Vellee Deli at Crema Cafe: the Visit

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                It’s been so long, I had actually forgotten how much I missed Vellee Deli. But with their recent Pop up venture at the Crema Café (home of the local Sonny’s Ice Cream), I had a chance to visit them once more in the cold months and experience one of my favorite street food ventures once more.

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                Though still keeping their Breakfast/Lunch Menu, the popular neighborhood café now swaps its Dinner dining options for Vellee’s starting at 5pm, Thursdays through Sundays. The menu, unlike many other truck-turned-sit-down-affair businesses, still sticks purely with what is offered on the truck without anything new, though now we can get all three burritos that have been offered (if I’m correct they usually only do two of which at a time from the truck).

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                Which ended up great for me, since I was able to go along with a couple other people and grab a bevy of items, those yet unexperienced and a certain favorite. And unlike at the truck, one’s able to take advantage of Crema’s still-operating full drink offerings to grab something special, like say a couple nice beers or…

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                … a warm, fluffy, steamed-milk topped cup of their Homemade Chai Tea. Mmmmm, that was good on the snowy night we went. Let me say, I love my Chai, and though I’m no expert it’s certainly the best version of it that I’ve had so far (though Namaste Café comes in a close second, they certainly have the advantage in variety options); not to mention it sorta works nicely with the Korean/Asian cuisine.

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                Speaking of the cuisine, I finally got my hands on their Dragon Enchilada. Which, certainly, had a nice crispy crust and some tasty, gooey cheese-meat insides, though it ultimately didn’t wow me as much as some of their other options. I’ve certainly had much worse versions of it though, and if you’re an enchilada junky it’s a solid one to buy.

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                Now, the Chicken Currito (-cough- curry burrito), that’s back on the Vellee Deli tracks. Very distinct, delicious, and well-rounded, with that nice combo of mouthfuls of soft rice paired alongside tender, delicately yellow-flavored curry chicken, a creamy bright sauce and properly used crispy lettuce. Basically hitting that burrito perfection reminiscent of the better trips to Chipotle (cuz we all know there are the “good” Chipotle stores and the not so good), but of course with a very well-put ethnic flavor twist.

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                Of course, with it being my colleague’s first visit, we had to get the Bahn Mi. I feel there’s nothing I need to say about this than what I’ve said before; still the best bahn mi that I’ve had, truck or otherwise.

                The Café itself is pretty small, so it can be tricky finding seats during one of the “rush” periods, especially with a group, so if planning on visiting for a sit-down affair then it’s best to time things properly. But one doesn’t have to just come for Vellee, as my little group can attest; we had to end the night with some of their ice cream.

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                Yep, that’s a nice little display of flavors. We decided to grab a scoop each of Raspberry-Chocolate-Truffle, Butter-Toffee, and Chocolate-Almond. Delicious as always, though I say that about most ice cream…

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                Overall, a very fun and successful co-op venture into temporary mobile housing (yes, I could have said that in a much simpler way, but I chose not to! Ha!), it almost makes me feel sad that it shall only last 5 months. Then again, I want Vellee back on the street, so I guess I shouldn’t really complain. For those feeling the craving for their fare, or any Korean/Pan-Asian kind of meal, do take the chance to head on down for a bite, a drink, and/or a cool frozen snack. And until the season is over, I wish both the businesses luck and success in this slow-season strategy, and good eatings to all those traveling their way.

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WSK Restaurant Visit

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                Finally got the chance to visit and eat at WSK’s fun little uptown restaurant just the other day! Wish I could have gone when the outside sign was lit up, but the inside one had that covered.

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                With all the various blogs and pages that have recounted their own tale in here, I don’t really see much use in attempting a full review on my own (I’ll keep to the actual Trucks for that). Though a few pics and some recounting of my own wouldn’t be bad, and maybe if you still haven’t seen much on the place yet it could help convince a visit.

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                Nice, big menu full of the Truck Staples and similar items in all different flavors. If you can read all the way to the right, you can see an option for Soft Serve in delicious flavors like Salted Caramel and Mango; much better than the cheap vanilla and chocolate at an Asian buffet.

