Thursday, January 19, 2012

Mikala is my new BFF!

So I get a tweet out of nowhere this morning about 11:21: "Steak sandwich??"

HA!!!  I had to love it.  Mikala, proprietor of one of my "go-to" favorite trucks, Hula Girl, knows which stop I mostly use, what I eat, and how I take it.  Thus the ping.  I told her I'd be there in 10 minutes if she wanted to make it.  Sure enough, it all worked out perfectly.  (Yes, my friends with me did make fun of me.)

Actually, when Mikala sent me the text I explained I would be trying Fojol's new Thai truck for the first time today, but that I did want her sandwich for later.  (Trust me, I've had it cold many times, and it is just as good!!)  Off I went across Farragut Square to the land of Fojol.  At 11:35 they said "we're going to be 15 minutes."  Grrr!  Ok, back to Hula to pick up my sandwich and see what everybody else was getting.  Bottom line is no food was served from Volathai before 11:57.  The guy standing at the window kept saying things like "we have a different model than the other trucks" and "we cook everything once we park".  Fine, so get there earlier....?  Whatever.  It has been a couple of weeks; you're not that new any more, plus, the Fojols definitely know how to run a truck around here.

Anyway, I had a pick 2 with penang chicken and beef drunken noodles.  ($8)  The chicken was juicy, mixed with large chunks of carrot & strips of red bell peppers, and served over basmati rice.  While there were substantially more veggies than chicken, the coconut-curry meal was good: a bit sweet and more spice.  But then there was the drunken noodles.  It contained a large number of vegetables (red & green bell peppers, broccoli, onions, etc) and a little zesty beef, all coupled with wide, fresh rice noodles.  I make Pad Kee Mao for myself all the time, and I know what a challenge it can be to cook the noodles properly, particularly the fresh kind (which these were,) but these were quite mushy.  Based on a review I read of Volathai last week, I expected some really kicked up heat on the palate, but didn't find it particularly fiery, at least not for my taste.  There was one other issue you can learn about if you read my Twitter feed, but I'm not going to memorialize it here.

I haven't been shy about expressing my adoration for the Fojols first two ventures, but this one falls short.  3 honks.

Have a good weekend all!

I'm a dope: Apparently I didn't know what Gumbo was

Last week I made my first return visit to Cajunators since their soft opening at Truckeroo in August.  As each day's menu is posted to Twitter, I've been a bit disappointed I don't recall seeing jambalaya return to the menu since that day because I enjoyed it, evidenced by the 3.5 honks it received.  Figuring an updated review was due, I headed out to find the Cajunators truck when they were nearby and decided to try a couple new-to-me offerings.  First, the fried chicken.  OK, so fried chicken isn't new to me, and I normally go for grilled/griddled or baked/roasted chicken, but this was well seasoned in a flavorful batter and not greasy.  You can select 3 pieces from the usual suspects of thigh, wing, drumstick, breast, with one side for $8.  All-in-all, a tasty-great deal.

And then I thought I should actually get something more cajun than just the seasoning on my fries, and lucky-for-me, the menu offers a side of gumbo for $3.  Perfect, I'll have that!  Now, what's gumbo, because clearly I have no idea?  Actually, other than jambalaya (including one of my favorite dishes to prepare for myself at home, pasta jambalaya,) I haven't personally experienced much in the way of food from the Big Easy.  In my head I had the idea gumbo was kind of like jambalaya but more soup-y.  Apparently I was wrong because when I got back to my office and opened the bag, frankly I was a little scared to see a small cup of a dark sludge-looking concoction.

Once I stirred it around a bit, I found some tender white rice at the bottom.  "OK, I can do this..."  Chicken and andouille, and (as I've now educated myself) probably okra along with other vegetables.  A little spice, a little tang ... The whole thing was altogether delightful, despite an unexpected impression at first gander.  While it wasn't the soup-ish selection I was expecting on a rainy winter day, I'll go back again for more.  Sticking with 3.5 honks.