Main Location: Minneapolis

You know, I really like those big, flashy, Caribbean and Southern BBQ catering trucks we tend to see at various neighborhood events, music fests, etc. Sadly, mental quandaries still seem to abound in my head, ruining my desire to review them by dancing around my own arguable and annoying rules for what I consider a “food truck,” at least the kind that’s centered around this blog. They’re rarely if ever seen on the common streets or by breweries, the businesses are more a colorful catering vehicle (huge, by the way), not to mention the menus are often so relatively intimidating in scope, don’t think I’d ever be able to get through all I’d need for a review after even two visits!


Fade to Dredi’s, a relatively new (officially they opened last August, but I don’t think they were really even present until this year), shiny metal trailer box, or whatever they’re called, with a centered focus on one of the ubiquitous items seen in many Island catering trucks: the Jamaican Pattie.

To be specific, the BEEF Pattie. A savory package of stewed and lightly spiced ground beef enclosed in a somewhat flat, square little package of savory, craveably golden shortcrust (same style as pie) dough. This is sold as-is or “Full House,” an intriguing idea where it’s sliced horizontally and turned into a Sandwich with lettuce, tomato, and cheese. One can get either of these as-is, in drink+chip combos, or alongside your own bottle of “Ting,” a Caribbean Grapefruit Soda. But that’s it, nothing else on the menu to arduously ponder over.


So thankfully I finally have some sort of Caribbean truck on the scene; one of my favorite cuisines, I now have the chance to unabashedly review a business based on this spicy food subset. Now if only we can get some more out there to grab some proper Jerked Chicken Sammies!


Food: 6.5

             I don’t know what it is about pastry doughs, the flaky texture of a pie, the crunch of a shell, possible juxtaposition with a softer inside, or just a subconscious reaction to all that butter we know is in there, but you’ve just gotta love them. This one was nice, with good color and savory crunch in it. The filling itself was pretty good, a moist beef stew with a decent flavor of spices to it. Not extremely exciting, though, being all ground beef; especially as it’s the only option.

In particular I found noted disappointment in the “Full House,”or more particularly the toppings used in it. Just simple, cold slices of lettuce and soft tomato, neither of which seemed to be of great quality, standing on either side of a floppy, limp piece of cheap American cheese. A combo I expect to find in a fast food joint, only stuck on top of something that deserves much better.


Interestingly enough, though, the Ting didn’t remark upon me that much as-is (tasted like most lemon-lime sodas), it made a surpisingly nice pairing with the lightly spiced beef. Oh, and don’t forget to get some Hot Sauce!


Holdability: 9.5

              Much like Potter’s, these dough-enwrapped items make for the perfect walking snack on their own, coming in a simple brown sleeve one can slide down as needed (a-la McDonald’s hash browns). The Full House though, while still really well kept together, can be a touch messy with the inner stew now exposed, particularly when having one’s other hand full with a Ting.


Price: 9.5

               On their own the Pattie and Full House are $4 and $5 respectively, adding 50c for combos leaves a pretty good deal for one’s wallet. My only gripe is that the Ting is a set $2 with no seeming way to reduce, which isn’t even that bad on its own (I’ve paid that much for Mexican Coke on the Street… man that came out so wrong. You know what I mean).

Speed: 9.5

              Other than taking about a minute or so to cut and assemble a Full House (gotta be careful with that pastry crust), instantaneous delivery of warm pocket goodness.


The TOE: 4.5

               Though many of the points indeed hit home with ideal Food Truck operations (by my ratings), Dedri’s seems to be currently lacking full spirit behind the food they serve. It’s a great, perfectly mobile option with an interesting promise in the idea of turning it into the sandwich, but they haven’t really done anythingwith it. There’s only the one, really simple beef patty, of which they use only the most basic and cheap burger toppings for its transformation. I wanna see them have a few more options for filling, like a jerk chicken or pork or a starchy vegetarian (or whatever really), and then take it up a knotch with different KINDS of good, tasty sandwich toppings. Sauteed mushrooms, roasted peppers, sauces, not-shitty-cheese, bacon, it could be anything but not JUST what I got today. So much potential is behind this simple idea, but the lack of realizing even part of it in any exciting sense ends up bringing me down a bit further. I hope I can see them try some fun things in the future.

