Thursday, June 30, 2011


You would think that with a name like Goodburger the burgers would be really good. I've eaten at Goodburger before, but just not the branch that I went to last night with M. M got the salad with a turkey burger on top, and I got the double burger. I initially asked for it to be cooked medium rare, but the cashiers told me that the double can only come medium well, and then they asked how M wanted her turkey burger cooked.

Wait, you're asking how to cook a turkey burger, which really has to be cooked well done for health reasons, but you won't let me have my double beef burgers cooked to temperature even though that would be okay to eat? Something seems wrong with that. Part of this is on me as the fine print of their single and double both say that the patties come medium well and medium well only while their classic burger is cooked to temperature. I don't get what the difference is other than the classic is a 1/3 pound patty, and the single and double are either 1 or 2 1/4 pound burgers. Why that's a difference in how you're allowed to cook it is beyond me.

After a fairly long wait just to get our food, M and I sat down to eat. Everything looked good with the burger. The vegetables looked fresh and crisp, the sauces were loaded on quite nicely, and even the supposed medium well cooked burgers looked edible (I really hate having my burgers cooked above medium rare).

Everything looks okay so far...

After the intial couple of bites, I knew this was going to be a bit of a chore to finish. While the vegetable toppings and the sauces were perfectly fine as first thought, the burgers were well done or past that. Two hockey puck like patties that were hard to swallow because of how dry they were. I'm normally of the school of thought that burgers don't necessarily need sauce(s) to be good. The juiciness of the burgers themselves should suffice. However, I found myself pouring on additional ketchup to every bite just to add enough moisture so that I could swallow each bite. It ended up being a very disappointing burger and left me thinking that I should never order a single or double ever again.

Monday, June 27, 2011


It looks like a new Mexican restaurant is opening up in our neighborhood called Patron.

It describes itself as an "upscale Mexican restaurant" and the chef has worked at similar places like Dos Caminos. The sign designs don't scream "upscale" to me, but I guess we'll see how it turns out.

This spot on 9th Avenue most recently housed a bar/lounge called Flavors. Before that it was a Brazilian place called Bossa Nova that I heard was just OK so we never went. Sometime before that it was a French brasserie. We went there for an impromptu Valentines Day dinner one year (can't find photos of it right now). It was fine, a little heavy, but it didn't last too long.

I like Mexican food (including the American Mexican food like Chevy's) and table-side guacamole (one of the few things I remember from the sign), so here's hoping it clicks in this spot. The location Maoz now has on 8th Avenue near 43rd Street used to be another bad location - first it was Empanada Joe's and then a string of failed pizza places - but it seems to be doing OK there. It's always nice to see a location break its "curse."

Thursday, June 23, 2011

ESPN Match Truck

During the 2010 World Cup, ESPN had a brilliant idea. Since most of the games were during the day, when people were stuck in their offices, why not get a food truck (ah, the good old days before the midtown food truck crackdown), mount a TV on top and serve breakfast and lunch to fans? And it would work on the weekends too -- just head out to popular locations and the crowd will follow!

Vuvuzelas! Sorry for the poor picture quality - camera was broken, was using my blackberry and I hadn't yet realized that the camera on the blackberry needed to be cleaned

One year ago today, I went to the ESPN Match Truck for my first and only visit (more on that later). USA had played earlier in the day and won, and lunchtime coincided with the start of the Germany-Ghana game. I had some time and trekked across town to get to the truck, which was parked all the way on Lex (I work in Midtown West). There was a crowd the entire time, steadily increasing as the game got started.

View while indulging in my World Cup meal

The match truck offered a bunch of different breakfast and lunch items, each representing a country playing in the tournament. I was intrigued by breakfast, for which they offered silver dollar pancakes, tortilla espanola and huevos rancheros, but I was there for lunch.

The lunch options sounded even better. I wanted to try everything! There was a carne asada burrito for Mexico, a lamb gyro for Greece, and yaki mandoo dumplings for Korea. The three that interested me most were the seared rice balls for Italy (which came with vegetables), the bunny chow for South Africa (chicken curry in a hollowed out bun) and the sliders (mini hamburgers with Kogi ketchup). Since the US had won their match, and since I was still trying to eat food in honor of a country playing that day, I went with the sliders.

