Saturday, December 29, 2012

Food truck crazy!

Over the past few months I've seen the phrase "food truck craze" in print several times.  It's been needling me, slowly.  Agitating me.  BOTHERING me.

So it's time, I suppose, to make a simple declarative statement.  There's no such thing.  This is not a craze.  This is not a fad.  There are some exceptions, but overall, this isn't a get rich quick scheme for us.  It's probably not a get rich at all scheme for most of us.

It's a small part of a growing contingent of artisans.  Talented and hardworking people who want to show you something new, or maybe something old.  These are people you should take seriously.  Good food should not be treated as a fad.  Fads come and go.  I want good food to stay.

It is an exciting time to live in Columbus.  Food is getting better, amazing even, and it's not just a rash of cupcake shops because cupcakes are in.  It's people blazing new trails or doing old comfortable things in new and exciting ways.

I had a donut today.  A donut in solid contention for the best donut I've ever had, and I've had a few in my day.  The concept seems so simple and it is, in a way.  This is an item you can find within one or two miles of where you sit right now.  This donut, however, towers well above all others and not because it has maple and sausage in it, but because it is crafted in a way that makes it better.  It's not overproofed, so it isn't just a wisp of sweet, airy regret.  It has some chew, an appropriate density.  The oil temperature was obviously closely monitored, because it wasn't greasy or heavy.  The sweetness wasn't over the top, leaving room for you to enjoy the other flavors.  Someone loved that donut (before me), and wanted to share it with you. This is what the food culture is becoming, and it's a great thing.  This is an idea we should get behind.  Maybe there will be a donut craze...

I'm pretty sure that Dan, on That Food truck, is insane.  He isn't just bringing you a wonderful product, but he's so concerned about the quality of his product that he is cutting and curing his own meat.  Your meat, really.

It's not a second thought to most people, as they are loading up on scalding hot hodduk and dduk boki from Laura at Ajumama, how much time and effort is involved in crafting that product from the ground up.  Kimchee(s) and (eese), sauces, marinades...  sourcing ingredients alone has to occupy hours.

As far as we're concerned...  there isn't much to say beyond tater tots.  So. Many. Tater Tots.  Then, we have the rest of the menu to prepare, also from scratch, down to the bacon.

It's control.  We can all tell you, where pretty much every ingredient on the truck came from specifically down to the ingredient.  We're accountable, because we made it, or we know who did.

There is a clear picture of where this goes.  Portland, LA, Manhattan, DC... trucks are now an integral part of the restaurant culture of those cities.  The food coming off of these trucks deserves to be taken seriously and held to the same standards; judged at the same level as any brick and mortar.

If you ask most of us, I'm sure you'll find that we're up to the challenge.

Check out our offerings and schedule

Try a little Seoul food at it's best

See what's happening with the fellas on the other Big Red,

Find out when and how to get the best damned donut you've ever had in your life