Friday, September 9, 2011

Let's Get This Party Started!

Ruthie's Rolling Cafe's mantra is "Ain't no party like a grilled cheese party" and today they started the party in their first public lunch event. Based on the line that formed before the scheduled 11:30 opening, I was not the only person waiting anxiously to try a gourmet grilled cheese sandwich.

When visiting Ruthie's, the first order of business is to grab a Grub Menu and build your own sandwich.  You get a choice of Empire Baking Company Breads: Sourdough, Jalapeno Cheese, Multi-grain or White; your choice of cheese: Sharp Cheddar, Swiss, Mozzarella, Pepper Jack or American; your choice of meat: Turkey, Ham, Bacon or Chicken; your choice of sauce: Secret Slob Sauce, Dijon Mustard, Yellow Mustard, Pesto, Mayo or Ranch Dressing; and your choice of topping: Jalapeno, Grilled Tomatoes, Caramelized Onions, or Sliced Pickles.

Let's talk about that Secret Slob Sauce for a second....a-maz-ing!  I read that it was a combination of mayonnaise and barbecue sauce. I can't confirm that this is true but whatever the secret it, its awesome. You can order a side of Slob Sauce of dipping, I am absolutely doing that next time!

Today, I ordered the American Cheese with Turkey and Slob Sauce on Sourdough Bread.

Every sandwich comes with Kettle brand chips and a pickle. 

A couple of friends have asked how "gourmet" a grilled cheese sandwich could be. I have to say, this was one of the tastiest sandwiches I have ever eaten, of any type.  The bread was fresh and nicely toasted. The cheese was high quality, smooth and flavorful. The turkey was nicely flavored, not too salty but added a nice texture to the smoothness of the cheese. The Slob Sauce added a kick, with a tanginess that lingered for a second without being overwhelming. This wasn't even close to your make at home on a Saturday afternoon grilled cheese.

Even though this was Ruthie's first public lunch event, she has been around town doing private events for several weeks. Ruthie's is associated with In Any Event party planning service and because of that association, Ruthie's is the first one stop shop for your food truck catering needs. I understand that if requested Ruthie can come to your party and bring tables, chairs, a DJ, a photographer and anything else you need to turn your party in a successful grilled cheese party. I'm so having one of those parties soon! 

You can follow Ruthie's on Facebook and Twitter to find out where they will be next and how to make your lunch or dinner a grilled cheese party. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Truck Talk Tuesday - Crazy Sisters

One of the things I have enjoyed most about the food trucks is meeting people, not only the other customers but those who are bringing the trucks to life each day. These men and women are incredibly passionate about what they are doing and the food they are serving. I was also noticing that they all had a story of how their truck came about and how their life evolved in to being a part of one of the fastest growing small business concepts, not only in DFW but in the US. Each week I will share these stories in “Truck Talk Tuesday”.

Today's feature is Gina Sanchez and Michelle Lawrence from Crazy Sisters Gourmet Food Truck

1.    What did you do before you were a food truck owner?

Gina: The question is what haven’t I done… I have had some great jobs/careers: Club DJ, Sang with a Rock Band, Food Service, spent many years in Corporate America in Customer Service Management, Loan Processing, IT Support, web design. As much as I appreciated my positions in Corporate America, they were not satisfying; I always felt like something was missing, I always wanted my own business. I have also owned a restaurant prior to this. I think I am in LOVE with my Food Truck! 

Michelle: I too spent many years in Corporate America, in IT Support, Customer Service, Finance.  I have another career too, I am a wife to a great man who is totally supportive and a mom to two beautiful Mini Crazy Sisters.

How did you come up with the name for your business?

Answer: For years, we have talked about a restaurant concept that would blend our Latin Heritage and American roots. We have always been called “crazy” by our family and friends so “Hermanas Locas” (Spanish for Crazy Sisters) was always right there. But, we didn’t want to be so literal in the Latin side since American food is a huge part of who we are. Not to mention we LOVE Sugar Skulls, Crazy Sisters was just perfect for us!

What is your favorite menu item?

Gina: I just love our shredded Beef Brisket Tacos, I make them just like my Daddy used to.

Michelle: I have to say I love the Chicken tacos, Gina makes them like Daddy used to.

What has been the biggest reward of having a food truck?

Answer: Being able to serve people food that we love food that we love to eat, being able to prepare the food and seeing right away that people really like it. Also,   the food truck community is such a supportive group of people,  both the other food truck owners and the customers. It has been a great experience thus far! The awesome comments, feedback and support from the  customers and fans have been wonderful.

What has been the biggest challenge of having a food truck?

