- Profile: Always finding enjoyment in writing, traveling, and eating, Andy was a perfect addition to the MyUntangled team. Focusing primarily on local restaurants, events, and businesses from the bustling metropolis of Boston, to the relaxed countryside of Western Massachusetts, there is no place in this state that will be left unturned. In his spare time, Andy enjoys reading, listening to, researching, and playing music as well as partaking in other typical activates associated with being in one’s mid twenties. He hopes to one day be a full-time blogger, because let’s face it, who likes sitting at a desk from 9-5?
andy has written 7 Articles:
When I first started writing posts for this blog series, the content was minimal, the array of subjects to write on was small to nil—the good news is I can no longer say that. As weeks chip away to months, “the day,” which, in September, seemed like nothing more than a foggy dream has started to become a visceral reality. How so? Because now we are in the trenches, a mere 5 months away1, and there is still much to be done. With the “Save the Dates” out2, we have started thinking about the actual invitations3; making decisions about transportation from the wedding’s location to the reception4; what I’m going to wear5; which floral arrangements we’re going to use; oh, and who knows what else I’m missing!!!!! Luckily, there has been at least been one decision made, and it just so happens to have been what I was looking forward to the most…what food is going to be served at the reception.
On a recent typical spring New England afternoon, with the weather still in a state of hesitation, the soon-to-be Mrs. and I arrived at the Wachusett Village Inn just shy of our scheduled 4:00 pm tasting, with the in-laws soon to follow. After meeting the hostess, we were seated immediately after being greeted and the food, from that point on, came in an onslaught to the taste buds for close to forty-five minutes. May it be noted that prior to the tasting, we were asked to choose various items for each respective course of the 4 course meal. We had 5 choices for hors d’oeuvres6, 2 for the appetizer, all of the salads were offered for tasting, and 4 entrees. Keeping our guests in mind, as a considerable amount of them are vegetarians, our choices and the results are as follows:
Course 1 – Hors D’oeuvres
- Caramelized Onion and Apple Tart with Thyme and Gruyere Cheese
- Coconut Shrimp with Pineapple Chutney
- Vegetable Spring Rolls with Zesty Orange Glaze
- Pan Seared Scallops served in a Phyllo Cup drizzled with Basil Oil
- Mini Beef Wellingtons Wrapped in Puff Pastry and filled with Mushroom Duxelle
Originally, we intended to taste the Mediterranean Display, which consists of hummus, red peppers, Kalamata Olives, and a plethora more, however, it was not available for private tastings, which ours happened to be, so one of the aforementioned items was thrown in as a wildcard. After everyone sampled each hors d’oeuvres, discussion was brought forth about which were keepers and which, if any, would be lost to the Mediterranean Display. It was unanimously decided that the Mini Beef Wellingtons, although quite tasty, would be cut.
Course 2 – Appetizers – Two choices enter, one choice leaves
- Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque7
- Ravioli with Ricotta Cheese in a Roasted Garlic and Chive Cream Sauce
To be honest, the winner should be a given. As good as the Roasted Butternut Squash Bisque was, and this is coming from someone who typically does not prefer squash, it had no chance. The ravioli will, by far, be a better fit for the guests…(well, I hope.)
Course 3 – The Salads
- Bouquet of Mixed Greens with Garden Vegetables with Creamy Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Dressing
- Classic Caesar Salad with Romaine Lettuce tossed with Garlic Croutons, Parmesan Cheese, Cracked Black Pepper and Creamy Caesar Dressing
- Radicchio, Bib, Belgian Endive, Crumbled Blue Cheese and Walnut Vinaigrette Dressing
- Red and Yellow Beefsteak Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Aged Balsamic Glaze
This course was chosen solely out of consideration for our guests. Normally, the Radicchio, Bib, Belgian Endive or the Red and Yellow Beefsteak Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella would have been our choice, with more preference going towards the latter for me. However, those are some choices for people who really get into their salads, those who want something more than just the normal greens, shredded carrots and other standard topping. Seeing how a large portion of our guests are not those kind of people, we decided to go with the Caesar salad. I mean, like it says, it is a classic.
