Posts Tagged ‘Cuban’

In today’s busy & bustling society, time equals money. It means a lot to have extra time to get things done. Typically, the less time you consume to get something accomplished, the more productivity you have to dedicate toward the next task. Saving time means a lot to not just individuals, but businesses who aim to maximize profit while under operating hours. If a person can save time by accomplishing multiple tasks at once, most likely they will undertake that. For example, brunch combines breakfast and lunch into one meal. While this may not always come off as the healthiest choice, if a person needs to conserve time, combining meals can work out once in a while. If you want to enjoy breakfast or brunch any time of the day, you can do so at Wähfles Café in La Verne.

Nestled in an easily accessible location, Wähfles Café churns out artisanal coffees and gourmet waffles out of their quaint, quiet shop. One can reach Wähfles Café immediately off a freeway, and people from the Fairplex or University of La Verne can quickly reach Wähfles Café. As their name suggests, Wähfles Café specializes in gourmet waffle dishes, which includes both the savory and sweet varieties. They serve waffles as traditional dishes or pressed for sandwiches, which includes their Ricki Ricardo waffle sandwich. Representing Wähfles Café’s interpretation of a Cuban sandwich, Wähfles Café places premium slow-roasted pork shoulder, thick-sliced ham, Swiss cheese, pickled onions & cucumbers, and signature Cuban aioli between two grill-pressed rosemary waffles. At $10.95, this comes with a side of sweet banana chips as well. While this sounds like any old Cuban sandwich, the waffles give it a unique spin with both its texture and flavor that includes the rosemary along with its trademark rosemary aroma.

Wähfles Café makes a great place to hang out, enjoy some food and drinks, and/or get some studying done thanks to its quiet and calm atmosphere. See what else Wähfles Café has brewing up by liking them on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

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When the seasons change, many more things change than just the weather. Looking at the weather alone, Southern California currently experiences a massive heat wave that may make you believe that the seasons had not turned yet. A deadly virus threatens human civilization that broke out. A drought threatens the inhabitation of California. As a society, we cannot accurately predict what radical event will change the world next, but we can brace ourselves for anything, as we always have in the past as an enduring society. We can also fall back on what we typically associate with this time of the year. Fall, as we know it, indicates pumpkins, red wine, NFL, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the fall harvest, especially the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, giving us a reason to gorge on Mooncakes. Looking at all these opportunities to feast on favorable foods, we should not overlook outdoor grilling, nor the foods prepared that way. Though the winds will chill the air more so than in the summer, many folks will still utilize the grill up through Thanksgiving. In homage of the veritable fall feast, take a look at these five burgers in the Greater Los Angeles Area that I highly recommend seeking out this season.

5. Belcampo Meat Company‘s Belcampo Cheeseburger

Have you ever visited collective gatherings of food businesses? I do not refer to strip malls or a food court or food truck spots. I refer to a full public market dedicated to providing real estate to local entrepreneurs seeking to enter the food & beverage industry. For example, the historic Pike Place Market in Seattle hosts countless independently-owned businesses, many of which serve unique foods found nowhere else. The Anaheim Packinghouse, which just opened earlier this year, houses a plethora of local food & beverage businesses all serving something unique such that no business competes with each other. Another highly-populated public market exists in Downtown Los Angeles known as Grand Central Market. This dense and compact market holds so many businesses and attracts so many people daily that you literally have to elbow your way through the crowd to get anywhere. If you do that, you may discover great hidden gems, such as the Belcampo Meat Company. This counter, along with its other four California locations, fully functions as both a butcher shop and a restaurant. Their offerings change based on the seasons and the market, but some menu items remain a constant, such as their Belcampo Cheeseburger. They grill a 5.5oz dry-aged & grass-fed beef patty to medium rare, then top it with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, butter lettuce, and what appears to taste like thousand island dressing that they call house sauce. This burger makes it to number five on this list because, although the beef tastes amazingly juicy, the rest of the burger looks rather dull. The lettuce especially gives it a “cheap” look, reducing the overall experience. Honestly, with beef this juicy and full of savory goodness, they can do away with the lettuce, and the burger would look so much better. The price of this burger varies based on the location, but the burger in Downtown LA costs $12.50.

