Main Location: Minneapolis
Opening right at the beginning of the 2013 season, Moral Omnivore (MO for short… really, they call it that, I’m not trying to be a smartass here) already stands out from the crowd. Big and green, the contemporary-reminiscent color-scheme and tree-design separates it from the crowd immediately, and only helps to communicate this Truck’s theme. Owned by Philosophy Major Ross, who also works as a restaurant GM, and his wife Linnea (also philosophy graduate), MO’s goal stays pure and simple to a sustainable, organic, and ultimately ETHICAL mission statement (Not surprising with a name reminiscent of a certain Michael Pollan novel).
Looking at the menu, one might think they’re trying to shove vegetarian and other healthy ideologies down our throats. In reality, these mostly healthy food options only act as a beneficial side effect to their real cause. Options themselves seem to range in a few key styles, the regular focus being their signature Fried Tomato BLT and Beet Sliders (regular or gluten-free buns), followed by a couple Salad options, and some changing items that, ultimately, all stay very well within the “street food” range. On my visit they had an amazing looking “Wellington Burger,” and at times they have a Curried Lentil Taco made with a WAFFLE SHELL! I want that so bad right now!
On side notes, they also offer a possibility for “Fries” made from Portobellos dipped in batter (I believe they said it was gluten-free… or just organic, but either way good), fried, and seasoned with curry. They also hand-make cookies from an organic recipe; I may not have been in the mood for one at the time, but they do look tasty. A few Minnesotan sodas line the drink options.
Along with their Menu choices, MO regular takes part in Food Shelves and other such charities. Holding an “Eat Your Heart Out” day every week, 5% of all proceeds that day goes to Minnesota charities; so don’t be afraid to seem gluttonous if ever catching them at those times.
I’m still not done talking about things they do. Besides carting around various options of ethical, delicious food, MO also sells bamboo silverware sets, hand-made tiled blackboards (I think… maybe they’re just for decoration), and I’m guessing various other sustainable items at some point in the future.
I could probably say more, but I’m starting to get hungry and semi-disappointed in my life choices, so onto the Food section so I can finish and get something to eat.
Lucky for us, much like Tiki Tim’s, MO offers a combo option for a couple of their favorite items. As such I was able to get both the Beet and Fried Tom BLT. Still, I very much wish I could have gotten more, so many of their items looked very interesting and tasty.
Each slider comes in a small, fluffy handheld package of joy, the bread very well suited (and TOASTED) to eating these tiny sammiches. As for the fillings, I can safely say they stand up completely. To my surprise, red tomatoes are used in the Fried BLT, vs the traditional green for cooking; still, I found the flavor was nice, and staying closer to the traditional blt, while overall it still held its structure just as well. The bacon must be special, as I can swear it tastes better than others; and considering their motto is “from bacon to beets,” it’d be weird if it wasn’t awesome in some way. My absolute favorite, though, was the Beet, and for one simple reason: Texture. When people cook beets (especially when sliced like that), one of two things usually happens: it’s either undercooked and still firm, or it’s really soft (still tasty and delicious though). While cooked completely, this slice of beet still had a texture that at first made me worry was undercooked, but one’s teeth cuts right through, achieving a perfect “al dente” that just accentuates the false meaty qualities of the Beet. The smoked gruyere was a nice touch on top. As for the various mustard sauces, slaws, etc used on top of their respective, all made very well.
Salads all look pretty good, with actual effort put into making them, roasted some nice root veggies to act as a base. As for the burger, I have no idea what “buffalo-caramelized onions” are, but I’m damn sure to find out soon… the burger I saw going buy looked quite the epitome of juicy goodness.
I have slight worries about the mushroom fries, considering the higher water content naturally in the fungus, frying them can be tricky. Though considering the level of the simple vegetable sliders, and a pic I saw of them in Thrillist, I would hold little to no doubts of their capability of delivering.
Though seeming almost overflowing, the sliders hold the various stuffings surprisingly well. In fact, minus the highly loaded burger, all main items seem to offer easy eating in one form or another. Both hands required due to basket, but again little issue. The real star here though is the salad; placed in a small sphere of plastic, then kept in small pieces, they’ve created an almost perfect way to enjoy these on the go.
Great range, $6-$8 for mains, they offer a $7 combo, and an amazing price for a salad option, only $3. With a volume of small-cut , very well prepared veggies and leaf equivalent to a large clenched fist, this equates to one of the better deals in the Truck industry. A cookie is $1.50, and the basket of “fries” is $4.
Simple basic speed, any amount of wait makes sense. Salads are prepared ahead of time and offer immediate satisfaction.
The TOE: 10
With all intents and purposes, this is not a Truck one can even slightly hope to misunderstand, let alone refute, what their mission goals and styles actually are even upon first visit. They state it clearly on the Truck, follow through in the Menu, and add a few extra points just-in-case. One goes here, and they get that clear sense of “place,” that one really is experience something true to its own self.
Let me say this too; Sassy Spoon could learn a few things from MO. Almost all (hell, it actually is all I think) of their items are already sticking to or similar enough with the “Nutrition/Health Food” style of Sassy’s, only they’ve actually succeeded in transforming them into proper Street Food at reasonable and logical prices. And at the end of the day, they do it simply, without any actual effort, while still sticking true to who they are. Once again, they’ve proven my point on how not difficult this process actually is, and the sort of results it can lead to.
I am so proud of and impressed with this upcoming Truck, and truly wish them all the best luck in their future endeavors.
Very bright, open to conversation, and highly accommodating (I actually thought their burgers didn’t have any buns at first when I saw one, only to find out it was just a request for that customer, haha). They hold a very warm sense to them, which as one can see is highly communicated among customers (thus the added point).
Few specific draws, overall a great Foodie truck or for those just getting into the Food Truck Culture. I will definitely say, if you’re looking for a Salad during your lunchtime adventure and need it to-go, this is certainly the place to be. They do them well, in a good lunch-time portion, and at a very good price (probably better than most salads one gets in the skyway… or restaurants).
When visiting, my suggestion is pure and simple: Beet and Fried Tomato Slider Combo. This is great for those, like me, who rarely visit places often, thus allowing one to try more than one option at once for the same price. Both of these sliders are also highly delicious and worth it. The other option I would stress is that Taco made from a Waffle Shell whenever they have it; it’s quite the fun, interesting menu item, very Foodie-appealing.
At the end of the day, if ever one starts to raise their curiosity about carbon footprints and looks to places that which it can be reduced, the Moral Omnivore is certainly a place to pay attention to.