Saturday, May 5, 2012

Brothers Boots and Spike, brings us Southern Barbeque with San Diego Attitude.
Truckin' since October, 2011, Boots says their inspiration just comes from the Love of Cooking! They went with the truck over a brick and mortar because they wanted to be the Masters of their own destination, and destiny.  This is something they hope will stay in the family for generations to come.

Developing their flavor for well over 30 years, the brothers serve up their labor of love to us hungry consumers in the form of pig, cow and chicken slow smoked for "give or take" 17 hours with oakwood.

Spike being the Sauce Man and Boots being the Meat Man the combine their super BBQ powers combined they form Slow Cal BBQ. They are recognized by the Kansas City BBQ Society, 2nd place winners of the East County Food Truck Wars and they took 1st place in the Rematch.

Some of their biggest sellers are their Slow Cal Oinker and the OG.
Spike says, "This is the best BBQ in Southern California, if you don't believe me, come try it for yourself."
I asked him what his personal favorite was and he said, "Oh, that'd be the Dirty Mama."

Then he smiled at me and said, "We're slow
smoked and all attitude." and we had a good laugh about it.

You can tell the brothers definitely have a great sense of humor, especially when you see things like their signature "Piggy Pops" which are delicious Red Velvet (you know I love it) cake pops made to look like the swine we swoon for.

I had even joked when I bit into it after seeing the red, I said, "Looks a bit bloody." and they both laughed.

But enough about that! Let's get to the great eats! Let me introduce you to, THE OINKER!

Look at that and tell me that doesn't make your mouth water! Believe you me its BBQ to be respected!
The pork was extremely fork tender and had great flavor and the taste was only heightened by their signature sauce.  It was sweet but not overpowering and it was fascinating how the bread cut down the sweetness and really let the spice of the sauce come through. The coleslaw right on the sandwich made for a great textured crunch.  They've definitely proven that the Kansas City BBQ Society Certificate belongs in their window.

Thanks again boys!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Coming Soon - As in like, later today!

Lots of things been going on!

However now that my site is up and running, and doing very well from the numbers, THANK YOU, I can focus back on the reviews :)

Here is what I will be writing about in just a few hours:

 Slow Cal's Oinker

Operacaffe's Pork Shank


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Thai 1 On - Spicy Basil Fried Rice w/ Shrimp

Introducing Thai 1 On! Truckin' since November of 2011, two brothers, Scott and Pat, and Chef Enrique have been active in Gatherings all over San Diego! Having formed the SD Food Truck Alliance, this group of trucks takes regular "field trips" to places like Anahiem, Temecula, Redlands, Vegas, and the Del Mar Fair Grounds, and active supporters of Meals on Wheels.

Not many trucks can say that they have their own mascot!
This is Mango the Tiger! Mango enjoys all manner
of food but loves Thai 1 On's Chicken Satay. I guess that's why he is stuck like glue to the side of their truck.

Scott and Pat's family taught them how to cook traditional Thai food, and they took the skills they learned to a higher level by getting the
truck and "bringing a beach feel" to the food.
Traditional and Non-Traditional alike, you can find it both on the truck.

Using Choice meat and local produce, they said their food is meant to be "relaxed, inviting food." and while it certainly is inviting food, I wouldn't plan on taking a relaxing food journey, oh no. This food makes your tongue dance in your mouth! From their new Panang Shrimp Pasta to their famous Drunken Noodles!

Let us start with the Curry Fries. I told them just to give me a small portion so I could try them, they hand me a small bucket and tell me it's a half order of fries! Not that I can complain! I have never tasted anything like them before. The flavor is awesome, and if the fries themselves aren't spicy enough for you, they come with a dipping sauce of Sriracha aioli. The fries are thick cut, which is always appreciated, and the sauce is creamy and flavorful.

The Spicy Basil Fried Rice with Shrimp was just delicious in every sense of the word. The stirfry sauce is homemade and a closely guarded secret, but what I can tell you is that the rice contains garlic chili, Black Tiger Shrimp (they ain't messin' around), onions and fresh Thai Basil, and topped off with green onions.
Believe you me, the dish has some heat to it but its not so hot that you can't taste the other ingredients. Its a sweet spicy and definitely full flavor, but will clear your sinuses and appease your mouth at the same time.
No complaints here! I definitely give both of these dishes thumbs up and I will VERY much so be dreaming of those fries.

Looking forward to my next visit with you boys!

Delicioso - Torta

Since the last time we left Jorge, there have been
many, many wonderful things happening for the
Delicioso Truck.
Despite having mechanical difficulties, replacing the engine, Jorge says they are back with a vengeance!

But the engine is not all that is new! They now carry an array of new sodas, and frituras which is a sort of Mexican pork rind, and a new Veggie and Shrimp Sandwich.