2 sliders in one order for $6

And a closer look:

These were so good. The sliders were topped not only with Kogi ketchup (which was tasty) but with kimchi and cheese. I immediately wanted more but they weren't cheap and I wasn't really hungry enough for another set. After eating and watching some of the game, I decided that I had to go back to the truck again to try some more.

The weekend after I tried the sliders we went to the NY Food Film Festival where they were having a food truck drive-in. The match truck was listed as a participant and I kept telling A all about how good the sliders were. However, when we got there, they weren't there, and they never showed up. It was like they just bailed on the event and we weren't good enough for them! It was incredibly disappointing as we kept checking on twitter and found that they just went somewhere else instead. We were doubly upset because we had planned to watch the game on their TV and then had to scramble to find another place to watch at the last minute.

Soon, their time on the streets was over and our chance to get the sliders was gone (and A never got to try them). Unfortunately, my memory of the sliders is less positive than it was on the day I tried them after that food festival debacle. Sad, because they really were good.

I wish something like the match truck would happen again, but with the food truck crackdown, it seems unlikely. But mostly, I just miss the World Cup. There's something different about the summers when the world joins together for one sporting event. Something I love. Looking forward to 2014!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Smashburger at EWR

The first "official" meal of our honeymoon was at Newark Airport. We weren't sure how good the food would be on our flight so we decided to get a snack at the little food court by our gate. Luckily, in addition to the free bites of Auntie Anne's Pretzels, the food court had a Smashburger, a Denver-based burger chain that we've been wanting to try.

We didn't want to get a full meal since we were fairly sure we would be fed by Continental, but there were so many options to choose from. Do we share a burger? A salad? Get a bunch of sides? So many things sounded good.

A left the decision up to me, so I picked out 2 things to share for our snack. First, the sweet potato smashfries:

I thought about the regular smashfries, the chili cheese fries and the haystack onions, but decided to go with the "healthier" option and got the sweet potato fries. The fries are tossed with rosemary, olive oil and garlic. I like seasoned fries and these were pretty good. (In fact, I went through a phase for a few years where I didn't eat fries other than seasoned fries. That probably helped me not gain as much weight... so much for that.) They were nice and crisp, and we didn't have to add anything to them because they were well-seasoned. The rosemary also made them a little bit different.

Second, I didn't get the chili cheese fries, but got the chili cheese dog:

This was a beef hot dog (apparently made by a New Jersey company) topped with grated cheddar cheese, onions, fresh jalapenos, and beefy chili. I like chili dogs but skipped the jalapenos because A said these actually had some heat. This was pretty good, but it was a complete mess. Not really easy to eat sitting in uncomfortable chairs by airport gates.

Between the two, I preferred the fries and A preferred the chili cheese dog. But they were both pretty good.

It was a fairly successful Smashburger visit for our first time. They have a pretty big menu, so now that branches are starting to open closer to us, we can try more!

Cross-posted at our everything blog where you can follow along on the non-food parts of honeymoon!

Bon Chon

I met up with my friend Stranga Seventeen for lunch, and he decided on Bon Chon as a bit of a celebration for his upcoming departure from his current job. Now, Bon Chon is by no means a quick lunch, but this day was worse than normal.

Apparently there were too many delivery and take out orders so they basically decided to screw over the customers that opted to sit upstairs and stay at the restaurant. I'm no restaurateur, but I would think that, while delivery and take out orders are indeed important, ignoring the people that are actually sitting in your restaurant is probably a bad idea. We definitely weren't the only two complaining either. It seemed like two of the tables around us had complaints about the lack of food.

When the food finally came we were happy to start eating. I got the new chicken combo meal of wings and coleslaw and fries. It's actually not a bad deal all things considered. But yeah, after waiting for nearly an hour to get our food, a "good deal" wasn't enough to make us not upset.

