October 27, 2011

LIFESTYLE: Jag Grub Visits...SOTSOT Truck

by Michael Hadley

I've always thought there is a major difference between being a cook and a chef. The cook takes a recipe, creates it, and serves it. The chef takes an idea, creates it, perfects it, and owns every ingredient. In Indianapolis, there are food trucks with cooks and food trucks with chefs, and it seems I have an unintentional skill for finding the chefs. Scratch Truck serves some of the best mid-American cuisine I've had, but there is a Cajun cuisine truck roaming around that might give Scratch a run for their money. Some Of This Some Of That truck (SOTSOT for short) serves up classic Cajun sandwiches and sides that will make you long for Louisiana.

Some Of This Some Of That Food Truck, All Over Indianapolis

SOTSOT is one of the more unassuming of the trucks roaming the streets of our fair city. The small white and orange vehicle is operated by J.R. and his partner who take pride in being the first and only authentic Cajun truck in the city. Their ingredients aren't necessarily local to Indy, but they are shipped in from Louisiana in proper regional cuisine fashion.

Upon approaching SOTSOT, you get an overwhelming feeling of "this is going to be good" which, as a foodie, I can always appreciate. The menu is fairly straightforward; Four kinds of Po' boys, jerk chicken, red beans and rice, as well as jambalaya are all able to be ordered, as well as your choice of lemonade or water to drink. Oh, and of course, a jalapeƱo and cheese cornbread.

I asked JR to pick out for me his best Po' boy, and he immediately said, "Shrimp it is!" Now, for those of you unfamiliar, a Po' boy is God's gift to the sandwich world. French bread is either toasted or put on the flattop grill, loaded with lettuce, tomato, and fried seafood (clams, oysters, shrimp, catfish, or any number of other things work), finished with some kind of slaw or sauce. At SOTSOT, they finish their Po' boys off with a basil mayonnaise, though the whole recipe is JR's secret. On the side, I had a small dish of the jerk chicken, as well as the red beans and rice.

The Po' boy, though $9, is absolutely filled to the brim with tasty Gulf shrimp that are perfectly breaded. The mayonnaise adds a nice tang that compliments the buttery baguette and fresh-sliced tomatoes brilliantly. Sandwich lovers take note: SOTSOT has the best Po' boy I've had north of the Mason-Dixon.  Jerk chicken isn't necessarily my 'cup of tea', but SOTSOT made me a believer. Most are cooked in a thick sauce that is over-carmelized or caked onto the chicken, but not here. An olive oil-based concoction, spicy enough to make you blush, permeates every last morsel of chicken, keeping it moist and tender. The red beans and rice were the biggest surprise for me, especially because they're seemingly so easy. Plenty of home cooks have put Uncle Ben's or Zatarain's packet into boiling water and waited, but what most people forget is that the beans are supposed to be the star. At SOTSOT, they're just that. Every bite has perfectly tender rice, red beans that pop in your mouth, and plenty of flavor from the cayenne pepper and all spice that kick everything into overdrive. Even the homemade lemonade tastes just like you used to make every summer while visiting your grandmother!

Overall, I was extremely impressed with Some Of This Some Of That Food Truck. JR was extremely friendly and, most importantly, excited about his food. The truck was clean and stocked, and the food comes out as soon as it's cooked. Though its on campus appearances are few and far between, SOTSOT (@SOTSOT1 on Twitter) is absolutely worth hunting down around Indianapolis. (And for those of you wondering, SOTSOT makes Yat's look like McDonalds.)

Food: A -- Everything on the menu is absolutely stellar, and there's nothing quite like it in the city.
Atmosphere: A -- JR and his partner make every customer feel like the most important of the day.
Staff: A+ -- Same thing as before, JR is one of the nicest guys I've ever met in any field.
Overall: A -- Try it, love it. Pretty simple.

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