About Me

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Lansing, Michigan, United States
I am a Lansing townie, lawyer, and restaurant reviewer for the City Pulse. I love traveling, reading, yoga, and baking, but my favorite hobby is stuffing my face.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Trailer Trash? Try Trailer TREASURE

I thought Monday's food truck experience was extraordinary. And don't get me wrong, it was good. Really good. But on Tuesday I hit another truck and that's when sh!t got real.

I'd been following the whereabouts Trailer Park'd on facebook for about a week, and before my weekly 1pm Tuesday board meeting I decided that the day had come. I grabbed a friend of mine from the law school and told him to get in the car. It wasn't until we had driven a few miles that he even thought to ask me where we were going, which I thought was a testament to his faith in my lunch choices. Dig it.

We got to this parking lot and sure enough, trailer. I felt like my name was Heavyn and I was about to either hit the pole or start mixing up a fresh bath of meth, but stay with me.

The aromas coming from that trailer were decidedly un-trailerlike. It smelled effing GREAT. We went to the window and read the menu/mini chalkboard, which listed maybe six or seven items. Everything is locally grown and produced, so the selection reflects what's going on on the Michigan farms right now. I asked one of the two dudes in the trailer what his favorite thing was and he said the torta. It's a sandwich that is on a roll that it shaped like a croissant, but is much harder. It's stuffed with smoked chicken, beans, avocado, tomatillos, cheese, cilantro, and Lord knows what else. That's all I remember, anyway.

As I was standing there drooling and honestly thinking about getting two whole meals because I am a fat hog, the guy mentioned that they also had SIDES OF ASPARAGUS and did I want one.

Obviously. I'm cutting my teeth on the side of your trailer.

He threw the asparagus on the grill while he made my sandwich. When the asparagus was perfectly charred, he topped it with S&P, shredded Parmesan, and balsamic. I died. The sandwich came out looking unbelievable and he handed me a little cup with sauce in it for the torta- it tasted like smoked tomato (is that even a thing?) and I ate the hell out of it.

My friend actually had the balls to do what I wanted to do and ordered both the torta AND the tacos. He took a page out of my book and told them to prepare the tacos how they like them best, which turned out to be loads of chorizo, cheese, and cilantro on a corn tortilla. The tacos were the bomb, but nothing could beat that sandwich.

We walked back into the law school with our bags of food and holed up in an office to tear into lunch. I've never seen anything like this- no less than 10 people stopped us to ask us where we got the food. And these fools couldn't even see the food, they were basing it on smell.

Get thee to the trailer park'd. Eat everything in sight. Repeat.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Purple Carrot Truck

Last week, the Lansing social media scene was all a-twitter (and a-facebooked) about The Purple Carrot Truck. Locally grown food that comes to you in a truck that changes locations daily? I'm into it.

Today, I tracked them down at Hannah Center near Mt. Hope and Hagadorn in East Lansing. Be advised- this is NOT Hannah Plaza. It is the office complex just south of Hannah Plaza. The truck is orange, and is much smaller than I thought it would be. I don't know how they contain so many different food items in such a little vehicle.

I asked for a little run-down of the menu and learned that they had a special sandwich today- a smoked chicken salad. It sounded wonderful, but after hearing so much excitement about the tofu banh mi last week, I had to try it. I got the full sandwich ($7) and beet borscht soup ($4). I could have gotten a combo (half the sandwich and the soup) for I think $7, but I was staaaarving at lunch today.

The banh mi comes on a hoagie roll and is kind of a tofu salad with lots of cilantro, shredded carrot, and Vietnamese spices. Fun fact- when I was eight years old, a Vietnamese refugee family moved in with my family and that kicked off a series of about two years of Vietnamese people living with us. I have had some Vietnamese food. As a matter of fact, we probably have a bag of egg rolls in the deep freezer right now, just waiting to be dropped into a pot of hot oil.

The banh mi was great. Spicy. Bread was good. Fantastic sandwich all around. I had never had borscht, but I LOVE beets and have been thinking about this soup since I read a recipe for it a few weeks ago. The soup is beautiful- a deep ruby color swirled with cream (?) and topped with dill. It was fragrant and tart and delicious.

I also got a carrot cake pop ($1) that didn't make it home because I shoved it into my mouth as soon as I drove away. The cake seemed like it had a good flavor, but the sickly-sweet purple frosting did nothing to add to it. I'm a purist when it comes to carrot cake- no nuts, no raisins, no canned pineapple, and I like a nice light cream cheese frosting. Of course, that didn't stop me from eating the cake pop in about three bites.

I really hope this food truck is successful. Follow them on Twitter or like them on Facebook, which are the only ways to find out their daily location. Go there, bring cash (because they don't take cards), and keep them open. Lansing should be making better use of our local produce, and The Purple Carrot Truck is leading the charge.