Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Food Trucks! 128 Cafe Goes Mobile

The food truck revolution hit the Twin Cities late last year and I've been reading stellar reviews of some of the mobile offerings in Minneapolis.  Sure enough, the food trucks eventually migrated to St. Paul and this summer a few have been parked around the capitol within welcome walking distance of work.  Thank GOODNESS, because the cafeteria offerings are usually subpar, and it can be a trek to get anywhere with decent eats!  Just today I became a "fan" of a few of these food trucks on Facebook so I could get their weekly schedule and menu offerings, and I convinced my co-worker Leigh to make the two-block walk in record-breaking heat to check out the 128 Cafe food truck on John Ireland Boulevard.

it was like an oasis!
I've always loved 128 Cafe proper in St. Paul, so I was looking forward to testing their food-truck snacks.  The menu was small -- two salad options, two sandwiches, and some ribs.  I debated between the portobello mushroom sandwich and the grilled asparagus salad.  Thankfully, Leigh debated the exact same options, so we each ordered one and got to try a bite of the other!  I went with the grilled asparagus salad.

The greens were plentiful and crisp (albeit a little wilted after the walk back to work in the nearly 100-degree heat!), there were delicate slices of fennel, red onion and carrot, covered with a small handful of thin, grilled asparagus stalks, and a bit of goat cheese.  All of that tossed with a citrus herb vinaigrette SWOON!  First, the asparagus!  I've always loved asparagus.  It's a snappy, tasty vegetable that goes well with just about anything.  But I'd never had it grilled...until today.  Wow do those char marks really make a difference.  The subtle smokiness added a great depth of flavor to this summery salad.  And seriously, there is never anything wrong with a little bit of goat cheese.  All of this tastiness right from a truck and for only $7.  I'm so happy that this summer I'll be able to enjoy a delicious lunch option whenever I "forget" to bring one from home!

Leigh ordered the grilled portobello mushroom sandwich.  A meaty portobello mushroom cap on a crunchy roll, served with a side of ginger slaw and potato chips.

I tried a small bite of the sandwich.  Normally I shy away from portobello sandwiches...I prefer the smaller cremini mushrooms...but this was pretty damn good.  Melty mozzarella cheese on top, a grilled roll, caramelized onions, crisp lettuces and carrots, and a mushroom cap that was substantial but not overwhelming.  Plus, it was slathered with a spicy dijon mustard that tasted pretty good!  I guess toward the middle of the sandwich, the mustard was a bit much, but overall, super good sandwich.  And the ginger slaw was dynamite.  Yum yum yum.  Yum.

It's easy to find the schedules and menus of food trucks in St. Paul and in Minneapolis.  A lot post on Facebook and Twitter and you can get their info here.  You can also just google search "food trucks twin cities" and get tons of reviews, information, and links.  Or if you understand how to use Twitter (I don't) you can apparently search for #foodtruckcourt on Twitter and get schedules/menus of all the food trucks in St. Paul.  In short, I welcome these food trucks and their tasty, mobile delicacies.  They have saved me from a summer of mediocre lunches and given me ample treats to check out...you know, for my blog...!


  1. Nice!! To bad they don't have that here :(:(

  2. Why couldn't food trucks exist on John Ireland when I worked at MJC? Good find, and good ordering.
    Question: was the goat cheese whipped?

  3. McB! Don't worry -- the food trucks will be here when you return. I don't know about the goat cheese, but I'm inclined to say no, it wasn't whipped. Still tasty though :)