Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Seoul Kitchen - Korean Fusion Food Truck

One day, two food truck chefs told me about Seoul KitchenThat’s not uncommon.  What is uncommon is the raving I heard about the food.  In the last week, I’ve visited Seoul Kitchen twice. 

My first visit was at 2nd & Pike.  Since I was eating at another truck, I decided to go light, buy a few things, and share with friends.  I got Kimchi Fries ($4), Mochi Beignets ($4), and Hibiscus Lychee Tea ($3).  The truck was just picking up for the lunch rush so my wait was minimal.  Counter staff was friendly and efficient.  I took my booty back to the office to share with others. 

Kimchi Fries

The Kimchi Fries were very good.  Thin, shoestring potatoes form the base of the dish.  It was topped with sweetened gochujang aioli and spicy pork.  The sweetener in the gochujang aioli is a closely guarded secret as I casually asked, and was expertly distracted.  The sweet and savory is a winning combination but the aioli is a little too sweet.  Also, my vegetarian friend made a sad face when I told her about the pork.  It’s a really good dish that could be hit with a bit of salt. 

Mochi Beignets

The Mochi Beignets were a mystery to me.  I’m half Japanese so I’m no stranger to mochi.  I’m also a huge fan of beignets.  This is not what I would name the dish because it doesn’t remotely remind me of a beignet.  Regardless of the name, this is an amazing dessert!  A crisp outer shell wraps warm, chewy filling.  It’s all covered with lovely powdered sugar.  It’s best when eaten warm but on two occasions, hungry (yet lazy) foodies in my office have walked away with a few cold ones, come back, and pestered me about where to get them.  I’ll eat these any day of the week. 

I’m a big fan of signature beverages.  I love the hibiscus lychee iced tea!   Hibiscus is a distinctive flavor that I love in tea.  The combination is refreshing and not too sweet.  It was a great compliment to the food. 

Tofu Bibimap with Basil Curry Sauce

My second visit was at Occidental Park.  The truck was busier than last time and definitely took longer.  This time, I decided to order bibimap.  You start with a bowl for $6 that comes with seasoned white rice, spinach salad, sautéed carrots, soy sprouts, pickled daikon, and seaweed.  From there, you choose a protein (tofu, chicken, pork, or steak) for $2 or $3.  I chose the tofu.  Up next, you choose a sauce – Korean chili, ginger soy, or basil curry.  I asked for a recommendation for which sauce would pair well with the tofu and was given a definitive recommendation for basil curry.  I’m glad I asked because it was spot on and would have been my last choice.  Finally, you can choose optional items such as fried egg ($1), salad ($1), or brown rice ($1).  The tofu was seasoned perfectly and had great texture! The mix of the ingredients was good but the carrots were sautéed a bit too much.  It was good and I want to try more. 

As with all trucks, schedules can vary so track Seoul Kitchen by social media or their website.  

Find me here: Twitter / Instagram / Flickr for more food truckery! 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wood Shop BBQ - Coming to a street near you!

I’m in love with these ribs!  After trying the food from Wood Shop BBQ, I have to say this is one of my favorite new trucks. 

A month ago, I saw pit master Matt Davis and super nice food truck owner James Barrington of Hallava Falafel fame at a funding event.  Matt was hidden in the back and he had ribs.  Ribs!  I thought to myself, “Meh.  I’ll try some.”  I was glad I did!  I dream of those ribs.  They were meaty and tender.  There was a little fat but not too much.  The meat, dripping in sauce, fell off the bone.  There’s nothing like a bunch of folks at a funding event covered in barbeque sauce and being completely unapologetic about it.  That night, I heard that Wood Shop BBQ would be launching a food truck.

Smoked ribs - the stuff dreams are made of

Pit Master Matt Davis
Tonight, I went to see the truck (playfully named “Woody”) for the first time at Chuck’s Hop Shop Greenwood.  At 7:30pm, the truck sold out of ribs.  I had hoped it would be a secret for a little while but that was wishful thinking.  I got to try the brisket and it was fantastic!  That smoky, peppery goodness is something I’ll be thinking about for a long, long time.  The pulled pork sandwich was as good as the first time I had it.  Cooked well, flavorful, drenched in sauce and served on a bun – total mess (which is how I judge a good sandwich). 

Brisket Sandwich
Recently, I had the opportunity to find out more about the truck.  Matt attempts to recreate the BBQ of his youth through smoking with hickory firewood.  Hickory adds a robust flavor that Seattleites may not be familiar with.  According to Matt, nothing tastes better than using real wood to cook food.  Partnering that with slow smoking at low temperatures causes the meat to melt into itself.  Yep – I’ll testify – that’s totally true!  Plus, who wouldn’t love a smoker named “Brad Pit?”  Wood Shop BBQ believes the best way to cook meat is to instill big flavor and keep that tender bite. 

Pulled Pork Sandwich
Menu items include a variety of different BBQ fare, inspired by Kansas City, Texas, and other regions.  Drop by the truck to order up some brisket, pulled pork, chicken and ribs!  If sides are your jam, don’t forget the kale caesar, buttermilk coleslaw, and homemade pickles – inspired Southern, Midwestern, and Northwest flavors.  In addition to lovingly prepared meat, the original sauce has been inspired by Kansas City Sauce.  Wood Shop BBQ has bridged the gap by also creating a coffee-infused Seattle Sauce.  Rumor has it that other sauces may be created by partnering with local breweries with seasonal offerings.

