Girls on Food

Food Trucks

Spotlight on the Brewers & more at BEERS Fest in DTLA

This weekend I was able to attend BEERS fest in Los Angeles, brought to fruition by BEERS magazine. The festival featured craft brewed beers, food trucks, contests, and a live DJ! The cold beers were perfect for the sweltering SoCal heat and we got to chat one on one with a few of the brewers.

Solarc Brewing

Hailing from local (to Los Angeles) Highland Park Solarc Brewing caught my eye with their beautiful crescent moon logo. What are truly beautiful are their beers. Make sure to try their Belgian Gruit ale called “Dunes” which features herbs such as wormwood, mugwort, and turmeric and comes in at 6% abv. They don’t yet have a tasting room but you can find their beers at local shops such as Sunset Beer Co.

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Escape Craft Brewing

Husband-wife team Josh and Melissa would love to welcome you to their Escape Craft Brewing tasting room in Redlands to try what they call “complex beers for advanced palettes. Indeed their beers are special from the iced coffee wannabe Midnight Express (seriously no chocolate stout has ever been THIS good), the delightful orange blossom nose of the Redlands Nights blonde. They put an emphasis on local ingredients and invite you to visit Wed-Fri from 2-9:30pm, Saturday 12-9:30pm, and Sunday 12-6pm.

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Firemans Brew

What pulled me into the Firemans booth was their unique story. Based in Los Angeles they were started by two Firemen after extinguishing a brushfire in the Glendale Mountains. Now they are available in over 15 states, have over 100 firefighter investors, and a percentage of the proceeds go to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation. You can find their beers in Fresh n’ Easy, Ralph’s, and at Dodgers Stadium.

 

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Sweet Amsterdam Dessert Truck

To finish the day we visited our friends at the Sweet Amsterdam truck. General Manager Alia recommended the S’mores Wafel, which come on their stroopwaffles as well as their Poffertjes, which will as she said “ruin normal pancakes forever”. If you need to beat the heat, they also have some pretty legit local-made gelato. Bonus: chatting with the super sweet couple that owns the truck!

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Special thanks to James Roddy for the photos covering the event.

LA’s Sweet Escape: Sweet Amsterdam Food Truck

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned being a part of a private “Los Angeles based women only” group on Facebook. This group is intended for networking and friendship making, but sometimes we get a little off topic with dating/sex advice, politics and pet relocations. I try to stay out of the drama (although it can be entertaining to read) and focus on finding some of the coolest LA female professional foodies out there. One of the members, Alia Schrader, mentioned in a post that she manages a food truck, Sweet Amsterdam, so I decided to drop by. Dessert sounded amazing and I love supporting new business, so I decided to get a sugar rush.

Sweet Amsterdam
For locations, follow their social media pages
Instagram: @SweetAmsterdam
Twitter : @Sweet_Amsterdam
Facebook: http://facebook.com/sweetamsterdam

Sweet Amsterdam 1
The ladies of Sweet Amsterdam

I read on their social media pages that this truck specializes in Dutch waffles and pancakes. To be honest with you, I wasn’t too sure what to expect. Previous to my Sweet Amsterdam experience, I didn’t know of Dutch waffles and pancakes, but I’m always game to try something new! The owners Farhad Faqiri and Jessanne Oliva actually never had formal kitchen training. They met through friends, and decided to quit their 9 to 5’s and turn their passion for food into a business. If they keep this up, I don’t think they’ll be going back to their day jobs anytime soon.

Sweet Amsterdam 4
The making of a wafel

There are 4 different wafels (not waffles, there’s a big difference) to try. I started with this summer’s most popular item, the S’mores Wafel. This hot dessert sandwich starts with the stroopwafel, pronounced strope-Waffel, which is a very thin, lightly crunchy, fresh off the iron dough that has caramel baked in the middle. Now, you can stop there and enjoy that alone. Or, you can be like the majority of their summer LA patrons and s’more it up with flamed marshmallows, Speculous brand cookie spread and chocolate syrup.

