31 July 2012

Papaya Street Grill

Papaya Street Grill is a fast-casual restaurant with a global menu located in Dublin. Dishes and sauces travel the globe from Thailand to Bali to Minnesota and beyond.

While the menu listed plenty of options for vegan and vegetarian diners, the counter staff was flummoxed by questions about the ingredients in particular sauces. Diners with allergies might want to contact Papaya Street Grill ahead of time. Nervous vegetarian diners could also order only vegan items from the menu if they are unable to confirm what ingredients are in particular dishes.

The build-your-own bowl entree can be built on salad, rice or noodles. Tofu can be added and a sauce can be chosen. The vegetables were limp and needed sauce to cover up the imperfections. 

While the concept of Papaya Street Grill is interesting, getting answers to dietary concerns is difficult. The food isn't good enough to make the struggle worthwhile. 

Papaya Street Grill on Urbanspoon

20 July 2012

Columbus Food Truck and Cart Festival 2012

Year two of the Columbus Food Truck and Cart Fest in Columbus Commons was a great opportunity to try a pile of food trucks in one sitting. This year's festival had 35 trucks from central Ohio and beyond take part in the 10-hour event.

Since I have tried many of the other trucks before, this was an opportunity to try vendors that I hadn't encountered before. I especially wanted to try the out-of-town options.

However, I displayed local pride by trying Sweet Carrot first. Sweet Carrot is a truck that is linked with a catering company. The primary focus is weddings and business catering. 

The fried artichokes, like other dishes, were served either plain with sauce in a paper boat or on a thin corn pancake. The perfectly breaded fritters came with a chipotle aioli. 

The mac and cheese had a thick, crunchy top and a gooey, cheese sauce that held the elbow macaroni together. It was a nice portion for $4.

Sweet Carrot's dessert, was of course, carrot cake. Unfortunately I didn't get to try it.

Nosh Box is a comfort food truck from Cleveland. It was profiled in depth on Eat Street, the food truck show on the Cooking Channel.

The menu allowed for sampling since half sandwiches could be ordered. Selections included burgers, a non-vegetarian mac and cheese sandwich,  Caprese pesto panini and tater tots.

The grill marks were evident on the Caprese  sandwich bread as well as its interior. The soft mozzarella picked up smoke and sweetness from the thin tomato slices. The pesto added a garlic accent to the crispy panino.

Not Guilty is a grilled cheese and smoothie cart that parks down the street from the Burrito Buggy in Athens. They focus on local ingredients - Not Guilty is part of Athens' 30 Mile Meal program.

There are three vegetarian sandwiches at Not Guilty, as well as seasonal specials. There are also vegetarian baked goods, gazpacho, watermelon and smoothies. 

The Meigs County Red is pepperjack and colby cheese with thick Ohio valley tomato on 10-grain bread. The great ingredients make an even better sandwich. 

18 July 2012

Inner Circle Street Food

Inner Circle Street Food makes its own vegan sausage, and it's amazing. Track this cart down immediately and put in an order.

Rich Stewart, who owns and operates Inner Circle, is a Dragonfly alum. His sausages are made without a casing, unrolled from a plastic wrap on the grill surface. The texture is firm, and the herbal flavor is clean and bright.

There were three different dogs at the St. James Mobile Monday event. The Scioto Shore Sausage is topped with sauteed peppers and onions, fig preserves and spicy mustard. The jam adds a nice sweetness to the bright veggies, and the mustard gives the sausage a spicy kick. 

The Sommerwurst was topped with leafy greens, vegan mayo, mustard and red cabbage slaw. The slaw is visually striking with vibrant color and a nice crunch.

The Sweet Caroline-uh comes with mustard, tomato jam, slaw, sweet pickles and potato chips. The haphazard combination of ingredients works well together. The vegan bun is large with enough soft pockets to hold the hot dog and its ingredients in place.

With Rad Dog hanging it up for the foreseeable future, Inner Circle should comfortably satisfy the mobile vegan hot dog cravings of Columbus.

Inner Circle Street Food Truck on Urbanspoon

06 July 2012

The Green Meanie

The Green Meanie is a food truck with bright flavor to match its paint job. The menu is international, held together by the common theme of green ingredients. There is one vegetarian sandwich on the menu that can be prepared vegan upon request.

The Green Thumb is a grilled portabella flatbread sandwich with fresh mozzarella, arugula, cherry tomatoes, avocado, green onions and fresh cilantro with a creamy sauce and a pesto sauce. The mushroom was soft and smoky with an excellent texture. The sauces added a nice herbal tone to a great sandwich.

Fries with aioli are available as a side. 

The truck can be found via the usual social media suspects

The Green Meanie on Urbanspoon