Archive | August, 2012

Clover Food Truck

27 Aug

I got the chance to try the Clover Food Lab food truck during my SoWa visit a couple weeks back,

If you’re a Bostonian who hasn’t hit up SoWa yet, you’re missing a wonderful experience. The SoWa open market (South Of Washington, for the curious) is an awesome venue where one can spend Sunday afternoons browsing local crafts and artwork, shopping at the farmers market, and a variety of those oh-so-awesome food trucks.

Clover Food Truck

The creation of MIT graduate Ayr Muir and chef Rolando Robledo, Clover was one of the first Boston food trucks of the higher standard (selling something besides hotdogs and ninja-turtle head ice cream with bubble gum eyes), opening way back in 2008.

For a long time Clover food truck mostly catered to the MIT crowed, fine tuning their menu and learning from their food truck experience to add more trucks to their fleet and ultimately open a brick and mortar restaurant (the ultimate goal of many food trucks) in Cambridge.

Clover Food Lab is well known for their incredibly fresh and vegan-friendly food. I mean honestly, the vegetarians just won’t shut up about it. Meaties like me are going crazy over Clover too.

Clover promises to use only the freshest local ingredients (often times organic as well), and this commitment shows in their food.

The chickpea fritter sandwich I ordered looked like a piece of art with its lush purple and green veggies. The cool vegetables combined with the warm fried chickpea and soft pita bread, alongside generous heaps of hummus, created a sandwich truly worthy of admiration.

In addition to mind-blowingly amazing sandwiches, Clover also offers rosemary fries that people rave about. I wasn’t all that impressed with them, but maybe I’m the odd one out.

Clover Food Lab also offers drip coffee hand-dripped. What does that mean? It looks a bit something like this:

So fancy—it’s like you are in Paris!

Boston’s Clover Food Truck vs. Cucumbers

To understand how amazing these sandwiches are, I want to digress a little. As you may have seen from past blog posts, I do not like cucumbers. In fact I despise them. Even the smell of them makes me gag.

So when I unwittingly encountered cucumbers in my Clover sandwich, I was crestfallen. Can I ask them to send it back? I thought. But then something amazing happened—I decided to try it. And you know what, it was all right. Heck, it was good! So thank you Clover, for getting me to eat cucumbers for the first time in approximately 18 years. A word to the cucumbers: don’t push your luck pal.

Food Trucks Boston Rating: Clover Food Lab gets 5 out of 5 Forks

Delicious sandwiches made with the freshest veggies for $5 a pop? Does it get any better (I know—cow, bacon, poultry—but other than that)?

Boston Cupcake Camp 2012 Recap

21 Aug

**Another past foodie festival recap I’ve been saving for a rainy day. Hope you guys enjoy!

This post I’ll be digressing a bit from our usual Boston food truck reviews to share another foodie adventure—my recent experience at the Boston Cupcake Camp.

The Boston Cupcake Camp 2012 (I’ll henceforth refer to it as an expo because calling it a camp seems incredibly odd) was held at the Center for the Arts at the Armory in Somerville.

It was a cold and rainy day as the line to enter the expo stretched down Highland Ave. My company and I spent the time waiting dreaming of what delicious bakery treats awaited us.

Cupcake Camp SomervilleDespite the long lines to enter, there was no waiting for cupcakes once we got inside– bakeries had set up their tables with ample supply of cupcakes. Most booths had two or three flavor varieties, some vendors offering full-sized cupcakes while others had miniatures.

Upon beginning my cupcake expo adventure, my sweet tooth got the best of me as I instantly devoured two full sized cupcakes, one with a 3:1 frosting to cupcake ratio that really did me in. Minutes later I was forced to crawl to the corner and try to soothe my stomach’s anger

This early faux pas put a damper on the other 20 cupcake tables I had planned on visiting. It quickly became obvious that sharing cupcakes was the much smarter tactic.

Some bakeries stuck to the classic vanilla and chocolate selections, while others got more experimental with chocolate-zucchini cupcakes, bacon cupcakes, and even soda-flavored cupcakes.

There were a number of cupcakes I enjoyed, ranging from red velvet to chocolate raspberry.

Chocolate Cherry Cupcake

But the takeaway cupcake of the day for me was the Captain Crunch flavored cupcake.

Being a huge CC fan, I was skeptical that a cupcake could ever match the unique wonder that is Captain Crunch. But low and behold, it tasted just like my beloved breakfast cereal.Captain Crunch Cupcake

Some interesting points that my company and I noticed at the Cupcake Camp:

  • A surprising lack of peanut butter flavored cupcakes. I mean come on guys, people are nuts about peanut butter. Sure, it’s nothing breakthrough, but we all know how awesome peanut butter is. And yet, I only found one – that’s right, ONE peanut butter cupcake.
  • Banana was the new in cupcake flavor apparently – nearly every other table had some sort of banana cupcake, be it banana fosters, banana walnut. Even the one peanut butter cupcake I found was banana peanut butter.