Course 4 – Entrees – Two to be chosen
- Maple Teriyaki Caramelized Salmon Filet – Marinated Filet of Salmon, Maple Glazed finished with a Citrus White Wine Butter Sauce
- Chicken Saltimbocca – Chicken Breast topped with Proscuitto Ham and Cheese, served over Sautéed Spinach in a Sage Cream Sauce
- Portobello Eiffel – Grilled Marinated Portobello Mushroom layered with Zucchini, Summer Squash and Baby Spinach served with Saffron Beurre Blanc
- Prime Rib of Beef Au Jus – Slow Roasted Prime Rib of Beef
Coming to a decision for the entrée was a little more complicated than we originally anticipated. Every course had a wonderful presentation and was tasty in its own way. What came to light, after giving everything a once over, was the limited options for those who are not vegetarians. If we decided to have one meat dish and one vegetarian dish (of which there was only one option) it wouldn’t be as diverse a choice for those who do eat meat. Seeing how everything tasted great, we asked if there was the option of just ordering the number of vegetarian plates needed. Thankfully, the venue was flexible (as they have been with many other things) and said it would be no problem. In the end it was decided that the Chicken Saltimbocca and the Maple Teriyaki Caramelized Salmon Filet would be the winners. This way, if there were any pescetarian’s or people with dietary restrictions, there would be a choice for them as well. Both the bride-to-be and I were extremely pleased with how we were able to meet everyone’s needs, and with excellent food at that.
Thus ends this chapter. What will the next post be about? It’s hard to say, but it probably won’t be as tasty as this one.
1 Quick realization
2 For those dying to know which “Save the Date” we decided to send…after more deliberation (much more) we finally were able to settle on sending them on flat paper, rather than glossy.
3 Which is all that has been done
4 My vote is for good old Cheese Wagons
5 Apparently black Florsheim Hugo’s are NOT ok
6 Said in the most obnoxious way possible
7 Not to be confused with “soup”
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For those of you new to MyUntangled Life since I wrote my first installment of “Andy at the Altar”, welcome. For those who are regulars, yes, I am a) still alive and b) still getting married. As some of you may know, a lot goes into planning a wedding, but, at times, there are lulls and not a lot of activity. I suppose it all depends on how far out your wedding date is, mine being about 6 months.
Since I last left you, not a whole lot has moved forward with the exception of prepping the Save-the-Date cards, which, may I add, have taken more time than they probably should have1. What really took up so much time? For us, it was due to three variables. The most important for starters was the guest list: who to consider, who to invite, and ultimately, yes, who to drop2. And the photo for the Save-the-Date card, just setting aside the time to have the bride’s sister capture the perfect shot took longer than expected. Last, but not least, the gathering of the mailing addresses3. Want to talk about a “welcome to the 21st century” moment? Look no further. Like many people I know, my address book isn’t necessarily tangible, it’s located online, and typically only filled with email addresses. So where does one resort to for that kind of information? If you guessed Facebook, your parents, and the soon to be in-law’s, you’re correct. Thankfully everything, on that end, is coming together nicely.
So where are we at? As of this writing, the envelopes have been ordered and the cards have been designed, with many thanks to a friend who is a Photoshop whiz. Only two tasks remain, one for the tech guru of the house and by trade, myself, and that is to compile all the mailing addresses4 in Excel, mail merge them to Word, and print them out on your standard 8160 Avery Address Labels. The other is the printing of the cards themselves, to which there has been much debate as to what kind of paper to use: glossy or flat? My preference, as you may have guessed, is no preference. I mean, we are talking about a card that will find a home on somebody’s fridge and then the recycling bin. My fiancée on the other hand, doesn’t feel the same way. So will it be glossy or will it be flat? I’ll fill you in on the decision when the next post occurs…which will hopefully be sooner rather than later.
