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On Saturday Food Network was in town filming for The Great Food Truck Race in Cleveland.
That’s right – the culinary gods goosed by Chris Hodgson (Hodge’s, DimHodgePodgeTruck, and Dim and Den Sum). Nice!
So we found them all loitering around the Gordon Square area on Detroit..and a perfect day for being outside!
One of the main contestants was Pop a Waffle (@popawaffle) was there. “Serving delicious gourmet waffles on a street near you!” – yep, they are from California.
Oddly, the lines weren’t long but lots of loitering going on.
Typical setup for a food truck.
The dude working the expiditer position needed a bull horn. His semi transparent water cup wasn’t loud enough.
Singing was just OK too.
In looking at their menu, I wasn’t quite sure if this was a joke. A bunch of Californian types serving a polish boy?
I honestly believe trying to serve a Polish boy in Cleveland might have been a lame attempt to attract the Cleveland crowd.
Plus I really wouldn’t deviate from Seti’s – my current marker for an outstanding PoBoy.
Their $2 lemonade was over watered. Easily could have passed for nursing home beverage. C’mon-not cool!
BUT the crew was serving their signature dish – Fried Chicken and Waffles.
So of course we ordered it.
Two quarters of waffles, syrup and a chicken drumstick.
Chicken crust was crunchy but bland. Good texture but no taste.
Chicken was bland. Didn’t seem like they brined it prior. All good fryers know one must brine their chicken.
Powdered sugar looked like it was dusted from space.
Additionally, the chicken wasn’t cooked through either.
And here’s the face of my Fried Chicken Master, @cleveland222
That face says it all.
Not saying much when your primary waffle is soggy and your chicken needs salt.
But when you call yourself Pop a Waffle, I expect to #getsome. I got neither popped…or waffled. Maybe more like “bewildered about a waffle”
So I predict this team will be headed back to California sooner than later.
Plus their twitter presence is rather bland. If you’re going to be on a national frickin show, get a twitter account and use it. One tweet does NOT make you “in the game”.
It just makes you look bad.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…
Back to LA!
While we tooled around in LA, we decided to hunt for the famous Nomnomtruck (@nomnomtruck).
For those of you who have been hiding out in your Zombie bunker with your Zac Morris phone, a new food revolution of mobile food trucks have infiltrated the country. Gaining in popularity, the Kolgi Trucks (@KolgiBBQ) in LA seemed to start this mobile food charge. Even here in Cleveland, @DimandDenSum has flourished especially in this food-centric town.
And of course @FoodNetwork did a show featuring all these mobile food trucks “The Great Food Truck Race”. LA Times did a great recap here.
We also gave you our teaser onsite here…but as promised, here’s our “full monty” post.
Finding these trucks? Easy as pie – TWITTER. That’s right, you gotta check out “the Twitter” in order to get THE BEST BANH MI I’VE EVER HAD. ***Stop the presses and hold the line…I repeat – THE BEST BANH MI I’VE EVER HAD.***
So wash away your predisposed notions of food trucks because this banh mi will change your life.
What is a “Nomnom”? Well, it’s the sound I make when humping. But OFFICIALLY, according to UrbanDictionary.com : “Represents the sound made when someone is eating or chewing something and really enjoying it.” Got it?
And to aid in your Banh Mi issues, see chart below.
SO – I’d like to introduce you to the best banh mi I’ve ever had. Whisper your hellos now. And don’t kid yourself. This sandwich was clearly over a foot long (heh heh) with the most perfect French baguette ever.
Start to wipe up your drool as the first bite was heavenly! As you can see, there was a large amount of pickled carrots and turnips with grilled pork. Pickled veggies were crisp and crunchy – absolutely necessary. The BBQ grilled pork with sweet honey glaze and lemon grass chicken we had was seasoned perfectly and so moist. The Bread was awesome – crisp outside and soft inner. BTW-That soft inner will soak up the rest of the flavors making sure you don’t miss a bite. And the kicker? Basically an entire bush of cilantro.
This proportion was PERFECT.
With the sweet/sour crunch from the pickled veggies and then the salty/sweet savory from the meats…I almost passed out. Then you add the soft inner of the french baguette with the crispy crunchy outsides mixed with everything inside – texturally this banh mi is pure heaven. Cross section please!
As you can see, the crews were stuffing the banh mi full of stuff.
And the mix of flavors were absolutely heavenly.
Even as we neared the end of our first sandwich, pork and chicken were still seasoned well and so juicy. The additional layer of mayo probably helped keep things juicy. Mix the sauce with some mayo and baguette….DAAAAMMMMMMNNNNN.
Now we have chowed a TON of banh mi across the US…even here in Cleveland we’ve reviewed Superior Pho, Chinatown’s markets Banh Mi, Bac, etc…..But thanks to the crew from the Nomnomtruck, I now have a new favorite banh mi.
Drinky drinky? Even on a gloomy rainy day in LA, the basil mint lemonade hit the spot.
We chatted with their crews for a long while and despite their busy schedule, they were TOTALLY cool. They report that their sales have exponentially grown since the Food Network show. Obviously they are good friends with the winners as the Nomnomtruck does joint events with GrillEmAll.
Ahem-the hot chick serving my banh mi was awesome too. I repeat, HOT chick (Josh and Justin take note).
Like a crack whore jonesing for the next hit, I too have the shakes as I am craving the best banh mi sandwich ever. FYI-since returning from LA, I’ve had at least a dozen dreams about this specific banh mi. Munchamuncha
Mark this in your travel logs for LA/California…Maybe I should apply for a job there.
Reporting live from QuarryLaneFarms…