4. Slater’s 50/50‘s Cubano

The empire continues to grow! Now sporting seven locations, the Slater’s 50/50 collective has since expanded outward from its original location in Orange County, with spots now in Rancho Cucamonga and San Marcos. Any Southern Californian local will have heard of Slater’s 50/50, while out-of-towners will want to visit any Slater’s 50/50 location for their namesake, the 50/50 burger – a burger patty consisting of 50% beef and 50% ground bacon. While they sell their trademark 50/50 patty the most, they still sport a large menu of other great items. Their menu claims that they have the “World’s Greater Turkey Burger,” a bold proclamation since typically turkey burgers never quite match up to that of beef or even pork burger patties. I advise you to keep an open mind for their October burger-of-the-month, The Cubano. Slater’s 50/50 builds this massive burger-sandwich hybrid starting with their 2/3 lbs turkey patty, which they top with Swiss cheese, carnitas-style pork, pickled red onions, banana rum mustard, and mint leaves, all on toasted sourdough bread with a side of sliced pickles. Basically, you will receive a panini-style Cuban sandwich with some twists. The mint leaves especially stand out, providing a distinct tease with each bite. For a craft beer pairing, stick with the middle ground, nothing strong or light, such as a pale ale, amber ale, or brown ale. The Cubano makes it to number four on this list because of a few issues. Glaringly, I cannot say that I approve of the bread choice. Sourdough itself bears a flavor that one must savor on its own, so in this sandwich, it would sometimes lose its sourdough flavor with center bites, or overpower the sandwich with edge bites. The choice to toast the bread also brings out two problems: the crunchiness may harm those with sensitive gums, and the bread gets soggy if the cooks do not layer the ingredients correctly, which will happen more often than not. For a burger list, I rarely feature a non-beef patty, as I simply prefer a beef patty unless the patty truly glorifies the burger, such as a chorizo patty. If you seek a Cuban sandwich on an actual burger…

3. Grill ‘Em All‘s Midnight A.K.A. The Konnan

Music truly does hold the title of the most universal language. Lyrics aside, once you have the instrumentals, you can capture an audience from any corner of the globe. From Kawaii metal to fart metal, music resonates well with any individual, even if the music physically assaults anyone listening to it. Much like with music, certain foods gain positive reception around the world. While we can find common foods like burgers and pizza in nearly every country, certain styles also carry over quite well. For example, the typical Cuban sandwich consists of ham, carnitas-style pork, Swiss cheese, mustard, and pickles. Modifications heavily exist to this, as proved by Grill ‘Em All. Consistently shattering culinary perceptions, Grill ‘Em All knows that keeping with traditions will only keep them in the past. For that reason, they think progressively by reinventing stereotypical foods into amalgams of frenzied burgers that look like they took a spin in a mosh pit or two. For the month of October, Grill ‘Em All reimagines the classic Cuban sandwich into their burger-of-the-month, The Midnight A.K.A. The Konnan. Named after a Cuban professional wrestler, The Midnight takes its name from Medianoche, Spanish for midnight, which also refers to the type of sandwich. Unlike standard Cuban sandwiches, The Midnight follows in the footsteps of the Medianoche by utilizing a Hawaiian bun as the sweet bread. Following that, we have a half-pound burger with black forest ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, dijon mustard, pickles, and whole-grain aioli. The resulting burger tastes like a traditional Medianoche sandwich, but with the added surge of the beef patty. This burger pairs very well with the Iron Maiden Trooper ale that they have on tap here! Do keep in mind that you can only obtain this burger this month only, which explains why this burger only makes it to number three on this list.