1The last four months to be exact.
2A decision still being weighed.
3Still in process.
4Going well, so far.
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When it comes to holiday shopping, in every family there is always “that one person” that is so tough to shop for because of their eclectic taste in…well, everything. Being that said individual in my family, I compiled a list of my top 10 book and album gift ideas…5 albums outside the realm of the Billboard top 100 (or 200 or more) and 5 books by well-known and not yet so well-known authors; or, if you want to look at it another way, “10 gifts to impress the “rebel” in your family”.
Five Great Albums for Listening and Gifting
Waking Season by Caspian
Genre: Post-rock | Instrumental
Notable tracks: “Gone in Bloom and Bough” | “Halls of the Summer” | “Fire Made Flesh”
Possibly one of the best albums released this year, Waking Season is packed with songs for those looking to have an experience. With ethereal guitar melodies, drums like cannons, and bass lines that reach one’s inner core, this album transcends on many levels, taking you along for the ride.
There’s No Leaving Now by The Tallest Man on Earth
Genre: Folk | Singer-Songwriter
Notable Tracks: “There’s No Leaving Now” | “Leading Me Now” | “Little Brother”
It may be hard to imagine, especially for those in regions that will soon be (or have been) clobbered by snow, but this is the perfect album for driving with the windows down. Bare and raw, in both sound quality and musicianship, There’s No Leaving Now is one man, an acoustic guitar and, at times, various accompanying instruments. Rich with melodies, and lyrics that can be ambiguous or straightforward, this is the perfect album to put on and zone out on to long drives.
Grow Up, Dude by You Blew It!
Genre: Emo | Indie
Notable Tracks: “Terry v. Tori” | “I’m Bill Paxton” | “Pinball House”
For starters, the shear musicianship on this album makes it worth picking up; catchy guitar and bass riffs, vocal harmonies and a slight imperfection makes it stand out and feel real in an epoch where technology amounts to more than half the “talent” on a cd. With relatable lyrics and being just shy of 34 minutes, this is one album that needs to be played twice and kept stored for next summer’s backyard bbq’s.
Pipe Dreams by Whirr
Genre: Shoegaze | Dream Pop
Notable Tracks: “Junebouvier” | “Flashback” | “Wait”
Rainy days go well accompanied by two things, either a hot cup of coffee, tea, cocoa, etc. and music to match the mood. For me, it varies in genre…I either go with post-rock or shoegaze. Much like notable shoegaze artists of the past (ex. My Bloody Valentine) Whirr delivers song after song of the most delicious and luscious guitars that ebb and flow and swoon from side to side. With low-key sweet vocals, an on-point rhythm section and recorded with a lo-fi feel, this is a great album to listen to while watching the rain drip from the gutter or slide down the car windshield.
Television of Saints by Rocky Votolato
Genre: Folk | Singer-Songwriter | Indie
Notable Tracks: “Little Spring” | “Fool’s Gold”
This is the seventh and newest release by the fantastic and very underrated singer-songwriter, Rocky Votolato. Straightforward, catchy chord progressions, and a slight pop feel makes this album accessible to almost anyone. With a mix between acoustic only songs and full-band, each track offers something different, but collectively coherent.
Five Great Books for Reading and Giving
Erasure by Percival Everett
Closely examining issues of race and writing, Erasure is a satire following writer Thelonious “Monk” Ellison as he struggles to write a new novel. With family complications in his personal life and the rising popularity of banal novels in his professional life, Ellison only hopes to live up to his previously critically acclaimed novel. In Erasure, Everett evokes the reader to question the legitimacy of the literary establishment, as well as our cultural conception of race and how we all make assumptions.
