Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dante's Inferno Dogs

Menu at Seattle Center Mobile Feast (10/29/11)
Dante's Inferno Dogs, based in Seattle, Washington, has several food stands throughout the city. According to Seattle Food Trucks, Dante's (for now) is out on the streets Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Dante's offers several styles of hot dogs, including a couple of vegetarian options. Intrigued, I ordered the apple sage veggie sausage dog ($6). I asked the cart operator (I believe his name was Matthew) what to dress this dog with. He suggested grilled onions, grilled peppers, sweet chili sauce, and pickled jalapenos, so I went with that. Apparently all toppings are free, which is a huge plus (other stands could charge for extra toppings).

Apple Sage Veggie Sausage Dog (Dante's Inferno Dogs)

The sage really came through on this veggie dog -- which also broke apart very easily (and yes, I prefer this to a sausage that I have to wage war with to eat). I applaud the topping suggestions here. The crunch of the grilled onions and grilled peppers, the sweetness of the chili sauce, and the mild kick from the jalapeno all worked here. It was a light, healthier snack, so I had some room for this even after stuffing my face with food a few minutes prior. For me, I would like the bun toasted just a bit more so I can get the crunch from that when eating my hot dog. It's just something about a nicely toasted bun that takes the hot-dog-eating experience to the next level.

Anyway, check out Dante's Inferno Dogs and get a hot dog ASAP! 7.5/10

Veraci Pizza

Veraci Pizza is a food stand based in Seattle, Washington, specializing in wood-fired pizza. They can be found at several Farmer's Markets in Washington, including Ballard, Crossroads, and Fremont. They also work many other public and private events.

Menu at Seattle Center  Mobile Feast (10/29/11)
I ordered a slice of their Spicy Tony pizza ($4.75): sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, black olives, a three-cheese blend, and their spicy red sauce on a thin crust (using their house-made dough). One of the employees took a generous slice and heated it up in their wood-fired oven, and in a couple of minutes, it was ready to devour.

Spicy Tony pizza (Veraci Pizza)
The first thing I noted was the enjoyable kick of the red pizza sauce. The melted stringy cheese provided one of those great food porn moments where you take that bite and pull away from the pizza slowly to show off how sexy gooey the cheese is. Nice, fresh toppings here. Most importantly, the crust was thin, yet very pliable after cooking. After all, I love to eat my pizza slices New York style (all folded up).

I had read a not-so-flattering review about Veraci Pizza's brick-and-mortar establishment from last December. One of the author's complaints was the crust being too brittle. On the other hand, that same author liked the pizza from Veraci's food truck/stand, so perhaps it could be attributed to who's working the oven on a certain day. All I know is I had a great experience here and look forward to getting more pizza from them in the future. 8.25/10

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Parfait Organic Ice Cream

(****Parfait is on hiatus for the winter and should be open perhaps in Spring 2012. However, Seattle residents can still have the ice cream shipped to their homes!)

Parfait Organic Ice Cream is a food truck located in Seattle, Washington. Adria Shimada came to the Pacific Northwest in 2006 and, for the past three years, has run Seattle's first fully organic ice cream shop. Since winter is coming fast to the Pacific Northwest (and many trucks close up shop for the winter), I was fortunate to catch Parfait at the Seattle Center Mobile Feast on October 29.

Parfait arriving at the Seattle Center Mobile Feast!

One of their signature sauces...Chocolate!

A friend and I split a cup of Butter Toffee Crunch ice cream ($4): it's their house-made butter toffee, coated with dark chocolate and hazelnuts, then generously added to their vanilla bean ice cream. According to their website, it's a better quality Heath Bar Crunch without all the processed icky stuff!

Small cup of Butter Toffee Crunch ice cream (Parfait)
I loved the contrasting textures of the crunchy butter toffee with the creamy vanilla bean ice cream. Simply put, it's a comfort food for me that I could just buy a few gallons of, sit in the corner, and gain about 30 pounds in the process. I like the organic aspects of this ice cream as well. It sets them apart from other ice cream parlors and dessert shops.

Parfait has several everyday flavors to choose from (i.e., vanilla bean, mint stracciatella, and even orange star-anise), and they also offer seasonal flavors such as pumpkin spice ice cream.

While Parfait may be on hiatus for the winter, they should be back up and running next spring, so be sure to check them out when they return! 8.5/10

Monday, November 28, 2011

Boyd's Fuel Truck

Boyd's Fuel Truck is a food truck based in Portland, Oregon. They are basically an espresso bar on wheels, and I personally have only been able to catch them at the Seattle Center Mobile Feast that took place on October 29, 2011.

(Thanks to Boyd's for the correction on where they are located!)

Menu at Seattle Center Mobile Feast (10/29/11)
A friend and I shared an iced Americano ($2). An Americano is simply adding hot water to espresso (the other way around is a long black).

