Compared to other parts of the country, Minneapolis/St. Paul is late to the food truck game. While coastal cities have enjoyed fun food-on-wheels for years, the Midwest is just now starting to collect a wider variety of mobile food spots.
I’ve visited only a handful, but am grateful for even that as it’s been tough to get downtown (where the trucks are) with the busy-ness of summer schedules.
The best find so far has been a spot next to my husband’s office where a different truck parks each Tuesday. My girls and I try to join him for lunch those days to enjoy food I’d never make at home, but am happy to order from a truck.
Our finds so far:
Only in Minnesota can you find a food truck focused on tater tots. Never having been a fan of these processed potato rounds (ovals?), I went because it sounded like fun. The sleek black truck–dotted with extremely large tater tots–sports plenty of attitude.
tot boss truck
tots on truck
My poutine tasted exactly like the sum of its parts (tater tots+cheese curds+so-so gravy).
poutine with tots
My youngest daughter ordered simple: side order of tots with choice of dipping sauce. Tots-and-dogs, my husband’s order, must have been unremarkable enough that I didn’t snap a picture as I couldn’t find a shot on my camera. Picture tater tots and mini corn dogs nestled together in a small food tray and you’re there. The concept was fun fun fun, but in the end, it was just tots. (Love tater tots? This is your truck.)
You could quibble and say BT is not really a food truck, as this vintage red trolley car is pulled behind a pickup. But no matter as it’s a charmer.
bright red bacon trolley
This “truck” has received mediocre reviews from local papers, but I was wowed by my pork belly báhn mì. The textures and flavors balanced well and it was just plain gorgeous.
before the first bite
pork belly báhn mì–yum
My husband’s Spanker sandwich certainly had an inventive (and cheeky) name, but it seemed to be just an ordinary–though still delicious–barbecued pork sandwich. No complaints, but it was a bit average for the most expensive item on the menu.
pork belly spanker
The best order was the bacon popcorn for both daughters. The concept was simple enough: Buttered popcorn tossed with finely crumbled bacon, then topped with a crisply cooked bacon slice. Yes, I let my kids have popcorn and bacon for lunch. But if the popcorn counts as both grain and veg (and it does, right?) and the bacon adds protein, they had a well-balanced meal. OK, maybe no, but there’s no arguing that popcorn and bacon are brilliant together. It seems a no-brainer, but I’d never thought to combine the two. You can bet I’ll be sprinkling crumbled bacon on our popcorn next movie night.
bacon and popcorn–first-rate combo
r.a. Mac Sammy’s
I mentioned not caring much for tater tots and the same holds true for macaroni and cheese. Maybe I overindulged in my youth, but it’s a meal I’d never make for myself. That said, this truck in all its day-glo yellow glory made for a fun lunch spot.
mac and cheese on wheels
My girls ordered mac and cheese with bacon, though they could have asked for any number of toppings. Blue cheese, tomatoes, jalapeños, mushrooms, etc. were available for a small upcharge. The mini mac and cheese ordered by my girls seemed hearty enough (even my 10-year-old only ate half), so I’m curious how large the bigger size is.
bacon and cheesy mac mini
When asked independently (neither girl heard the other answer) what they thought of the dish, one girl said “too cheesy” and the other offered “not enough cheese.” Not sure what to make of that; depends on taste buds, I guess. I thought it was tasty enough, but again, not a fan so am a poor judge.
I was thrilled to find menu items with neither mac nor cheese and very much enjoyed my salmon po’ boy. Authentic it was not, but it was a well-built and delicious sandwich.
salmon po’ boy à la mac-and-cheese truck
Hubby had a Nathan’s hot dog which he declared tasty.
Next Tuesday will bring another food truck to my summer and I look forward to whatever it is I’ll find. The food may not always be spectacular (though it often is), but it’s sure to be fun.