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
If you haven’t heard about The Road yet, you may be living under a rock. Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, in 2007, The Road is a post-apocalyptic novel that tells the journey of a father and son in a devastated world where an unspecified event has crippled most of civilization. Compassionate, gripping, and full of hope, The Road asks the reader to dig deep and question everything we have come to know as humans and ultimately ask, what would you do being thrust into a situation like those in the novel?
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Díaz
In the latest collection of short stories by Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Díaz, each story focuses on the concept of love; falling in and out of it, brushing it aside at times only to revisit it later or trying to decide if something is love after all. With powerful language, imagery, and tone, this is one collection of short stories that doesn’t take much time to read.
Devotion by Howard Norman
Just a little over 200 pages, this is a very quick read; perfect for a lazy weekend. The novel begins with the main character striking his new father-in-law, Norman, and throughout the rest of the book the story beautifully builds to what led up to the incident. An unconventional love story at its core, Devotion is elegantly constructed with characters that become so real, you’ll find yourself thinking about them months later. Much like the title of the novel, the book examines what it means to be devoted to something or someone.
Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore
This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. Fresh, funny, and rich with black humor, I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard reading a book. Moore takes the simple fact that Christ’s childhood was not chronicled as well as his later years and, with a spin, has it told by his childhood pal, Biff. With wild journeys, inventive prose, and clever thoughts about how some of the most common expressions of today came about, this is one imaginative book…maybe as imaginative as, say, The Bible.
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One year from today, I will be getting married.
To be perfectly honest, I don’t know the first thing that goes into planning a wedding. From color schemes to floral1 arrangements and even picking out a suit—I’m lost. Over the course of the next year, along with my day-to-day routine, I will be one of the two people worrying…I mean contemplating, no…deciding on “the guest list,” what music is to be played, the aforementioned (to my horror) color schemes and floral arrangements; and, oh yeah, let’s not forget about those centerpieces2. I’m already planning on the inescapable paper cuts and sandpaper tongue from the cutting and folding and cutting and folding and stuffing and sealing and stuffing and sealing of the countless invitations to be sent out. Don’t let me forget to mention, that by the end of it, it will all be worth it.
Over the next few months, through a series of blog posts, my aim is to catalogue my experience and give you, the reader, insight into the male point of view of planning a wedding. Please, before you jump to conclusions or preconceived notions, when I say “male,” I don’t mean overly testosterone-infused discourse on how “flower arrangements are silly” or “centerpieces are stupid,” but, rather, insightful notions and actualities that are rarely seen on the interwebs. I mean, have you noticed the scarcity in wedding blogs (even magazines and books) from the male perspective? They’re out there, but greatly outnumbered. For instance, I know how much the “perfect” wedding dress means to the bride, but I also have plans for what I’ll be wearing…I won’t just be renting a tux from some Joey Bagadonuts.
That being said, this series will serve as a narrative to anything and everything related to being a groom3. The trials and tribulations of kitchen arguments over how, hypothetically4 speaking, “lavender and brown” don’t really go together (they don’t? am I missing something?) to the food tasting offered by the venue, which I am most definitely looking forward to. Above all, this blog series will be honest and, who knows, maybe I’ll even learn a thing or two.
1 Not to be confused with “flower,” we are talking about a wedding here.
2 Does a bottle of Jameson count? (No, I’m not kidding).
3 I forgot about that word until just now…still not totally in the wedding mindset.
4 Or not.
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Thursday, August 9th, 2012 marked the first bakeoff competition over at Fat Moon at Meadowbrook Farm in Westford, Massachusetts; the title being sought after was “Best Zucchini Bread.” Fat Moon proprietor and farmer extraordinaire Elizabeth Almeida, asked myuntangledlife.com if there was a food blogger we could spare, as she was in need of another judge. The assignment came my way and I gladly accepted.
Two other bloggers/judges were present for the bakeoff, Kathi Dolan of The Full Fridge and Sally Rosenthal of How Does Your Garden Grow, who were both a delight. We didn’t waste much time and we got right down to the tasting. From left to right there was every type of zucchini bread imaginable (well maybe not, but there were a lot)—blueberry, poppy seed lemon, chocolate, mock apple (zucchini fried to taste like apple), banana, and the list goes on.
Now what is incredible is from the two categories we were asked to judge, child baked and adult baked, there was no hesitation amongst the judges of who the winners were for Blogger’s Choice. For the child baked, the clear winner was the Lemon Poppy Seed by Katherine Paxton. Here’s the thing with lemon, as I’m sure plenty of you know, too much of it is a bad thing. The flavor goes from sweet to bitter extremely fast, which sours and overpowers everything else. This bread had the perfect amount, the presence of lemon was there, the bread was moist (and still warm may I add) and the poppy seeds, well, popped in and out of taste with each bite. As for the adult baked bread, once again, with no quarrel, we decided on a fabulous Banana Zucchini Bread by Karen Hartman. The bananas used made all the difference. Again, like lemons, bananas being used too soon will have a tart taste whereas bananas getting to the end of their cycle are mooshy and bland. The flavor was rich and the cake was moist, not crumbling to pieces when picked up. With every bite, it would slowly reveal its flavor, subtle at first and leaving you wanting more as you finished.
Overall, there really were no losers, considering all the breads there were fantastic, but because my job there was to pick and choose, I feel we went with the ones that stood out the most. I will say, however, the child’s Blueberry Zucchini Bread by the Dolan Sisters was a very close runner up in my mind.
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There comes a time in every blogger’s life where sacrifices have to be made for the better of the blog. The sacrifice I speak of is this follow-up to my first blog post on food trucks. This time, however, I did not go on a journey to “The City” (Boston Massachusetts) in search of glory on wheels, rather, I made my way to the July 14th, 2012 stop of Food Truck Festivals of New England at Elm Park, in Woosta (for those non-native New Englanders, that’s Worcester, MA). Now, I know you’re asking yourself, “Why would this be a sacrifice?” well I’ll tell you…the number of food trucks that were going to be there and the number of me (one) that went were not quite proportional. Skipping breakfast and not even thinking about dinner, I decided before I even made it to Elm Park that I would probably have to do eating for about…three people, and was I correct.
Parking parallel to the trucks, I could see them all as I made my way through the park; one, two, three…four, five…and I lost count from the excitement that was about to burst out of me. I approached the Food Trucks Festival tent to pick up my pre-purchased tickets (tickets are available for purchase at the festival or online ahead of time and then you trade in X-number of tickets for each food item) and they informed me pre-paid tickets were located at the tent in the middle of the truck line, which was fine by me; I had already planned on doing a preliminary walk from end-to-end, just to make sure those trucks that grabbed my attention would also grab my appetite. After the walk, I decided to concentrate on five or six trucks and the trucks I considered to be the best are the ones that are mentioned here.
If you were to ask me one of those horrible icebreaker questions, you know, the kind they like to ask you at freshman orientation, “what would be your final meal if you knew you were dying?” Well, my answer, without a doubt, would be a hot dog. Now I previously never gave much consideration to where I would get it and now I have an idea. Trolley Dogs was one of a couple of trucks focused on hot dogs, but was the only one that had the appeal for me to try it, and for good reason. Their truck was small and brightly colored and upon giving their menu a once over, I knew it was the place to order from. With 6 different dogs to choose from, I ignored my usual chili cheese dog (their “California”) and decided to go with the “Western.” Starting with their own “gigantic all beef ‘trolleydog’” it also included bbq sauce, onions and cheese. What I really would like to point out before I go any further is that they weren’t kidding; this dog was not your typical Fenway frank, this bad boy was about the size of a typical Italian sausage.
Taking the first bite, the dog had a nice juicy snap. There was nothing but pure flavor, from the tenderness of the dog to the sweet tanginess of the bbq sauce along with the thick creamy cheese and crunch of the onions, everything worked together all settled in a perfectly toasted bun. It’s tough for me, a self-described hotdog afficionado, to admit that this hot dog was too much for just one hand to handle and I had to use two!!!! That’s right, a meal meant for one hand, needed the assist of the other. It took a solid five minutes just to eat it, I threw away the plate and forged on.