Tally: 39.5/50

Final Thoughts

For those requiring similar needs as the mobile greats such as Potter’s and Nate’s (hey it rhymes), grab yourself a Beef Pattie(with Hot Sauce!) and bottle of Tingfor a tasty $6 treat and drink on the street. Separate or together they’re also great as smaller, cheaper, not-so-filling in between snacks on the longer Food Truck Day ventures. And though interesting, I wouldn’t suggest getting the Full House until Dredi’s has updated the topping selection.

Hot Indian Foods




Main Location: Minneapolis + St. Paul

                 With a business idea for a Contemporary Food Brand, owner Amol Dixit soon realized that his wrapped product would work amazingly in Truck form. Using the Truck to build the brand while trying out various products; a mobile test lab, if you will.


            Basing off of his heritage and recent interests, Hot Indian Foods serve, what else, Indian cuisine. The particular name of the game is “Indurritos,” Burritos filled with various curries, Tikka Masala, stews, and other Indian-spiced mixes. I find it can be difficult to choose between the various fillings, but despair not! The Hi Flight offers customers the opportunity to try 3 different flavors over rice or as a selection of small “tacos”.


            On the same line of thought, one can also purchase a combo meal (so called the “Thin Moustache”), pairing the unique burrito with “Indi Frites” and one of their special, glass bottled Indian Sodas (though I saw they also had cans too… not sure if they switched or if it just depends on the day). It also seems, continuing along their concept of “testing,” breakfast Indurritos of Lamb and Egg are already finding their way on the menu.

            With these kinds of options, I don’t think I mind being a test subject.



Food: 9

               Grabbing a Hi Flight and Combo, I took the chance to try the Chicken Masala, Lamb, and Vegan Channa, each topped with a flavorful slaw of cabbage, mango, and cilantro (among other things). Though originally made from Tortilla, they now take to wrapping both Tacos and Burrito in Roti, or Indian Flatbread, for that next-level cultural experience and Truck Twist (again, I’m so sorry for confusing this with Raita!!). Each filling had that nice balance and richness one expects to find in Street Taco fillings, the soft stewed meat paired nicely along the crispy veggie-fruit topping. I almost wish I remembered to ask for some “heat” on one of the tacos just to see how it tastes (Indian food always does the good kind of spicy).

                 I’m gonna say it, I LOVE their fries! Using both regular and sweet potatoes, which are properly double-fried, the tubers seem to be dredged in flour (probably seasoned) before the fry, guaranteeing a big crunchy outside while the inside stays delightfully soft. This is a particularly great technique for the hard-to-fry sweet potatoes, and even more so when one cooks two kinds at the same time, ensuring consistency throughout the batch. Finally tossed with a sprinkling of Indian spices, these are paired with a deliciously sharp and powerful Garlic Mayo, matching nicely with their spices.

                 Though it’s not actually made by them, I feel I HAVE to bring up the sodas: a Lemon-Lime called “Limca,” which seems pretty popular already, and a Cola known as “Thumbs Up.” Being the Cola lover that I am, I had to get the latter, and I suggest you do too! A very nice, simple cola flavor boosted with the familiar rose water and other floral flavors found in the cuisine. I find it was balanced very nicely, offering up quite the pleasing experience.


                Overall, a great job on the food. The one point I find disappointment in, however, lies in the 3 mixes; though individually they all tasted great, there was little to no flavor distinction between the options. It seems a very similar, if not the same, spice and stew mix is used among the three fillings. One can of course still tell Chicken is chicken, Lamb lamb, etc, but it would be nice if each option had its own individual identity and flavors to further distinguish. Keep the Masala on the Chicken, maybe do a fresh Herb-Garlic mix on the Lamb, and maybe a different stew on the Vegan; there are so many flavors and vegetables I’ve seen done, maybe they can play with them more.

Holdability: 9

                Rice bowl options (don’t HAVE to have it in a burrito… said nobody) and fry combos aside, the Burritos are an ingenious way to get these classic flavors into our stomach with only one hand. The Hi Flight option, though, with its 3 tacos, requires a bit more consumer attention while mobile (especially when getting the combo. I basically had to stand still with the soda on the ground).