This wasn't the first time either of us had had Bon Chon before, but, at least for me, this was the first time I was disappointed. The wings came out lukewarm almost as if they were cooked and just left out for a bit before they were actually brought up. The fries were actually hot, though, so it makes me think they were in the middle of making our orders and then just forgot. Sure, the flavor was fine as always, but an extended wait followed up by not fresh chicken really made for a bad meal.

Chicken wings, coleslaw, and fries

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pam Real Thai Encore

After Wondee Siam, and now, Pure Thai Shophouse, the Thai restaurant most talked about in Hell's Kitchen is Pam Real Thai. Due to their cash only policy and the abundance of restaurants in the neighborhood, we still haven't been there. When I saw Pam Real Thai Encore (their second restaurant which opened two blocks south and is supposed to be substantially similar) on SeamlessWeb, I knew I had to order from them. The larb was the cheapest larb gai on Seamless which sealed the deal and I put together a selection of appetizers for dinner. (Apparently I'm into sampler meals today.) Here's what I got:

Steamed Thai dumplings ($4.95, 4 dumplings in one order):

Menu: A classic Thai dumpling stuffed with ground chicken and shiitake mushroom, served with dumpling sauce

I would put this in the middle of the pack as far as Thai dumplings go. It wasn't bland, it wasn't just a blob of meat and it wasn't too heavy on the wrapper, so that was good. The flavor was good, but not as good as some others I've had. They added the garlic on top, which is a plus. This was probably my favorite part of the meal.

Steamed chive dumplings ($4.95, 3 dumplings to one order):

Menu: dumpling stuffed with fresh chives, served with dumpling sauce

When I picked these for the order, I thought they were a little pricey at 3 dumplings for $5. (After all, I hate how Rickshaw costs about $1 per dumpling.) Then again, I was envisioning chive dumplings like those you get at Chinatown dim sum (which are my favorites) - small, dense, tightly packed with chives and veggies. Instead, there was a very doughy white bun with chives inside. It was very basic and there wasn't much flavor other than the chives. I like chives, but I wouldn't get this again as it was just so much starch.

Larb ($5.95):

Menu: (with spicy symbol) chopped chicken mixed with lime dressing, onion and scallion, topped with chili and cilantro

The larb was supposed to be spicy, but more than anything else, it was salty (and not really spicy at all). I thought it was just me, so I had A try some, but he agreed with me that it was salty almost to the point of being inedible. I was disappointed since I love larb and it was a big part of why I chose to order from here. I kept eating from different parts of the dish thinking that maybe I had just stumbled into one part which was unintentionally oversalted, but no such luck. How sad.

Fried spring rolls ($3.95, 4 spring rolls to one order):

Menu: stuffed rice crepe with cabbage, carrot, taro and bean thread, served with plum sauce

I needed one last item to fill out the order, so I picked the fried spring rolls since they were on the "top 10 most ordered" list on Seamless. (I was thinking of the grilled fish balls but they didn't fit under budget.) These were ordinary and not very flavorful. I only ate one before I was full (the salt from the larb didn't help) and passed the rest on to A when I got home. He wasn't very impressed either. On top of that, we got some sweet and sour sauce with them instead of the advertised plum sauce which would have been a much better accompaniment.

I'm lukewarm on this meal. The Thai dumplings weren't bad, and maybe this is just a place where the entrees (none of which I tried) outshine the appetizers. Maybe I should give it another chance, considering all the rave reviews. What do you think?

From the front of the menu - what does this mean?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Jamaican Dutchy

For years I had read and heard stories of the greatness that is the Jamaican Dutchy. I was even fortunate enough to have sampled some of Chef O'Neill's magical creations at the 2009 Vendy Awards, but due to M's and my collective lack of planning, we barely had a forkful each of the food before being completely and utterly stuffed. I knew that I had not done the cart justice, and I vowed to try the food of the islands once more.