The Cupcake Camp was certainly fun, but ultimately the idea of being in a room with hundreds of cupcakes at your devouring disposal might be better than the reality. In the end, we humans just aren’t made to ingest so much magical mini-cakes in one day.

Cupcake Expo Boston

Despite our love of desert, my company and I agreed that we were not sure if we would attend again—perhaps one can only handle so much cupcake. Trying to eat 20 cupcakes in less than two hours just isn’t a viable option. The flesh is weak. And you’ll probably hurl.

Chicken and Rice Guys

13 Aug

Chicken and Rice Guys, Food Trucks BostonWhen I first found out the Chicken and Rice Guys (CnRG) were coming to Boston, I was thrilled. C&R Guys are inspired by a similar halal food card spoken of with reverence on 53rd and 6th on NYC.

So far the Chicken and Rice Guys have had odd hours, mostly only serving on weekends. But last Wednesday, as I was cruising Boston Gov’s food truck schedule for some mobile dinner, a small miracle happened—Chicken and Rice Guys popped up.

Serendipitously, that Wednesday was the first Wednesday of Chicken and Rice Guys’ new Back Bay location outside Prudential—which happened to be directly outside of my office building. Yes, the gods were smiling on me that rainy day as I skipped out to meet the Chicken and Rice Guy’s big yellow truck.

Food Trucks in Boston

After the stories I’d heard, I was surprised to find no line—we were the only rainy day customers at the moment. In fact, the menu hadn’t even been put up yet.

Then again, you don’t really need a menu with the Chicken and Rice Guys. It’s simple: Do you want chicken? Do you want lamb? Do you want both? This was another godsend for me, Miss Clinically-Indecisive.

Your choice of meat comes with heaps of rice, some lettuce, and pita bread. Then come the sauces. C&R Guys once again keep it simple with three sauces:

  • White Sauce: Light, creamy, yummy—the obvious go-to
  • Red Sauce: Hot sauce! And boy howdy is it hot! Tread with caution
  • Barbecue Sauce: It’s barbecue sauce. That’s all there is to say.

A dish piled with meat, rice, lettuce, pita bread, and as much sauce as you can handle comes at an economical steal for $6.

Chicken and Rice Guys Food

I got my dish and squirrelled myself away in a food court corner to eat my chicken, lamb, and rice in peace. Truly incredible—insanely generous portions of good quality meat, well-cooked rice, mixed in with some crunchy lettuce made the perfect dinner. I mostly stuck to the fabulous creamy white sauce, adding a pinpoint of hot sauce here and there for some kick.

The meal was huge—it could have been three. Somehow I managed to devour it all, unable to resist the delicious lure. It was no easy task though—you certainly won’t leave Chicken and Rice Guys hungry.

Food Truck Rating: Chicken and Rice Guys get 5 out of 5 Forks

Chicken and Rice Guys offer awesomely large portions of quality meat and rice at a great price.

Chicken and Rice Guys isn’t gourmet—nothing fancy, just heaps of great meat and rice at cheap prices. C&R Guys remind us that you don’t have to be gourmet to be great.

Scooper Bowl Boston 2012

8 Aug

Boston-Scooper-Bowl

**Sorry this took so long to get out. I know we are way past the Scooper Bowl, although I’m sure this ice cream advice still applies to sweltering August in Boston.

Ahh my beloved Scooper Bowl.

Time and time again I attend this mad house of ice cream splendor, and each time I leave sick to my stomach.

But who cares!? It’s ice cream!

If you are going to make yourself physically ill from over-eating,  what better culprit than cold, creamy deliciousness?

This year at the Boston Scooper Bowl 2012, I tried to be a bit more selective with my ice cream choices and completely turn a blind eye to anything in the Neapolitan range.

Ice Cream Scooper Bowl

Most creameries used this event as a chance to showcase their best and most outrageous flavors.

  • Breyer’s was the exception, offering boring flavors like Vanilla and Coffee. Really, that’s your A-Game Breyer’s? That’s what you bring the Scooper Bowl? Lame.
  • Edy’s selection was decent enough, with Chocolate Chip, Espresso Chip (I’ll admit, this was quite good), Dulche de Leche, and Sherbert.
  • Baskin-Robbins had some interesting selections like Lunar Cheesecake and Icing on the Cake, but they weren’t exceptional.
  • Ben & Jerry’s was great as usual, with Chocolate Therapy and my personal favorite B&J flavor, Americone Dream.
  • Brigham’s had a nice variety with Peppermint Stick, Blueberry and Sweet Cream Frozen Yogurt, Creek Caramel, and the Big Dig, vanilla ice cream with some fudgy cookies bits.

    Cotton Candy Ice Cream

    Ugh. Cotton Candy flavor.

