Archive for the tag “food truck”

My first two nights in NYC – I let my friends choose for me.

I’m in New York for a conference this week, so I know I won’t have much time to explore or enjoy the extensive culinary options that Manhattan boasts. It’s kind of a bummer – even our networking dinners always seem to be at a high-end chain restaurant. Never a local gem. And, while these aren’t true “She Ordered What?!?” posts, I’m posting them as such since my friends ordered for me, and I really didn’t know what I was in for!

After what felt like an epic journey to get here (which had me ranting on Facebook and Twitter – ignorant mom with your mobile phone stuck to your ear while your children disrupted every last passenger on the plane, I’m talking to you! American Airlines, I’m also talking to you for boarding, de-planing, re-boarding, de-planing again, canceling, all the while lapsing in customer service and forcing passengers to carry their own bags up and down rickety stairs while in dresses, carrying other personal items, babies, etc, and up again, and down again – and then finally getting us to NYC. – post-script: same bologna on the way home!), I decided to take the advice of my friend Daniel. He tweeted me and advised me to grab chicken and rice with the “crack” sauce (the white sauce I would surely get addicted to) from a street food vendor on the corner of 53rd and 6th called Halal’s. He also advised me that their would likely be a line, indicative of just how good the food was!

It was about a ten minute walk from my hotel, and it was a gorgeous night. The line was 6-7 people deep at 8PM. That was a good sign!

I spent $6.00, plus a $2.00 tip, and carried home enough food to feed four people! I spent more than twice that on a glass of wine from the hotel bar!!

But, Daniel was correct. It was really good food, and the “crack sauce” was yummy. Not spicy like I thought it would be, given Daniel’s addiction to Sriracha sauce, but that’s why I was also given a tiny tub of red spicy sauce along with the white sauce. To spice it up!

I was only able to eat about 1/4 – 1/3 of the portion, and I wish I had a fridge in the room to save the rest. But, alas, most of it went to waste. 😦

I think that food gave me some good energy too! Monday morning, I woke up early and went for a run through the city. I knew I was motoring way faster than I used to when I was a regular runner…and map my run (while getting a bit confused amongst the skyscrapers) seemed to agree. I covered some pretty good ground in about 18 min. And, I broke a nice sweat. I was glad to get a workout in, because I knew I was meeting a dear, dear friend for dinner that night. Beth lived in the city for 12 years before she and her husband bought a home in New Jersey last year. My original plan was to go visit them Sunday, but as I mentioned, that didn’t happen.

So, after a day of fruitful meetings, I set out on foot to meet Beth at Inakaya – at 40th and 8th. Again, a short walk, but nice to get out for a bit!

After her long day, and the rough start to my trip (did I mention that my brother called that morning to tell me my mom had broken her leg and was in the hospital?), we decided to split a bottle of wine along with sushi, sashimi, egg custard, and maki.


Round two – we had already finished off the sashimi and sushi platters (I forgot to take pictures because we just dug right in!).

I let Beth order everything, since she knows me as well as I know myself! We caught up (it had been a year since we’d seen each other) and enjoyed really fine food. The lone “eh” piece was the mackerel. Fishy and not up to snuff with the other pieces.

It was a great night though…how can you go wrong with a good friend, good wine, good food, and in an amazing city?!?

A bit later, another friend messaged me and asked if I wanted to join him for dinner. I told him I’d keep him company and watch him eat…so that’s what I did. I kid you not, Jeff polished off this whole platter of chicken parmesan before we went on to meet up his colleagues and business contacts of mine. I had to throw this photo in for good measure!

While I wish I had time to spend walking the city like I do on personal trips to Manhattan, I simply don’t. I am grateful to have had two nights to dine as I like to, without forced networking that comes with conference attendance! Tonight, it’s about networking (and turning back into that shy girl I was so many years ago!). Wish me luck!

My first food truck rally! A great night out with a food truck addict. Waterford Twp, MI

I have never really indulged in food truck grub before. I had nothing against it, but also didn’t have much opportunity to try it. So, when my friend emailed me about a “Food Truck Rally” that was taking place about 45 minutes from my place, I decided I definitely wanted to give it a go. It became a bit of a joke since his wife (my friend and coworker) Jess was to be out of town on business. So, he – the married man, and I – the single woman, were going out – with his wife’s blessing. Y’all, I have the best friends!