2. Dolce Bistro & Bakery‘s Not So Classic Burger

Who can resist a cute little sweet treat? Nobody can deny that dessert tends to come across the minds of everybody at least once a day, especially around mealtime. In recent years, bakeries have soared in popularity, whether they make baked goods, cupcakes, pastries, or whatever. When locally famous Porto’s Bakery announced plans to open in Orange County, the entire county clamored in excitement as a testament to the people’s love of sweets. Plenty other bakeries have had to up their game to make them stand out in the crowd, aside from harsh marketing. Up in Montclair, Dolce Bistro & Bakery upped their game by expanding their bakery into a café and restaurant. Tucked away past the Montclair Plaza shopping center, Dolce Bistro & Bakery essentially combines two of my favorite things into one place: a gastropub and a bakery. On one side, you have the bakery where they dole out cronuts, macarons, cupcakes, cookies, and more. On the other side, you have a full-service restaurant representative of today’s typical gastropubs. Aside from their rotating list of craft beers, Dolce Bistro & Bakery deploys a menu that both sounds and tastes delicious. A handful of the menu items gives off an Asian-fusion vibe, but when you look at their burgers, none stand out quite as much as the Not So Classic Burger. While you may expect a meal, the combination of roasted tomatoes, red onion marmalade, Fontina cheese, aioli, and bacon jam will trick your mind into treating this like dessert, what with this sweet lineup of ingredients. A bakery that also serves a sweet burger? Who could have seen that coming? For those bold enough to attempt to pair a craft beer with this, very few beers can stand up to the intensity of this burger. If they have it, go with a stout, Belgian (tripel), or barleywine, as you need that extra strength to stand toe-to-toe with this burger.

1. Stout Burgers & Beer‘s Stout Burger

When determining the desirability of a business, consumers will often research the longevity of a business. If a business has remained open for at least a handful of years, then you can tell that they have endured the hardships of the first couple of years in business, the period where the entrepreneurs hope to break even with their investment. For many years, I have searched for the best of foods that I can find, asking numerous colleagues and strangers everywhere I travel. During those years, a sole burger restaurant has remained at the top of my to-do list that I have never thought to visit. One day, I told myself: I would finally muster up the courage to make the trek up to Stout Burgers & Beers. Located smack dab in the middle of Hollywood, this gastropub does not beat around the bush, and they follow exactly what their name indicates: burgers and beers. They picked one thing to do, and they do it right – I cannot ask for anything more. Here at Stout, they ground the beef in-house daily, so you can expect a fresh burger every single time you visit. Though their menu contains a handful of choices, I encourage everyone to immediately look at their namesake, the Stout Burger. This burger features such a diverse cast of ingredients that all contribute to the greater picture, a picture of a thousand colors. With blue cheese crumbles, Gruyère cheese, rosemary bacon, caramelized onions, horseradish cream, and roasted tomatoes, each ingredient delivers something different to the palate. From the ingredients alone, you get a sour, nutty, salty, sweet, bitter, and tart, respectively. Oh, and this burger patty? It rivals that of Umami Burger. Yes, I said it. People know how much I swear by Umami Burger, but wow do the folks at Stout know how to prepare a burger. At least I can drive to Umami Burger in less than ten minutes from my place, as opposed to Stout where I have to drive about 45 minutes to get there, then pay for parking. I struggle to find free parking anywhere near Stout, which prevents me from visiting them more often whenever I find myself near Hollywood. Perhaps this represents a sign that I must not overindulge in Stout, and that I should consider it an occasional treat. But please, do not put off visiting Stout like I did for many years – you ought to go very soon to devour one of the best burgers you will ever lay your hands on!

California Brewmasters Book Signing Party
6:00 pm – 9:00 pm, July 9
Beach City Brewery, Huntington Beach
http://www.facebook.com/events/666873693400359/

Join brewers from local breweries at Beach City Brewery this Wednesday evening as they congregate for a signing of the book California Brewmasters. Guests may park and attend for free. Books and beer come at cost. Guests of all ages may purchase a book as well as receive autographs, but minors cannot have any beer.

Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk (Second Thursdays)
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 10
Downtown Los Angeles
http://downtownartwalk.org/

This free monthly event takes place over many blocks in Downtown Los Angeles. Many galleries will open late, and some parking lots will contain more art, vendors, food trucks, entertainment, and more. Unless you know business owners, free parking barely exists in Downtown LA, although some meters only operate until 8pm. First-time visitors should attend with someone who has gone here prior.

Deschutes – Tap Takeover
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 10
The Rookery, Pomona
http://www.facebook.com/events/476444565819032/

Oregon’s own Deschutes Brewery will take over the taps at The Rookery in Downtown Pomona this Thursday night. Come on down and enjoy a nice cold one.

