I’m a freshman college student – of course I’m going to love food. While I’ve somehow managed to evade the dreaded “freshman 15″ thus far, I might be in trouble now due to my latest find: Food Truck Fridays. As a self-proclaimed food-enthusiast, I’d argue that like many creative mediums, great food equates to great art. Thus, blogging about this event not only benefits you but also enhances Eye Candy’s art repertoire (if you will).
Located on Central and Pierce St., the open-air Phoenix Public Market hosts a vast array of food trucks from all around the valley. Last week they had 11 different options to choose between, ranging from Mama Toledo’s, that sells only pies, to Paradise Melts that supplies Phoenicians with gourmet grilled-cheese delicacies.
I walked over with my roommate Cassidy Trowbridge, both of us extremely hungry after once again, not eating breakfast (don’t tell our parents.) A sucker for Cajun food, I made a beeline toward Jamburritos Cajun Grille Express while Cassidy went to Hey Joe, a food truck specializing in Filipino street food. Offering a Cajun-Mexican fusion with their signature Jamburritos and K-tacos, I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into my selection: a Steak Jamburrito.
A combination of succulent steak, jambalaya rice, smoked andouille sausage, and Monterey Jack, all wrapped in a warm, flour tortilla, my lunch consisted of very little talking and a lot of eating. The Jambalaya was perfectly cooked and seasoned, not too spicy and filled with Cajun flavors. The steak was tender and the sausage had a substantial snap to it that made it impossible to have a bad bite. Sure, I’m a 5’2” girl who tries to stay healthy, but trust me, I can eat. No matter how good it was though, I could only finish half of my meal. (It made an awesome dinner though!)
It didn’t help that Cassidy let me try some of her food as well. She ordered Pancit, which is a term for “noodles” in Filipino cooking. Rice-style noodles, flavored with traditional Filipino spices, veggies and marinated chicken, the dish came with a side of seasoned rice. Our only complaint was that we wished we had gotten more chicken. She also ordered two “lumpia,” basically a Filipino version of the egg roll. Light, crispy and flavorful, it genuinely was one
of the best egg rolls I’ve ever had. (It’s also a great vegetarian option at Food Truck Fridays along with Mojo Bowl which carries smoothies and granola.) Not able to finish hers either, leftovers were plentiful that night.
But before we left, Cassidy couldn’t let me pass up on Torched Goodness, a food truck that only sells crème brûlée. A recent dairy allergy-overcomer, I still have yet to experience a lot of dairy foods. We split a “mini” serving size of the traditional vanilla flavor. Crunchy on top and sweet and creamy on bottom, I can honestly say it was the best (and only) crème brûlée I’ve ever had. In all seriousness, it was really tasty and something I’d definitely order again to cap my sweet tooth.
All in all though, the food was a little pricey. But honestly, the quality of the dishes made it well worth it. I could tell I was eating quality ingredients and it wasn’t just something I could pick up at the McDonald’s on 7th St. Plus, I could tell the food was hand-crafted, not frozen, and each dish was presented with obvious pride. Originally $8, Jamburritos Cajun Grille Express gave me 10% off for being an ASU student. Cassidy’s meal came out to a little over $7 (including the lumpia) and our mini-sized dessert was $3. It ended up lasting me two meals, so you have to factor that into the equation as well. While I can’t afford that all the time, it was a nice escape from the day-today cafeteria food I’ve been eating and something I’ll probably invest in once every month or two.
From traditional Latin cuisine at Aji Mobile Foods to hot dog concoctions at Short Leash, Food Truck Fridays conveniently brings delicious food and superior ingredients just a few blocks away from the Downtown campus. I highly recommend going, even if it’s just when your parents are in town and offer to buy you a meal. I linked all the available online menus to the food trucks’ names, so browse around and head down to Phoenix Public Market before First Friday this week!