Summer Food Trucks

So this summer has kinda of involved a lot of food. Good food.

I am currently obsessed with the ever-so-trendy mobile cuisine craze, aka FOOD TRUCKS. 

Food trucks have come a long way from the original ice cream man truck. There are sooo many different kinds and they are even  starting to show up in surprising locations.

When we went to Texas for a cousin’s wedding earlier in the summer, it was evident that the multitude of unique food trucks fit right in with the quirky charm of Austin.

Tuna’s fam and I were watching some bands at a bar in downtown Austin one of the nights and we ended up wandering out of the back patio. Best thing to find in the backyard of a bar after a evening of drinks: gourmet grilled cheese, made to order.

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Almost everyone in our group ended up ordering one of the Thrilled Cheese sandwiches.

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Of course my picky self chose the tried and true “Nana.” Probably the best grilled cheese I’ve had in my life.

If you’re ever in the Austin area, make sure to find Thrilled Cheese on Twitter HERE and find out where they’re at!

Wandering home that same night we stumbled on a bunch of food trucks hanging out on the side of the main drag. We couldn’t resist stopping and checking them out.

One of the guys ordered a dish of Chicken Biryani (chicken and rice with creamy yogurt and intensely flavorful Indian spices) at a truck called Taste Fro(m) India and let us each have a bite. It was my first time trying Chicken Biryani and it was AMAZING.

tastefroindia

We went back the next day and I got a whole plate for myself. : ) I like Indian food now because of this food truck! You can find their Yelp page HERE. 

A few weeks ago when I was visiting my friend Nancy in Baltimore, we went to a festival called ArtScape, which is a huge arts festival but also had a whole food truck section.

There were a TON of choices, but we finally settled on Cruisin’ Cafe because it had a lot of good Maryland crab options.

cruisin'cafe

We had to wait a little while for our food, but in the end it was definitely worth it..

Behold: the “crabby fries.”

crabfriescruisincafe

They were warm, crabby, and delicious. But even though Nance and I shared them, it still was a little too much for us. We thought it could have used a little more fries and less of the creamy crab dip.

What I REALLY loved was my crab cake BLT. It had the perfect texture and I wish I had the sauce to put on everything I eat from now on.  Mmmm….

crabcakeblt

cruisincafecrabblt

Obvi we had to end the tour de truck with a sweet treat, so we shared some salty caramel ice cream from the Taharka Bros. truck.

taharkabros

good friends = will pose mid-bite for you

This is a special food truck for many reasons. Not only did it launch by Kickstarter,  they have an awesome story with some goals that I definitely support.

From their Kickstarter page…

THE TAHARKA BROTHERS STORY

Back in ’10 we were talking about the lack of job opportunities for young black men in Baltimore. We discussed the idea of owning our own business and paving our own path. We, repping various parts of a city steeped in struggle, thought hard about friends, families, futures, hopes, ‘hoods and heroes. We asked ourselves some hard questions. Could we promote peace, social and economic justice to the people of Baltimore through starting our own business?

Taharka is majority owned and operated by urban young men, all under the age of 24. We are a Benefit Corpration (for-profit) and for-community enterprise which uses it’s award-winning ice cream and business initiatives to help bring about a better, brighter, and more “taharkafied” world.”

Their ice cream is really good too.

We couldn’t get enough of the trucks, so we went back the next day for more.

Can’t go to Greece? Me either. The next best thing – gyros from Greek on the Street food truck.

greekonthestreet

I was super impressed with the speed that they pumped out the hot and juicy gyros.

greekonthestreetchickengyro

But the best part was definitely the “most amazing pita shell ever” (said in a Gordon Ramsay-esque  voice).

They were ridiculously fresh and the chicken in it really melted in your mouth.

Moral of the story: if you see a food truck – wherever your are – stop and order something from it to eat! I have yet to have a bad food truck experience.  You really can’t beat the convenience, plus the price of the food is usually a lot less than it would be for the same thing in a restaurant.

The only con I can find with food trucks is a bit of a big one: the healthiness factor.  I don’t really want to know the calorie count of the crabby fries because I’m sure I would be horrified. Food trucks definitely aren’t an all day/every day way to eat, but fun for a special occasion or on vacation.

It would be nice to add nutritious to the the convenience and price of food trucks food – along with the quality of taste, of course.

My next mission – find a DELISH, HEALTHY food truck. The big question is, does one exist?

Tell me: what are your thoughts on food trucks?

Have you tried any especially good ones?

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Sunshine Crepes and Beachy Shrimp

Tuna and I ventured to Bethany Beach in Delaware last weekend with some friends and we managed to have a lot of fun even though it rained the entire trip! At least we could still enjoy one of the best things at the beach: the food. 

On the Saturday after we arrived we went down to the boardwalk area for brunch. We found a good crepes place on yelp called Sunshine Crepes and they were perfect. Just the right amount of everything (especially cheesy goodness).

sunshinecrepesmenu1

I got the Supreme: with egg whites, bacon, green peppers and onions, and cheddar – so, without the mushrooms. 🙂

I like how there are egg whites…and bacon.