Price: 7.5

               Burritos stay at $9 or $10, a little high of an average for food trucks, but the Hi Flight offers a great deal to try multiple things at only $10. Follow that with a $13 Combo, one can spend only 3 extra dollars for good fries and quality soda, which is pretty darn good for a generously sized lunch such as that.

Speed: 8.5

               Though being stuck behind a plethora of other orders, I didn’t find my wait to be too ridiculous, and I would expect a shorter-than-average wait from this simple-to-build item (though still not instantaneous, especially for fries).

The TOE: 10

               Definitely fits into the unique “Food Truck” category, Hot Indian offers a simple but different, highly portable way to enjoy traditional flavors. I am SO digging the new Roti addition with their Tacos, once again a Truck making something I’m somewhat debating for Toe Ring material. There’s not much else I think I can say, this bright orange wagon brings everything we expect the Street Food experience should.


                         Tally: 44/50


Final Thoughts

            A fun one for those seeking to-gos, looking to sample, or needing a specialty beverage for whatever. The Hi Flight is great to try multiple flavors, but in the Street Food practicality sense it’s much better to just get a single Indurrito. Besides, one can get tacos in so many other places.

            From the current list of fillings, my suggestions would lead toward the Chicken Tikka Masala, always a tasty classic, and the Spinach Paneer. As for the latter, it doesn’t even have to be for vegetarian needs; Indian cuisine tends to have natural strength in the vegetarian department, so veggie dishes are almost always a sure bet when it comes to enjoyment. And this one I feel may be more unique and enjoyable than the Vegan Challah.

            Definitely one of the new top stops when looking for Fries. And of course, if needing a drink on the street, stop by to try a Thumbs Up.

SFC: Mexican Joe

           Been a while since I’ve done one of my cooking posts, even my last one 8 days ago was only two paragraphs.

            Well, had a nice night in yesterday, and with my cousin coming over for another one of our special anime-movie binges it was up to me for dinner. Since I still had almost a whole pack of hamburger buns leftover, but no hamburger patties, that little craving for Sloppy Joe’s decided to crawl up. Luckily I was going to the store anyways, so I could get whatever I still needed.

            You know me, I rarely like doing things normally (at least not for this blog), so I was thinking of how to change my Joe up (funny thing is, I didn’t even think about doing a post about it until after starting cooking; really shows how long it’s been right?), and dropped by that fantastic, super fresh, plastic-wrapped variety meat isle for my beef. In my search, I found a little tube of chorizo which, to my surprise, actually cost less than ground beef. Now, that’s probably a noted indication of the actual quality, but as I was penny pinching a bit, really wanted it, and didn’t have the time to make my chorizo, a plastic tube it is.

            Ultimately, I always suggest, as with any quality product, that one either make their own or ensure they buy a decent-enough version from a good store. To that end I found a post online which details the steps to the home chorizo process pretty well; would love to go through it myself, but as I didn’t actually do it I don’t have any pictures to back it up.


            One thing I’d like to add; make sure you wait at least a day before using your chorizo, that way you let the meat “cure” a little bit in the salt/spice mix, as well as allowing the flavors time to blend and settle.

            Now, back to my Joe. Start off with my onion, which I chop large a-la Rick Bayless when he makes his chorizo-onion taco filling. Add to a HOT pan (don’t forget that butter!) – these we are not caramelizing, nor are we sweating; the plan is to get them cooked but keep a little more of that nice little bit of onion texture in the final product.


            (Excuse the foggy picture, lotta steam in the room, haha) Chorizo is added, in my case squeezed out like a spicy, meaty toothpaste. Sorta creeped me out a bit, but I was prepared for weird-textured chorizo, so long as it cooked up to a tasty final.

            Didn’t want to do just a chorizo, so I grabbed a bag of diced, cubed chicken meat. If you’ve seen these things, in the same isle as the packaged and canned tuna, you open it up and it smells like cat food. This isn’t of course the chicken, but the weird liquid they decide to “preserve” it with. Definitely don’t use it if you have a choice, cook your own or get a better quality. But the parents like keeping it around to put on top of nachos, so I took advantage. Poured it in a strainer and washed thoroughly, the resulting is very plain diced of dried chicken, which I then chopped to a nice shred.


            Add this to the chorizo, which is now fried completely. At this point, one could easily stop and use this to fill whatever tortilla one has lying around for a nice lunch. However, we’re going for Joes, so more steps it is!


