Lunch at Food Truck BoulevardOct 24th, 2012 | By Rae Alton | Category: Eatsboro, Feature
On Monday, October 22, a team of Avant Greensboro writers & friends visited downtown Greensboro’s food trucks, which are allowed to operate four trucks at a time on Commerce Place. They’re taking part in a pilot program, a taste-test if you will, to collect data for the City Council’s reevaluation of its current ordinance, which does not permit food trucks in Greensboro on a regular basis.
From dumplings to Korean BBQ to crepes, potential menu items have been whispered about on local social media channels, commanding the attention of local foodies. The trucks on Food Truck Boulevard on the day of our visit were Hickory Tree BBQ, The Great Escape, Taste of Creole, and Taqueria El Azteca; keep in mind that these are only 4 trucks of over 100 applicants the program initially received, and the trucks change daily. Check out the schedule of food trucks here.
Taste of Creole: Shrimp Po’Boy
“ The shrimp po’boy from Taste of Creole does not disappoint. Making a good po’boy sandwich starts with the quality of its french bread – it’s a telling, make-or-break element. The french bread had an excellent crunch-to-pillowyness ratio and doesn’t offer too many bites of excess bread, which can understate or dull the flavors within. The fried shrimp are plentiful, which you might not expect to see in the category of inexpensive seafood, and seasoned really well. It tastes a lot like the seasoning a fast food chain would use on a fried chicken sandwich, but with a tiny bit more heat. My only complaint is that there was only one slice of tomato, when there was room for two, but the point seems tit-for-tat. The price is unbeatable for a downtown po’boy – $5.00. The condiments offered for any dish are ketchup, mustard, and mayo, which you must apply yourself. I put mayo on mine, and it’s a bit difficult to add mayo to any dish without a knife, but it did compliment the po’boy well.”
Taste of Creole: Beignets
“I’d never had a beignet before, but I’m a sucker for pastries. These beignets are only 2 bucks for 3 pastries, although I hardly had room for one after my po’boy. It’s a very simple pastry – just fried pastry dough sprinkled emphatically with powdered sugar. I think I’d take a beignet from Taste of Creole over a doughnut from a major chain any day – either way, I’d rather not know the calorie count! They’re most likely best when eaten fresh – and I don’t mean within hours, but within minutes – otherwise, the sugar might turn into glaze. Enjoying them on the grass across from Elon Law felt like perfect timing, and the freshness of the pastry was glorious. Just glorious.”
- Rae Alton
Hickory Tree BBQ: Turkey BBQ Sandwich with Cole Slaw
“Not much you can’t say good about turkey barbecue. It’s slow-cooked, juicy, tender, and flavor-packed bird cooked to perfection. This isn’t your traditional North Carolina barbecue. The slaw adds a nice sweet texture. It possibly includes some apples or other fruit. Ask for a cup of Mr. Rountree’s red sauce to kick up the heat and tang. I’ve been to several trucks now at Commerce Place and Hickory Tree definitely cranks out the food the fastest. The truck was started by a war veteran who has recently had some heart problems. He developed a way to still enjoy barbecue while keeping heart health at the forefront.”
- Keith Warther
Taste of Creole: Jambalaya
“Tastes of Creole offers a good sampling of Louisiana favorites such as the aforementioned classics, but it doesn’t get more classic than jambalaya. The serving comes in a adequately-sized plastic container packed to brim with rice, chicken, and sausage all accented by tomatoes and spices. My biggest mistake was going for the big chunk of sausage on the top first bite. My mouth was on fire with spice, but I’m into that sort of thing. Be careful if spice will get ya – this is a hot rice dish. Overall thoughts were positive. $4 for the rice container plus a can of soda.”
- Keith Warther
Taqueria El Azteca: Chicken Tacos
“It tasted like Jesus. I’d been craving Mexican all week and was ecstatic when I finally got my hands on two chicken tacos from Taqueria El Azteca. The tacos were delicious and so was the ice cold Mexican coke (served in a glass bottle and made with real cane sugar) I had to wash it down with. All I wanted to do after inhaling the tacos was to lie down in the grass and go into a much needed food coma. It took all the will power I could muster to make it back into the office.”
- Charles Wood
Taqueria El Azteca: Tostada
Taqueria El Azteca served up a lunch that didn’t require sitting down or an entire lunch hour. For five dollars you have your choice of protein on top a crunchy shell, that is then covered with shredded lettuce, avocado, sour cream, tomato, and shredded cheese. The vegetables were fresh and crisp, and the tomato was perfectly ripe and flavorful. Taqueria El Azteca also served several different types of hot sauce that were seated next to the easily accessible pick up window. All said and done it was a great lunch that was served up quick, fresh, and with a five dollar price tag.
- Jess Loer
The Great Escape – Spicy Tofu Noodles
“I tried the Great Escape’s 5 spiced tofu and noodles, which was absolutely delicious. The dish also had vegetables and herbs, which only enhanced the flavors of the noodles. The tofu was cooked to perfection (soft but still firm) and the “5 spiced” aspect was definitely present. It has the perfect amount of mushrooms (mushroom:noodle ratio = good). It’s also extremely filling, which makes the $8 price tag worth it. My only complaint is that it wasn’t spicy enough (although I did only ask for medium), but that’s just a minor issue compared the tasty treat I gave my tastebuds.”
- Avalon Kenny
The Great Escape – Jerk Chicken Crepe, Braised Pork Crepe
“I ate at Great Escape’s food truck. It was delicious, as always. This time I had two of their jerk chicken crepes and one of the braised pork crepes. It was my first time having the chicken, and it was fabulous. Perfectly cooked crepes, stuffed with splendid chicken and truck-made slaw, topped with tangy mango chutney. Wow. The braised pork crepe is one of my favorites, stuffed with the Great Escape’s remarkable pimento cheese, and topped with their spicy banana sauce. Yep, they make it with bananas. These guys are cooking outstanding food out of their sparkling clean food truck. I’ll be in their line whenever I see the Great Escape logo on the side of the truck. I give it two tongues up.”
- Matty Sheets
The Great Escape – Cajun Chicken Crepe
“I had the Great Escape cajun chicken crepe with mango chutney, which I ate like a French-fusion burrito. They gave me a packet of cutlery and a napkin, but faced with the glorious and colorful roll of food I found myself holding in the shadow of the trucksteraunts (yeah, trucksteraunts), I couldn’t resist using my hands. This taught me two things:
1) Mango chutney is sticky, and
2) it’s not that hard to imagine a carnival of flavors in my mouth.
Not like the county fair, I mean a <a wikipedia:tomatilla>mobs-in-the-street-having-an-acre-wide-food-fight-around-the-parade-floats kind of carnival</a> of flavor. All I can write is that words don’t do it justice.
- Mark Edmonson