the tart, sweet ketchup); would probably do well on the burger too.

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Holdability: 9

           Gotten without Fries, items seem to be easy enough to handle, sandwiches and dogs wrapped in foil to consume with one hand or two if needed.

Price: 8.5

            $6-8 for the bigger items, and a $4 Bacon-Wrapped Hot Dog, the prices here are overall pretty fair and decent for the products; at least no obvious overcharging.

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Speed: 7.5

             Average speed.

The TOE: 3

              Amazingly Underwhelming… that’s just about the only two words I can think of to sum this up. I am so… disappointed in what I finally found, after months of trying to get to them. It’s not even that the menu is so boring, it’s how it compares to their actual Deli. You go to their site, you see all the things they offer from their original brick-n-mortar business; they have Paninis, and Wraps, Cupcakes, and other really delicious, tasty things, like something called the “Heart Attack.” All of these items, so perfect for a Food Truck, so EASY for them to be able to produce in that small area; they’re already doing the prep somewhere else. And how fun and awesome would it to be to finally have a truck that specializes in both sandwiches AND cupcakes?

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             But no… they serve a couple burgers and a grilled cheese, things that aren’t even on their original menu. It baffles me to think of how this decision came to be. Though however it did, this is nonetheless the final result, an odd contrast to the amusing and fun name and Truck design.

             I will say this; I can see it’s a good thing they stick to the outskirt events as opposed to the main downtown Truck venues. I don’t see how they’d survive otherwise.

                         Tally: 34/50

Final Thoughts

            IF one ever finds themselves going here, say if you’re at a winery and hungry, then I would probably say go for the Loaded Burger or Bacon Grilled Cheese. They griddle the bread and things nicely. Other than that, just go to their Deli; it’s a lot more fun and has better items… though it’s only open from 10-2.

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A Moment of Silence for the Departed

           No collective group of similar businesses goes through their years, early and long, without casualties. The world of Food Trucks is no different; I myself can use all the fingers on one hand to recall some of the establishments to have disappeared from our many ranks. Some cut down too early before their time, some simply fizzing out in the shadow of other blazing fires, and one which simply moved.

          Whatever the reason, I would like to take a moment of silence to honor and respect those little businesses which have come and gone from our Streets. We may not be able to samply you, but those who know shall always remember these names:

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The Brothers Deli

           A small, ubiquitous little metal cart found parked on Nicollet, Brothers served up the best Deli-style sandwiches. I loved their pastrami, not to mention the various dressings used to garnish the sourdough and rye. A side of hand-fried chips or knish, adjusted slight, would have certainly highlighted as a fantastic Toe Ring in our cities’ selection.

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Cook n Wheels

          Though technically not departed or out of business, Cook and Wheels has taken quite the departure from the street due to repair issues. I certainly wish them a speedy recovery.

Magic Bus

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          If still here, Magic Bus would have certainly vied alongside Natedogs as the top Hot Dog in the city. Big and purple, it stood out wherever it went, mostly sticking towards special fairs and events. I remember the one day I had the chane to sample them; their nice, snappy dogs loaded with hand-made, unique toppings. I wanted to try two different ones, but only one dog, so they did a half-n-half thing for me; both the beet slaw and the papaya relish. So good.

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          But alas, they have taken themselves to the Road, moving to Colorado for a different shop to set up. I truly hope and pray for the season in which they can come back to their home grounds.

Origins Coffee and Tea

          Released a couple years back, Origins sadly didn’t even make it through year’s end. Focusing purely on drinks, slinging craft coffees to the early morning and lunch crowds. Though noticing them on the street, I never got the chance to sample, food-focused as I am.

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Yummi

          Having read an article noting their recent selling of the truck, I can honestly say I am not too surprised at their passing. As this is a moment of “honoring,” I shall not go into details on my opinions. I did see so much potential though… it’s a shame they never got the chance to reach it.

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          And there may be even more that I am currently unaware of. For now, we pay homage to those who have gone, and those future trucks not destined to last. Let us hope that those owners are back on their feet, and wish them Good Luck in their future.

 

Do you have any good memories of a departed Food Truck? Any other Minnesotan businesses you would like to honor?