My biggest issue with getting the delectable dishes was that, for lunch, the cart was very far away. I kept trying to figure out how I would manage the 15-20 minute walk up to the cart, the 5-10 minute wait for the food (not counting waiting in line), and then fitting in the actual eating after getting back to the office. For a one hour lunch, that would have been a tight fit. Recently, though, the cart was retired in favor of a brand new, shiny truck. Due to parking problems with the NYPD, I was fortunate today that they made a stop at 38th and Broadway. The 5 minute walk was more than okay for my short lunch hour.

Jamaican Dutchy Truck

Off I went with my coworker R, who after some initial distrust of food carts/trucks, has slowly started coming around after much prodding on my part. I opted for the small oxtail meal which came with rice and peas, plantains, and steamed vegetables.

Stewed Oxtail with Rice and Peas

The food was amazing. My first bite was of just the rice and peas, and it was buttery, fluffy, and delicious. Next I tried the steamed vegetables. I'm not sure if they were then kept in some sort of sauce/oil after steaming, but the pool of oil at the bottom of the little section led me to believe that either that was the case or my definition of steamed was different than theirs. The vegetables were overall unflavored, but it it added some healthy aspects to the meal and ended up pairing well with the rest of the meal when everything was combined. The plantain was delicious and just sweet enough. I ended up not eating it with the rest of the meal, but saved it more as a sweet treat. As for the oxtail, that was a revelation. Stewed to the point of being fork tender and basically fall off the bone, it perfectly combined and balanced the fat/meat content as well as the cartilage content to form an amazing bite each time. The sauce also absorbed much of the bone marrow from the cracked oxtails which ended making everything an exceptionally rich experience.

I really hope the Jamaican Dutchy comes back to my work area for lunch so that I can try more of their menu, but if they don't, I'd like to think that I finally got to make things right with their food after my Vendy 2009 disaster.

El Rey Sampler Platter

I've previously written about my love for the authentic Mexican food at the El Rey del Sabor cart. Today, after passing the ridiculous line at Taim, I ventured over to El Rey and decided to make myself a sampler platter.

I don't think they have anything there that I don't like, but you can't really make a sampler platter out of tortas or huaraches (unless you don't plan to eat for days), so I ordered an assortment of my favorite snack-type items.

My combo plate consisted of one chicken tamale, one chicken pastelillo and one chicken taco. It was delicious (although just a bit oily - it soaked through the paper bag and all the napkins, thanks to the pastelillo, but I can't resist) and only cost $5.50 (taco was $2.50 and the others were $1.50 each). My favorite item of the 3 is still the taco, which they top with onions, cilantro and their awesome salsa verde, but I love having the opportunity to mix and match among the different menu items. If you haven't ever tried their tacos, you really should get there ASAP. So good.

Chow Fun

I ordered Chinese food at the office last week and decided to try someplace new - Szechuan Gourmet. Despite all the glowing reviews, I've somehow never ordered from them before. Time to change that.

One thing I got was chicken chow fun. I grew up eating chow fun and it was probably my favorite Chinese noodle dish. It's definitely not that healthy for you considering how oily it usually is, but a good chow fun can be so tasty. Unfortunately, a lot of them are really bland. I also like it when restaurants add vegetables into the chow fun. One of our favorites that did this was this place near my office called Wu Kong, which closed about five years ago but their chow fun was just that memorable. There would be different things in the chow fun depending on who was cooking, including shiitake mushrooms on a few occasions.

The one from Szechuan Gourmet is pretty good. It wasn't bland, and it wasn't just the noodles in sauce, which is my low, low threshold for approving of chow fun. In addition to chicken, it had the usual bean sprouts and green onions. But they also including some green vegetables (not sure which one but it was spinach-like) which made it healthier. I would order this again!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Raspberry Granola Crunch

The Tuesday custard this month at Shake Shack is raspberry granola crunch. Each month we look for new ones that we haven't tried before and this was one of them. We were excited to try it.

The custard had a pretty pink hue and apparently, since our last custard visit, they have changed the custard cups. It wasn't anything revolutionary or earth-shattering - raspberry flavored custard mixed with granola. But we like raspberry flavor (and it was a good raspberry flavor) and granola, so we liked this. We would probably get it again if we weren't on a custard-restricting diet...