            I also had a really nice can of diced tomatoes and green chilies, so that went in as my sauce base. For some reason we didn’t have any of those “tomato sauce” cans (surprised me), and I needed more liquid to better allow things to “stew.” Quick fix; put some water in the empty can, swirl to get any leftover bits of tomato, and add. Gonna reduce almost all of it anyway. In the ideal world, would either puree a nice can of whole, peeled tomatoes, maybe add a bit of flavorful stock/broth and some Spanish wine to deglaze the pan.

            I wanna take a little break right now and talk about canned tomatoes. Some people reading at the moment may still be at the point of wondering “why would you choose canned tomatoes, shouldn’t you be suggesting we use fresh?” (For those who aren’t, just skip this, save the 10 seconds and do something fun!) And to a point the question is true; who wouldn’t want to use the freshest, richest flavored tomato that one can get?

            The thing is, we can’t get that tomato (at least not easily). Most store tomatoes, though good, aren’t at this heightened level of freshness and quality, especially since they’re gotten out of season. Canning, in opposition, gets a very bad rap as low-quality produce, which is only exacerbated by those bowls of horrible del monte green beans, peas, and beets we were forced to eat as children. True canning, though, was ultimately developed as a technique for preservation, and when it comes to tomatoes this aspect shines. Real canned tomatoes hold a lot of quality in them; they’re peeled/diced/crushed (depending on style) soon after being picked, and canned immediately. Like this, they still hold almost all of their flavors, while at the same time creating this flavorful little tomato-liquid we can use in our cookings. This as opposed to a stem of out-of-season picked tomatoes that have been sitting in a box for who knows how long.

            If one looks, one can find even higher quality, organically made canned tomatoes. So unless one has their own garden of this little vegetable-turned-fruit, and doesn’t need it in a purely raw sense, don’t be remiss to take a pause in the tomato section of the canned veggies.

            Alright, that’s another ramble done, I still need to finish this sandwich. Remember, even if one has a quality-made chorizo, and especially if they don’t, taste the Joe after it’s been stewing for a bit. I’m glad I did, as I found the spices quite lacking where I wanted them to be, so a quick trip to the spice pantry and I fixed that up nicely. Not to mention one always need to adjust their basic Salt-Pepper seasonings.


            Tomatoes and onions are soft, everything is blended to that fine “Sloppy Joe smudge,” and the liquid is reduced enough, dinner was finally ready. As with all Joe’s, we don’t bother with toasting the bun, as the true height of the Joe is that LACK of textural components. We savor in the uniform softness, taking our joy in how the simple white bread soaks up the flavorful meat-sauce.

            Top it with shredded cheese (Mexican Mix, of course), and we now have our “Mexican Sloppy Joe w/ Chorizo and Chicken.” I think it turned out good overall, very tasty final product. If I were to think of the “ideal” method for making this again, though, think I’d stick with pure Beef Chorizo and onions, and for the sauce use a really good, spicy Red Mole, some Queso Fresco for the cheese. That would just be awesome I think.


            Though it’s not a true Mexican meal without some Mexican, Glass-bottled, pure-sugar Coke. A side of tortilla chips to pick up all the Joe that fell out.


            And for later on in the night, to better celebrate the warmth after the December-reminiscent snowfall, a bit of Mexican Hot Coco. Not sure how proud Rick Bayless would be at the night, but I think he’d at least appreciate the effort.

Potter’s Restaurant 2: First Visit

                While spending the day with my cousin, we both got the delightful opportunity to spend our lunch at the newly opened Potter’s Pastiesrestaurant.” It’s rare I get the chance to actually go down to eat at sit-down locations (at least compared to my various Food Truck ramblings of course), so I was very excited to hit it within three days of the opening.


                Located in Dinkytown near the intersection of 19th and Como (for those like me who don’t actually frequent that location… memorize the directions. I won’t go into detail about our travel there… it’s too shameful), Potter’s has taken its residence underneath a local convenience store and deli.


                The entrance, as the sign says, is in the back. We didn’t actually notice this at first, so we spent about 5 minutes trying to figure out how to get Potter’s from inside the store… don’t judge us, it was an off day.


                Yeah, not exactly hard to miss the entrance once you get back there… Potter’s is sticking to their flamboyant British self. Oh yes, and that’s my cousin… now that I think about it, he sticks his tongue out on almost all the pictures he poses for me.