Sweet Amsterdam 6
The making of a S’mores Wafel
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The complete S’mores wafel

You can watch a video of the creation here. The stroopwafel has a better flavor than the American tradition of graham crackers, which always just crumbled on me. I’m now having memories of the graham cracker crumbling on me and the hot marshmallow burning me – OUCH! This dessert is a more sophisticated flashback to your summer camp. And no finger burns!

Classic Poffertjes
Classic Poffertjes

I didn’t think it could possibly get better than the S’Mores Wafel but it did. I tried Poffertjes, pronounced puff-er-chess, for the first time. Appearance wise, they look like a smaller, less round ebelskiver, with the same texture. Flavor wise, it’s on the savory side, like a mix of a pancake and a beignet (or as I liked to call them as a child, “snowy mountains”).

Sweet Amsterdam 2Most customers order the Poffertjes either with Nutella or the classic style, which is served with butter and powdered sugar. I ordered my Poffertjes with powdered sugar, butter, a side of maple syrup and a scoop of salted caramel gelato. No, I wasn’t stoned. It was just recommended to me and… when in Rome, right? Or in this case… when in Culver City, right? If you’re a lover of sweet and savory together, like I am, this is a heavenly treat for you. The iciness of the gelato goes beautifully with the hot poffertjes, for a dessert feel and dipping the poffertjes in the maple syrup has a breakfast feel to it. All flavors mixed together are also just an epic dessert explosion. Their gelato is provided by Gelato Lounge in Marina Del Rey, which will probably be reviewed on here soon.

sweet amsterdam coffee

To wash all the sweetness down, they’re now selling their own cold press coffee, which is served in a cute mason jar. They offer traditional cold press black coffee, molasses coffee and molasses coffee with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Soon, the wafels will be sold in various locally owned coffee shops in LA. Be sure to keep up with them on social media to find out where and when. I believe they’ll be expanding into another truck very soon, so hopefully, LA will have double the locations to choose from. If you’re a business owner that’s trying to scrape together the funds to expand and improve operations, you might do well to apply for credit in order to get the money you need to progress your business – the top 3 places to get a free online credit report.

Instagram & Twitter : @SweetAmsterdam
Facebook: http://facebook.com/sweetamsterdam

Sweet Amsterdam Food Truck Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

There Goes My Gyro: Mr. Gyros in Seattle

Mr. Gyros Seattle

I know Seattleites have a sorry reputation as food snobs – lots of kale, juice cleanses, vegan-paleo-hippy salads – you get the picture. Like it or not, often times, I fall into that crazy Seattle eater-type myself. I’m a firm believer in the power of produce, plant based meals and healthy side of Seattle-made craft kombucha. Lucky for Mr. Gyros and me, I’m also a firm believer in the power of a good gyro. And the gyro after which Mr. Gyros is respectfully named, dear readers, is an outstanding example of a good gyro.

Mr. Gyros 

8411 Greenwood Ave N

Seattle, WA 98103

206-706-7472

http://mrgyroseattle.com

The menu is simple, but chock full of options. I always get the lamb gyro.  It’s seasoned with love, and the lamb comes right off the spit. The whole things gets wrapped perfectly in it’s pita next to creamy tzatziki and hummus. Always opt for the basket –  a side of Greek fries (fries topped with feta cheese and spices).  For those of you wanting a meatless option, the falafel is a treat – spiced and cooked to just the right combination of crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Lamb Gyro Mr. Gyro

Be prepared for messy eating (especially if you indulge in my recommended lamb gyro). There is hummus, tomato, cucumber, lettuce, onions and (obviously) lamb all fighting for a spot in your mouth. The flavors compliment, and are just exciting enough to make one feel as if they are not eating a meal that cost less than $10 bucks and took less than 5 minutes to prepare.

Mr. Gyros is, admittedly, a Seattle institution. I would like to say it’s the city’s best kept secret, but, alas, the secret of the awesome Mediterrian food is out. Mr. Gyros has won several awards, including being ranked one of the top 100 restaurants in the US on Yelp. You’d think all that fame would go to their heads, but you’d be mistaken. Mr. Gyros is potentially the friendliest place I’ve ever eaten. I see the owners, who happen to be brothers, (Sammi and Joni)  all the time – because they are often slicing meats and rolling pitas behind the counter. They feed me gyros and don’t judge me for eating un-lady – like amounts of lamb.

