Announcing: One Craving at a Time

The preparations are done, setup organized, and the first of many works complete, allowing me to finally unveil my new project! Let me hear and now officially Announce my Second Blogging Venture: One Craving at a Time.

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                With the winter season slow and various other things keeping me from going out to explore like I used to, I’ve had some more “free” time on my hands. As such, I thought it’d be fun to fill the time between posts with some other projects that, sadly, I’m unable to relate towards Street Food on a regular basis.

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                Starting off with a drive to recreate a long list of classic French recipes, One Craving at a Time will play host to all the various little “lists” and “projects” that I naturally create for myself, scratching off each item with detailed recounting for others to read (or ignore). From Distillery Visits to tackling Classic Desserts, trying out recipes from a certain Michelin Star Chef to Drink Pairing Ideas, this will be the start of my journey of discovery and experimentation.

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                I of course shall NOT be ending my work with Reviews on Wheels; it’s my baby, and I still have many more Trucks that need visiting and reviewing. Plus, if anything, it’s likely I may be able to create some new post ideas off of unique jumping points in Craving, or at least link to the articles. But at the end of the day, RoW will ALWAYS take first priority, like any spoiled first child should, haha.

I do hope that those readers who are into recipe-related blogs and such do surely choose to hop over and take a look. As for the others, hopefully you’ll be able to find some other aspect of it, either now or in future projects, which you can enjoy. For myself, I’ll just stick to where I am, plugging along with various long, rambling posts, the focus of which has now widened to whatever the heck I want it to be.

Good Luck and Good Eating to all, I myself will need all I can get from here on.

Fun Finds on a study day

           An afternoon of classmate studying led me to downtown Minneapolis early yesterday, and with it a few interesting finds for myself.

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            First off let me say, this is the first time I’VE ever seen such a turnout of Trucks parked along 2nd. Considering all the new trucks coming down (which is who seemed to fill that street up), this may be a great new, solid aspect to our downtown scene, not to mention less of a concern when it comes to those trucks attempting to vie for various spots.

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            Being hungry as I was, my stomach didn’t want to wait for me to make my decision. Lucky for me, another 2 new trucks (for me at least) sat parked along Marquette. I myself decided to go to both of them. Sadly, reviews of these will have to wait; neither Truck’s menu were ones which I felt confident in getting a complete “feel” of with just one item.

            Amusingly, both Starlight Diner and Brava on Wheels look like pure offshoots of other restaurants. Of course, they aren’t… made for an awkward-feeling moment when I asked…

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            I didn’t stick purely to the new, though. Stopping by a now-favorite, Motley Crew’s, for a bit of conversation and a chance to finally try their signature Funky Philly. With it, a bit of a revelation was given… they actually DO toast their buns! I was shocked! I so couldn’t tell from my first visit, with that giant cascade of cheese and sauce loading the chicken grinder. So, I’ll be quickly updating the actual review for that.

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            As for the Philly, I certainly stand by my original premonition of its quality. Surprisingly, it’s not AS messy and loaded as their Chicken, so I could actually eat it while walking with little issue, but it’s still gooey and tasty and good. So sad, though, their “Ex-husband’s Nuts” were sold out; I was looking forward to those almonds!

            Oh well, I apparently need to come back again to try their new COLD Chicken Sandwich, so I’ll get them whenever that happens.

            Good luck and good eating.

2013 Begins

            After many long months, including two that shouldn’t have even come into the picture, the Food Truck Season is once more upon us! The sun is shining, the snow is gone (finally), and we no longer need to waist that precious minute wondering if we need a hat before going outside. This Thursday marks the year’s first Lunch by the River, WITH MUSIC, as St. Paul’s parks once again become filled with various vendors (for those curious, this week’s River mix includes Neato’s, Home Street Home, Café Racer, and Cupcake Social).

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            My first day back in the city from my trip, and I was treated to one of my favorite sites: clear, sunny Minneapolis streets, with the now-nostalgic site of Trucks lining Marquette between 7th n 8th (with of course the random few on various blocks around).

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            It was great to see some of our old originals back in their proper spots once more. Hola hanging out on the side, Chef Shack in the back, and World Street taking a surprise vacation from their popular spot near the lightrail to stand front and central near 6th on Marquette. Gotta say I love the menu I saw on them yesterday; it’s actually somewhat refreshing to see the YumYum Bowl absent, letting the other items shine ever more.

