Gastrotruck brings gourmet sliders to St. Paul
Green gilded goods on the go
The fleet of street eats continues to expand with the addition of chef Stephen Trojahn's Gastrotruck. Touting artisan food on the fly, the truck has been roaming the streets of St. Paul and taking part in the weekly Food Truck Court that sets up Wednesdays on the corner of Wabasha and Kellogg.
Trojahn was the corporate executive chef at Graves 601 and has extensive experience at tony hotel restaurants. He left the corporate world for more creative grounds. Or, more "chef-driven," as their website claims--you have to love a chef pun. He is also committed to ethical eats. Gastrotruck uses locally sourced products and aims for zero waste. The utensils are compostable, and the craft-colored paper baskets the food arrives in are bleach-free.
But the more important question is, how does the food taste?
On one occasion the menu offered a coffee/Surly short rib slider ($8). The bitter coffee crust and the twangy beer flavor beautifully enhanced the grass-fed beef. Unfortuantely, the meat was a bit ropey in texture and dry. It was served, as all the sliders are, on little white flour-capped domes of New French Bakery mini-buns with plush interiors.
On a different day, the beef offering was a meatloaf ($8). Supple and rich, it was topped with an acidic, sweet tomato and beef bacon jam. It was bright ruby colored, with a sultry honey flavor spiked with just a splash of acidity; and topped with just a couple leaves of peppery baby arugula.
BBQ smoked, tender jerk chicken sliders
The Jamaican jerk slider was made of little nubs of charred, tender Callister farm's chicken, smokey with a slow-burn, mellow heat ($7). Each was topped with bitter, snappy-crisp sprouts and a small dollop of a creamy sauce.
The truck also has a satisfying vegetarian offering in the black-bean oat sliders topped with a zippy, cool jalepeno, cucumber combo ($6).
Sides included roasted beet salad ($3) or a little side o' barley for only a buck. The pearl barley salad had slivers of pickled asparagus which was tart and refreshing.
On every visit service came with a contagious smile, even when the lines were long. A welcome addition to the street eats fleet, thoughtful food with a conscience coming soon to a curb near you.
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