It’s been a gorgeous night – 70s and sunny. Perfect for walking around the Elk’s Lodge grounds and grubbing on some food truck fare. There weren’t as many food trucks as we both expected, but in hindsight, I think that was a blessing. Our bellies were FULL by the time we did a lap!

We started off at El Guapo Grill, which I had been made aware of by my friend and coworker, McDuey. I asked the young man at the window to serve me his favorite thing on the menu. I was delivered the “Aloha, Mr. Hand” (side note: Bryan got a kick out of some of the movie-reference names – I missed most of them!). It’s a pork belly taco, stuffed with Asian slaw, pineapple salsa, and fresh jalapeno. I thought it was delicious – very flavorful! A great choice. A bit messy because of the sauce in the slaw, but that’s to be expected with this type of food. Thankfully, I didn’t end up wearing the whole taco!

The “Aloha, Mr. Hand” taco.

Next, we hit Bryan’s favorite local food truck Jacques’ Tacos. Bryan knew exactly what he was going to order – the D-Town (braised beef short ribs) and the Little Piggie (slow roasted pork). Again, I asked the woman at the window to choose her favorite two items, and surprise me. She chose the Little Piggie and the Cabo Shrimp tacos. Again, two tasty treats, though I favored the Little Piggie slightly over the Cabo Shrimp. It just had more flavor to it. Regardless, I scarfed them both down, and by now was getting full.

Jacques’ Tacos

Shrimp Cabo (top) and Little Piggie (bottom)

Neither one of us wanted to pass up a BBQ truck, so we stopped at Big RBQ’s for a bite. Bryan ordered the beef brisket sandwich, and I asked the woman at the window to serve me her favorite of the meat dishes (nothing with too many carbs, because our last stop would take care of that!). She handed me a pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw. I LOVE pulled pork, so she made a wise decision. The sauce was good, but not too much bite or kick to it. While I enjoyed it, the sandwich was just more than I could finish at this point – knowing there was yet another stop along our journey! Leftover pulled pork for me!

Big RBQ’s pulled pork and slaw sandwich

Finally, we HAD to hit the Mac Shack. Bryan and Jess have been on the hunt for the ultimate mac n cheese for a couple of years now. And, I’m never one to turn down good ol’ comfort food!

The Mac Shack

Bryan ordered the “Shack Made Mac” – a fairly traditional mac n cheese. I tried a bite, and it was yummy!

Bryan and his “Shack Made Mac” – a happy man!

I, on the other hand, handed my restaurant card to Lindsay Gearig, wife of Dan, and woman in charge! Dan and Lindsay own the joint. She and Dan conferred and decided to provide me an $8 surprise. Folks, while I really did enjoy all of the food, let me tell you that this was my favorite meal of the night!! Can you guess what this is??

Not only was I eating a truly unique, spicy, and flavorful dish, but after chatting a bit with Dan, I was more inspired than ever about this blog. He is clearly a foodie, does the “surprise me” ordering regularly (look for a guest post from him in the future – I’ll be hounding him!), and just thought it was a really cool idea. I got great feedback from some others throughout the night too – so energizing!

But, back to the best dish of the night!! I was treated to the Mac Shack “Koh San Road” which is mac and cheese topped with peanuts, bean sprouts, green onions, lime, cilantro, and SriRacha sauce. A different spin on Pad Thai, if you will. And, while it did have a kick to it, the dish was amazing! Bryan tried a bite and agreed. It’s not something either of us would normally have ordered – because it does sound a bit odd – but I’m really glad that Dan and Lindsay decided to serve the dish up to me. I’m looking forward to having leftovers tomorrow.

So, I left my first Food Truck Rally delightfully full and already looking forward to the next one! And, BTW, when I call Bryan a food truck addict, I mean it. The dude knows his stuff – or at least he presents himself as though he does! So much so that he had a couple of people following him (us, but really him) around, and asking what he ordered at every truck. He has food truck groupies, y’all! It was rather comical, but also enjoyable to watch. I know for a fact that he made great recommendations!

Now, my question to you… What are the best food trucks you’ve eaten from? I’m anxious to learn more!

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