                Once in, one heads down a simple staircase, the walls decorated in Potter’s trademark colors and London fare. Now do what the sign says and carry on…


                … all the way down to the bottom, where one gets to Potter’s window of excellence. Now, as you saw, they don’t exactly qualify as a restaurant (thus the quotations); they’re a hole, a corner, a little booth in a dark corner (there’s probably a proper term, but I forget it). And you know what? They’re absolutely awesome!


                The giant black wall in the back is covered in their menu listings (though for a more mobile way to read, they have some small laminated offerings). Besides the truck regulars, this includes an option for smaller pasties, Pork Pies (held in the Mini-fridge alongside drinks and Yesterday’s Pasties, only $4), and a “Couch Change Pastie” for the monetary challenged. Supposedly this uses puff pastry instead of their regular dough, and is of course smaller.


                After reviewing the menu with the bandana-covered employee, who graciously pointed out a few features of their awesome kitchen (not to mention stopping for a pose), we made our decisions and got our food, which took about as long as it does in the Truck (in that wait is… well, there is none).


                Had to of course stop for napkins and forks before heading up, taking the time to admire Potter’s Rack of Condiments, Heinz Beans, British Candy Bars, and their own Pickle mix, the latter 3 all available for purchase. As for seating, though they currently have none, plans are in the work to bring in tables outside once the weather warms up. For the moment, we took residence in the convenience store (along with a glass bottle each of pure sugar Sprite and Fanta… now that’s quality) and chowed down.


                Of course we normally wouldn’t need to sit, but I wanted to try their Pork Pie. Traditional British pastry, the meaty and fatty ground pork is covered in a thick layer of natural gelatin, wrapped in a specially-made pie crust. I was surprised to find they didn’t use the same dough as for their pasties… though I’m not sure if I like it or not. On the one hand, I love the special attention to the pie, but on the other I sorta miss the feeling of using one awesome crust for multiple endeavors. As for the pie as a whole… they say it’s best eaten cold (natural, most traditional English Meat Pies are), but it’s just meh. I seriously suggest taking it home and heating it (in the OVEN, no micro); like that, it’s absolutely fantastic with the rich, meaty gelatin-sauce, toasted crust, and hot pork meat.


                 Had to get a Pastie, and for the special today they had a coffee-rubbed Pork with Goat Cheese and Cherry Compote. Again, no reason to go into details, cuz it was just as delicious as always.

                Overall, let me just say this. If this place does not become consistently packed with customers after a few months, I will be shocked. This is the kind of unique, special little holes in the wall that any Foodie just goes insane for. There’s an air, a mystery to it, you have to go through a little journey to get there, and at the end you’re just face-to-face with a hole in a wall that dishes out deliciously hot, edible hand-warmers. Ultimately very reminiscent to the same reasons which Marvel Bar has received its own cult following. To tell the truth, I wouldn’t be surprised if this got featured on a Travel Channel or Food Network in the coming years (in fact, if it didn’t, I would be downright pissed).

                Potter’s Pasties has created the perfect little outlet for their non-mobile (besides delivery) Food Service, and go through it without losing any hint of the experience one gets at the Truck; if anything, they’ve added more to and enhanced it. I am so happy for their success in this venture, and wish them all the best luck in the future. Can’t wait to visit sometime soon when I’m in the area.


                On a side note, I would like to make mention of the convenience store they share the building with. It’s a pretty cool little store, and they have some nice items. Like a mentioned, they actually offer the Mexican, all-sugar sodas (Coke too), and on the way out me and the cousin spotted my favorite Italian ice cream, Talenti. Didn’t get a full review, but I’m sure one can find some more interesting items, as well as a Deli counter that I’m sure is anything but low quality.

Dandelion Kitchen






Main Location: Minneapolis

            The second of Nicolette Mall’s mainstay catering “trucks,” Dandelion Kitchen offers fresh-produce sandwiches with a high focus on local and organic. Next to that, they also make their very own Sodas, with flavors from Basil Lime to Rosemary Grapefruit. Due to the true pickiness of quality organic ingredients, their menu will shift and change throughout the season.