2014 Orange County Fair Opening Day
12:00 pm, July 11
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://ocfair.com/

The OC Fair this year runs Wednesday through Sunday each week starting July 11 with the final day on August 10. The fairgrounds open 12pm until 12am on weekdays, and 10am to 12 am on weekends. For opening day, all guests receive FREE parking and enter the fair for FREE. Click this link for special ticket promotions. Click this link for info on the Super Pass. Every year, a new fried food gets introduced, such as deep-fried Kool Aid or deep-fried butter. In previous years, they allowed guests to bring their own foods to get fried, and they will continue that tradition this year.

The Aquabats @ House of Blues Anaheim
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 11
House of Blues, Anaheim
http://www.houseofblues.com/anaheim/events/eventdetail/?viewNav=/event-detail&eventId=09004C8F2DE8ED6E&oid=0

Have a ball with The Aquabats and The Interrupters at this all-ages show this Friday night. Tickets cost $22 presale.

1st Annual Orange County Brew Hee Haw
Four 4-hour sessions, July 11-13
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://www.ocbrewheehaw.com/

The OC Brew Ha Ha team has struck again with this weekend-long beer festival taking place at the Orange County Fairgrounds. Covering four 4-hour sessions throughout the weekend, this beer festival takes the concept of the locally famous Brew Ha Ha and steps it up by adding beer from breweries outside of the Southern California circuit, so expect to see some unfamiliar beers here. Tickets per session cost $50 presale or $55 at the gate, and all ticket-holders receive 15 beer tasters plus a complimentary pass to the OC Fair for that day. A session will take place 6-10pm on Friday, 12-4pm and 5-9pm on Saturday, and 12-4pm on Sunday. The two afternoon sessions occurring at 12pm also include a free concert ticket to a performance at the Pacific Amphitheatre later that night. No one under 21 may enter the Brew Hee Haw area, and can only stay out in the fairgrounds. However, guests may freely leave and enter between the Brew Hee Haw area and the fairgrounds. Parking at the OC Fair costs $10 cash per vehicle. On weekends, guests may park for free at select parking lots and ride a shuttle to the fairgrounds – consult the OC Fair website for details, linked above.

Read up on the last event put on by the OC Brew Ha Ha team.

Twisted At The Pike
6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 11
Rainbow Harbor, Long Beach
http://summerandmusic.com/event/twisted-at-the-pike/

Immerse yourself into the world of weird this Friday night in Long Beach. Free to attend for all ages, this twisted carnival has live music, dance, magic performers, a beer garden hosted by Auld Dubliner, local food vendors, and more.

The Offspring & The Adolescents @ The Pacific Amphitheatre
7:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 11
Pacific Amphitheatre, Costa Mesa
http://www.pacamp.com/pa/schedules/2014/The_Offspring.asp

Orange County natives The Offspring and The Adolescents will headline the opening night of the 2014 OC Fair this Friday night. Tickets to this all-ages show start at $40 and includes admission to the fair.

Agent Orange & Guttermouth @ Borderline Bar & Grill
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 11
Borderline Bar & Grill, Thousand Oaks
http://borderlinebarandgrill.ticketfly.com/event/609945-agent-orange-guttermouth-thousand-oaks/

Punk rock heavyweights Agent Orange and Guttermouth will headline this local show this Friday night in Thousand Oaks. Tickets to this show cost $12. No one under 18 may attend.

Punk Rock Night @ The Redwood Bar
9:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 11
The Redwood Bar, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/443428575794238/

Check out a great lineup of local bands this Friday night in Downtown LA. The page does not specify a cover charge, so have cash available for that. No one under 21 may attend this show.

Weird Band Night
9:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 11
California Institute of Abnormalarts, North Hollywood
http://www.facebook.com/events/1409594345995678/

For just $10, guests of all ages can check out this show featuring some of the weirdest bands in the industry.

2014 Rental Car Rally – Los Angeles
9:00 pm – 3:00 pm, July 11
Location TBA, Los Angeles
http://www.rentalcarrally.com/

What do you get when you mix Halloween with Mario Kart? You get the Rental Car Rally! This race abandons all conventional means by pitting themed teams against each other as they drive from point A to point B overnight. Instead of which team arrives first, winners reach the destination with the fewest miles traveled while hitting every single checkpoint along the way. Along the way, teams may attempt to interfere with other teams, using methods such as water balloons, water guns, powdered balloons, and other wacky ways that you would normally see in a video game. Words cannot accurately describe the mayhem behind a Rental Car Rally. To understand this, one must commit to competing in this wacky ride.

