Friday, September 24, 2010

Super-Secret Underground Food Truck Extravaganza

Last evening, we went for a fun event to support the campaign to bring street food to Atlanta.

There are a couple of notable food vendors in the city. Specifically street food vendors, I mean. Yumbii is one of them. Yumbii has its own Twitter feed that announces the location of the truck for the day. The food is Korean BBQ flavored burritos, tacos, quesadillas. Not too many options for vegetarians although the burritos and tacos do come stuffed with stir-fried tofu. The other vendor that's really popular around the city is King of Pops. They sell hand-crafted popsicles in the most wonderful flavor combinations. Have you heard of Arnold Palmer, Mexican Chocolate, Cucumber Jalapeno, Pear Cardamom and Watermelon Peppercorn? The guy has quite a following and of course, he has a Twitter feed that announces the daily flavors. Don't you think that he has hit upon the perfect name for his business?

Yesterday's event included many vendors.  Korean BBQ tacos, hand-crafted popsicles, cupcakes, ice cream, cones, New Orleans delicacies... So what did we eat?

Yumbii also had a truck and we got the Korean BBQ taco with stir-fried tofu. The tofu was nestled with some lettuce and seasoned with a sweet-n-spicy sauce (reminded me of Sriracha sauce) in a crisp tortilla. P liked it a lot. Hmmm, it was fairly good, I suppose. But really, it could do with SO MUCH more. The vegetarian palette is full of flavors and fillings and this taco offering was so limited. Just check out any Indian street food cart and you'll see what I mean! A taco isn't too different from the Frankie, a snack that's an integral part of Bombay street food and loved by many. Take a look at the sheer variety of fillings, seasonings, sauces and spices. This taco is a decent start but it's no star of the show, sad to say.

Obviously, we had to sample every vegetarian dish on display. So the next one was a curry cone. Imagine a waffle cone filled with a samosa filling, topped with cilantro and mint yogurt. Tall promise but the final effort fell quite a bit short. The samosa filling was oh-so-cold (!) and lacked salt. Not a little salt, a lot of salt. It was not a topping of mint yogurt, more a drizzle. Btw, full disclosure - the waffle cone contains eggs but I went ahead and got it anyway.

Next up was a quesadilla filled with sweet potato, pickled okra.

Pretty nice and an innovative idea, I think! This catering company had an attractive array of sauces that they displayed.

I had to absolutely get an ice cream scoop from Westside Creamery. Now I have been waiting to get some ice cream from here a long time now. With flavors as salted butter caramel and honey+apricot listed, who wouldn't? I think they also have a stand at the Sandy Springs Farmers Market. Well, I got a scoop of the salted butter caramel yesterday.


I went back and asked the woman if she sprinkled salt or if the ice cream had salt infused in it. Turns out it's the latter or else I'd have asked for more salt! This was just plain sweet caramel flavored ice cream. Reminded me of the Malai Matka Kulfi you get in so many Indian restaurants. Nice but nothing like what salted butter caramel should taste like. This ice cream simply tastes of milk that you cook for hours on a low gas until it becomes thick and sweet.

We got the chocolate-mint cupcake. The frosting was delicious but the cupcake, hmmm - not so much. Maybe I am not such a cupcake person after all. But P, who has sampled cupcakes before, says that he has eaten better ones. So the case rests.

The King of Pops was here too!

How could we pass those up? So we got a Cucumber Jalapeno and a Raspberry Lime popsicle each.

P liked the Cucumber Jalapeno one. He felt that it was an excellent combination of cool, sweet and spicy. That jalapeno did have a kick to it. I, for one, wasn't sold on the idea because I couldn't discern this elusive sweetness that P liked so much. But it's a really innovative combination. no doubts on that. The Raspberry Lime was wonderful. Sweet and slightly tart, it was a perfect summery combination. Loved it. These pops cost $2.50, a price that's rather high for a popsicle, you might think. But they're handcrafted, heavenly tasting, and pretty large sized. I'd need a partner to share one with.

All in all, a cool event with a hip crowd, decent food, good weather! I am not talking about cross-contamination issues with street food here. Some things you pretty much end up turning a blind eye to, be it Bombay or Atlanta!


  1. If you want the most AMAZING salted butter caramel ice cream, come to Paris!! Berthillon has the best one!!!

  2. Have heard about Berthillon on other food blogs. You lucky guy... enjoy!


  3. Interesting array of street foods there in Atlanta.

    and nice blog!

  4. Like so many things Atlanta, street food and the pop culture food trucks are late to the game and are bad imitations of those in more established area. Sad

  5. Well, we run with what we have and have fun... :)