Removing the mystery of which new trucks to seek
See also: Top 10 street eats in the Twin Cities
With these trucks, trailers, and stands popping up faster than frogs at a fly fair, it's hard to keep track of who has been where, when, and what was worth eating. After our hard-to-narrow-down Top 10 list, we wanted to give some love to the new trucks that have just arrived on the scene. All these guys have been mobile for less than a year, and already we would hate to imagine a world without them.
Bacon Trolley: a celebration of the pig
Another fad-riding trailer peddles bacon -- and all kinds of it. While easily dismissed as a trendy idea, it's impossible to ignore the lines for this newbie. Folks are flocking to the city streets for their pork-accented products. The bacon popcorn is just like mama used to make it. The pork belly has a surprising waft of sophistication.
MidNord beef empanadas are packed with tart, savory, sweet flavors
Little fried dough pockets could hold just about anything, and the things the folks at MidNord stuff theirs with are all delicious. The Argentinean-style beef is packed with piquant flavors. The crust is tender, chewy on the inside, light and crisp on the outside. Dunk the whole thing in some of the accompanying mojo sauce and it's a mouthful of tart, savory deliciousness. The chicken is a similar collection of flavors, but the mac and cheese is more simple, just cheese and familiar little elbows. The dessert option with sweet, cinnamon-dusted apples is reminiscent of the old McDonald's fried apple pie -- but better.
Drive-in style burgers with duck fat fries
And from on high the food critic cried, "Let there be duck fat fries," and so Neato heard her plea and answered. And they were good. It's hard to resist the spot on nostalgia delivered through their windows. Dismiss them as just another truck handing out burgers and you'll miss out on the fried gold that is these fries. One dunk in the garlic aioli and you'll be singing their praises, too. It's the little things that make us happy. Little things fried in duck fat, served with an icy cold, ice cream treat. If you're the sort of soul who misses Porky's, their burger inspiration, you'll want to give this truck a try.
Sushi from a truck? they said. Is that a good idea? they grumbled. We've said it before, and we'll proclaim it again -- this is some really great sushi! Not just from a truck, but up there with some of the best in the whole city. Part of the allure is the incredibly fresh fish, full of changing varieties, luxurious textures, and clever flavor combinations. It's also the rice, springy and just tartly sweet. Never has white rice had such intriguing flavor. It's also very much the exuberance of the chefs inside the truck. They're anxious to tell you about the fish, themselves, and their inspiration. Spend a little time with chef-owner Enkhbileg Tserenbat, also known as Chef Billy, and you'll find yourself drawn deeper into the menu. We still haven't had the chance to try it all, but we know that our summer has been made better by his delicious squid salad.
Erica Strait has been going gangbusters this year. In addition to continuing to appear at farmers markets as she's done in the past, this year she added her truck, nicknamed Roxy. Foxy Roxy has toured the city beyond the usual Marquette stretch in downtown Minneapolis. She's appeared in downtown St. Paul and Centennial Lakes (that's right Edina -- you're getting some Thursday food truck love!), and she parks outside her soon-to-open storefront off Raymond and University in St. Paul for Foxy Fridays. From her truck she peddles our favorite falafels, as well as other imaginative flavors like beet or curry. She has kombucha, so marvelously refreshing, it's a little sweet smooch from Jack Frost under a late summer sun. She's also trying out new dishes here that will likely soon end up on a menu. Everything off this truck is refreshing, tasty, and satifyingly healthy. If only that daily (weekly) gym trip was so easy.