Raspberry Granola Crunch
A's rating: 8.5/10
M's rating: 7.5/10
(M's note: I think I overrated some custards in the past... but don't remember which ones to downgrade! After gianduja, I feel like my scale has changed...)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


For my first SeamlessWeb order at work after our vacation, it shouldn't be a surprise that I went right back to Antalia for some mercimek kofte. (Seriously, I love that stuff.) After selecting the mercimek kofte and a shepherds salad, I pondered what else to order.

I decided to try something new - sigara borek, described on the menu as "phyllo scrolls stuffed with feta cheese, pan-fried till golden brown." I've had cheese cigar pastries before and despite not being all that healthy (phyllo, fried, cheese...), they're usually quite tasty.

These were really good. A little bit salty, but I think that is from the cheese. What I loved about the appetizer was the texture. The outside was perfectly crispy and not overly fried or greasy. Once you passed the crispy exterior, the cheese was soft and creamy and full of flavor. I would get this again, but maybe only when A and I go there together so that I only eat two cigars (instead of four) and have more room for other good stuff!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Nutella and Strawberries

One day, if we ever get around to completing our 2010 Europe Trip recaps (which reminds me, we haven't even begun the recaps for our most recent trip), you will get to read all about our adventure in Brussels visiting one of the legendary yellow vans selling waffles. That was the best waffle I have ever had - freshly made, crunchy and sugary, and topped with a rich chocolate sauce.

But until then - you can read about all of our visits to wafels & dinges, the best waffles we've had not in Belgium.

A has written about them a few times but I'm not sure I ever have, despite indulging in many of their savory wafels for lunch. Today, however, was not a lunch visit, so I went for a nice, sweet wafel - the liege topped with nutella and strawberries. This may also have been the same combination we had the first time we ever went to wafels & dinges. (Yes, it's that good that I remember that.)

The wafel itself was a little on the drier side today, but once topped with the nutella and strawberries, it was a deliciously sweet combination. Then again, how can you ever go wrong with nutella and strawberries?

Self Serve Peaches

We were looking for dessert the other day, and after failing to get the bbq fries special at Shake Shack (yes, fries can be dessert), we headed over to K-town and the self serve Red Mango.

Red Mango relocated to Food Gallery 32 when they opened and switched from the regular yogurt menu to a self serve location. We were excited because we have been waiting for self serve yogurt for a long time. We miss Yogurtland which we really enjoyed in Los Angeles on our last visit and became the standard against which we compare self serve yogurt.

We tried white peach yogurt (for the first time) - which was good and tasted like peach candy - topped with strawberries, kiwi, mandarin oranges and mochi. I like self serve yogurt places because it means I can pile on the fruit and the mochi, my favorite parts. You can barely see the yogurt in the cup but it was just the right amount (to me!).

The only thing I disliked about the Red Mango self serve location is that it's expensive! It's 59 cents per ounce, which is not cheap at all. I don't remember how much other places cost, but I am 90% sure it was cheaper than 59 cents! Our little cup of yogurt ended up costing over $4. It was still a nice healthy treat, but there was a little bit of sticker shock. Maybe next time we should get kimbap for dessert if we don't have a yogurt craving!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Dollar Lunch Fail

I was looking forward to lunch today because it meant the launch of LivingSocial's instant deals, celebrated with $1 lunches all over midtown.  I had my app updated and ready to go, and checked for the deals as soon as I got up this morning.
There were a LOT of $1 deals.  Due to my indecisiveness, a lot of them sold out once people started getting to work, but I managed to get one for Otarian, a vegetarian place I've been meaning to try.  However, by the time I got there, I saw that the line circled inside, went out the door and down the block.  It wasn't only there.  I passed some other places with the deal and they had lines down the block too.  It was crazy.  It was 92 degrees, humid and sunny.  There was also no way I had time to wait in that line, considering the long trek back to the office.
I thought, since there were only a limited number of deals before each sold out, that it would be manageable and not one of the usual freeloader frenzies.  But it seems like each place gave away a TON of the $1 deals leading to very long lines on a very hot day.  Hopefully if they do this again, the lines won't be so long.  At least it was a risk-free offer -- if you don't use it, they refund the money automatically.  Looking forward to trying the "real" instant deals once this dollar lunch frenzy is over.