Verdict: This is definitely not a hot dog for beginners in both taste and caliber.
Being born in New England and, more specifically, living in Massachusetts, I have grown to appreciate and love seafood. Aptly and correctly nicknaming themselves “The Cod Squad,” Captain Marden’s Seafood came to the festival and delivered on two accounts: 1) with incredible seafood and 2) thinking quick on their feet. On my initial rundown of the trucks I noticed Captain Marden’s had a lobster roll, one of my new favorite quick seafood dishes. Initially, it was advertised as fifteen tickets for a small, and ever mindful that my prepaid package came with a total of thirty tickets; that this was my second truck of the day; and that was half my total tickets, I was about to forgo my decision and get something else, when all of a sudden the ticket price was dropped to a comfortable 7 tickets. There was no need to contemplate further, so I stepped up and got one of the best catches of the day.
Mixed with the traditional mayonnaise, celery and, of course lobster, this mixture was placed on top of lettuce in a nicely toasted hot dog roll. From the first bite to the last bite, not one ingredient outplayed another. The mayo was on point, (there’s nothing worse than having mayo with a little bit of lobster) and there was enough celery in it to provide that extra flavor, but without taking it away from the main ingredient. Which brings me to the lobster. Fresh and cooked to perfection, everything about the lobster was right. It didn’t have the overcooked rubber taste, nor did it have the appearance of being undercooked and slimy. It was rich white with the traditional hue of red and nice and light.
Verdict: The Cod Squad does seafood right; even Poseidon would be impressed.
There was no question in my mind that Big Moe’s would be sampled. It should have been featured in my last post, but I ran out of time and had to forgo it; this would not be happening this time. Stepping up to the traditional silver, sheet metal truck, I knew immediately what I was getting. I mean you’re not dubbed “The King of Ribs” without good cause. Ordering up, I received my ribs almost immediately and doused them in their sweet and tangy sauce.
What came next I wasn’t prepared for…I mean, I thought they were going to be good, but I didn’t realize how good. There are people who probably will debate me on this, but I think the ribs were cooked just how ribs should be. The meat was very tender, but not so tender that it slid right of the bone; you still had to work at it when eating the last few bites. The outside had a beautiful smoked glaze while the inside was just a touch of pink. And as far as the sauce went, it lived up to its name. The initial taste was sweet with a little tang, but with each bite the tang became more prevalent. A creeper sauce, I like that.
Verdict: Big Moe’s packs a big taste and lives up to their title…”The King of Ribs”.
One might think that after forty-five minutes of eating that would be enough for someone. I thought so too, seeing that I only had about 5 tickets left and consumed more meat than one should in a day, I set my eye on something sweeter. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to look far because the truck that so happened to be sitting in front of me was the Sweet truck by Flour Girls Baking Co. I looked at the menu for about 3 seconds and then ordered the Apple Cider Donut Bits.
Like the other trucks, my order was taken care of swiftly and I had the bites within no time. Five in all, I was lucky I ran into some friends who had no problem sharing what looked to be one of the better donut holes I would ever eat. Being correct in that assumption, I may go as far as saying they were the best donut holes I’ve had to date. With a crispy outside and a soft fluffy inside, the donut hole was not dry and had the perfect amount of sugar so it wasn’t too sweet. The apple cider taste was there, could maybe have been a little bit stronger but I don’t think this affected the overall quality. After eating the 3 I had left, surprisingly didn’t feel any fuller.
Verdict: I was so excited to eat them when I smelled them I forgot to take a picture, which didn’t happen with any other of the foods I tried. That in itself is saying something.