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At first I was only going to get a savory crepe, but then decided that how could I go to a crepe place and only get one crepe?

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Had to get a sweet one too.

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*****

Nancy’s bf is quite the chef (he grew up on the Maryland shore) and made us a protein snack Saturday late night.

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These were THE best old bay steamed shrimp I have ever had. And no, that’s not just because it was 2am…

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday! 

What is your favorite thing to eat at the beach? 

Post Race Eats

After the Capitol Hill Classic we headed in search of something good to eat.

capitolhillIn order to get to some good restaurants we had to walk through Eastern Market. Very weird that I’ve lived here forever and never been!

easternmarketsamplesIt was perfect wandering past all the yummy booths and taking handfuls of samples. Just what I needed post race!

easternmarketapple

easternmarkethummusMal said it would be a great place to buy fruit and veggies for juicing – agreed! We def need to go back there with some cash pronto.

easternmarketcucsPretty cool that you can get farmers market produce right in the city.

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easternmarketpeachesI would like all of these, please.

easternmarketnecklacesWe settled on a place called Boxcar Tavern for brunch and sat at the bar. I couldn’t resist ordering a mimosa.

boxcartavernmimosaRe-hydration is necessary after running 6.2 miles. Yeah.

Chocolate chip pancakes seem to be part of my post 10K tradition, so I’m just gonna go with it.

pancakesI may need to do a race every Sunday because it was the first time I’ve gone to bed before 11 in a looooong time.

Thanks to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

What’s your favorite post-race meal?

Watt’s Grocery

It seems that all of the places to eat in Durham end in “market” or “grocery.”

Maybe that’s a hint to how local and self-produced all of the food is – referencing the small distance between the farm and the table. I’m cool with that.

wattsgrocery8I liked that they show all of the farms that the food comes from on their menus.

wattsgrocery4My mom’s bf got the sazerack. I tried it and was not a fan.

wattsgrocery3I was, however, a fan of the pomegranate margarita – both my mom and I ordered one. I liked the little seeds peeking through the ice!

wattsgrocery7We split the Farmer’s Cheese Hushpuppies for an app.

wattsgrocery21. It came with basil mayo that was insane.

2. The hushpuppies had jalapeños. I approve.

Can you guess which one I picked?

wattsgrocery6Yup, the pan roasted chicken. My mom had a bite and said, “that is the best chicken ever.” There’s those pecans again!

I’m adding sauteed mustard greens to my tried and I didn’t like, no thanks list.

If you’re ever in Durham, Watt’s Grocery is definitely a place you need to try.

Foster’s Market

Has anyone been to Foster’s Market in Durham before?

foster'smarket2

“Foster’s Market is a gourmet food market and cafe, focusing on scratch made soups, salads, casseroles, sandwiches and more. Everything is made in house, we even roast the turkey for our sandwiches. It is nearly impossible to describe Foster’s with one set definition. We are a restaurant, coffee bar, specialty food store and catering company. We also make gift baskets and sell products on our online store.”

Cool fact: Sara Foster started her career working for my fav, Martha Stewart.

We went there for a late lunch on Saturday and it was sooo good.

I ordered the house roasted turkey breast sandwich.

foster'smarket

I was proud of myself – I didn’t switch up anything on the menu and didn’t do a “create your own” sandwich like I normally would at a place like this. Didn’t even nix the basil mayo!

This is a huge step for my picky-meter. 

We got the deviled eggs for an little appetizer while we waited for our sandwiches.

Just like pecans, deviled eggs were everywhere in Durham.

deviledeggs

To quote Tuna, don’t these look amaze-balls?

Best deviled eggs I’ve ever had.

My mom’s bf thought that there might have been some pickle juice in them – but we didn’t think so.

Turns out he was right! It’s pretty awesome they have all of their recipes online. I know where I’m going to be getting my spring/summer recipes from!

Everything tasted ridiculously fresh.

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I couldn’t help but swipe a bag of chocolate covered pecans on our way out.

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I needed some more protein. Yeah.

Thanks to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

A Visit from Vicki

I’m finally getting around to recapping last weekend and it’s already almost time for another! Whoops. (But TGIAF [thank gawd it’s almost Friday]).

This past weekend was full of fun activities thanks to a visit from my friend Vicki who came up from Charlottesville!

Since it was raining on Saturday morning, we decided do some yoga before our long run. I am so lucky that I actually still have friends when I constantly make them take awkward photos of me.

yoga2

I was excited to run with Vic because she is a super runner (she’s done two Tough Mudders and two marathons – cray) and I knew she would push the pace a little bit.

trailrunwithvicki

Success! The run flew by since we were chattin’ away.

The rest of the weekend consisted of multiple restaurant trips where we spent too much moolah and shoveled our faces with delish eats.

On Sunday afternoon we went to Chinatown before Vicki had to catch her train back home.

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We went to Matchbox, which we both love. Matchbox has pretty big portions and not-too-painful prices.

Vicki was craving a burger all weekend and was determined to get it.