Answer: When you have breakdowns and equipment issues,  dealing with and learning all the ins and outs of these very technical items. You know all that “GUY” stuff, but no worries… We Got This!! 

6.    Most marketing for food trucks is through social media, do you see that as a benefit or challenge to you and why?

Answer: Love, love, love social media! It is definitely a huge benefit, it enables us to connect directly with the people who  want what we can provide. Social media also allows us to  connect with and meet fellow food-truckers, we have made some great friends because of social media. It is a powerful medium and its potential is huge, we use it everyday. “Follow us on FB and Twitter”, we find ourselves saying it in our sleep.

7.    You spent most days of this summer on a food truck, where can we find you when you aren’t on a truck?

Answer: Spending time with family, friends and pets. Brainstorming new ideas and trying to streamline processes. It’s pretty much food truck talk all the time and we like it that way.

8.    What would you like to see in the DFW food truck scene in the next two years?

Answer: For all the cities in the DFW Metroplex to get on the same page when it comes to food truck permitting, zoning, etc. It is a mine field out there, you never know what to expect from one city to the next.

Please follow Crazy Sisters on Facebook and Twitter, so they stop talking in their sleep!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happiness is REALLY in the frosting! - Trailercakes

I have wanted to visit Trailercakes for weeks but their schedule and mine generally do not mesh since we are on opposite sides of Dallas during their opening hours. I was looking forward to trying them at the Food Truck Rally; unfortunately, Mr. Heatmiser had other plans for me that day and took over before I made it through the Trailercakes line. Luckily, Trailercakes took advantage of their temporary special events permit to set up for a second round at Sigel’s Greenville Avenue on Saturday evening. (That special events permit is a whole separate post.)

My only real concern about Trailercakes being out and about was that they could sell out of my flavors of choice before I finished my Saturday errands and made my way to Sigels. But the ladies at Trailercakes addressed that concern early in the week with an announcement that they would be taking pre-orders, which would have a 20% discount attached. Does it get better than that? I didn’t think so, but actually it did. Not only did they take pre-orders but gave me the option of paying at pick up or they could email me an invoice. I love convenience.

Trailercakes offered six of their approximately eighteen flavors of either mini or standard size for pre-order. Hearing that I was going to be in her neighborhood, a friend invited me to bring the cupcakes over to her house and we had our own tasting panel with four kids and four adults. I thought with that many people I would get a variety of opinions. Wrong! The only opinion that differed from “these are so good” was “I wish we had more”.

PB&J:  We almost had a scuffle over these; who knew adults and kids both love PB&J?  White cake, layer of jelly and a whipped peanut butter frosting, with a Nutter Butter stuck on top.  We all loved it!

Hitched: White cake, white frosting. It should be boring, but it wasn’t. I loved the moist cake and the frosting was just the right sweetness. The cute flower and pearl on top was a cute touch; it almost made me want to have a wedding and have these as the cake.

Slap Your Mama: my friend took a bite of this and turned to her Mama and said, “you have to taste this”. (Maybe they should rename these “feed your mama”.) This chocolate frosing was amazing!  If there was any doubt that thefrosing wasn’t handmade, this bit of chocolately decadence removed it. This is a chocolate lovers dream come true, especially with the bits of chocolate in the chocolate cupcake.

Main Squeeze: As much as I love chocolate, this was my favorite cake of the night. It has just the right tanginess of lemon without being too much. The frosting was very tasty and the little piece of lemon candy on top made it all turn to perfection. My friend’s dad who generally is a man of few words said, “that was seriously good”. That seriously said it all!

Strawberry Fields: Honestly, in comparison to the rest of the cakes, this one was my lowest rating. After eating it, I looked at the description…white chocolate with strawberry frosting. That explains it; I am not a fan of white chocolate. But, if you are I suspect you will love this cake.

Cookie Monster: By far, the favorite of the kids. White cake, Oreo bottom, marshmallow filling and frosting that tasted like cookies & cream ice cream. How could it not be a favorite?  

Overall, these are the best commercial cupcakes I have found in Dallas. They are moist and tasty. All of the frostings were full of flavor, not too sweet and not too bland. As if the taste was not reason enough, the presentation really raises the cakes to the next level, in my opinion.   The cute little cookies or candies on the top really finish things off. The packaging is adorable. As Trailercakes’ slogan says, the happiness is in the frosting and this food truck does a great job with its frosting!

Trailercakes operates out of a commercial kitchen in Richardson Tuesday through Friday. Bubbles, their trailer is out for special events. Follow Trailercakes on Facebook and Twitter to find out their flavors of the day, which include approximately twelve others than the ones I had this weekend. 

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