Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Hit The Road, Jack! And Get Your Grubby Hands On A BBQ Balsamic Jackfruit Slider

 Shredded Jackfruit Marinated In A House Made Balsamic BBQ Sauce, Topped with Red/Green Cabbage Carrot Slaw On A Locally Made Wheat Bun
Move Over Pulled Pork, There's A New Sheriff In Town! Jackfruit! 
     Or you could just stay home, leave the driving to the fine folks at Grub Truck and mosey down to Food Truck Thursday at the Gallivan Center, especially considering we have some of the worst air in the country (if you're a local come to Saturday's Salt Lake's Biggest Clean Air Rally). It's easy for me to say since I work close by.
     I wrote last week about another food truck thursday regular Off The Grid and their underground Indonesian inspired waffle sandwich. Now, I guess it's a good ole battle royale style rumble. Who has the best vegan options? I think I might have to play the parent card and say I love you both equally. Chiptole tacos or jacked sliders? Decisions. 

Grub Truck  in Action At Food Truck Thursday
     Now you're wondering what jackfruit is? It's a  large fruit out of Thailand. I guess that answers all of your questions. No? Well, apparently, the young jackfruit, when cooked, shreds into a pulled pork looking stringy meaty deliciousness. I have no idea who started cooking with jackfruit but it's just one of the many reasons I love being vegan. The first time I heard of it was when California's Seabird food truck (read the review) came to town as part of some reality show.  Fast forward a few years and the crazy thing is, considering the dearth of vegan restaurants in salt lake, that the Grub Truck is the first to put it on their menu. (UPDATE: I forgot that Buds is the first to put it on their menu with a burrito and a salad. I tend to forget since I only order the balsamic pesto sub there. I have them on my list to review). It started out as a special for the downtown winter farmer's market, but the demand made it a regular menu item. Not only do they serve in the street, but they have their ears tuned into the people. Just one of the reasons, The Grub Truck is one of the best food trucks. It's not just my opinion, but SLC's Eat Local award for best food truck from both the judges as well as audience. Pretty impressive.
Pot O' Jackfruit Sliders
   The best thing is that while my sandwich was cooking, a girl comes up and asks, "what's jackfruit? Is it a meat?" Halie, the Grub Truck's owner, response was awesome with a quick explanation and better yet a taste! Let the taste buds do the talking. The curious customer ended up ordered one as well. Yes, it's that tasty. I even fooled some coworkers that I started eating meat. One coworker, a big meat eater, even said that it's not exactly like meat, but close enough that even he would order it. Score two for the Grub Truck. The coconut curry soup is also vegan, but unfortunately they were sold out when I went to order mine. I won't make the same wrong late lunch choice this week! More points for putting what is vegan on the menu. No wondering or holding up the line with questions. 
Grub Truck Menu
Jacked Sliders and Butternut Curry With Rice Are Vegan! 
     One of these days, I'll resurrect my post about jackfruit and how awesome it is. Until then, head over to the Grub Truck and let your taste buds do the talking. Check them out on facebook or twitter to find out their always roving locations.  Now hit the road jack (sorry I couldn't resist). 

Friday, January 3, 2014

Getting Underground With Off The Grid

Indonesian inspired vegan waffle sandwich 
Garlic and ginger marinated tempeh, grilled pineapple, chili coconut sambal, avocado, bean sprouts, peanut sauce, and fresh cilantro on coconut flax waffles
      That's right, a waffle sandwich. I've been meaning to make a savory waffle sandwich for some team, but I've kinda falling by the way side. But guess what? My 2014 resolution is to post more. Let's hope I can break the statistics and actually succeed. Plus, maybe I'll get inspired again and start cooking more. Sounds like a win-win, right?

Underground Special Numero Dos! Mexican Inspired Waffles! 
Holy Mole! 
UPDATE: This is what won me over with Off The Grid, their second vegan underground special. Garlic cumin black beans and grilled sweet potatoes smothered in a chipotle mole and topped with our coconut lime cilantro slaw, then sandwiched between vegan waffles. It could be how amazing their mole is, but this might be better than their Indonesian waffle special. It's also why I picked them for City Weekly's Best Food Truck award (give shouts outs to awesome vegan businesses like Cakewalk, Frisch and Buds). Everything they do is so thought out and with complimentary flavors. Garlic, cumin and mole. Man, my mouth was happy. The special one and I were eating this on the couch, sharing a few bites of the waffle with our dog and he barked at us because the waffles pieces weren't coming his way quick enough. I tried capturing this on video, but I wasn't recording. You'll have to take my word for it. So it's human and dog approved! 

     Anyway, SLC's food truck Off The Grid pulled me from my deep deep slumber with this week's underground special. The description was enough to make my mouth water. Just read it again and the glands will moisten. In the land of plenty of amazing vegan options, NYC's Cinnamon Snail is the best of the big apple and the long lost Union Street showed me how awesome street food could. With this special Off The Grid is certainly making their case for best SLC food truck. (The closest contender would be the Grub Truck, who makes a BBQ jackfruit sandwich but I've never seen it return since it's one week special). 
Food Truck Thursday!
     The coconut flax waffle was crispy and airy with the perfect hint of coconut flavor in the waffle. I'm a regular weekend waffler maker, so I was kinda jealous I didn't think of it. I kept sneaking pieces off on the way back to my office. Tempeh is one of the hardest to prepare well, so I was skeptical, but the tempeh was perfectly flavored. The whole sandwich was brought together with the peanut sauce the the coconut chili sambal and a burst of grilled pineapple. I've been on a spicy kick, so I would've take the chili sauce up higher, but I know people tend to shy away from the spice.

     Unfortunately, it's a special, an underground special at that. They offer 5 free sandwiches for a photo posted on social media sites. They must have spotted me with a "Will Take Picture For Food Sign" outside Gallivan's Food Truck Thursday. This is the first time the special has been vegan so I jumped at the chance. Hopefully, it'll be put in rotation. I'll, for sure, be a regular, maybe even upgraded to stalker level.

Mt. Olympus and Chipotle Tacos Can Be Made Vegan
     If you hate playing 20 questions, their menu gets bonus points for being clear about vegan options. Two sandwiches the Mt. Olympus and the chiptole tacos can be made vegan. It's been a while since I had the Olympus, I generally tend towards the chiptole tacos. Two corn tortillas, chickpeas, shredded cabbage and the most important ingredient a chipotle sauce that's makes the dish. I was skeptical because I lean towards the tempeh, tofu or seitan being a bare minimum, but they weaned me from tendencies. They also get additional bonus points for a commitment to buying local products. Even more for being East Coast defectors who came to ski the greatest snow on earth. Owning a food truck might disqualify them from being a ski bum, but go support two people making great food and turns. Drop a tip in the jar. So they can park the truck and get some turns. Support your local powder hound. 

Meals On Wheels! 
      I've caught them at the Winter's Farmer's Market and they seem like a regular at the always amazing Food Truck Thursday. But check them out on twitter and facebook for their recent location.
Off the Grid SLC Mobile Food Truck on Urbanspoon