I got an awesome Bloody Mary. I actually tried a Bloody Mary for the first time with Vicki a few years ago at a brunch in Georgetown.

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bloodymary3

Vicki got her burger! Aren’t these the coolest onion rings you’ve ever seen? I stole one and devoured it.

vicki'sburger

New food alert: the onion rings were sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and I liked it! Tuna will be thrilled (I always veto Parmesan on anything).

I ordered the chopped salad. When I ordered, I made sure to ask our server if it came with lettuce. It didn’t specify, so I was confused. I didn’t know if it’s base was made of the diced tomato.

His response: “Obviously.”

Oh.

choppedsalad

Mmmm. I’m going to have to try to re-create this one at home.

What did you do last weekend? Any plans for this weekend?

Are you a difficult order-er at restaurants? I always am. Sometimes it gets me into trouble with the people I’m with! 🙂 

Weekend Recap

Big news today. I ran 8 miles outside and didn’t die.

Though I kind of thought I was going to during miles 6-8.

longrun8milelongrun8milespace

You can tell I was dying by my even slower slow splits.

I was glad I got to run outside on my fav new beautiful trail, though. We all know that long runs on the treadmill can seem like torture.

*****

On Saturday afternoon, Tuna and I went to the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria to check out his sister-in-law’s awesome art exhibit.

torpedofactory1It was pretty cool that we got to tour the exhibit with the artist!

Afterwards we headed over to RedRocks Pizzeria for some beer and fancy pizza.

I sampled the Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale (not gonna lie, I picked it just because of the name) and it was delish.

sumpin'sumpin'1It’s a good thing that the pizza was amazing, because Tuna and I were pretty pissed about our appetizer. We experienced a terrible injustice when our “bacon wrapped scallops” order arrived with ONE measly scallop.

scallop2We ate our nine dollar scallop in one bite.

*****

New obsession = Homeland.

If you haven’t started it yet, you have to. End of story.

Let’s cross our fingers that I wake up tomorrow! It always seems harder to get out of bed the day after a long run. My clean sheets are calling – catch ya later!

Tell me about your weekend! What did you do?

Miss Shirley’s Cafe

When I made plans to go to brunch on Sunday with my dear old friend Nancy and some buddies in Baltimore, I secretly hoped we would go to my FAVORITE place in the entire city.

I knew I could count on Nancy to feel the exact same way that I do about Miss Shirley’s Cafe.

missshirley'soutsideSometimes there can be a long wait, but on Sunday we were in luck and snagged a table right away.

Please observe the best bread in the world:

funkymonkeybreadYes, that is bread. A.k.a. the most delicious giant cinnamon bun around.

missshirley's menuNancy kept warning me, “This is not clean eating…this is not clean eating!”

Sometimes you just gotta eat dirty.

Nancy went big and got the house special recognized by Food Network: Shirley’s Affair with Oscar.

The menu lists it as: 5 oz. Beef Tenderloin filet, topped with Asparagus, Jumbo Crab Meat & Hollandaise Sauce, on Fried Green Tomatoes & Savory Grits with Diced Bacon, dusted with Old Bay.

shirley'saffairwithoscar

Nance liked it, but kind of wished she had ordered her usual, chicken and waffles.

chickenandwafflesThanks for letting me annoyingly take pictures of your food, guys. 🙂

southwestomeletsI couldn’t decide what to get! There were so many dishes I wanted to order (and that’s sayin’ something, coming from me.)

I finally settled on the Chesapeake Club.

Jumbo Lump Crab Cake, Shrimp Salad, Bibb Lettuce, Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Red & Yellow Tomatoes, Avocado, Old Bay Remuloude on Sourdough Toast, dusted with Old Bay.

grits

Oh yeah, and grits with bacon on the side.

I am still dreaming about this sandwich. It was love at first sight.

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Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

P.S. Help! I need healthy holiday party recipes. Do you have any favorites?

Le Pain Quotidien

Or as I still call it, “Le Puh puh qwah qwah,” since I cannot pronounce the name of this restaurant if you paid me.

The Saturday we got back from Brazil, I had to immediately brag about our trip to some of my fam.

We went to Le Pain Quotidien for brunch. I had never been there before – and it was good! Basically a fancy pants Panera that is more of a sit-down restaurant with communal tables.

The only downside was their small servings, but it’s all organic and moderately priced.

I started with some apple cider.

appleciderThere weren’t any handles! Guess it’s a French thing.

My mom got a fancy turkey and avocado sandwich.

momsandwichmomsandwich2I stuck with some hangover comfort food, and ordered french toast.

frenchtoastMy lil’ cuz ate half of it, so we ordered a second round! 🙂

Le Pain Quotidien looks a little bit like Beauty and the Beast on the inside with it’s provincial French decor (I need to start taking pictures of things other than my food!)

Tuna got the Spanish omelet and I was jeal. I wish the omelets I make would look like that!

tunaslepain

Thanks as always to Jenn for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

What is your favorite brunch spot?

Best comfort food. Ready….go.