Thursday, November 8, 2012 at 1:58 p.m.
Zooming into downtown just in time to catch the tail end of outdoor eating season
Break out the fingerless gloves and tuck that scarf tail in. Food truck season is far from over, friends. Just because a few flakes have fallen doesn't mean we can't still enjoy a meal from a mobile vendor. We've got the gear, we've got the appetite, let's get outside and dig in to another tray of tasty food! (Or just duck out, grab a meal, and run back to your desk; it is kind of chilly out there.)
Cafe Racer hasn't been out for long, but with its Colombian comfort food, we expect they'll be sticking around for many seasons to come.
The truck is run by husband-and-wife team Luis and Christine Patino. He was a successful paralegal, and though he was making good money, he realized he wasn't happy.
The truck is named for his other passion, motorcycles. Cafe Racer refers to both a type of bike and their drivers.
The food they're serving is inspired by what Luis grew up eating in his grandmother's Colombian kitchen. The killer meal deal is the entree, a choice of meat served with a choice of two sides. We tried both the pork and chicken: slow-roasted, ultra-rich, and juicy meat. The roast pork is exactly the perfect execution of what gently cooked meat can become, silky textured and simply seasoned.
Columbian comfort food from new Cafe Racer truck
The sides we chose were the fluffy white rice and a carrot souffle. The souffle was a compact disk with sweet, crunchy carrots. This is is the sort of food that is good in any season. The rich, roasted meat is so comforting in cold weather, a treat for those who don't want to turn on the oven in the cooler months. Spiked with pickled onions, each bite was a balance of succulent and bracing. A choice of meat or roasted vegetables comes as an entree with two sides (pictured above) for $8, a sandwich for $6, or salad (gluten free) for $6.
The sweet potato crispies were addictively crunchy, perfectly salty, and a little sweet.
We also sampled the Colombian-style street dogs -- hot dogs topped with pickled onions, tomatoes, crushed potato chips, Parmesan cheese, and a drizzle of house-made sauce. The dogs are available both in beef and veggie varieties. The veggie dogs render an unfortunate texture -- a little mushy and off-putting, but the meat variety had a satisfying snap.
Potato chips, crushed and sprinkled atop Colombian style street dogs
Cafe Racer is going to stay out in downtown Minneapolis as long as the owners can take the cold -- they're ready to make up for lost time. Like many other trucks, they are working on building up catering jobs throughout the chillier months. So if you've got a holiday party that needs some rich, roasted meats or something other than the boring old carving station, add another food truck option to your list.