Archive for the ‘Food trucks’ Category

I wrote the following blog entry for a writing contest during IFBC, The International Food Bloggers Conference, this past weekend. During Sunday’s lunch break, our challenge was to eat from the food trucks that had been brought in for the event and write a 200-word blog post about. But – we had to write using “all 5 senses.” More about the contest below…

Away from the clatter of the crowd and the hum of the food trucks, I found a seat along the the canal on the cool concrete. My meal was swaddled in a banana leaf and wrapped in foil that glistened with the juices of the spicy pork tamale steaming inside.

As I unwrapped the small package, the ducks began to gather and the gulls beckoned from above. Not today friends. I’m not sharing.

Tamales are simple food. Humble. The complex flavors betray their basic ingredients. Corn masa. Pork. Spices.

The masa is earthy and dense and encases a filling of rich, slow-cooked pork that is so spicy it warms me from the inside out, even as the cool breeze chills the back of my neck.

On the first day of the conference there was a seminar called “Writing with All Five Senses” by Kathleen Flinn, author of The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry. It was informative but challenging. I didn’t think I ‘got it.’ So, when we were presented with this challenge I didn’t think I would enter. But then I ordered a tamale.

I took my lunch down to the canal to eat and just sat and soaked in the scenery. I tried to remember everything Kathleen told us the day before and slowly the words started to come to me. I went back to the conference area, ordered a beer and chatted with some people. The words kept coming. I ordered another beer. Finally, with about 30 minutes to go, I sat down with pen and paper and started writing. I only had my iPhone at the conference, so once I had sketched out my blog entry I began furiously tapping away on my phone. One of my seatmates checked the word count for me and I clicked ‘send’ to submit.

As the judges deliberated I obsessively read and re-read my entry. Above is exactly what I submitted. I am not an editor, so some of my punctuation and tenses may be wrong. But then they announced the winners! Three entries, in no particular order, won –  White Lotus Cooks, Caveman Wines and ME! The prizes were a selection of cookbooks and cookware (I won a Staub Cocotte), but even better was that the judges were Molly Wizenberg and Kathleen Flinn. That alone was prize enough.
International Food Bloggers Conference 2010

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Some Pig

I went to my first Seattle Food Bloggers‘ event tonight. Keren Brown of Frantic Foodie started the group and hosts monthly networking/eating/drinking events. Tonight’s event began at Beecher’s Cheese and continued – progressive dinner style – to their new food truck on 2nd and Pike St.

The food truck craze is in full effect in Seattle. The folks behind Beechers (and Bennetts, Pasta & Co., etc) just opened the pig mobile for business and it appears they already have the recipe for success: prime location + porkalicious food + affordable & efficient = Maximus Minimus.

The menu is simple, just two items: pulled pork sandwich or vegetarian sandwich (a combo of barley and veggies). You can order your sandwich mild (minimus) or spicy (maximus). Clever, huh? There are sides of coleslaw or chips and cold drinks available as well.

The whole operation is pretty slick. The person taking your order has a handheld device to send your order into the kitchen. The truck is outfitted with taps for the drinks. Evidently the lines the first two days have been pretty long, but I think they are prepared for how popular they will inevitably be. In fact, they’ll be very, very popular because this shit is deeeeelishious!

The pork is a shoulder cut that has been seasoned and grilled. Then, after a good amount of char is achieved it is braised for several hours. The bun was soft and mild (not too sweet) and held up really well under the weight of all that juicy pork.

So, how do you find the truck? For now they plan on staying at 2nd and Pike. I am not entirely sure about the hours, but I think they are planning to hit the lunchtime crowd on weekdays. It is pretty easy to spot the truck, since it is shaped like a pig. Check out their website for more details.

I met some nice folks at the event. At my table were Sara from Hungry Grrl, Lacey from Loving Local Food, Mary from Mary Eats and Ann & Abe from Tastefully Overcaramelized. Pretty good company, I must say.

And after looking at their blogs, I know I need to get to work on redesigning and renaming my own blog. We all lamented how hard it is to name your blog. Particularly since most clever domain names are already taken or worse, lorded over by cyber squatters. My top choices have been Fork It, Bittles, Wine and Swine and Satisfy the Craving. All our taken…so the search continues.
Maximus Minimus on Urbanspoon

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The Skillet Street Food Airstream serves a different neighborhood of the city each day of the week. On Feasting Fridays, it happens to serve the neighborhood near my office.

They are usually packed and run out of food, so getting there early is a necessity. I wake up at the crack of dawn, so a pre-noon lunch is just fine.

The Skillet menu varies, but a constant appears the be “the burger.” A half pound of medium rare grass-fed beef is topped with arugula, blue cheese, and bacon jam and served on a brioche bun. Oh yeah, you read that right. Bacon. Jam. Think onions carmelized in bacon grease. A generous serving of hand cut fries topped with salt and some fresh herbs comes on the side – all for $9.

It was a little chilly today, but I managed to find a tranquil courtyard in Seattle Center with benches in the sun. And then, I feasted.

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