6th Annual San Diego Doggie Street Festival
9:00 am – 4:00 pm, July 12
NTC Park, Liberty Station, San Diego
http://doggiestreetfestival.org/

This event focuses on dog & cat adoptions, providing people an opportunity to add a pet to their lives. Free to attend for all ages, this event comes with food vendors, live music from local bands, speakers, pet merchandise & accessories, pet services, and more.

1st Annual Horton’s Hayride
12:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 12
Shannon’s On Pine, Downtown Long Beach
http://www.eventbrite.com/e/hortons-hayride-tickets-11378069111

The streets of Downtown Long Beach at Pine & Broadway will shut down to traffic for this all-day all-ages rockabilly festival. Enjoy live music from the great sets of the Reverend Horton Heat, Jello Biafra, and more, and check out the great food, classic cars, and pinup models. Tickets to this event costs only $10.

Grindcore Fest 2014
4:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 12
333 Live, Los Angeles
http://www.facebook.com/events/509243209165428/

Can you handle this many hours of hardcore music? Test your stamina at this lengthy grindcore show this Saturday night in Los Angeles. The event page has released limited information about the event, so have cash ready on you, or prepare to not even enter if the event has an age minimum.

Chinatown Summer Nights
5:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 12
Chinatown, Downtown Los Angeles
http://www.chinatownla.com/calendar.php?eventId=281

Have a fun time this summer at Chinatownin Downtown Los Angeles. Free to attend for all ages, this nighttime festival brings together food, music, art, and beer in a multicultural setting. Expect to see food trucks, merchandise, arts & crafts, live music, live DJ’s, a dance floor, a beer garden hosted by Eagle Rock Brewery, and more. Guests can find free street parking on Spring St and the side streets connected to Spring, including College St.

Colorado Street Bridge Party
6:00 pm – 11:30 pm, July 12
Historic Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena
http://www.pasadenaheritage.org/bridge

Celebrate the history of a really old bridge by partying on it this Saturday night. Catch a night of music, dancing, classic cars, arts & crafts, food, drinks, and more all on the bridge. Tickets to this event cost $16 presale or $18 at the gate.

Neon Dash – San Diego
6:00 pm – 12:00 am, July 12
Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego
http://www.neondash.com/locations/sandiego/

Run, jog, or walk your way through a brightly lit course at night with the Neon Dash 5k. This all-ages fun run combines the spectrum of a color run with the brilliance of a glow run with specially formulated glow-in-the-dark glow. Throughout the 5k course, live music will pump up the runners while course staff and volunteers will spray participants with the magical glow to give them that special something that lights them up in the night. Following the run, all participants can stay for the after party that goes on all night. Registration costs $30 online and $40 on the day of the event. As a color run, all participants should wear white during the race to absorb the most color possible, and have spare clothes to change into when going home. Parking will range from $5 to $10, but since spectators can enter for free, feel free to bring friends & family to watch the run. Note that the race will start at 8pm, and with thousands of participants, I highly suggest arriving at least an hour early to circumvent traffic.

Smut Peddlers – Album Release Show
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 12
The Observatory, Santa Ana
http://www.observatoryoc.com/events/smut-peddlers-album-release

Legendary punk band Smut Peddlers have a new album coming out, and they will celebrate with this album release show this Saturday night at The Observatory in Santa Ana. Tickets to this all-ages show cost just $10. Arrive early and park in the venue’s parking lot for free. Arrive too late, and end up parking in a parking lot down the street for $10 per vehicle.

Jerm & Merrie’s Birthday Bash
7:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 12
The Screamin’ Chicken, San Bernardino
http://www.facebook.com/events/316714931837786/

Enjoy some of Southern California’s hardest rocking punk rock bands this Saturday night all the way out in San Bernardino. The cover for this show costs only $8. No one under 21 may attend.

Los Creepers @ 13th Frame Lounge
8:00 pm – 1:00 am, July 12
13th Frame Lounge, La Habra
http://www.facebook.com/events/542896765819227/

Rock out to some hardcore street punk in La Habra this Saturday night. The cover for this all-ages show costs $10.