Overall the food truck festival was by far one of the best activities I’ve gone to in a long time. I also may have needed to sit at a bench for a good 10-15 minutes after finally hitting my last truck just to take a breather (I should probably take that as a sign), but it was worth every bite. I do apologize for not giving a more detailed account of how many tickets each item was, but as you can tell, I get really excited about food, especially when there is truck after truck serving it and my job is to try the ones that look the best. There are several dates scheduled between now and October, so if I were you, I’d get my tickets now and prepare for one filling time.
Official website: Food Truck Festivals of New England
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We are thrilled to welcome rising blog star Andy Bass to the MyUntangled family. He said he was dying to run around and try food trucks in the city – and who could say no to that? Enjoy his first post and first in a series we’re calling…
Dining à la Truck
Normally when one thinks of a food truck, two thoughts come to mind—An overweight construction worker almost running out of his boots from wherever he is on the jobsite yelling “THE ROACH COACH IS HERE!!!!!” or a grimy looking vending truck parked in a sketchy lot with drunks falling over one another waiting to add a fine layer of grease to a belly full of booze. Yes, neither image is appealing. However, recently (the past two years or so) these kinds of perceptions have been changing due to a new take on the traditional food truck. Being labeled as “Gourmet Food Trucks,” entrepreneurs have taken the classic idea of a food truck and polished up the image and quality of food being served.
So what sets the new fleet of trucks apart from their traditional counterparts? For starters, their looks. Gourmet food trucks, much like the food they serve, have taken presentation into account. Most, but not all, trucks have created a branding and niche menu around a certain concept that becomes just as important to the truck’s ethos as its food.
Having learned about this resurgence in food trucks a year or so ago I always wanted to venture my way to “The City” and hit a couple of them up. Luckily for me, the folks here at Myuntangledlife were as excited to send me, as I was to be going. That being said, this post is going to be part of a trilogy, possibly saga, of the gourmet food trucks you need (or don’t need) to know about in the great city of Boston.
For the first trip into the city, my partner-in-gluttony, Beth, accompanied me. We decided the best course of action was to only sample two trucks at a time—don’t get me wrong, I could do more, but for the sake of our readers, I wanted to leave you wanting more. The first two trucks to tackle were Go Fish! and Roxy’s Grilled Cheese.
Food trucks may seem to casually appear throughout the city but there is definitely a method to the madness. First of all, they must be licensed and they are only allowed park in certain spots at certain times. We scoped out which Boston food trucks we wanted to try and where they would be based on the schedule on the City of Boston website. Taking the commuter rail into North Station there was a bit of a walk to get to Go Fish!, which on this day, was located in the Financial District at Milk and Kirby. Upon getting to the truck there were two things that grabbed my attention. Most notably it would be their truck; a perfect exemplification of embodying the new method of branding. Decorated with a seascape, a light blue background with bright coral and seaweed boasting a couple fishes, my attention was immediately drawn towards it. As I got closer, the next object that caught my eye was their elaborate table adorned with everything from ketchup to malt vinegar to chipotle mayo and red pepper garnishes.
Giving the menu a once, then twice over I saw a few dishes that caught my eye, but nothing that reeled me in. Realizing that I still had another truck to sample, I kept it simple; 2 lobster sliders and a side of Crispy slaw—this came in a little over $9.00 (eh). After hearing my name, I stepped up and grabbed my order. My initial reaction was they forgot one of my sliders since I was handed a plastic wrap and 8 oz. container, but when I brought this to the attention of the proprietor he informed me that they were wrapped together. Sliders, on average, are supposed to be about 3 inches and after unwrapping them, it turned out these were less than average—both, side-by-side, probably came close to three inches, maybe a little bigger. The 8 oz. container of cole slaw, on the other hand, was packed full.
