It seems like not a day passes lately without interesting news from our Albuquerque food trucks. The proprietors are trying out all kinds of new things, making their presence known at festivals (The Seasonal Palate will be at this weekend's Celtic Festival) and workplaces (Intel), hospitals (Lovelace Women's, UNM Cancer Center), coffee shops (Michael Thomas) and parks (Boiler Monkey has joined Supper Truck for Hyder Park Tuesdays, featuring music by Sage Harrington). And of course at brewpubs.
They're trying out their own events, too, like the recurring Food Truck Rumbles. I'm excited for this summer's Films and Food Trucks events. The first one, at Bataan Park on May 19, will feature Supper Truck, Boiler Monkey, and Rebel Donuts, and the movie will be The Goonies!
Last week, Arne and I decided to try the new Friday lunch pod at Talin Market. There were too many trucks at the Wednesday pod, so a few trucks spun off to Friday. Four trucks were there last Friday: Doggerz, The Lunch Box Deli, Gedunk, and The Toasted Bean.
We started with the bright red, eye-catching Doggerz. Our order of a Mexidog came out quickly. I'd have called it a Nachodog, myself: a hot dog and bun smothered with refried beans, nacho cheese, crushed tortilla chips, and slices of pickled jalapeno. It definitely required a fork. The dog itself was terrific: a huge, meaty Nathan's dog, grilled for fabulous flavor. The toppings were fun, but heavy. The proprietor talked about other ideas he has, like bacon-wrapped dogs and dogs topped with salad. I'm interested to see what he'll come up with.
Next we tried Lunch Box Deli. The meatballs jumped out at us from their short (three-item) menu. We laughed when the woman who took our order turned to the cook and requested a "bowl o' balls"! In moments we were handed a small aluminum-wrapped bundle. Within were two small, garlicky pieces of bread and a small but fully packed bowl of meatballs.
The meatballs were delicious. Beefy and tender, they had the misshapen charm of the truly handmade. The marinara that swaddled them was tomato-ey and bright, without the heavy sweetness of too many restaurant tomato sauces. They would have made a stellar sub. I could have eaten more of those.
Instead, we ate more of other things. We decided on a crepe and a couple of lattes from The Toasted Bean for dessert; while Arne was ordering those, I got into a discussion with the very personable owner of Gedunk Food Truck - though today, he was working from his small, flame-bedecked cart instead of the full-sized truck. The cart is a clever setup. Clearly economical to run, with a small grill and cooler instead of the roaring generator-fueled refrigerators and cooktops of the trucks, it worked beautifully for turning out soft tacos filled with chicken, beef, or pork. Gedunk is, I believe, the only truck that attends both Wednesdays and Fridays at Talin. With this simple cart and a dessert-only menu on Wednesdays to contrast with the other carts' offerings, it seems very cleverly set up. And the food is reliably delicious.
Soon our lattes came out, hot and tasty. The coffee in mine was rich but not at all bitter, well diluted (like I like it) with plenty of milk and almond syrup. I tasted Arne's too - even unsweetened, it was yummy.
Our Funky Monkey crepe followed shortly, and was one of the best crepes I've had in a long time. The crepe itself was light yet with good chew, filled with a decadent mixture of banana slices and Nutella, and topped with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. We realized at this point that we'd gotten too much food. This did not stop us.
Things are constantly changing in Albuquerque's food truck scene. That's part of the fun! (At least, until you show up somewhere and the truck you were looking for isn't there. Which does happen.) I'm following all the info feeds I can, and keeping track as best I can. That said, here is the food pod schedule as I understand it, as of May 15, 2013 (all times are from 11-1 unless otherwise stated).
Food Truck Pod Schedule
South side of Lomas between I-25 and University. Trucks: Gedunk (taco cart), Lunch Box Deli, Toasted Bean (often there early for the breakfast crowd)
Alameda and Balloon Museum Drive. Toasted Bean, possibly Gedunk.
Talin pod: Talin Market. Trucks: Soo Bak Foods, Gedunk (dessert only), Supper Truck, Rustic Food Truck, the Filipino truck, Scottish Pie Shoppe, The Melting Truck, a barbecue truck or two, and more.
Sandia pod: Eubank and Development SE (south of Costco). Trucks: Squeezed Juice Bar, Lunch Box Deli, Doggerz.
Coors and Coors Bypass? No details on participating trucks.
Talin Market. Trucks: Gedunk (taco cart), Doggerz, Lunch Box Deli, Toasted Bean.
This only covers regularly scheduled, non-brewpub food truck gatherings. Check out each truck's individual Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc for more details. You can find trucks all over town - especially at brewpubs that serve little or no food of their own, such as Marble, Tractor, and La Cumbre.
Eat well and have fun!