Americano (Boyd's Fuel Truck)
A good Americano here, with robust flavor (just the way I like it). Especially after trying several other trucks at this mobile feast, this drink possessed the refreshing feel that both of us needed. All this time, I was thinking about getting another snickerdoodle cookie from the Street Treats food truck nearby and pairing it with that Americano.

True story: I was driving home to Salem that evening doing on I-5 South, and I happened to pass the Boyd's truck again. I wanted to take a photo of that, but couldn't get the camera out in time (and heck, it may have been too dangerous to pull off anyway). Anyway, Boyd's gets a thumbs up from me and my friend. 7/10


Pretzelwagen is a food truck based in or near Seattle, Washington. To my knowledge, they don't have a regular weekday schedule, but they maybe likely to serve at Farmer's Markets or other public events. Pretzelwagen offers at least three different types of pretzels, all homemade from family recipes.

Choices at the Seattle Center Mobile Feast
Perhaps I shoulda gotten the brown sugar + cinnamon one....

I got the "Big Cheezy" pretzel ($3), basically cheddar cheese and diced jalapeno blended into the pretzel. One of the guys working at this stand really sounded like he was on some sort of high. To me, he tried too hard tobe enthusiastic. I'd be a bit turned away if that's how he acts all the time.

Big Cheezy pretzel (Pretzelwagen)
Inside of the pretzel
Anyway, this pretzel was mostly a miss here. I liked the cheddar flavors, but didn't get too much jalapeno. Most importantly, the pretzel had been sitting out in the cold climate for some time, and basically just turns what would have been an ideal pretzel (at the start of the day) into a piece of petrified dough. The pretzel also was a bit salty for my tastes. Unfortunately, this was probably the only disappointment when attending the Seattle Mobile Food Feast. Sorry guys, just didn't care for this one. 2/10

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Street Treats

Street Treats is a dessert food truck based in Seattle, Washington. They generally are out on the streets just three days a week (Wednesday at Starbucks HQ, Thursday in Queen Anne, and Friday in South Lake Union), but likely also do a bunch of private functions.

Street Treats specializes in cookies, brownies, bars, ice cream, coffee, and, of course, the chance to make your own ice cream sandwich. With several types of cookies and ice creams to choose from, the combinations are too numerous to mention on this blog entry.

I went with a friend and got two ice cream sandwiches to share: snickerdoodle cookie and coffee ice cream, and chocolate chip cookie with vanilla bean ice cream. Each sandwich was $5.

Snickerdoodle + Coffee ice cream sandwich (Street Treats)

Chocolate Chip + Vanilla Bean ice cream sandwich (Street Treats)
Some of the best ice cream sandwiches I've ever had here. Both the snickerdoodle and the chocolate chip cookie were excellent. Each had the ideal chewiness for an ice cream sandwich. Both ice creams were also at the perfect consistency for sandwiches; it was hard enough for a sandwich, but also soft enough to ensure you're not biting into a dessert brick. The combination of cinnamon and coffee awakens you in more ways than one. And hey, can we get any more classic a combination than chocolate chip cookies and vanilla ice cream? I doubt it. This is a perfect summer treat, and I'm sure foodies like me -- as well as those people with the sweet tooth -- will still nosh away on these even in chilly weather.

Probably the one thing I would have for a concern is the price. $5 does seem a tad pricey for an ice cream sandwich (and $10 for two), but in this case, it was worth it. Check out Street Treats and get yourself an ice cream sandwich pronto! 8.75/10

Al's Gourmet Sausage

Al's Gourmet Sausage is a food truck that can be found in Seattle, Washington. With several different types of sausages to choose from, it really is all about what you feel like having on a certain day!

Menu at the Seattle Center Mobile Feast (10/29/11)

Seeking something a bit unique, I got a Salmon Sausage Dog ($8): ground salmon sausage in natural casing, topped with grilled onions on a soft hot dog roll. One of the truck operators (perhaps Al himself?) was handing out free samples as well, so I tried the beer brat.

Free samples...the beer brat is on the left
Salmon Sausage Dog (Al's Gourmet Sausage)

The inside of the salmon "sausage"
I enjoyed the ground salmon here, no mistaking that they use the fresh stuff out of the water (and not some canned junk). Unfortunately, I found the casing tough to bite through, and that detracted from the overall experience. The bite of the grilled onions worked well, and then topping the dog with some horseradish cocktail sauce added more zip and a touch of sweetness. The roll was nice and soft, but I would have liked the bun toasted a bit more here. As a note, the beer brat was good (no tough casing issues here), but not mind-blowing.

I might have just had an average experience here, but try Al's Gourmet Sausage and tell me what you think! 5.75/10