The Red Pig and Truffle

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https://www.facebook.com/TheRedPigAndTruffle

Main Location: Minneapolis, Etc

            A few months after Lulu’s initial announcement and The Red Pig and Truffle is here! Starting at a couple breweries (I found my visit lead to the now-familiar Harriet Tap Room), they have already worked themselves down into the main Minneapolis scenes.

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            As its own, completely-separate mobile operation to its sister (as opposed to an “offshoot”), Red Pig chooses to turn its focus completely onto the Sandwich road. Splitting their menu (literally) between Cold and Hot/Panini, the Pig relies on a variety of the ever-familiar styles, adding in a little extra something now and then. Offerings can include a Turkey Pesto, Roast Beef w/ Horseradish n Pickled Onion, a hot and cold Caprese, Reuben, Grilled Cheese w/ Prosciutto, and most notably their BLT using a ½lb of Bacon (that’s a lotta red pig…).

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            And that’s about it for them really. Refreshments are as you see; a pretty staple glass-bottled variety steering away from the canned basics. Guess I just need to act like a pig and dive in.

 

Food: 9

            After much debate on the right option for overall reviewing, I feel quite happy in my choice of the Roasted Turkey with Pesto, one of the sandwiches on the cold side. Though I will say I wish I hadn’t eaten lunch an hour or so beforehand, cuz that fella was MUCH bigger than I thought it’d be, haha.

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            Set on a (slightly toasted/griddled) focaccia/ciabatta-reminiscent, soft and rich and chewy, rectangularly shaped bun, this sandwich is stuffed with all the staples in the turkey-pesto lineup. A nicely moist (or not dry… not sure what words to use for thin-sliced cold cuts) meat, slices of provolone, tomato, a mixed green salad on top of the herb paste, and of course BACON, which is able to come through nicely among the full flavors of the mix. Overall everything tasted pretty good, combining into a very bold, rich, and satisfying version of the modern deli classic. The only thing I have note of, and it’s probably just me, is just that… I sorta wish the cheese were melted a little. I know, it’s a cold sandwich, so I should expect it, but still… it feels weird just eating slices of cold cheese like that in a sandwich, at least from a Food Truck or Restaurant. I so just wish they’d just press the bread with the cheese in the Panini a bit before filling with everything else… but again, that’s my ideal, they’re making their style of cold sandwich and it’s still damn good.

            As for the rest of the menu, it’s all pure speculation. Considering the quality of the bacon, though, I can bet the BLT is as good as it sounds, and one can probably assume the other sandwiches are put together with the same care and richness as those reviewed.

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Holdability: 7.5

             For a big-ass, stuffed, non-pressed sandwich it held pretty damn well, so no requirement for sitting down. I predict various other sandwiches will allow similar walkability, needing only one hand to hold the basket and the other to munch.

Price: 8.5

             $8 for every sandwich, and for most there’s a LOT of sandwich to go with it, so it’s a pretty good bang after your buck; a bit sad that there’s no variably-priced offerings, but I guess that’s what Lulu is for.

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Speed: 7.5

              Regular, average speed.

The TOE: 8

               With a stand-out name and focused, sandwich-based menu, Lulu’s brother truck easily shares much of its poignant and stand-out properties in the ever-growing rally of our truck scene. The owner chef’s experience with his last two trucks is apparent, particularly in the food quality. My one noted drawback, however, comes in a lack of any one unique, signatory/stand-out  item; though the sandwich concept is set down very well, always great, I’m still finding myself searching for at least one menu item to hold up as a Food Truck Highlight. There’s nothing that feels exceptionally unique to them, or particularly “special;” nothing I’d immediately think of when asked about the best/funnest Foods in our truck line-up. The ½lb of bacon is certainly a start, but it’s on a BLT; it’s so hard to get excited when there are so many people doing them. I found it created a bit of a hazy aspect in my mind as I looked from the truck and over the menu, detracting the initial, strong aura slightly as I struggled to find something slightly signatory.

                          Tally: 40.5/50

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Final Thoughts

            A really good place if you want something portable and filling, or if you’re a grilled cheese addict looking for another hit (please don’t take it up the nose though… it just gets messy). It’s a pretty difficult menu for me to pick “must haves” from the others, overall it’ll depend on your own tastes, but if I WERE to narrow it down I would stick to 3 main options:

            3-Cheese Melt (or similar) for the grilled cheese buffs or those looking for something not-so-huge. Roasted Turkey/Beef sandwiches for the big, munchy, full lunch experiences (and for a VERY well-made cold cut sandwich). And the BLT (with all its smoky, salty, bacon glory) as somewhat of the main stand-out. Though I doubt one can ever go wrong with many of their other items; I find myself tempted to see how their Reuben is… does it stand up to the gooey, crispy slice of heaven that Home Street Home has created? (if I ever find out I’ll be sure to post my thoughts on it)

            Overall, if you’re looking to spend about $8-ish on a Truck Lunch, this certainly isn’t a bad stop to make.

Bacon Trolley

Bacon-Trolley

http://bacontrolley.com/

https://twitter.com/bacontrolley

Main Location: St. Paul

            In the last year, St. Paul experienced something wonderful; the arrival of a Choo Choo carting cured, smoked pork belly, so-called the Bacon Trolley. What really can I say about this bright red food cart made from an actual small trolley?

           Every single damn item has bacon (well, except the fries… boooooo), of which mostly comprises some kind of sandwich and the random taco.

           … it seems many places can’t stand opening up a food stand without a taco… oh well, they taste good.

            The plethora of pork is turned into a very interesting and tasty variety of options. Including a bahn mi made with rich, fatty pork belly (if you have never had pork belly before, this is a good excuse), popcorn tossed with bacon, and a sandwich called the SPANKER! shoved full of all different types of pork (one of which I think is cooked with beer or something… they said so many delicious things I sort of blanked out). Even some bacon to go (seriously, just regular slices of bacon… to go).

B-T 1

            Personally, I don’t get the last one too much, as it’s just regular thin-sliced bacon in a pack (was hoping for the big, meaty bacon like at the Fair), but you gotta admit it’s convenient… and still bacon!

Food: 8

            Pork Belly and Bacon is fantastic, and the sandwiches are great for those with the craving of the salty, meaty goodness; no words can be truly said for the SPANKER!. However, though the Bahn Mi has good bread and ingredients, I would not say it is the best of your options, certainly in the top 5. The rest of the menu sticks with simpler pleasures; both the BLT and Bacon To-Go are good but lack the extra qualities and ingredients to really make you pray to the Gods of Pork on their own. Fries tend to cost more if you want them.

Holdability: 8

             Varies. The Bahn Mi and Bacon easy for one hand; Tacos and BLT for two; popcorn is popcorn; and I imagine one really needs to find a seat for the SPANKER!… quite a messy beast, though worth it.

Price: 8

           Most of the prices are the same as their score; the popcorn comes in really affordable, but the SPANKER! comes in a couple bucks higher, so overall it’s decently priced but at the very slightly higher end.

rdm 0011 bacon trolley

Speed: 8

           Good and average, no worry about wait.

The TOE: 10

            For the love of god, it is a TROLLEY that sells BACON, that is its THEME! That alone completely fills the slot for the real food truck attitude, not to mention the creation of the SPANKER! (ask them about it, it’s quite something). It is the unique focus of a truck on something such as this that usually acts as one of those particular unknown factors that makes you remember and keep coming back.

                       Tally: 42/50

Final Thoughts

            If you don’t have any worries on cutting back lunch costs or have saved up slightly and just want some PORK, go for the top sandwiches and find your happy place. It’s also a good place to stand in front of and take pictures.

           For those relaxing in the city park or walking around, the Bacon Popcorn is a fun $2 snack to keep your tongue’s full attention.