Jorge has been very busy working with charities and donating 20% of profits to Muscular Dystrophy, and Project Walk.
He has been catering a lot at colleges and elementary schools, and once a week  he has been hooking up with AT&T to sponsor free food for the poor.    Truly great work, Jorge! We commend you!

So, what did my tastebuds get to enjoy this trip? Well, there were many delicious looking things on the menu but I decided to go with the Torta.  Filled with Ham, chorizo, carnitas, guacamole, pico de gillo, bacon, and mozzarella. The effect of which was very similar to ham sloppy joe! So very delicious.

Next time you see the Delicioso Truck, I highly suggest getting one of these if its on the menu. Even the bread was amazing. The Bakery they use is Selecta located on Orange and 3rd down in Chula Vista. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Insight on the InSlider!

Catching them on their Second day out, I got the chance to talk to Mike of the new InSlider truck!

I have eagerly awaited the arrival of this truck for weeks! As I exited the car, the smell of beef and bacon was hanging heavy in the air.

The smell made me conjure up visions of old cartoons the way a character would smell something good in the breeze and suddenly they would float up into the air and follow the smell to the source in a blissful trance. . . .

Yea, it was kinda like that . . . . .

I practically did the same thing until I came upon the truck and took a look at the menu.

Very well planned menu, decently priced. 6 different choices of sliders, 4 kinds of fries, and even mini corndogs.

You could buy the sliders individually or in "packs" of 3's.

For their second day out they had at least a dozen people out and about either ordering or waiting for their food. I could see how busy they were inside, speedily going about their business. I watched them for a good while, waiting for a better opportunity to approach them. It was like watching a choreographed ballet as they danced around each other. Busy, busy, busy.

All of a sudden I hear them calling out, "Sorry for the wait! I know its hot out here, if you're waiting for food or to order, please grab a drink, on the house!"

I haven't even met them yet and already I like them!

I waited till the crowd died down and I finally got the right timing to go up and introduce myself. I got to meet Mike, Carey and Aaron that day. Mike sat down with me on the grass and told me all about how InSliders came to be!

He was living out of state and came to visit his cousin, Stacey here in San Diego. He loved the city and wanted to stay so they got to talking about the future and the options to make a living. Culinary was the way to go!
Originally they wanted to open a Slider restaurant but loved the fact that trucks had mobility, and a cheaper price tag, and thusly, InSliders was born!

I asked him why Sliders? What was the inspiration behind that particular choice. 
His answer: "Sharability"

"Why be limited to one big burger or sandwich?" he said. "Why not have lots of little sandwiches which you can mix and match and share with your friends. Its community food."

They get their brioche style buns from a bakery off India Street called Gibaldi's. The rest of their ingredients are top notch stuff, believe you me.  Lets first off start with their beef. . . . which is Kobe. Renowned for its flavor, tenderness, and well-marbled texture. . . . HELLO!  Did someone say delicious?

To the right here you will see 3 of their selections; The InSlider, The Greek, and the Bada Bing. Two beef, and one chicken.

The InSlider is, of course, their signature  mini-burger consisting of a Kobe beef patty, cheddar, pickle, tomato, and caramelized balsamic onions. TA-STY! The beef is delicious to say the least but I gotta say that what I loved most about this slider was the way the sweet and woody balsamic onions played so well with that cheddar!

Next up was The Greek. Same Kobe beef patty, but this time it was paired with cucumber, Roma tomato, red onion, lettuce, feta cheese, and tzatziki sauce. Talk about a bang of Greek flavor!  Now normally I'd skip the tzatziki, I don't even like it on my gyros, but it was actually deliciously subtle and took the backseat to the feta/kobe beef combo.

Now my favorite out of the three, the Bada Bing! I was raised in an Italian family and I am quite fond of the flavors of the boot-shaped country. So its always great to see it done right!   Chicken breaded in PANKO!!! . . . what the! . . . . yea, you heard me. Panko breadcrumbs. It gave the chicken a surprisingly crispy texture and kept it nice and juicy on the inside. Then top it off with Mozzarella, Parmesan, fresh basil, and tomato sauce. That basil came through so nicely and gave the whole slider a well rounded herby flavor.

Now, ladies and gents, I've had a loooooooooooooooooooooooooot of Parmesan Truffle fries in my food truck eating days. I've had them every which way, and it seems like every truck out there has their own recipe. Come ON, food trucks! Give me something different!!!! Wait a tick! . . . . . What's this?

Mike presented me with his head nod to Quebec's favorite fry food, Poutine. Never heard of Poutine before? Well, traditionally Poutine is french fries smothered with cheese curds and brown gravy.
The difference here being instead of cheese curds we have fresh grated and oh-so-fluffy Parmesan of top of crispy fries and served with a brown mushroom gravy.  It was SO good!   You know me and my relationship with mushrooms. . . .  with dishes like this its getting harder and harder to say that I hate mushrooms.

