Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vivacious

Vivacious (a.k.a. Molly's Vibrant Eats) is a food cart located near the corner of 13th St. SE and McGilchrist St. SE in Salem, Oregon. Molly Frizelle, the chef/owner, opened this cart around mid-May, serving up Korean-fusion tacos and lettuce wraps. The menu looked great, and with very few food carts in Salem overall, it became a must-stop.


Molly has dreams to open a brick-and-mortar place in the future, but a food cart and a booth at the Salem Saturday Market suffices for now.

Since this panda can eat, I was tempted to just order everything on the menu. However, I decided to be a little more humane to my wallet and order just four items as a nice snack.



Molly has three hot and three cold lettuce wraps on the menu. You can mix and match in any combination, two wraps for $8. I started with a Molly's Chicken hot lettuce wrap, featuring marinated chicken breast, white rice, zucchini, mushrooms, green onions, and special sauce. Explosive flavors and moist chicken. The rice helped balance the flavors out.

The second wrap was a mahimahi and mango salsa cold lettuce wrap. If you love a refreshing, lighter version of a fish taco, this is right up your alley.

Lettuce Wraps
(Vivacious)
Mahimahi w/Mango Salsa Lettuce Wrap
Molly's Chicken Lettuce Wrap
I mentioned to Molly that having just one layer of lettuce holding an abundance of flavorful toppings makes it difficult to pick up. I had to eat a substantial amount with a fork before hand use became a reasonable option. A double lettuce wrap would probably do the trick, really a very minor issue. Pandas don't mind getting messy with food, especially if alone or with friends.

I then ordered both of Molly's Korean fusion tacos ($3 each). Her spicy pork taco features marinated shredded pork, while the beef bulgogi taco has marinated beef and a special sauce. Both get a healthy topping of cabbage, cilantro, kimchi, marinated cucumber, and lime. Outstanding Korean flare. The bite of the kimchi contrasted with the savory meats. Having both fresh and pickled veggies equals multi-dimensional awesomeness. You can even get three tacos for $8. I'm sure I could have put down a few more on this trip.

Korean Tacos
(Vivacious)
There's the spicy pork!
Here, we got some great beef bulgogi!
Note the kimchi in there...yum!
The accompanying spicy aioli includes sriracha, fresh lime, and chopped cilantro. It has wonderful flavor and perfect creamy texture. It's very mild for me, but people with more sensitive palates may get a jolt to their taste buds. Maybe I should chug some of this sauce just for fun.

Molly features a special at her food cart, which generally changes weekly. She recently had a Cali wrap (turkey, bacon, avocado, tomato, spinach, and blue cheese dressing wrapped in a tortilla) with a side of chips for $5. Molly's husband ordered it when I visited her food cart, and he loved every bite.

Molly also has a booth at the Salem Saturday Market, limited to the lettuce wraps and her shrimp/green onion pancake, a savory pancake with shrimp, green onions, zucchini, carrots, and various seasonings.

When I went to the Saturday Market this past weekend, I wasted little time ordering the pancakes. Four pancakes in an order, six bucks! Molly even has a gluten-free pancake option using rice flour!

Molly's booth at the Salem Saturday Market!
Shrimp and green onion savory pancakes!
Four to an order, and just six bucks!
Three sauces to choose from!
Oh man. I would like a dozen of these savory pancakes for one sitting! They are light and properly seasoned, with a nice helping of shrimp.

There are three sauces: teriyaki, sweet chili, and the aforementioned spicy aioli-like option. All are great, but the spicy sauce still wins by TKO. Not surprising, with my abnormal love for heat.

This is an excellent food cart! Satisfying, explosive, and refreshing, all in one menu! Be sure to like her business Facebook page and check out her official business website8.75/10

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