Mr Gyros Seattle

I’m a Greenwood girl myself, so I always head to the tiny cafe located gloriously close-by. There are three locations of the gyro wonderland to choose from, plus a Mr. Gyros food truck that makes the rounds. I always get my meal to-go – even when there is a line out the door things move quickly.

The only bad thing about Mr. Gyros? They aren’t open on Sunday. Check the times before you go, and bring on the gyro.

Happy 2nd Anniversary Funky Buddha Brewery!

Funky Buddha Brewery
1201 NE 38th Street
Oakland Park, FL 33334
954-440-0046
Happy anniversary Funky Buddha Brewery!
The warehouse brewery located in Oakland Park, Florida celebrated its second year with an old-school block party style bash. The festivities included an all-day street festival complete with bands, food trucks, and, of course, beer.  This extravaganza featured Funky Buddha’s everyday drafts as well as dozens of limited and special release beers. There were several food trucks on hand and while I did not sample every cuisine, I did treat myself to a unique craft beer, an amazing entree and a cool dessert. Just beyond the festival gates, I was immediately greeted by one of the more unique food concepts I have ever seen. Ever heard of cake pops? Well, local eatery Cutie Pie Pops put a spin on that concept and with pie pops. Yes. Pies on a stick. They were offering cherry, apple and a few other varieties.
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Cute Pie Pops
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Since this was my first time at Funky Buddha, I wanted to make sure I sampled a beer that was unique to the location. I read through the extensive beer list and choose a beer that would mix my love of breakfast with my love of dark ale. Drumroll please….
I had the French Toast Double Brown Ale and it was amazing. I love Ambers and Dark Ales, but I usually choose the lighter varieties like Hefeweizen or Golden Ale. It’s hot in this Florida sun and dark beer reminds of fall days in the Midwest. I guess that’s why I took it back to my Midwestern roots and choose something bold. The French Toast Double Brown Ale delivered. It had a cinnamon-like taste on first sip that spiked into a taste similar to a Red Ale before settling into the full-bodied bitterness of a Brown Ale. With this beer, Funky Buddha Brewery definitely earned a fan in me.
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I made my way to the food trucks after finishing my beer. There were several that offered numerous types of cuisines. There was gourmet pizza made in a food truck with a full-service brick oven, standard American cuisine of hot dogs and fries and so much more.
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There were a lot of great choices but I settled on the food truck located all the way at the end of the festival. No matter where I go, I am determined to find the hidden gem. Rolling Chefs of the Palm Beaches offered a simple but interesting menu. I decided on the ahi tuna salad with chipotle raspberry dressing. I have never had ahi tuna, ever, and I have to say the Rolling Chefs of the Palm Beaches made it so well, I feel like I’ve been missing out on biggest thing since bread. It was so good I started doing on-the-spot promotion, sending people to their food truck.
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They have several other food trucks located around the city and you can “like” their Facebook page for more information on where they will be this summer. You can follow them on the Food Truck Finder USA app as well.
By the time I finished my salad it was seriously smoking hot outside and I wanted to cool down with something light, refreshing and fruity. Enter Pop Lab. They specialize in making delicious all natural, handcrafted ice pops.

 

Check out the photo I created
I had the strawberry lemonade pop and it did just the trick to cool me down. It was less of a popsicle and more flavored ice, which is why I enjoyed it so much. This pop had a subtle lemon flavor, but was heavier on the strawberry taste. And just look at those chunks of fresh strawberries tucked inside. Believe me, it tasted as good as it looks.
Funky Buddha Brewery put one on heck of a festival and I’m glad I could make it out. If you are a serious beer lover and ever find yourself in the Fort Lauderdale area, be sure to check them out. You won’t be disappointed!

Food Trucksgiving

Krush Burger 
@KrushBurger
My favorite food truck has embraced the holiday spirit, turning the amazing Thanksgiving leftover sandwich into a slider! It’s fantastic and the sweet potato tots are oh-so-perfect on the side. Get them while you can Sacramento!