Thank you very much for the deliciousness from your mobile kitchen! I shall be back and with reinforcements!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reviews Pending

I humbly apologize for the delay in last week's postings. I have been extremely ill and laid up in bed for days, mostly sleeping.

I will post the next two reviews simultaneously from both InSlider and Delicioso.

Here are some tantalizing photos to keep you occupied until then:


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Curiouser and Curiouser!

Meet Jason and Patty of Curiocity!

I have been meaning to catch up with them for the longest time, and today I finally got the chance to do so! Jason promised me Risotto!

Having been out on the road since July of 2011, Jason's dream was to have a restaurant. In his words, with the economy in rough shape it was tough to get a restaurant, so the truck was the next best thing.
Having worked in a professional kitchen myself, I watching them prepare the food in front of my eyes, it was almost like being back there again. The way they paid attention to the last detail, garnishing and cleaning each plate made me feel as if I was dining at a 5 star restaurant. Much appreciated!

Jason told me that his main focus is using local farmer's market organic produce. No antibiotics, hormones, or enhancers in the beef, which is Brandt beef by the way.  All Natural, corn fed moo cows. . .  seriously you gotta try the stuff.

I got the chance to ask him what he thought about this purposed Bill 1678, to which he replied,
"I think its crap. Look at the menus of mine and other trucks then look at the cafeteria food. How many  schools are serving spinach and arugula salad with fugi or gala apples and real blue cheese?"

Not many, Jason. Not many.

So, I'll betcha wanna know what it is that they gave me to sample, huh?  Well feast your eyes on this spread!
Organic Turkey Chili, Mixed Wild Mushroom Risotto, Parmesan Truffle Fries, and that gorgeous Pancetta Topped Salad.  

The Turkey Chili, oh I am in L<3VE!!!!!! I believe I quote myself when I took that first bite and I exclaimed that I'd like to jump into a vat of it. Nice big chunks of organic turkey, well simmered in tomatoes, onions, and zucchini! Topped with chives and sour cream, this is one chili you don't want to miss! Little bit of heat, but not too much. The texture was off the chain! You've got that nice stewed turkey, the smooth sour cream, the crunch of the chives and it was nothing if not delicious.

Now I really must take the time to announce to the world that I HATE MUSHROOMS!!!! I can't stand them! I find them repugnant! The smell, the taste, the texture. . .yeeeuuuuccckkkkk!!!!!
HOWEVER! That being said, when I tried Jason's Mixed Wild Mushroom Risotto, I ate those words. . . along with the mushrooms.
5 different varieties in fact. Portabello, Crimini, Shitake, and and Oyster accompanied by organic spinach, truffle oil, Parmesan-Reggiano, with Arborio Rice. Jason added some heat to it with some chile flakes. Just enought to make your tongue loll off to a pleasant tingle. I actually ate the whole thing and resisted the temptation to say,
"Please sir, can I have some more?"
. .. . which I actually did say for the Turkey Chili. . . . . which is what I used to dip some of their delicious Parmesan Truffle Fries into. Not that they needed a sauce of any kind by any means.

Now I've sampled a fair few versions of Parm-Truff fries in my time, however in never fails so amaze me how different trucks can create the same dish yet make them unique at the same time. These were probably the lightest yet crispiest fries I've tried yet. There is something in the mixture or ratio of oil to parm, or fries to fry time or the kind of parm or the kind of oil each place uses, but in my opinion, Curiocity is now to date the new reigning champion of Parm-Truff Fries!

Let's talk about this salad. In a word, "WOW!" Spinach and arugula, Fuji apples, fresh crumbled bleu cheese, pancetta crisp on the top and drizzled with a Champagne-Honey Vinagrette!  It was sweet, but earthy and umami. I never get around to eating a lot of arugula but it makes me wonder if I should, it makes for a wonderful salad.

And to top it all off, I got to sample one of their delicious Brandt Beef Sliders.  Lets start with the bread, which is a potato bun which is crispified on the griddle. The patty was a perfect medium rare, just the way I like it and succulent as anything.  The cheddar they use on this burger is very much present in the tasting, which is a great thing because usually the cheese gets thrown in as a side note. But it was nice and up front in the flavor profile. The tomatoes are organic vine-ripened, and the pickle is almost the same size as the patty! JUMBO PICKLE!
When you first bite into the slider you get that nice crunch from the toasted bun, the hot and juicy patty and the great cheddar flavor, and then there is that creamy Curiocity sauce that defies explanation. SERIOUSLY.

My overall opinion is if you want to feel as if your are dining out at someplace fancy, this is the place to go if you don't want to spend $50 a plate at some snobby restaurant where they make swans out of napkins and the maitre d has a fake french accent. . . then Curiocity is the food truck for you!