Beach Babe Bicycling Classic
7:00 am – 2:00 pm, July 13
Shoreline Aquatic Park, Long Beach
http://californiagirlseries.com/

Join hundreds of women cyclists tour the SoCal coastline from Long Beach to Huntington Beach in this beautiful annual bike ride this Sunday morning. Go on a bike ride for 15 miles or 36 miles along beach trails and bike lanes with a handful of catered rest stops along the path. Following the ride, attendees can enjoy a mini women’s expo at the finish line complete with merchandise and accessories. Registration costs $95 for a solo rider. Have cash available for parking, as the nearest free parking location lies in the neighborhood east of Alamitos Avenue. The website does not specify if men can participate, but photos from previous years show absolutely no men.

101st Kit Collectors Expo
9:00 am – 3:00 pm, July 13
UFCW Local 324, Buena Park
http://www.kitcollectorshow.com/

Hundreds of vendors will gather here to showcase their model kits of cars, ships, planes, miniatures, armor, sci-fi/fantasy, space, and more. Admission to this all-ages expo costs just $5.

Los Angeles Cuban Festival
10:00 am – 8:00 pm, July 13
Rainbow Lagoon Park, Long Beach
http://www.fiestalegre.net/

Bring out your family to this Cuban festival this Sunday in Long Beach. Tickets cost $30 presale or $35 at the gate, and allows full access to all the Cuban food, drinks, music, dancing, arts & crafts, and more.

Ballast Point 18th Anniversary Celebration
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, July 13
Maritime Museum, San Diego
http://www.ballastpoint.com/events/ballast-point-18th-anniversary-beer-festival/

Ballast Point Brewing turns 18 soon, and would like to invite you to come celebrate with them! At the San Diego Maritime Museum this Sunday afternoon, guests can find all things Ballast Point, as they enjoy their drinks aboard historic ships and submarines. Ballast Point will provide over 40 different beers, which will include rare beers and some unreleased beers. Live music will play on multiple stages throughout the venue. Local food vendors will also set up for guests that get hungry, although food comes at its own price. Admission to this one of a kind beer fest costs $40, which includes full admission to the museum, fifteen 3oz beer tasters, and a souvenir glass. No one under 21 may attend.

German Heritage Day
2:00 pm – 6:00 pm, July 13
Old World Village, Huntington Beach
http://www.oldworld.ws/

Do you love Oktoberfest? Show off your German pride at this FREE and all-ages celebration this Sunday afternoon at Old World Village in Huntington Beach. Enjoy German food, music, arts & crafts, and more. The first 500 guests receive a FREE meal, so act quick!

Punk Rock N’ Fiesta
2:00 pm – 10:00 pm, July 13
The World Famous Doll Hut, Anaheim
http://www.facebook.com/events/1438254613098011/

Relax with this daytime punk rock show this Sunday afternoon, with catering available. The cover for this show costs $5. No one under 21 may attend.

The English Beat @ The OC Fair
8:00 pm – 11:00 pm, July 13
OC Fair & Event Center, Costa Mesa
http://ocfair.com/2014/shows/TheEnglishBeat.asp

Old school ska band The English Beat will headline a show inside the OC Fair’s Hangar this Sunday night. Tickets to this all-ages show cost $15 and includes admission to the fair.

The food truck fad may have died a while ago, but that should not stop you from seeking these delectable meals on wheels. Food trucks may prosper more during the summer, but the with the heat wave continuing onwards through fall, they remain a popular visit for locals and travelers alike. If you have not yet tried all five food trucks that I recommended at the beginning of summer, shame on you for not doing so already, and go find them while the weather still suits it. For now, I have selected five food trucks that I recommend trying food from at least once this fall. I pick these based on the quality of their food and their relative popularity, which I measure as their number of Twitter followers divided by how many trucks they operate. I feel that I should not have to recommend a popular truck, as most people will have already tried food from that truck, or heard of them.

5. No Jodas Kitchen


Pan Con Lechon Preparada

An old saying goes “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Thinking about food now, sometimes when a type of food works, you want to stick with that, and keep improving it. No Jodas Kitchen follows this concept by serving traditional Cuban food with minor tweaks that greatly enhance the taste experience. No Jodas serves Cuban hot-pressed sandwiches with different meats and combinations, such as roasted pork, ham, and steak. The No Jodas twist comes with their No Jodas Sauce, a bold yellow garlic spread. Personally, I love garlic, so that strong of a spread on the sandwich flies well with me. For others, too much garlic may not fit the bill – in that case, No Jodas also carries terrific sides, such as Papas Rellenas and Croquetas. The food truck culture may favor new creations and thinking outside the box, but sometimes you have to fall back to basics, and No Jodas does that well.

