Thursday, February 21, 2013

Guerrilla warfare

I was already in the downtown area and thought that stopping somewhere cool for lunch would work great.  Getting out for lunch, in St. Louis is difficult when you only really get an hour for lunch and you work in Illinois.  So, any chance I get to leave, I make a side trip and aim for the nearest food truck I can find.  This time, it was Guerrilla Street Food.  With this truck, which resembles a Rhino from the battle lines of the Warhammer 40,000 universe, we have two experienced chefs cooking up foods with a Filipino spin.  Even last year the Riverfront Times had voted this food truck as the best food truck for 2012.  When I was ordering my food, I was told that the best dish that helped get them this title, was the Flying Pig.  So, let's get to the food and the tastes.

Guerrilla Street Food cycle out menu items depending on if they are seasonal, which insures that you will get the freshest ingredients and food.  If you are looking for low carbs or low calories, this truck is not for you.  However, if you are looking for something that you can get on your lunch break and will fill you up for the day, then find and locate this truck.

So, the first thing I had ordered was called the Lumpia.  This was like a spring roll, with added rice, more flavor and then wrapped in a thicker pancake-like coating.  It was also served cold, which I internally scoffed at.  I was wrong.  The flavor was great.  You could taste all of the vegetables as well as the herbs and the rice.  It all blended well enough that it worked together, for the gestalt but also was individual enough that you could tell that it wasn't just a mash-up of flavors.  I'd give it a 3 out of 5.

The next one I had ordered was the Beef Mechado, which was basically a great sauce, potatoes, beef and rice.  It was great and very tasty.  There is this sweetness and mellow flavoring, as it reminded me of a really good pot-roast.  I would give this a 4 out of 5 as it was good enough that I would order it again.

Now, I also got the Chicken Adobo, which was chicken cooked in soy sauce, garlic, bay leaves, vinegar and black peppercorns served on a huge scoop of rice.  This was very tasty.  I loved it, my wife loved it and 3 other people who randomly came by to see what I was eating, at work, loved it.  I'd say it was a good.  It was also so good that my picky 6 year old had two bowls of it; about 8 ounces, and licked his bowls clean.  I'd give this a 4 out of 5 as I would surely order this again as well.

Now, what was the big winner here?  The Flying Pig.  I started off wanting just the Wandering Pig, which was a dish with pork, garlic, sesame seeds and garlic as well as some awesome sauces.  But, they guys talked me into getting the Flying Pig, which was the same thing, but with an egg on top.  An egg, that's it?  Oh, but this isn't just any egg, it was cooked, in the shell, sous vide style.  What this means, simply, is that the egg was cooked, much like a hard boiled egg is still cooked in the shell.  So, this sous vide egg was cooked in water, just the same way.  The difference is, when you cook an egg in the shell, normally, it become hard-soft boiled.  This egg, this sous vide egg, become so soft boiled, it has the slight appearance of a raw egg, except it is cooked.  Weird, huh?  But this dish was awesome, as in, so awesome that I can honestly say that it is the best thing I have eaten so far this year.  The flavors are strange and complex and familiar: all at once. What you have is pork on rice with scallions.  You take a bite with the sriracha sauce and it is spicy with an Asian flair.  Then you take a bite with this darker almost brown colored sauce and you get a completely different flavor to accent the pork and rice.  There was two different flavors on either side of my box, and yet if you mix them together, they went perfectly well.  It was strange and simple and if I was a judge on Iron Chef, I would say "the flavors seem to speak to me on a philosophical level as they discus the meaning of life and dance along with my senses."  Would I order this again?  Oh for sure.  I'd actually give this a 5 out of 5 this time.  I'd order this and easily and highly recommend this dish to everyone I know.

Now, what are we looking at here?  How much will this set you back?  Well, I was a bit struck with sticker shock when I was told the prices, but what you don't get then, is the surprise of what you get for your buck. Each one of these dishes, is huge.  I would say that first of all, the Lumpia is probably over 8 inches in length and about two inches thick.  It is a light dish, but it isn't a small one.  The Chicken Adobo was a $6.00 dish and for that 6 dollars, I was given a box which had to weigh in excess of 2 pounds.  There is a lot of rice and chicken and sauce in there.  That is a lot of food for $6.  I know that now I have lunch for the rest of the week at work.  I would safely say that one person could get one main dish for their meal and be satisfied and likely even have leftovers for the reasonable price.  The food really is outstanding.  After walking from my car to the food truck, standing there and waiting for the food to be cooked and freezing in the temperatures yesterday afternoon, I thought to myself: "I hope this is worth it."  It was worth it.  Go find them, drive out wherever you are and find them and eat from them and be happy.    


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