December 15, 2011

LIFESTYLE: JagGrub Visits...Indianapolis Food Trucks.

by Michael Hadley

The “Food Truck” scene has taken Indianapolis by storm, but students around campus seem tentative to go away from the typical salad or chicken sandwich in favor of these gourmet restaurants on wheels. Of course, they’re easy to spot. Big, bright colored trucks with their windows open, serving food in front of Lecture Hall – or in a parking spot somewhere around the greater Indianapolis area.  I’ve had the distinct pleasure of trying a vast majority of these trucks as they roam the city, and this a short breakdown for each of them. Check their twitter accounts for their locations day to day!

Scratch Truck
Twitter -- @ScratchTruck
Scratch is by far the best truck in Indianapolis. Their menu is seasonal and unique, offering, by their own admission, modern comfort food. Without a doubt their best menu item is the Scratch Burger, an in-house ground patty topped with arugula, Gorgonzola cheese and bacon marmalade, all between a fresh, toasted bun.
Grade: 5 Stars

The NY Slice
Twitter -- @TheNYSlice
Is it true New York style pizza? No, but it’s close enough for Indianapolis. Could be thinner and crisper, but that doesn’t take away from what matters most: Flavor. NY Slice has my favorite cheese pizza in the entire state, and adding just a drizzle of Sriracha hot sauce brings a nice punch as well.
Grade: 3.5 Stars

Twitter -- @SOTSOT1
Some Of This Some Of That was the goal when JR and company started out, but Louisiana-Cajun is where they ended up. You can’t go wrong at SOTSOT, but I definitely suggest the shrimp Po’boy. It may seem expensive at $8, but the mountain of shrimp and boatload of flavor give you plenty of bang for your buck.
Grade: 4.5 Stars

Der Pretzel Wagen
Twitter -- @DerPretzelWagen
Pretzels can be both sweet and savory, but a whole food truck dedicated to them? Der Pretzel Wagen, rolling jalapenos and cheese or cinnamon into their pretzels, has a way to go before they reach the upper echelon of Indy-based food trucks, but if you’re craving a pretzel there’s no need to drive all the way to New York or Philadelphia. They are a solid truck with a bright future.
Grade: 3.5 Stars

West Coast Tacos
Twitter -- @WestCoastTacos
West Coast Tacos was one of the first trucks on the road in Indy, and I feel many people forget that first doesn’t mean best. While they serve decent food, their rice has been overcooked every time I’ve tried a burrito, and the different tacos taste the same. Their onion and cilantro slaw (with secret ingredients, of course) is the best part of any dish, but I can’t say I get excited when I see them roll up.
Grade: 2 Stars

Gypsy Indy Truck
Twitter -- @GypsyIndy
Gypsy says they serve Cuban comfort food, but besides the Cuban sandwich and carnitas it is pretty much all American. That said, they do the basic cuisine right. The meatball sub has been revamped and perfected, while the chili will warm you up as the temperatures continue to drop. The biggest issue is availability, as Gypsy is only out once or twice a week.
Grade: 3 Stars

Byrne’s Grilled Pizza
Twitter -- @ByrnesPizza
If you’ve ever had an amazing grilled pizza, Byrne’s’ will probably disappoint you. There was no char flavor, the cheese was unfortunately congealed and, if anything, it tasted more microwaved than anything else. Perhaps it was an off day, but I don’t find myself scrambling to find them.
Grade: 1 Star

Fat Sammies
Twitter -- @FatSammies
One of the staple trucks at IUPUI, Fat Sammies offers some incredible Italian-style sandwiches at a reasonable price. My favorite is absolutely the house made sausage sammie with everything (marinara, dried herbs, peppers, onions and parmesan cheese). Oh, and they have San Pellegrino sparkling beverages, too. Wonderful.
Grade: 4 Stars

Dashboard Diner
Twitter -- @DashboardDiner
If you’re looking for diner food on the go, this is truck is right up your alley. It didn’t blow me away, but didn’t let me down much either. Their IUPUI special - $1 for two Coney dogs – was surprisingly good. The hotdogs themselves weren’t great, but the meal was balanced by some of the best Coney sauce I’ve ever tasted.
Grade: 2.5 Stars

KG Slider Station
Twitter -- @KGSliderStation
The best part about Slider Station is their selection. You can get 2-3 different choices, ranging from classic burger sliders to gyros-style sliders, which will both knock your socks off and fill you up. Milton Keys, owner and proprietor, keeps his truck as clean as can be, making the entire experience that much better. The Beirut Pocket, a “falafel slider” with cucumber, radish, hummus, and tahini sauce, is my favorite, but I can’t wait to try the Swai Thai.
Grade: 4 Stars

For more truck – and restaurant – reviews, check out the other JagGrub posts!

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