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                That’s Betty Lou…

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                Sadly, I was capable of reading that…

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                So a Beer it is! One of Indeed’s seasonal during happy hour (every day, 3-6, awesome).

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                As for food, I got the Tikki Chat, a little patty of Lentils and Chickpeas and other things, ladled with two sauces, one avocado and one bean-based, sour cream, and those little rice sticks. Though it’s not a good Chaat without some hot sauce on the side.

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                Luckily they have a nice little area for it. Not to mention a full cooler of Mexican Coke and Joia soda for those not thirsty for alcohol.

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                Overall I had a nice, fun little time on my study day. Though I don’t eat out too often, I certainly look forward to future chances to go back, and would love to show it to people getting into the Truck-foodie game; maybe a fun stop on a “Truck-Restaurant-Crawl.” I’ve already got two under my belt now, maybe I should stop by some others and figure out a fun day-plan concept…

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Doggy Art

            The Uptown Art Fair was this weekend, doing its part to display all our local talents while clogging up the streets as best it can! Being I never went there before, I decided to stop by with a friend to view the various events; though most of the time we just ended up drinking in a bar (better that than the over-priced, cheap stuff at the “Beer Garden.”)

            Normally I might do a little report on the proceedings, but I didn’t really take much pictures and it had nothing to do with Street Food, so I don’t really care.

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            Plus there’s that… thing. Ugh, it’s creepy. Worst part is I was eating some Paella when I saw it, did NOT help the situation.

            Though I did get a brief view of the Culinary Competition outside Kitchen Window when I got there. It’s too bad they didn’t have a good way to actually view what the chefs were doing, like a camera… everything was hidden by the booths. Still fun though.

            There was ONE Truck there of course, the good ‘ol nationally-known Zimmern truck AZ. My acquaintance decided to buy their AZ Dog for lunch, so lucky me I finally got a chance to take a picture and try it out!

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            And as hot dogs go it is a tasty one, good pickles and slaw on top, all that nice stuff, but once again definitely not worth a whole $8 (wasn’t it $7 just a bit ago?). Still best to look at other places for hot dog cravings.

            Well that’s it… small post for me, but that’s how it goes. Good Luck and Good Eating.

2013 Food Truck Fair in Uptown

http://mnfoodtruckfair.com/  

            So of course, despite it being tomorrow, I don’t actually find out about the 2013 Food Truck Fair until yesterday. Once again, I need to figure out how to find these things out sooner… well, at least I liked their Facebook page, so I shouldn’t be caught with my pants down as far as future Fairs are concerned.

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            Now, away from my bitching and onto the actual event!

            Coming off a complete and utter disaster in their first Fair (which was last year), it seems the organizers this year have put some drastic changes into play. In comparison to the previously high-costing, area-confined, limited-houred, enormously-crowded ordeal beforehand, this year’s event (from what I can tell) is attempting to follow a similar formula to the “Art-a-Whirl” style (though not as huge and widespread). Completely Free and taking place from 3-8 tomorrow, the website claims to have the fair located “In Uptown.” It states to be taking place on Hennepin and Lake, though with the immense list of Vendors (and free entrance) I can’t imagine them confining themselves to an enclosed area.

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            The actual Trucks and Vendors present are too many to list, and will be joined by a couple different Bands, our local Breweries and, same as last year, the Blue Door Pub, serving up their signature “Blucy.” Unlike last year, though, this year should yield a situation where people can actually try it without wasting half the time in line.

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            God, I wish I didn’t have plans that day! And starting at 3 too… it was actually during last year’s Fair that I started taking the idea for this blog very seriously. I had always thought it’d be fun and someone needed to do it, but talks with people in line, as well as the many shared reactions to the Fair’s obvious flaws and hopes for next year, started pushing me into actually planning it out. So disappointing that I am unable to celebrate this important moment for me with what looks to be a highly successful change in style and quality.

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            For those who can go, however, I wish you all the best luck and fun in this now-yearly celebration of our Mobile Culinary Culture! Though I may not be there in body, I shall of course join you in spirit!

            Don’t forget to report and tell me how it all goes either! Good Luck and Good Eating!