4. Taco Maria


Left to Right: Mole de Pollo, Carnitas a la Naranja, Arrachera

To the typical bloke, you can only order tacos from a food truck, nothing else. A food truck can have BURGER in the name, yet common blokes still will ask for tacos. Drunks will not even pay attention to the menu, and simply walk up and ask for tacos. To all those blokes who still bear a bad perception of food trucks, Taco Maria has your solution. Taco Maria cooks fine-dining restaurant quality meats right on their truck, and serves it in a taco or burrito. After one bite, you may wonder why they choose to operate out of a truck rather than a brick & mortar, because honestly, I would love to order just a plate of the meat and consume it a la carte. Taco Maria has boldly carried foie gras on their truck before, and served it a week prior to the ban. Besides this, they also featured limited-time specials, so checking that list usually yields something else favorable. If you have not sought Taco Maria after finding out that they served foie gras, go find them this fall!

3. Truck Norris


Kickin’ Chicken

It can stop a bullet with its grill. It does not drive – the road pushes it forward. Thousands of other food trucks currently operate because it allows them to do so. It helped jump-start another vehicle, and that other vehicle later became Optimus Prime.
Meet Truck Norris. No kidding, this food truck truly exists. However, shatter all your expectations right there, because Truck Norris serves fine Hawaiian and Filipino food. Yeah, that confuses me too – I mean, Chuck Norris represents an American icon from Texas, yet a food truck clearly named after him serves food that has nothing to do with him. But hey, all around the world, people know Chuck Norris. Luckily, Truck Norris can live up to the expectations of bearing that name with their mighty fine fusion cuisine. As far as islander street food goes, Truck Norris perfects it. With a menu of traditional and fusion foods, some customers may not find the focus immediately. In fact, the menu even carries Shepherd’s Pie, a traditionally English food. In the end, no one can complain about the quality present in both the food and the people behind the food.

2. Alebrije’s Grill


Taco Acorazado

One can dispute the validity of this entry on my list. Does a stationary food truck still count as a food truck? Although it parks and serves in the exact same spot everyday, Alebrije’s Grill has operated out of the same food truck (with renovations over the years) in the exact same spot since 2000. Why they do this remains a mystery to many, but customers find no mysteries behind their food. Alebrije’s Grill crafts some of the best Mexican food ever for what many consider a hole-in-the-wall… that happens to have wheels. If you think you know carne asada, you will think twice after trying their carne asada. Perhaps the food pictured above makes Alebrije’s Grill popular all this time – the Taco Acorazado, or “Battleship Taco.” Alebrije’s Grill irons out their stand on quality by hand-pressing the mountainous torilla per order ON THE SPOT. Next they add tomato-infused rice, milanesa (beef dipped in egg, breaded, then fried), cactus, onions, tomatoes, avocado, and cotija cheese. Do not bother starting this like a normal taco – pick away at it with a knife and fork before finally picking it up to eat. Nothing shouts Mexican comfort food louder than a Battleship Taco. Go find Alebrije’s Grill (not hard since they always park at the same spot), order the Battleship Taco, and do battle. Whose battleship will sink first?

1. Frysmith


Sous Vide Pork Chops, Stone Brewery’s Smoked Porter Gravy, Dubliner Cheese, Diced Granny Smith Apples, Natural Fries

Frysmith does not joke around when it comes to raising the bar then breaking it. Crafting plates of fries that eat like a meal, these monstrous plates feature their twice-fried fries, or “frites” colloquially, topped with various meats and other goodies. In addition to natural-cut fries, Frysmith also utilizes sweet potato fries, as in their Sweet Po Fries – free-range chicken in tomatillo-tamarind sauce over sweet potato fries topped with cashews. For $1, customers may substitute sweet potato fries to any plate that does not originally come with it. Just like the nature of food trucks of never staying in the same place for long, Frysmith creates daily specials as well, such as the plate pictured above. That way, you should never get tired of trying the same food, as they will just keep coming up with more! Would you share your plate with someone else though, or eat it all yourself?