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            These weren’t the only fun things I was able to see, though; besides four, count them, FOUR new Trucks all on the street at the same time, my eyes caught something… interesting. Walking down the street, just about to cross 7th, and right in front of my eyes I see a car turning the light, and what’s it dragging behind it but this big orange cart (think Dandelion Kitchen-style construction) with the word “Em-Con-Ada” written in blue across the sides. Before speeding away I was able to make out “Empanadas in a Cone,” or something like that, just underneath. I apologize for not being able to snag a picture; believe me I tried, my very first reaction being to turn around and run after it down the street with phone-camera fumbling in my hands. But alas, lost it in traffic before I could snap anything decent.

            HOWEVER! I’ve done a bit of searching and found a promising facebook page (link here), signifying a just-beginning, soon-to-start Truck operation. Now, if only they actually had some information and posts on the site and we wouldn’t be so in the dark…

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            Walking along Marquette for lunch, I shared a little convo with Racer’s main guy (tried to key him for info on Emconada, but he was just as stumped as myself), and continued to my exploration of some of our new additions to the line-up. Mustachios and Moral Omnivore immediately took hold of my attention, and thus tempted me into sampling both of them. As such, look forward to reviews of each within the next couple days.

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            Standing out like a giant packet of Lifesavers, “Lulu’s Street Food” is probably the most colorful and psychedelic Truck design I’ve ever seen in the state (sorry Sauced, they’ve got you beat; don’t worry, your artwork is still my favorite in overall design). It was hard to tell if there’s any theme, as 4 of their menu items were already crossed off and sold out by the time I arrived(thus why I didn’t eat and review; I want to ensure I do it when everything is there, thus getting as close to an accurate review for readers as I can). I did get a glance at Ahi Tuna sliders along with their Cubano, so I’m guessing just a simple keeping to different forms of holdable items.

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            With a few storefronts to their name already, and from what I’ve heard a bit of a fan base, “Falafel King” has now come out with their very own Truck. Set up like Tacqueria, the new Greek-based Truck I’ve seen around, and Holy Land when it was at the Fair, the menu stays to a full display of all their offerings. As such it’s less like a Food Truck and more like a mobile version of the actual restaurant, from what I can see; pricing seems very fitting to the street though. Considering things, I think I can safely assume they have quite the uphill battle in fighting through the many comparisons we are likely to make with Foxy. It’ll be interesting to see what they have to truly differentiate themselves from this already well-engrained favorite of the city.

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            Though, trucks weren’t the only things new today. AZCanteen, hanging out with Chef Shack in sharing 8th/9th street, has added a Hot Dog and Potato Side to their menu. Not too sure about the dog, apparently it’s sourced from a good butcher and paired with a Mustard made from Indeed beer. I’m sure it’s good, but being regular sized (as the chefs told me), I find the pricing of $7 a little unappealing. The Smashed Potatoes though… I heard them describe these, and they are a MUST get for anyone visiting. I’ve seen the technique a couple times, and it always yields an amazingly crispy, crunchy, fantastic potato. The little guys a gently simmered, smushed down so the flesh bursts out, then fried with the skin still on. Trust me when I say, these are amazing… better than most fries.

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            I did end up getting something; with the Dulce Ice on the menu, I took the chance to finally try it out. And it IS good; layered with the many small cubes of poundcake and leche caramel, carefully stirred (cuz that thing is loaded… can be quite messy if not taking time), it created a fun homage to the traditional Spanish Granita. At the end, I actually found it quite nostalgic; it sort of reminded me of my days as a kid, going to Dairy Queen and getting my favorite “Butterscotch Dilly Bar” out of the freezer. The ice still hanging on the bar, the interesting caramel, even the taste of the stick is reminiscent in the poundcake (which I think was actually a bit overcooked in this batch… was quite dry unless REALLY soaked in caramel and melted ice). Overall I was quite the happy camper.

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            The season has started out with a bang, much as the year before it. If that was any indication, I shake in excitement just considering the potential growth our Culture shall experience over the coming season. Until then, I wish good luck to the many new Trucks to hit the street, and Good Eating to the rest of us!