by Liz Berntson | Zagat.com
With our Cheap Eats coverage in full swing, we know what you’re waiting for: the food trucks. You can score a bargain at these mobile eateries, but it can be a little tricker to score something truly unique. We rounded up some delicious, albeit odd, takes on mobile eats that are sure to whet your appetite, satisfy your adventurous side and get you out on the streets. As if stuffing your face on the side of the road wasn’t strange enough.
Edible Ice Cream Wrappers: With its out-of-the-ordinary ice cream flavors like olive oil with rosemary and brown butter with candied bacon, Coolhaus keeps New York City, The Hamptons, Los Angeles and Austin covered in the weird department. Add to that its edible wrappers (potato paper and soy ink) and, well, there’s a reason they’re on the top of the list.
Cheeseburger Sushi: In Los Angeles, American cuisine meets Japanese in the form of Yatta‘s All American Roll, a combo of sliced beef, pickles and melted cheese that’s wrapped in seaweed and rice, served with ketchup and mustard. This food truck showcases a great American tradition – bastardizing something that’s completely good for you and then throwing the whole darn thing into the deep fryer (four pieces are $3.75 or get eight for $7).
Deep-Fried Madness: At Fredericksburg, VA’s Beach Fries, the deep-fried bologna burger and the deep-fried corn on the cob stand out amid the otherwise usual beach fare – corn dogs, crab cakes and rench fries. They’re good enough to perhaps warrant a name change to Deep-Fried-ricksburg.
Thai-Basil Ice Pops: Travel to the island of Oahu where you can find more than 35 takes on what we commonly think of as a Popsicle, but here they are dubbed Paletas. You can get all sorts of unusual concoctions including the ume-Thai basil and water-based OnoPops, which purveyors suggest go well with a cold, imported Japanese lager. For something on the sweeter side, the Auntie Abbie Pi fills the bill – ripe apple bananas are caramelized into a banana pudding, blended with cream cheese and island milk, then swirled with an organic coconut and graham cracker streusel. Enough to make everyone good-humored ($2.50).
Multi-meat Burgers: When just any burger won’t do, the Pacman Burger at Kogi in LA is sure to satisfy your exotic needs. It includes three meats (pork, beef and chicken), two types of salsa, sesame mayo, chicharrones and jack and cheddar cheese ($7).
Peanut Butter Tacos: Looking for a different take on the ho-hum lunchtime PB&J? LA’s Flying Pig has a yummy answer in the form of peanut butter carnitas. Just one of the many offerings of tacos filled with Asian and Pacific Rim flavors fused with French technique. Think you’ll want to share this one? When pigs fly…
Snail Lollipops: For top-notch French cuisine at $2 a pop, the Escargot Puff Lollipops are a must-try at Spencer on the Go in San Francisco. Oh, and if your child is addicted to lollis, get them one of these and that problem will quickly go away.
Wafels & Dinges
Photo: Graham Kates
Liquid Lavender:This Boston-based outfit is known for changing things up on a daily basis, but Clover Food Truck’s interesting takes such as their mushroom sandwich washed down with a lavender lemonade is wicked good ($5 and $2, respectively).
Cool-Lick-What?: When butter and syrup won’t do, track down the Wafels & Dinges truck on the streets of New York City for tasty pulled pork BBQ topped with coleslaw and a coolickle. Yep, that pickle was made with red Kool-Aid for a bit of extra zing ($8.50).
Do You Want 10-Years to Life With That?: The Lickety Split Ice-Cream Truck in Staten Island may have seemed all innocent, until the owners got busted for selling over $1 million worth of Oxycodone into the New York black market. That definitely wins the most illegal dish award, but we think those snail lollipops may still be a little weirder.