Monday, August 31, 2015

Food (Truck) for Thought: Why I Want To Love Them But Just Don't

I've been to quite a few events and festivals with a row of Food Trucks - especially this year. I really want to love food trucks - but there are just a few things I can't wrap my head around. I'd love to have a discussion around this with proprietors and consumers and see if anybody else feels the same way I do. So that said - if you own one, know someone who does or just eat at them - let me know your thoughts.

There is one food truck I love -

Empanadas Aqui is my favorite. Now I love them because they're awesome people and they serve awesome food. But they do the a couple things that many others don't - and that's what is stemming this post - their food is easy to eat when standing and it's less than $5.

Here's a few points to consider:

  • When are festivals? In the butt-ass heat of summer. It's 95 degrees in the blaring sun and there's no shade to be found.


  • What are you doing at a festival? Standing. Holding my purse and cell phone and a beverage - and probably taking a selfie with my mouth open. (That's what the Food Hussy does.) Case in point:


 (Yes - my mouth is always open.) 

  • Are you the only truck there? No - there is a row of trucks (are they called a gaggle?) - and I - as the Food Hussy - don't want to eat at ONE truck. I want to eat at ALL of them! 
So what's my issue with food trucks? 

Many of them don't help me in any of those situations!! Let's break it down:


  • The heat - When it's that damn hot - I really don't want to eat heavy, hot foods. Grilled cheese, ribs, containers full of food, etc...
  • Standing - Let's see...I have to hold my purse, my phone, my drink, take selfies - and you hand me an 8" long wrap that's so hot I can't even hold it and floppy so there's no way to eat it unless I'm sitting at a table with silverware. Case in point: to the left. 
  • Multiple trucks - If there's a festival or multiple trucks - I like to be able to try multiple types of food from multiple trucks. But when your prices are between $7-$10 and your portion sizes are so huge - there's no room to eat more than one thing. 


So Food Truck owners - work with us! If you're going to a festival or multi-truck event - here are some ideas:

  • Lighter foods - I'm not saying you have to start making salads - but think about the heat factor and the sweat pouring down my face and come up with some option that has a cool factor to it.
  • One hand foods - Try keeping in mind ease of eating when creating your delicious treats - things that I can eat with one hand - in a wrapper - are great! 
  • Portion size - If your food is just something heavy - then give me the option for a smaller portion. Honestly - some of you have food that is completely drool-worthy - but it's really rich too. I'm not sure I am going to like a grilled cheese with pepperoni, mozzarella and honey - especially when it's the size of my head - but if I could get a half - I'm more than happy to jump in on that! You might think this would cut into your profits but I think if you provide these smaller (and more affordable) portion sizes - folks will be adventurous and try more food - and thus be able to go to more than one truck so you have a better chance of getting in on that piece of the pie!
So there you have it - my frustrations after attending multiple food truck events this summer. 

Does anybody else feel the same way? Or am I off track? What about you Food Truck owners?

And BTW - not meaning to pick on any one truck - these were just examples based on my experiences. I support the food trucks and want them to succeed. I just would like to be able to try more of you rather than just one per event. 


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Cincinnati's Top 45 Burger List for 2015 - My Personal Checklist!

Hey - I just want a place to keep track of Cincinnati's Best Burgers. Here's the list from Cincinnati Magazine - along with a link to a review of mine - if I've been there! Let's see how many of these I can get to this year! They only come out with this list every 5 years - so it's a big event to go through the ranks!



1. Dutch’s Bar & Bottle Shop: Burger du Jour, $12 - East Hyde Park
2. Gas Light Café: Gas Light Burger, $6.50 - Pleasant Ridge (This is highly overrated to me) 
3. Red Feather: Burger, $15 - Oakley
4. Krueger’s Tavern: Krueger’s Burger, $9 - OTR (yum!!)
5. Zip’s Café: Zip Burger, $5.50 - Mt. Lookout
6. Doris & Sonny’s Homelike Restaurant: Big Jack, $5.95 - Miamitown
7. The National Exemplar: Kentucky Bison Burger, $14 - Mariemont (been but haven't had the burger)
8. The Rookwood: The Barnsdale Burger, $17 - Mt Adams (been but haven't had the burger)
9. Oakley Pub & Grill: The Burger, $8.95 - Oakley (been but haven't had the burger)
10. Maribelle’s Eat + Drink: Lamb Burger, $14 - Mt Lookout
11. Metropole: The Metropole Cheeseburger, $16 - Downtown (been but haven't had the burger)
12. Jean-Robert’s Table: French Chateau Burger, $15 - Downtown (been but haven't had the burger)
13. Gabby’s Café: Gyro Burger, $12 - Wyoming
14. Paxton’s Grill: Our Famous Big Paxton’s, $8.59 - Loveland (been but haven't had the burger)
15. Walt’s Hitching Post: The Trifecta Burger, $13 - Ft Wright (been but haven't had the burger)
16. Sammy’s Gourmet Burgers & Beers: Sammy’s Burger, $10.49 - Blue Ash
17. The Precinct: The Jeff Ruby Burger, $19.75 - Mt Lookout
18. Herb ’n Thelma’s: Tavern Double Cheeseburger, $5.25 - Covington
19. The Elusive Cow Café: Lamb Burger, $11.50 - Bellevue (I didn't get the lamb but the bison burger was not good - I'm not going back)
20. The Echo: Cheeseburger, $6 - Hyde Park (been but haven't had the burger)
21. BrewRiver GastroPub: The Natchez, $14 - East End (been twice - but haven't had the burger - didn't like it either time - not going back)
22. Bouquet: Bouquet Burger, $14 - Covington
23. Senate: Senate Burger, $12 - OTR (been but haven't had the burger)
24. Wunderbar: Wunderburger, $8.50 - Covington (try the pierogies)
25. Gordo’s Pub & Grill: French, $12 - Oakley (I got a different burger - but comparable)
26. Salazar: Burger, $17 - OTR - (got the burger - no idea what they loved about it)
27. The Root Beer Stand: Quarter Pounder, $3.50 - Sharonville (been a million times - but always get the Timmy Dog)
28. Chicken on the Run: Cheeseburger, $2.39 - Deer Park (got a Patty Melt - not impressed)
29. Jimmy G’s: Barge Bash Burger, $15 - Downtown (been but haven't had the burger)
30. Mad Mike’s Burgers: American Outlaw, $6.39 - Multiple (been, didn't get this burger but good stuff)
31. Habits Café: Big Easy Style Burger, $9.75 - Oakley (first date with my now-hubby)
32. Anderson Township Pub: Federal Hill, $8.45 - Anderson Township
34. Boca: Boca Burger, $16 - Downtown
35. The Wildflower Café: Grassland Graze Beef Burger, $14 - Mason
36. MOTR Pub: MOTR Burger, $8.50 - OTR
38. Indian Mound Café: Half-Pound Hamburger, $4.75 - Norwood
39. Main Street Café: Classic Cheeseburger, $6 - Newtown
40. Maury’s Tiny Cove: Little Mar, $8.95 - Cheviot (went - food was awful - won't revisit)
44. Arnold’s Bar and Grill: The Cincinnati Dancing Pig, $12
45. Quatman Café: Hamburger, $5.25 - Norwood (For me - top 3 - pure. simple. delish.)

Bottom Line: I have a lot of cow to eat in the next 4 months! How about you? What's your #1 burger in Cincinnati?