Taim Mobile Pt 2

Taim Mobile had a special today for Harissa Falafel. Last week I was fortunate enough to try their Sabich so I thought that I would once again go with the daily special. Having never tried their regular falafel, I didn't have much of a basis from which to compare. I didn't really know what to expect either since their menu is always talking about their green falafel. I imagined it would be their regular green falafel with a spicy harissa sauce layered on top in addition to the other toppings they normally put on.

Special of the day

Imagine my surprise when I bit into my first falafel bite and came back to see a reddish inside. The falafel tasted like most other falafel I've had in the past. I didn't notice any distinct heat coming from them, but that could also be because it was somewhat masked by their S'rug which has a good amount of heat on its own. As usual, the hummus was smooth, silky, and delicious, and I had been craving some good hummus since the night before. The pickles today seemed a bit saltier than I remembered so I did my best not to eat them on their own.

Side view of the sandwich

Cross section (bite) of the harissa falafel

Overall, the sandwich was tasty even with the slightly salty pickles, but I would be interested in trying their regular falafel for a comparison.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cabo Chop

I was doing my usual twitter check for lunch ideas when I stumbled upon Tri Tip Grill's latest tweet - free tri tip, chicken or salmon on any regular salad during lunch today. I love their salads and I love them even more with a promotion! (In the past, they have run promotions for free chicken on salads, $5 salads and other good stuff.)

I've tried most of the salads but today went with the Cabo Chop, one of the few that I don't think I've ever tried. Served in a crispy taco-ish bowl, it comes with romaine lettuce, tossed in a honey-lime vinaigrette, black beans, corn, jicama, radishes and avocado, to which I added the grilled chicken.

Salads from Tri Tip are big. They aren't cheap but they also don't hold back on the ingredients (or the tasty dressing). The grilled chicken, since it's coming from a place that is actually a grill and not a generic salad joint, is fresh and hot and full of that nice flavor and char you can only get from a real grill.

After yesterday's disappointing and boring salad, this was exactly what I needed. Not the healthiest salad (especially not if you start eating the bowl...) but a good sized salad full of great flavors. I haven't disliked any salad I've had there yet and doubt I will because their quality is top-notch. The hardest part is deciding which salad to get because they all sound good!

Monday, June 6, 2011

I Get Bored

I get bored sometimes by our catered meals.
They're great for saving money on lunch or dinner, but sometimes the choices get so boring.
Last week's cocktail reception was good.  Mini crab cakes, pigs in a blanket, guacamole (and chips), mini burgers (although a little dry), mini quiches (love those except for broccoli ones), chicken satay.  Obviously, that was a special occasion but that doesn't mean "meeting food" needs to be boring.  We've had some good stuff sometimes.
But today, it wasn't very exciting.  On the left side is what I thought was a tuna salad sandwich (but am not actually sure).  It was something in salad form.  The wrap was grilled chicken and the inside was so dry. Moist red peppers do not counteract dry chicken.  I longed for the good chicken from last week's Korilla burrito.  The green salad was boring and the vegetables lacked any life or excitement.  The salads I had yesterday from Panera and Carrabbas were way better.  Maybe I just put on too little dressing or didn't mix it very well.  But I can't exactly toss and chop the ingredients in the middle of a meeting.
Hopefully better next time.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Craft 2

There are 3 main players in the Mexican fast casual restaurant market these days - Chipotle, Baja Fresh and Qdoba. With my love of tacos (and pico de gallo and salsa), it's probably not a surprise that I'm a regular customer of these chains. We venture over to Chipotle most often, but that's not shocking since (i) there's one down the block from us, (ii) there are so many more Chipotle outlets than the other 2 in Manhattan and (iii) we would like to make regular visits to the test kitchen one (although once so far isn't really a "regular" visit schedule... we're working on it).