Sac Food Trucks: Drewski’s & OM Karmabile

Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen – Grilled Cheese, Tots, Fries

@drewskishotrod for locations

This seems to be the truck that everyone knows
about, and loves. A friend has been raving about it so I drove a little out of
the way to seek them out. When I arrived they had been open for about an hour
and the line was still growing. Their deep fried mac-n-cheese balls with smoked
bacon and black truffle were sold out. (My waistline thanks all those before
me.)
All of their ‘cheeses were tempting. My runner
up was the “Prius.”
Prius
sliced and grilled Granny Smith apples, wild
flower honey, smokehouse almonds, double crème brie cheese grilled on 9 grain
sliced wheat
Next time Prius. This time, I had to go with the
“Hemi.” I figured there must be a reason it’s first on the menu and the cover
photo on their Facebook page.
 
 
Hemi
slow roasted Carolina pulled pork, mac-n-cheese,
grilled onions, cheddar cheese, grilled on sliced French
(I ordered it on
wheat.)
Wow. The pork was incredibly good, tender and
sweet. I’ll admit I rolled my eyes a little at the mac-n-cheese addition, assumed
I’d pick it out, but I loved it. My inner child jumped for joy.
This is comfort food at its best. Don’t let the
line discourage you.
OM Karmabile – Indian Fusion
@OMKarmabile for locations
This food truck has two goals: fill your
belly with delicious Indian fusion cuisine and send you on your way with a
little good Karma. I’m a fan of both. The food part is a no-brainer and I was
very excited to try it because I rarely eat Indian food, mainly because I have
yet to find a great Indian restaurant in Sacramento. (Suggestions please!) The
bit about the Karma though, that’s a head scratcher at first. I learned the
reason for the truck’s name when I went to drop a tip in the jar. After a thank
you I was told they donate all of their tips to different children’s charities,
currently St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I was thrilled with my lunch choice
even before my order was up!

 

I became happier when the food didn’t disappoint. They have burritos, tortas and rice bowls with chicken, lamb and vegetarian fillings but I went with the tacos…
Vegetarian Curry Taco
Corn tortilla with potatoes, peas and carrots
in a mild curry sauce with tomato chutney
Spicy Curry Chicken Taco
Corn tortilla with chicken cooked in spicy curry
sauce with potatoes, peas and carrots with tomato chutney
Masala Chicken Taco
Corn tortilla with Masala chicken, cucumber
chutney and creamy mint garlic sauce

 

All three were simple, tasty, and a delightful
leap from your standard lunch fare. The Masala chicken was my favorite of the
three. The true standout of the meal though was this fascinating dessert…
Gulab a la mode
Indian style doughnut soaked in rose water syrup
with coconut caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, toasted coconut flakes and
topped with nutmeg and cardamom
This sounded incredibly intriguing because I had
no idea what an Indian style doughnut was and lately I have a fascination with
any dish that includes rose water.
(I used to absolutely hate rose
water. It tasted like perfume to me. I tried it in a couple amazing desserts
though and now, I love it! It still tastes like perfume, but in a good way?)
I really didn’t imagine myself loving this once I saw it but it turned out to be one of the most interesting and surprising desserts I’ve had in a long time. The gulab had the consistency of a cake doughnut with the rose water syrup softening and sweetening just the outside. They were addicting on their own and the flavor pairs incredibly well with the coconut and cardamom, with the vanilla ice cream serving to mellow it all out.
It’s definitely sweet and should be shared but if you’re in the mood to treat
yourself, I bet you’ll find it’s the best ice cream sundae you’ve ever had.

Sac Food Trucks: Wicked ‘Wich & California Love

As mentioned before, I’m on a mission to try out every Sac Food Truck! I’m quite enjoying this decision so far and have two more to report on…

Wicked ‘Wich –
Sandwiches & Burgers
@wichonwheels for locations
Their claim to food truck fame is their massive sandwiches
that are stuffed with fries. It’s not exactly something I’d normally seek out but I’m very pleased that I went for it.
They also serve burgers. Most seemed like your standard fare but their Duck Burger was intriguing – ground duck patty, cheddar skirt, caper BBQ sauce and slaw. If it’s still on the menu, I’ll try this next.
My Order:
Pulled Pork Banh Mi w/Pickled Papaya & Carrot, Fresh Cut Fries &
Vietnamese Carmel Sauce

 

 

I was rather surprised I liked this as much as I did. I was on the fence about the fries and the bun is pretty large for my taste. (I’m a thin-crust-over-deep-dish kind of girl when it comes to carbohydrate ratios in meals.) I ended up tossing a pretty hefty amount of the bread but other than that, I loved it! The pork was perfect and the fries added to it without being overwhelming. (The stack is much smaller than the picture on the truck.) The papaya and carrot slaw was the best part though, with the fresh jalapenos on top. My mouth was on fire and my un-glossed lips were bright red from all the burning by the end… but still, it was worth it.