            At least, they say it does… personally whenever I walk by I keep seeing the same things; it’s probably only one or two items that change. Since their start 3 years ago, the menu has slightly expanded with more options (and two more sodas). Keeping the original Grilled Ham and Brie, BLT w/ Avocado, and Roast Chicken, Dandelion has added Charcuterie to their arsenal, offering a Copa and Duck Confit now.


            A note to consider, Dandelion often tends to be one of the first stands to call it a day with even the slightest of weather changes. They rarely, if ever, are out during rain, cold, or sometimes just grey clouds. Obviously one can say this about a lot of trucks, but even those will often stay and consider things for a bit before leaving. I literally once read a twitter from Dandelion saying that they had traveled all the way down to Nicolette, set themselves up, were getting ready when it started to rain. They then, without a second thought, immediately packed things up and left; despite all the time and effort it takes for a truck to set up for a day, and without even seeing if their might be SOME people early on who would have wanted food.

            Part of this little blog that I’m doing revolves around all the little things within this food truck world that I react to, then sharing it with everyone who reads this so that I’m not the only one aware. These are things that, I believe, should be known by the reader and searcher. Even if at the end of the day it doesn’t mean anything.

Food: 5.5

            I really hate putting a score like this; the ingredients are so fresh, such good quality, and taste so good individually. Their sandwich ideas are pretty good too, and have a great potential for being that great, refreshing lunch to have in the middle of summer. However, both times that I went there, I just ended up being immensely DISAPPOINTED.

           Here is why: the bread. It is a very good quality peasant bread, I won’t deny that, but it is just not good for sandwiches (least off all the delicate, fresh kind that Dandelion makes). The bread is literally so tough and chewy, my jaw started feeling sore at the end of each session. Sadly, that’s not all of it either; the combination of ingredients in the sandwich has great potential for something fantastic… but it has always fallen short.


          There has always been “one little thing” that skewed the end result in such a way that you want to collapse in sadness… cuz it was so close. The BLT had way too thick avocado slices which overwhelmed the delicate heirlooms and farmer’s bacon, and the mustard on the Chicken Sandwich did the same. Dialed back a little bit, each of those sandwiches would have been amazing (minus the bread); but they didn’t, and they weren’t, so you got what you got.

           Normally I would have scored lower, but there is one very bright point in this place: the sodas. They are so refreshing, so flavorful and perfectly crafted; it is worth a trip and small wait in line just to get one on its own.

Holdability: 7.5

            Despite some disappointments, the sandwiches are still perfect street food. Slid into a Dandelion-colored paper sheath, it is not that difficult to walk around and eat; sandwich in one hand, soda in the other. Due to the nature of them, however, the ingredients may fall out a little easier than others (sandwiches are split completely from side to side, not connected on one side like a hot dog bun; the general style that most street food does for longer rolls). Not to mention that one may often have to grip with both hands just to bite through the thick, chewy bread.

Price: 9

            Around $6.50 for most menu items, which were made with good organic ingredients, is ultimately a pretty good deal. The range stays pretty close from what I remember as well, so at least it doesn’t stretch the wallet.

Speed: 7

            On their site I see reviews and hear mention of how they get your order out “fast and quick,” however considering the kind of line I see most times I walk by, and the kinds of sandwiches which need to be assembled, I am highly doubting that. Fast for them maybe, and possibly quick for their type of food served, but there are certainly quicker alternatives.

The TOE: 8

             Disappointments in the food aside, Dandelion uses fresh, local ingredients to make a variety of street-easy sandwiches. They have started playing with delicious charcuterie, and seriously they MAKE THEIR OWN SODA; which I believe is held in some kind of pony keg too. You really get the “feeling” of a healthy, natural sandwich shop when you go there. For that they excel, for a good many food truck is nothing if you don’t feel like you have been transported somewhere else.

             Oh, and their truck is a big, noticeable bright yellow.

                         Tally: 37/50

Final Thoughts

            When I do a “food truck day,” I always love to stop by here as my official “drink truck.” If the line is short enough, get one of their specialty sodas to sip on a hot day or to enjoy with another Truck’s food (get the food first, otherwise the soda will be gone by the time you get to it).


            Until there is confirmation by them or somebody who has eaten there that they have officially switched to a much more suitable sandwich bread (for either some or all), I would avoid the food entirely. The soup would probably be good for a cold, rainy day… if they’re still out.