We spent last Friday at Eat See Hear, a summer series of outdoor movies, live music and food trucks. We got there early to stake out a spot for our picnic blanket and grab some food before the lines got too long.
The array of food truck options was pretty overwhelming—about 10 food trucks and 2 dessert trucks, plus an entire truck full of slurpees. Everything looked delicious, but I really wish that the event planners had brought a few trucks that didn’t have adorable hip signage and overpriced food. Taco trucks are very nostalgic for me—whenever I’m back in my hometown, we have to venture over to the taco truck that hangs out across from the DMV, which makes some of the best burritos and tacos I have ever tasted for ultra cheap prices. (My mouth is watering just thinking about it.) In my not so humble opinion, the food truck should be a noble conveyer of delicious, hot, unpretentious, cheap food. I do not understand why a phenomenon that was already perfect needed to become fancy and gourmet and cute. Variety is the spice of life, and I can appreciate the occasional gourmet food truck for fun and variety, but not to the exclusion of their more humble (and usually more delicious) counterparts. As I stared at the array of shiny, brightly colored food trucks in front of me, all I could think was: But where are the tacos?!
When I got over my frustration about the absence of tacos, I decided that hot dogs would also be an acceptable food for a summer evening. We headed over to Dogtown Dogs. They had an interesting looking variety of hot dogs for between $5-$7 a piece. Expensive for a hot dog, but I just pretended that I was at a ballpark. I ordered the Dogtown Dog ($5), which came with lots of whole grain mustard and was topped with a fennel and roasted pepper slaw. Credit where credit is due: this was very yummy. I’m not much of a hot dog person, but once in a while a craving strikes, especially during the summertime. The hot dog was very juicy and flavorful, the whole grain mustard was excellent, and the slaw provided a nice crunch and brininess. The slaw had some dill in it, so the overall effect with the hot dog was subtly reminiscent of relish.
They were very generous with the mustard. For me, that is a good thing!
The Lemonator had a “Morning Commute” dog—bacon wrapped hot dog with fried egg on top and a side of tater tots. The hot dog was the savory meat lover’s concoction that you would imagine. I did not try his tater tots, but the Lemonator reported that they were tasty.
Maybe next time we will take a tip from our neighbor and save money by blowtorching our own hot dogs from home. Yes, he actually has a blowtorch: take a close look at the picture!
I have heard many tales of the deliciousness of the Cool Haus ice cream truck, so I had to check that out as well. The basic idea is that you can pick your cookie and your ice cream flavor to create a custom ice cream sandwich. Service was quick and friendly.
I went with marscapone ice cream studded with balsamic figs between chocolate chip cookies. The whole thing comes served in an edible wrap (seemed like rice paper?), presumably to be hip and to cut down on waste from napkins. The ice cream was delicious, although I wish there had been more of the yummy figs in the mix. The mascarpone flavor was great, the texture was creamy, and it wasn’t too sweet. The basamic figs, when I got a bite, were rich and delicious. The cookies were meh and the overall sandwich was awkwardly constructed. There was too much ice cream and it was very soft, so it was very difficult to get a bite without ice cream squishing out through all of the sides. The wrapper just tasted like paper on its own, although it tasted good and mochi-esque when soaked in the escaping melted ice cream. I wish I could have just ordered a dish of that ice cream on its own, because that was worth repeating.
As the sun was setting, the live act took the stage: Derte Verde. The performance was great—melodic rock music that was catchy but with unexpected quirks in rhythm and sound that kept it from being clichéd. You could hear a lot of eclectic influences in the music—the Lemonator and I kept trying to figure out who they reminded us of and kept coming up with wildly different references point each song.
After the music, it was time for the movie: The Princess Bride. I love that movie (who doesn’t?) and it was fun to watch it with a big outdoor group where the crowd could cheer for the most quotable lines. I think that entire movie is extremely quotable, but we seemed to have a crowd full of Inigo Montoya fans—his catchphrase elicited the loudest cheers.
All in all, a very enjoyable way to spend a summer evening.