  • Bryne Dairy had Mint Chocolate Chip, Cookie Dough, Holy Cow, and Cotton Candy, which I consider a vile attack on the dignity of ice cream. The cookie dough certainly delivered on the dough chunks, and the Holy Cow was a scoop of peanut butter wonder.
  • Next was Friendly’s with my long-time love Hunka Chunka PB Fudge. Friendly’s really wowed us though this year with their new Graham Central Station. Graham Central was graham ice cream packed with graham cracker. It tasted great, the texture of the graham cracker was perfect coupled with the smooth ice cream.
  • Ciao Bella Gelato had a number of fantastic scoops, with the bittersweet Passion Fuit Sorbet, Mango Sorbet, and the Malted Milk Ball Gelato, which captured the great malty taste leaving out the chalky, filmy aftertaste present in other Malted candies and products.
  • SoCo Creamery goes home as champion though for their delicious Lemon Poppy Seed, which gets my vote as #1 scoop. SoCo Creamery also had other unique flavors like Cake Batter, Salted Caramel, and Mission Fig.

Top 5 Champion Flavors of the Scooper Bowl:

1. Lemon Poppy Seed from SoCo Creamery: Soft and creamy lemon poppy ice cream. Tastes just like the muffin!

Lemon Poppy Ice Cream

Winner: Lemon Poppy Ice Cream!

2. Malt Ball from Ciao Bella: Real malt, cream, and malted milk ball pieces

3. Graham Central Station from Friendly’s: Graham flavored ice cream with chocolate candy pieces & a sweet graham cracker swirl.

4. Passion Fruit Sorbet from Ciao Bella: Tangy and sweet tropical passio fruit

5. Holy Cow from Byrne Fairy (vanilla ice cream with peanut butter swirl and peanut butter cups)

A delicious day as always! Can’t wait till next year.

Did you attend the Scooper Bowl? What was your favorite flavor?

Paris Creperie Food Truck: La Tour Eiffel

3 Aug

As an established crepe lover, I’ve visited the Paris Creperie cafe in Coolidge Corner several times in the past, always astounded with the wonder of their crepes.

paris creperie food truck

Paris Creperie’s La Tour Eiffel Crepe Truck

I was overjoyed when I found out they were embarking into food truck territory with their pink La Tour Eiffel crepe cart.

In true Parisian fashion, La Tour Eiffel is stylin’ with artistic silhouettes and French postmarks, reminding us that a crepe is more than just an super-thin-pancake-sandwich (as us crass Americans think of them)—it’s a part of French cuisine culture.

Paris Creperie’s La Tour Eiffel food truck is so stylish that its design has been awarded top prize in Mobile Cuisine’s Best Food Truck Graphic Design Contest.

truck creperie in Boston

Paris Creperie Food Truck Crepe Menu

La Tour Eiffel crepe food truck is more than just a pretty face though—the truck offers up some of the Brookline location’s best menu dishes, including:

Savory CrepesBoston Crepe Truck Menu

  • Rosemary Chicken Crepe: rosemary infused crepe with melted brie, garlic sautéed mushrooms and onions, sundried tomatoes, and chicken. $8
  • Ham & Brie Crepe: tarragon infused crepe with melted brie, ham, and spinach. $8
  • Lili’s Love Crepe: scallion infused crepe with chedder cheese, garlic sautéed mushrooms and onions, broccoli, tomatoes, and spinach. $8
  • Mediterranean Crepe: tarragon infused crepe with gruyere cheese, turkey, sautéed mushrooms, kalamata olives, tomatoes, and spinach.

Sweet Crepes

  • Brie & Apples Crepe: cinnamon infused crepe with melted brie cheese, cinnamon covered apples and pears, & honey. $8
  • Nutella Crepe: everyone’s favorite chocolate and hazelnut spread. $5 (add bananas, strawberries, or blueberries for $1)
  • Butter & Brown Sugar Crepe: crepe with soft butter and sweet brown sugar—an old classic! Try adding lemon juice for a kick. $5

Smoothies

  • Nutella Frozen Hot Chocolate Smoothie: the ever-popular blend of skim milk, frozen yogurt, and heaps of Nutella.
  • Mango Smoothie: tangy blend of mango juice, strawberries, and peaches.

Paris Creperie Food Truck Review

Stopping by on my way home from work, I nabbed a rosemary chicken crepe which was packed with chicken, sundried tomatoes, and soft brie cheese.

The crepe batter was fantastic, cooked to just the right consistency between crunchy and soft.boston crepes

The Paris Creperie food truck, La Tour Eiffel, brings fabulous crepes and a little piece of France to Boston.

Paris Creperie Food Truck Gets 4 out of 5 Forks

Check out the La Tour Eiffel schedule and try the crepes for yourself! What do you think?

What is your favorite crepe?

How does it stack up against others?

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