California Love Truck
– Eclectic
@CaliLoveTruck for locations
This truck doesn’t really seem to have a theme. You’ll see
our orders below are quite varied and the one thing we didn’t end up ordering
was the Meatball Sandwich with Jack Cheese & Marinara. A very strange mix…
 Friends’ Order:
Pork Belly Sandwich w/Fried Egg, Arugula & Garlic Mayo
 Two friends ordered this dish. Pork belly’s usually my go-to (actually pork anything) but I decided to go against the grain. I didn’t try it but here’s their review: both thought it could use more arugula, that it would be amazing for breakfast, and that it was delicious.
 Shared Order:
Carnitas Fries – Seasoned Fries, Carnitas, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Chipotle Mayo
Slaw
 If you’re into this type of menu item you should really just order this, we were all in agreement that it was a very weird side dish with our other sandwiches. It was good, pork was tender, but this is really just one of those dishes that you order late at night after many hours spent drinking.
 My Order:
Chicken & Waffles Slider w/Bacon, Hot Sauce Mayo &
Maple Syrup
I kind of love the idea of this slider, seems very food truck-ish to me. Not exactly something that would land on a restaurant menu. I liked it, didn’t love it. I should qualify that by saying that I’ve never ordered regular chicken and waffles before so I really have very little idea what would make it good or bad compared to “the real thing.” The fried chicken was fantastic, bacon’s always good, spicy aioli with the sweet maple syrup –
who could complain about that? The waffle was too dense for my taste and I thought it might be crispy, but no. The fried chicken was good enough to make up for it though.
Four down, fifteen or so trucks to go…
Here’s the link again for location updates if you want to set your own mission:

Sac Food Trucks: Krush Burger & Mama Kim on the go

My new goal is to eat my way through the Sac Food Truck
scene. I’m rather surprised it took this long for me to try them out actually. I’ll post my favorites here. So far, we’re two for two…

Krush Burger –
Sliders, Fries, Tots
@KrushBurger for locations
To be honest, they had me at the sweet potato tots. They’re my weakness. And these were delightful, especially with the ancho honey dipping sauce.
I ordered the 2 Pack – the “Cowbell” & the “Ninja.” The Cowbell was delicious but I kind of expected it to be – bacon, fried onions, gouda – it’s kind of a slam dunk. Still, it was very tasty. The Ninja was fantastic though!  Sweet and hot, with the soft fresh bun and crunchy slaw – this is what you should order.
COWBELL (on right): Bacon, Crispy Onion Stack, Smoked Gouda, House BBQ
Sauce
NINJA (on left): Marinated Korean Short Ribs, Asian Slaw, Radish
Sprouts, Crispy Scallions, Sriracha Aioli
Mama Kim on the go – Sandwiches,
Salads, Soup (The Healthy Truck)
@MamaKimCooks for locations
The falafal flatbread sandwich was tempting and the housemade cheddar biscuits they use for their turkey sandwich looked pretty amazing but I went with the fish tacos.
 Fresh Fish Tacos w/Slaw, Pico, Chipotle Aioli & Queso
Sweet Potato Chips

It’s pretty hard not to choose fish tacos when they’re on the menu, but that might be because I’m from California. The tacos did not disappoint though, fresh and a tad spicy with the chipotle aioli. A perfect summer lunch. The sweet potato chips were a bit of a strange accompaniment, but it worked! I also tried their heirloom tomato soup, which was light and refreshing. If they sold it by the gallon I’d probably wipe them out.

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Looking for a food truck near you? They all tweet their locations but this website updates the locations of 21 trucks daily so it’s a quick way to see who’s parked nearby so you can decide what you’re in the mood for!