After the heavy, rich foods of winter, I like to hit the reset button on my system by eating (a little) cleaner. Chia and flax seeds are sprinkled into my oatmeal and I’ll take a shot of wheatgrass (maybe more than one) daily. With summer just around the corner, I was seriously excited to see FOY Superfoods open up shop on Dauphin Street.
FOY, or Fountain of Youth, is Mobile’s first “Cold Pressed Juicery & Superfood Bar,” according to their website. Their menu is eclectic and offers energy bowls (yogurt-based bowls with fruit); super bowls (rice or salad-based bowls with or without protein) hummus, nut butter, and avocado toast; tacos; “grack” (their homemade oat-free granola with seeds, dried fruit and maple syrup); smoothies; fresh juices, and more.
New Orleans is a city like no other. Part raucous party, part historical gem, it is no surprise the lifestyle media powerhouse Thrillist chose this locale for their sixth “Hotel Thrillist”: a weekend of the best food, drink and entertainment the selected American city has to offer. Thrillist decamped from New York this past weekend, took over the illustrious Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street, and enlisted the renowned Cajun/Creole chef, John Folse, (of Restaurant R’evolution and the Encyclopedia of Cajun & Creole Cuisine fame) to kick off the weekend with a party to beat the band. (more…)
I am a sucker for a food fundraiser. To me, there’s no better pairing than excellent food and a good cause. On Wednesday, Mobile Baykeeper (the Gulf Coast’s non-profit environmental organization dedicated to preserving and protecting Mobile Bay) and their Young Advisory Council hosted Bay Bites Food Truck Festival at Cooper Riverside Park in downtown Mobile. Tickets were $15 per person, which included admission and three draught beers from Sweetwater Brewing Company (Sweetwater 420). Nine trucks attended, and food items ranged from $3 to $14. Although I didn’t get to taste everything offered (despite desperately wanting to), with the help of some friends (Daryn, Christine, and their 5-year-old, Violet), we managed to do some damage.
First up was Kraken Catering Co., who had an impressive menu. I couldn’t resist the “Grown-Up Grilled Cheese,” ($8) which boasted two slices of grilled Texas Toast filled with Provolone, Gouda, caramelized figs, and beef brisket.
One of my favorite sandwiches is a ham and brie with fig preserves on a French baguette, and this was pretty much its Southern cousin. It was a lovely balance of sweet and savory, and the sandwich itself was pressed to perfection. There isn’t anything worse than a soggy grilled cheese, and Kraken’s was crunchy in all the right places, with quite a lot of oozy cheese and soft, sweet figs.
Next up was the BBQ Brisket Plate from Smith’s Catering ($10). In the South, barbecue is king, and it’s no surprise the lines for this truck were long (actually, the lines were long for every truck). The brisket was tender (but still held together when forked) with just the right amount of smoke, and ever-so-slightly sweet.
After all the savory, my sweet tooth was announcing itself in a big way. Violet and I were excited to see Frios Gourmet Pops in attendance. Their deal is homemade popsicles, and one cool thing about them is that they source locally-grown fruit whenever they can. I was torn between Watermelon Mojito and Blackberry Ginger, and it was Frios itself that urged me towards the latter. You really cannot go wrong with a Frios homemade popsicle ($3.75 each or 4 for $14), but this one was spot on. Sweet, tart blackberries pair perfectly with the earthy spiciness of ginger root, and it made me want to figure out in what else other than a popsicle I could marry the two flavors. Blackberry-Ginger hand pies, anyone?
My excitement continued when I saw that Von’s Bistro, one of my favorite downtown lunch spots, represented at Bay Bites. Their best dish (in my opinion) is the “5 Spice Pork Bahn Mi” ($7) with 5-spiced pork, sliced cucumber, pickled daikon radish and carrots, cilantro, jalapeños and a unique, spicy cream sauce. It’s a riot of sweet, sour, spicy, savory flavor, is absolutely amazing, and I could eat one for lunch every day of the week.
Despite a typical Southern summer thunderstorm an hour before kickoff, Bay Bites Food Truck Festival was a roaring success. I hope they raised plenty of money to protect and conserve our waterways, and I look forward to next year’s fundraiser. I’m pretty sure the best strategy is to go with a posse and send one person to each truck to order several items at once. The long lines kind of prohibits pick-and-choose ordering (my weakness). All in all, it was a fantastic chance to get acquainted with some of our city’s newest food trucks.
Because it’s (somewhat) socially acceptable to take photos (but usually not bites) of people’s food, here are a few items I got to see but not taste: