SFC: Hot Dog Homage

If you’re like me, you LOVE Sun-dried Tomatoes; not the regular mass-produced ones in a plastic bag, though, those are pieces of crap. We’re talking about the Oil-Cured Tomatoes, the ones floating in a small glass jar with pieces of dried rosemary and other herbs. Ohhh god, they’re just so rich and concentrated, like the best tomato sauce ever; I swear it’s the closest I’ve gone to orgasmic outside of Foi Gras. Not to mention after eating you still have that super-tomatoey oil left over to use… or just drink as-is… don’t look at me like that.

Working with my dehydrator a couple days ago, I figured I’d halve some of the leftover cherry tomatoes that are starting to get wrinkly. Dried them up, popped into a Tupperware with olive oil and dried herbs, and now they sit in my fridge for use. Certainly something I suggest people try if they have the ability; if you have an oven that goes down to 135-150, you should be able to dry them out nicely, just go as low as it can go and wait 6+ hours.

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Besides munching on them alone, I love using these for garnishes to things (they are perfect in the morning with cottage cheese, a bit of pepper, and some of that oil drizzled on top). Just so happened I had a leftover grilled sausage in the fridge (it was like a chicken-andouille thing…), great for lunch.

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Lucky for me, there’s still some of that special Scottish Whole-Grain Mustard, cooked and preserved with Whiskey of course, in the pantry. A little line of dried cherry toms, big glob of that Mustard (surprisingly delicate in flavor, but that’s what happens when you don’t grind them), and I got myself a nice little Hot Dog Snack.

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And yes, that is a slice of bread… we used all the buns, and I find it an easy way to eat hot dogs.

If I was really trying to make my perfect homage to the Hot Dog, think I would just HAVE to make a tarragon aioli to sprinkle on top. Maybe take some spicy pickle slices and deep-fry them for a crispy component on the Dog.

 

              What special ingredients and things do you like putting on your Hot Dogs/Sandwiches?

Time for War

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For those who haven’t already been made aware, it seems that the “Downtown Food Committee,” basically a group formed from the various Skyway Restaurant/Food Court business owners, has now officially moved past the point of “complaining about their new competition” to “Actually trying to change the Laws” so that the Food Trucks don’t affect their businesses as much. Yesterday they all got together to discuss the particular oridnances with the City, and see if any changes can and “need” to be made.

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Currently quite a few articles have been posted already, a few good ones are:

http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/blog/stewart-woodman/food-truck-wars-come-downtown-minneapolis 

http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/morning_roundup/2013/01/skyway-restaurants-ask-do-food.html 

http://mobile-cuisine.com/off-the-wire/minneapolis-food-committee-to-meet-and-discuss-food-trucks/ 

I have a very strong opinion about this, which I would normally love to rant about on here. However, there have been a few comments and replies to these articles already, two of which are my own, and I really believe that they all form a very good collective insight and idea for my own feelings. I truly beseech anyone reading this Post of mine to read at least one or two of the articles I have linked, as well as the replies at the end of each, becuase the truly embody the ridiculousness that this “Committee” has set its complaints as.

There is one very big, positive take away from this entire event. A Mr. John Levy, Manager (or something similar) of the AZCanteen Truck, also took part in the meeting to voice his thoughts on the subject. Not only that, word is that Levy is now looking into the idea of forming our very own Food Truck Association for the City. If this can come to pass, not only would we have yet another function to really unite and build our new, growing Food Truck Culture, but the Association would form a more concrete basis for which the various Truck Businesses can help defend eachother from attacks such as this.

I myself really look forward to this, and hope to find ways to know and connect with this Association whenever it is formed.

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Let us hope that the results of this meeting have not born any negative Fruits, and that us loyal Foodies can band together to support and fight alongside our Local Trucks in this particular time of annoyance. If those reading this now can do anything to help spread this message of Union and Spirit as far as possible, then hopefully we can block and defuse any future attempts of this sort.

For now, a silent prayer for our Food Truck Brethren, and a shake of my head in sadness and disappointment towards the actions of the Downtown Food Committee.

Turkey To Go

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https://twitter.com/TurkeyToGo

www.turkeytogo.com/

 

Main Location: Minneapolis

            Everybody who grew up going to the State Fair in Minnesota knows of the turkey stand where you get the drumsticks and sandwiches. Unsurprisingly they hopped on the scene as one of, if not the, first Food Trucks after the law passed. Already having a transportable cart, ready business plan, experience, and readily available income source, hopping onto the street was a quick deal.

            One of the very few carts (still haven’t seen an actual TRUCK) on Nicollet, Turkey To Go focuses on two things, and two things only: Drumsticks and Pulled Meat Sandwiches. Barbecue sauce is an optional topping for both.

            Unlike most other trucks, Turkey To Go tends to get in a little early and stay out an hour or two later. Very much durable, it is quite likely for you to see them out in harsher weather and later on in the year as well.

Food: 6

             I’ll give them credit, they know how to cook a turkey; the meat is tender, and flavor is still there. The pulled turkey is juicy, there is just the right amount of pepper; soaks into the bun and makes it a good food between stops.

            On the other hand, as far as drumsticks go, I have had a lot better and more enjoyable ones at Renaissance and other Fairs. Though the sandwich is good for a pulled turkey, that is all it is. Just turkey on a bun, nothing else besides it; something like that can only get so good.

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Holdability: 7.5

            The sandwich holds easily in one hand, though the last one I tried had noticeable problems with drippage and soaked bun. Drumstick, surprisingly, is a sit-down fellah; cooked slowly in juices as opposed to the firm style of smoking.

Price: 9

            Very good deals, charging only $5.50 for a juicy, hunger-quenching sandwich.

Speed: 10

             Already cooked beforehand, serving is simple placing into a basket or a bun and there ya go.

The TOE: 4

             Normally, when a Food Truck decides to serve only 1-3 items that taste good, I tend to like them more; the act enhances the attitude and feeling of the Truck. This, however, isn’t really the case for TTG; for whatever reason they just feel FLAT as a stand for me. The fact is they’re a business, built off the one stand at the State fair and 3 other small stores throughout the Twin Cities area. You can tell when you go there, it just feels different than other places; the chef at the register is friendly and fun to talk to, but… maybe it’s a history thing.

                       Tally: 37.5/50

Final Thoughts

            When you’re on the go near Nicollet and need something to eat, grab a sandwich for a quick, well-priced and satisfying lunch. I might suggest doing it without the sauce; very rare to find a perfectly peppered, juicy cooked turkey, might as well appreciate it as-is.

             Avoid the drumstick, there are much better ones available at the Renaissance. Considering we all know you only have a Turkey Drumstick once a year anyways, you can wait until then.