Main Location: Minneapolis
Co-owned by the Manager of Nomad World Beer/Pub, where it’s been taking up residence for quite a while before now, Mr. Mustachios premiered just recently within the Downtown area. Among this recent change is also a new chef, as mentioned to me by Alcohol by Volume’s Paige. As for the name itself, apparently it came upon a long-lived joke of the owner’s inability to grow any mustache at all.
Painted as if it came right out of the 1920’s and covered in framed photographs of those bully, grand Mustache Men of old (and of course a giant Handlebar), Mustachios offers a supposed variety of pub-style grub to tastily season your lip-hair (or just eat regularly if thou hast none). Though mention of Fish Tacos and Sliders abound in various pages, it seems (at least for now) that the main Menu Item focus revolves around a variety of dogs and brats.
And what a selection of dogs it is. Naming them with a nod toward the various streets and areas of the Twin Cities, each item uses its own quality-sourced, unique dog/brat with the properly accompanying toppings. From Nordeast’s Kramarczuck Polish to a Bacon-Jalepeno for the Lyndale (topped with guac of course). Even a purely vegetarian “dog” makes an appearance, basically a carrot length that’s simply been simmered and marinated in a rich sauce (don’t ask me what, they wouldn’t divulge the secret), labeled after our “Seward” community of course.
Almost makes you want to grow a handlebar mustache just so you can properly visit them doesn’t it? Well, that and a certain Jimmy Buffet song… or watching a Geraldo Rivera episode… or an old-timey boxing match…
Of the options to me, I decided to stick with the standard All-Beef Hotdog of the Nicollet. Almost reminiscent of something a stoner would put together late at night, this well-sized creation is covered in Nacho Cheese, smeared with BBQ sauce, and then covered in various teepees of Flaming Hot Cheetos and Fritos.
Doesn’t this just hold the epitome of the Hipster Street Food movement? Not only is it formed of all pre-made condiments that go together deliciously, but one eats it at a place that encourages one of the oldest facial trends in popular history. The hot dog itself, for a sourced all-beef, is quite tasty; I very much enjoy the style of preparation, splitting each of their dog’s (well, the ones made of meat) down the middle and griddling. Creates an interesting presentation, spreads the dog’s volume out a bit, but ultimately I just love a grilled wiener (if I didn’t put the grilled in I think that would’ve sounded dirty… okay it still does a bit).
Bun is nice and soft; I can’t tell if they make it themselves or source it (probably source), but either way it’s a very good quality hot dog bun. Though it brings up that oh-so-common and sore subject again that I wish they would actually toast the thing; if the dogs were simpler and more traditional, I would probably argue in the other direction (it’s just plain nostalgic, old-school rules; I couldn’t think of Natedogs in a toasted bun), however with the larger, upgraded meat and kicked-up toppings, the other components should follow through just as well.
Sadly, I did not have the previous knowledge and foresight to order a side of fries, and I am now highly regretting it. Forming quite the reputation purely on these lovelies, Mustachios supposedly takes quite the twist and batters the thick potatoes before their final cooking phase. Though I try my best to base my opinions purely on personal experiences and logical conjecture, I can’t help but think this idea heard from word-of-mouth would yield anything but an interesting, tasty side to get with one’s dog.
… they’re all hot dogs, what else is there to say? Well, besides the fact that the toppings may be a BIT messy and, of course, ordering with the fries requires the use of two hands. Also, serving in a small basket immediately requires holding in one hand while eating with the other, but it’s almost completely unnoticed.
The one really weird thing about this truck (and considering this is a truck with a giant Mustache painted on all sides, that’s saying something), they didn’t put prices on the chalkboard menu. Well, not for the dogs; Fries had a $3 tag next to it. The Nicollet itself is $6, and though I can’t prove it I assume the other dog-based options are the same. At the very least, differences in price should only span up to $7 maximum, probably $5 max for the Carrot-Dog (at least it should be… it’s a freakin’ carrot for god’s sake). It’s quite a bit of money for dog, but the sausages used ARE bigger than average, and the buns are nice. However, comparing to Nate’s (Handmade) at $4, one logically starts to weigh the two back n forth.
Mustachios stands out uniquely as one of the few (actually, I think it’s the only… to somewhat of a surprise) Trucks to offer a Fry-Drink Combo package with one’s meal. With a $2.50 pricetag, its competition with fast food may be… well fast food beats everyone, but for our Street culture it’s quite something.
Pretty darn fast, the dogs have… practically no real weight to them, just gotta get those toppings on. Fries are likely to take a little bit of time though, considering.
The TOE: 10
One of the very few times I feel I need to actually explain this; again, it’s called Mr. Mustachios and has giant handlebar mustaches displayed all around it. If one can’t go here and feel they’re taking part in the Foodie/Hipster/Unique-and-Quality-Street-Food culture in any way, then they just won’t be able to feel it anywhere.
Good both for those looking at a quick, small meal at lunch or more of a complete meal, grabbing a dog or dog+combo respectively. Far as I can see, all dog options are great and suggestible depending on one’s flavor interests, and if I were stretched to suggest certains I would deem it as such:
The Nicollet is the main, and a great way to get a feeling for their entire idea on Pub Dogs; ultimately the option if one’s looking for something really fun. If you just want the best thing on the menu… I would probably go the Nordeast, Polish with Stone Mustard and Coriander-Sauerkraut, always fantastic; also check out various seasonal dogs. Also probably one of the best and most interesting options for Vegetarian street-goers; can’t say many (well, any) other places turn a carrot into a full-on delicious hot dog experience.
Definitely one of the ideals to focus on when looking for a Side Dish in a Truck Day/Lunch, particularly in the Fry department (reasons are as previously stated).
On one last note, I’m not sure if their Street menu (not including parked outside of Nomad) will ever include those other Pub Foods, but if they do I suggest staying away; already I cannot think of experiencing this truck without some delicious sausage between those soft buns… not to mention a hot dog (BOOM BABY!… okay I’m sorry…). Of course though, this is an opinion that may easily be changed upon experiencing it, which I certainly shall upon the soonest chance I have for a non-dog option from them.
Until then, don’t forget to groom your (real or pretend) mustache and “Put some MEAT in your Mouth!”