Check out Wood Shop BBQ if you have the chance.  So far, I believe the truck is slated to be at Chuck’s and possibly Fremont Sunday Market.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Changes for Crisp Creperie

By now, you may have heard the big news. As reported on Facebook yesterday, Jonathan Amato and Evan Mayer are pursuing a new project and leaving Crisp Creperie

I struggle with the prospect of a change in ownership. Last year, one of my favorite food trucks was sold and it hasn't been the same. That being said, I'm happy for Jon and Evan. I remember the first day I met them. It was the spring of 2011 at Fremont Sunday Market. They had been on the road for a week or so. Crepes? Yeah. I like crepes. I ordered a seasonal crepe and I was hooked! From that point on, I would compare every crepe I ate to theirs. I don't even want to think about what my life will be like without their rosemary lemonade. I'm crying a little bit now. #JokingNotJoking

Jon and Evan presented me with a great product each time. Sweet or savory - the crepe was perfect. Weekday lunch, Sunday market, or special event - you would find me at the truck. It's hard to argue with a consistent product that exceeds your expectations every time. 

And...let's face it, Jon and Evan are easy on the eyes. Over the years I came to know them and they are truly sweet. I've been going to some trucks for years and the owners don't recognize me, don't engage with me, and care about very little besides taking my money. Jon and Evan cared what I thought about the food, how my day was going, and could always make me smile when I was feeling down (Evan even wrote a sick note for me once). Although I will miss their smiles, food, and banter, I wish them the best. Be good boys!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Recap - Back-to-School Truck-In

Peasant Food Manifesto at the entrance to the Truck-In
So many food truck events, so little time. This summer has been filled with them and my only complaint is I can't go to them all! As you may have noticed, I'm also a little behind on posts. That silly day job and personal life has me occupied a bit. I'll be working over the next few weeks to catch up on recapping events.

Fun for kids of all ages
I've been to a few events put on by and I've had a blast. This one was a really nice way to say goodbye to summer. The Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market right next door is great for consumers - fresh produce, artisan products, crafts, and more! As you can see from the picture above, there's plenty to enjoy at this event. In the background is a bouncy house. Who doesn't love a bouncy house?!?! Also, an antique fire engine was there for kids of all ages to enjoy. NOTE: The picture of me sitting in the driver's seat with the very tiny yellow hat has been omitted from this post.

The new layout
Great weather makes a great event event better! It was truly a gorgeous day filled with sunshine, blue skies, and happy smiles. The truck layout was a bit different but I think it worked well. It was easy to walk from truck to truck to see what you were going to order. I love food truck events and I keep coming back to this one because of the laid back vibe. Even when it's really busy, the lines are manageable and hey, who couldn't use a few minutes to work on their tan?

Inigo Montoya Shakshuka from Peasant Food Manifesto
One of my stops was at Peasant Food Manifesto. I got the Inigo Montoya Shakshuka for $9. What is shakshuka? As described by the truck, it's an Israeli Tunisian dish of over easy egg in a spicy tomato sauce with greens fused with Uli's Spanish chorizo, feta cheese, and flatbread. If meat is not your jam, they offer a vegetarian option for $8 and you can always add an extra egg for $2. The flavors worked well together - the greens and the tomato sauce had it going on. One suggestion would be to grind the tomatoes down a bit. They were skinned but some were in large chucks. Also, adding a few large bits of chorizo would also add to the heartiness. It wasn't what I would call spicy but I can see that some would. The dish overall was a bit small for the $9 price point (I was still hungry afterwards). I would definitely add that extra egg because...egg. That runny yolk all over everything...well, you know!

Cheese Pizza from Wicked Pies
I also stopped by Wicked Pies, a New York style pizza truck. As far as cheese pizzas go, it was good. I loved the crust and the cheese was ridiculously stringy. Love that! The pizza as a whole was a bit greasy.

D'Ambrosio gelato from Wicked Pies
Wicked Pies also serves D'Ambrosio gelato. If there is anything better than a scoop of gelato on a warm summer day, please let me know what it is. Love!

I was exhausted at the end of summer. Now, as I look back on the fun I had, I'm can't wait until next year! See you next time I get my food truckery on!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

BeanFish is Mobile!

The Truck
If you know me, then you know for over a year, I have been visiting BeanFish at Fremont Sunday Market and special events around the Seattle area. I love their taiyaki - both sweet and savory! When I heard months ago that BeanFish would be mobile in 2014, my heart skipped a beat. I can have taiyaki just a short walk from my office in the business district? Brilliant!

On Tuesday, September 17th, BeanFish opened up at 2nd & Pike. I took a few friends to meet them. Along the way, I found folks who hadn't heard of or tried taiyaki. Well, I'm a believer so I set out to convince them.

Made a new friend - first time trying taiyaki
I was super excited to be part of opening day! I got there a bit before the lunch rush (as always) and grabbed a few - one, two, and three taiyaki to go. What's nice about them is that they've been making this product for a year. I've watched it evolve over time. I truly appreciate the fact that they continue to push themselves to elevate flavors and perfect their craft.

Custard taiyaki complete with lipstick
The truck will be at 2nd & Pike again tomorrow (Sept. 18th). Who knows, we may run into each other there. For updates on where to find the truck, follow them on Twitter or Facebook.