Monday, February 25, 2013

Oh la la, Ah La Cart

Surprises are not my strong suit, mostly because I'm not a great improviser.  I love to plan, make lists and check them half a dozen times (Santa only has to check twice, but that's only because he's magic).  Surprises rarely lend themselves to list-making.  But last week, I had a great surprise that facilitated my love of list-making.  One of my friends from my semester abroad was in town for the week, and was available to meet up!

In trying to decide on a spot, I put together a list of possible foodie spots that were worthy of a tourist's visit.  I offered up some of my own tried and true favorites, like Sugar Mama's Bakeshop for cupcakes, Kerbey Lane Cafe for pancakes and more, and of course some frozen yogurt.  I also included a few spots I hadn't gotten the chance to try myself yet, mostly a sampling of food trailers which have come to dominate the culinary landscape of the city.  Sometimes it takes a visit from the 'tourist' to get you to discover something great in your city.

After doing her own research (we're friends for a reason, she had to make her own list as well!), my visitor chose one of those food trailers, Ah La Cart.  All on its own in a parking lot next to a bike shop, they do 'slow food, fast' with seasonal home cooking using fresh local ingredients.

As with most food trailers, the menu is limited, but it still had more than one dish I wanted to try.  I decided to be good and stick with a classic I have been craving recently: mac and cheese.  Now, this particular dish doesn't really lend itself to beauty shots.  But smoked Tillamook cheddar and Alderwood smoked sea salt sounds pretty good, right?  It tastes even better.  So creamy and cheesy, with the breadcrumbs on top giving it a little texture as well.

It's meant to be a side dish, so it's about a cup of rich deliciousness.  Perfect serving size for me, and I'm sure that even people who don't count their calories would feel satisfied if they paired with a pork belly taco, which my friend had on a corn tortilla.  Yes, you read right: pork belly.  There may not be crazy-huge portions or a novel-length menu, but they pack a lot of flavor into what they do serve.

This just happens to be a very convenient stop on the way to either the dentist or mechanic for me, so this will be a great way to turn errand-running into something delicious.

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