So I got right to it starting with the sliders. The lobster meat was no doubt fresh and the mixture of mayo to celery was spot on with a perfect blend of seasoning. It took me under a minute to put down both the sliders, but I was left wanting more—mostly due to the fact they were so small… mostly. Don’t get me wrong, the sliders were good, but they didn’t blow me out of the water. Next, I dug right into the coleslaw, which was honestly, just your run of the mill, standard, slaw. Nothing about it jumped out at me or made me long for more. (A note from Beth on the slaw: the cabbage was shredded, about 1/4 of an inch wide and some of the pieces were 6 – 8 inches long, which made for difficult eating.)
All around, Go Fish was good, but nothing I would go out of my way for. If I worked in the city, I could imagine myself stopping there if I needed lunch, but would pass it by if there were a long enough line. Bottom line—it’s good, but not the catch of the day.
Considering the sliders and slaw left me still wanting more, we headed to our next destination, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese. Now, let’s get one thing straight, I was beside myself to get there. Ever since the food truck takeover, Roxy’s has been a truck that I’ve wanted to go to considering they were contestants on Food Network’s “The Great Food Truck Race.” As we rounded the corner for Rowes Wharf, I saw the big yellow truck there in all its glory. Much like Go Fish!, Roxy’s truck is hard to miss. It’s bright yellow with their signature logo, a punked out “Wendy” eating a grilled cheese sandwich with a skull & bones tattoo on her left shoulder.
Giving their menu much attention, I noticed the sandwich I wanted wasn’t listed, that being a Reuben (my favorite). Realizing that if it wasn’t on the board, it probably wasn’t offered, so I chose another sangwich as a backup plan. Getting up to the counter I inquired about the Reuben, which as it turns out, was not available that day (a good thing to keep in mind if you look at an online menu beforehand). Not being upset in the least bit; I ordered “The Rookie Melt,” a basic Vermont cheddar and tomato melt, as well, as a side of their hand cut truffle fries—both coming a little over $9.00 (hmmmmmm). Beth, upon getting there, became just as excited as I was. After looking the menu over she settled on the “Mighty Rib Melt” and we took our stand amongst the others that were waiting.
Hearing my name get called, I stepped right up and grabbed my bagged fries and sandwich, which immediately filled me with joy. Taking a few fries out of the bag to sample before sitting down, I knew I was in for a real treat. The fries were cooked to perfection, they weren’t soggy, and they weren’t rock hard—they were just right, crunchy and full of flavor. Still though, I had my eyes set on the sandwich.
Sitting down finally (we went across the street and sat on some benches at Rowes Wharf) and taking the sandwich out of the bag I assessed the grilled cheese. The bread was cooked perfectly, and trust me, there is a fine line between being undercooked and overcooked. Nothing was burned or saturated with the butter from the grill; the sandwich had a nice brown tint to it. Taking the first bite was pure bliss, everything came together nicely, the cheese didn’t overpower the tomato and vice versa, while the bread crunched just right.
Seeing that both sandwiches came cut in half, Beth and I decided to share and, boy, am I glad we did. I thought “The Rookie,” a minimal sandwich was fantastic, but I wasn’t ready for the “Mighty Rib Melt.” The first bite of the braised short ribs caught me off guard. It was juicy and very soft, personally the way I like it. Nothing’s worse than having to chew and chew and chew because a rib is dry and tough. Add the flavor of the caramelized onion and, of course, cheese to the mix, this made it one hard sandwich to forget. (And, honestly, I still find myself thinking about it.)
So, what’s the final verdict? Roxy’s Grilled Cheese is a must stop. If I worked in the city, I would make this a stop at least every two weeks (I don’t lunch out much). The friendly atmosphere of their workers and the quality of food makes this worth checking out. From my experience, just like their logo, a great grilled cheese brings out the child in all of us. (A note from Beth: Roxy’s was yummy and a very well-run truck. The orders are hand-written, called out to the cooks and then hung on a rack in the order they came in. We were there at peak lunch time so things were busy and periodically the crew would run through what was stacked up to make sure what was on the grill matched up, very efficient.)
Until next time, keep trucking along.
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