Friday, November 12, 2010

Keep On Truckin' (Yeah, That's the Best I Got)

If your city is anything like LA (and if you live in LA, it is very much like LA), then it has recently become infested with gourmet food trucks. I follow about a dozen trucks on Twitter, and if any of them are near somewhere I'm planning to be, I'll go check it out. And if you're here, you're curious what I think about them, so buckle up!

The Flying Pig Truck:
This was the first truck to catch my attention, largely because they serve pork belly sandwiches. Pork belly is what they use to make bacon, so I support it fully. After several false starts when they were supposed to be at my office (leading me to fruitlessly scour the neighborhood), I caught up with them at the Unique LA arts & crafts fair. Unfortunately, being an indoor event, the truck wasn't there, just a table. The truck and I crossed paths at the fantastic Meltdown Comics in West Hollywood.

On the left is the aforementioned Pork Belly Bun sandwich. The flatbread is a very nice touch, and I highly recommend anything you find that uses braised pork belly. To your right is the duck taco. The flavors are somewhat Asian inspired, with a hint of Mexican fusion. In short - delicious. They use something that they call Death Sauce and I want to put it on everything I eat for the rest of my life. It's not as spicy as its name would imply, but it bursts with flavor and really compliments the food. I have been to several trucks since the Flying Pig and it remains in my top two or three. Rating - Always Visit When Nearby.

The Grilled Cheese Truck:
This is almost certainly the most popular truck I've encountered. I've been twice and both times waited nearly an hour in line to order (Melissa went once with her sister and apparently the line wasn't as bad, but that was a weekday). Once they were part of a food truck event on the Disney Lot where their line was twice as long as everyone else's. The second time was at the anniversary party for Noho Scooters, which is literally two blocks from my apartment (and has vintage arcade machines including Tron, and I NEVER KNEW! How does that happen?), making it the closest one of these things has ever come to home. Somehow, I've managed to avoid taking a picture of the truck itself, but here's my sandwich of choice, the Cheesy Mac and Rib:
That's a grilled cheese, with mac & cheese and barbecue pork ribs. I posted this to Facebook at the time saying, "I waited an hour and a half for this, it better be the best sandwich I've ever got lucky." That pretty much sums it up. It's like this truck took everything good in food and put it in one sandwich. It's greasy and probably terrible for me, but I love it. Their dessert grilled sandwich (banana and Nutella) is worth ordering, as well. Find them. Wait in line. Eat it. You're welcome. Rating - Will Go Out of My Way to Eat There

The Slice Truck:
The Slice Truck is a pizza truck. I ate there when they came by the office as a thank you for Camp Rock 2 doing well or something. I had a good slice of pepperoni and an excellent thick slice of kind of a white pizza white heirloom tomatoes. Very good, not much to write home about. Rating - If I see them 20 feet away and was hungry, I'd go again.


I've been following Frysmith for quite a while, and I ran into them at the Farmer's Market at the Americana in Glendale completely by accident. As you can see, it's cool that they run their truck on their own fry oil, which seems like both good for the environment AND good business. Good for them. I had the special, which was a Canadian specialty called a poutine. I think a poutine is basically fries and gravy with cheese curds. This one had a burgundy wine gravy and bacon in addition to the cheese.
If that doesn't sound and look delicious to you, you are wrong. You should probably just find another blog to read. I think there's another one or two out on the internet. I can't speak for the rest of the Frysmith menu, but this was one hell of a dish. Rating: Would like to try again.

Border Grill Truck:
See the previous post. It was great, but I don't feel like talking about it again. Rating - Would Go To Some Length to Hunt Them Down.
The Greasy Wiener:
Man, these guys love the pun in their name and they play it up. I found them down by Warner Brothers one day at lunch. You guys know I love hot dogs and I'm incredibly picky about them. The dog here was pretty good, but I buried it in a heart attack of toppings. I had the chili cheese bomb - a hot dog wrapped in bacon, covered in chili, and essentially dipped in melted cheese. Hard to argue with that. The highlight, though, was actually the sliders, which they called Iggys.

I've had plenty of sliders in my time, and these were very high quality. No White Castle paper thin cardboard patty here. These reminded me of tiny In N Out burgers, nice and thick and very flavorful. Rating - Oh, Are They Nearby? I Guess I Could Go For That.

KO Taco:
I saw KO Taco once at Meltdown. I tried three or four different things. They were essentially just tacos and taquitos. Meh. Rating - Don't Care If I See Them Again.

So you can get an idea of some of the variety of truck that's out there. And in a city like LA, many of them (like the Border Grill Truck) are run by actual gourmet chefs. I know it's kinda hipstery and lame to follow a food truck, but the food is really worth it. It's a little pricey for fast food ($10/person on average) but that's damn cheap for true gourmet. So check it out sometime; try something new and different without breaking the bank. That's all I've got. I'm out 'til next time.



  1. Kogi blackjack Quesadilla is another must try (well 90% of Kogi is too).I totally agree with Frysmith, the sweet potato chili cheese is a great mix due to the hint of chocolate in the chili. I luckily work in an area where three - five trucks come a week.

  2. But have you ever had a "strange-looking patty melt at Norm's? (Tom Waits, At His Jazziest)
    - David