One thing I like about Qdoba is that their menu is more expansive than Chipotle. Instead of the simple walk down the line, they have some other options including soups. This time I decided to go for the Craft 2 menu they were advertising on the door. I guess this has been around for a bit, but I didn't notice it before. I'm a big fan of pairing two items in one meal for a variety of flavors, but instead of just being a regular combo, this is designed to be healthier by offering smaller portions of each item. Kind of like the Wendy's Pair 2 that I like.

I got the chicken quesadilla and naked chicken taco salad. I think I've gotten both separately off the menu, but was interested to see how they would be in the Craft 2. Since I forgot to add something else to the picture to show size, each item (the salad bowl and the tortilla for the quesadilla) is about the size of my hand. When they initially talked about smaller portions at the store, I thought they might be tiny, but it was a good filling size.

I really liked the salad:

It was romaine lettuce, a black bean salad and then the add-ons they have you choose. I went with chicken, pico de gallo, corn salsa and cheese. It's then topped with their picante ranch salad dressing. In the interests of full disclosure, the day I got this it was 88 degrees, sunny, humid with a "feels like" temperature around 94. I was on my way for Indian food from a truck but it was just so hot. When it gets like that, all I ever seem to want is pico de gallo. So there was no way I wasn't going to like the salad when I ate it. But I think I would have liked it even without the weather issue.

The other item in the Craft 2 was the chicken quesadilla:

This was nothing extraordinary but it was a solid quesadilla. I haven't had one in awhile, so it worked for me. Also, it didn't fall apart when eating like some quesadillas do, so that was good.

All in all, a good meal and one I would gladly repeat (the Craft 2 generally and also the individual items). When taking the survey at home later, I did learn they have a rewards program which I didn't know about when in the store, so I think I will have to check that out next time. I wish I had started it this time so my Craft 2 would count. If you're heading over for a Craft 2 (or anything else), ask about the free rewards card!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Taim Mobile

Today I found myself fortunate as Taim Mobile has recently started making a stop on the West Side every Wednesday. I don't know if they're going to keep this location as a regular spot, but I certainly hope so. I also was very lucky as their special of the day was their Sabich, a Middle Eastern Sandwich featuring hard boiled egg and fried eggplant. M had read many reviews talking up how good the sabich was so I almost felt obligated to try it on behalf of her. I ordered the sabich with everything (hummus, israeli salad, pickled cabbage, tahini, pickles, and s'rug and amba sauces), a side of fries, and their pomegranate-honey iced tea.

Taim Mobile truck

Fries with Garlic Aioli
The fries were tasty. They're medium-cut, about the thickness and texture of the fries you might get at Five Guys, and they also come in a brown paper bag. They're lightly salted, and the guys on the truck are smart and poke holes in the bag so that the heat doesn't linger in the bag and make the fries really soggy. The fries also come with their garlic aioli for dipping. It had a good flavor, but I didn't taste as much garlic. It tasted more like a mayo-mustard hybrid to me, but it was still quite tasty.

Pomegranate Honey Iced Tea
The tea was cool and refreshing. As a honey-addict, I was hoping for more of a honey taste, but I was sadly disappointed. I'm not sure if you could really add that much honey, though, as it would thicken up the tea too much even though I really really like honey. The pomegranate flavor was very well balanced.

Top view of the sabich
The sandwich was sublime. My first bite I was lucky enough to capture every ingredient. The egg was an egg, but the s'rug had a wonderful heat to it that didn't overpower the sandwich or utterly destroy all of my taste buds. The hummus was extremely smooth and silky and really bound the bite together. The eggplant? Out of this world. Normally when I think of fried vegetables I think of heavily battered, greasy blocks of vegetable. Taim has either no batter or the lightest batter I've ever seen. The frying is really just to cook the eggplant which ends up having a texture that melts in your mouth while still tasting like a good, fresh eggplant. The sandwich was amazing, and I was so disappointed when I finished it as I kept looking and hoping for more.

Inner view of the sabich

Side view of the sabich showing the egg and eggplant
Overall Taim is a fantastic food truck and one I hope will come by my work neighborhood regularly.