Event Wrap-up Alzheimer’s Food Truck Block Party

Last Thursday 18 gourmet food trucks from Los Angeles and Orange County came down the Central Park West in Irvine to help put an end to Alzheimer’s.  The event was well put together and it was very well laid out.  They had valet parking, games, big screen, tons of seating, and just an overall relaxing vibe.  That always helps when you want to grab tons of gourmet food truck grub.

We had an opportunity to try another two trucks and hit a couple of our favorites.  Check out the photos from the event

Put on By Alzheimer's Association and Truck Wrangler
People Lining Up Early for the Nom Nom Truck
Tapa Boy, The Lime Truck, The Burnt Truck and Louks To Go
Having some Fun!
Tocino Chicken from @TapaBoyLA
Hazel w/ Yelp Orange County and Laurence from Tapa Boy LA
The Amazing Shortstop Burger - Yum!
Original Scooby Snack from the @MunchieMachine1
Crispy Veal Breast from the Lime Truck

And this is not all we ate! We had a wonderful time, saw some great people and ate some spectacular food.  What a way to spend a Thursday night.

Want to see more pictures from the event?  Check them out on Flickr!

 

Finally Getting to Try SOHO Taco Caterers and Big Train

Carnitas - Yum!

Last week Anita from Diary of a Mad Hungry Woman invited Kim and I to a tasting of both SOHO Tacos and Big Train drinks.  It was a very fun event with lots of foodies and great food.  SOHO Taco is a catering company that uses a cart at their events where they can grill up tasty carnitas, carne asada, shrimp, veggies and so much more.  You can add any of the salsas or other fixings to build your perfect taco.  We had the opportunity to try a few of their selections.  They also make their corn tortillas fresh on site, which really ups the wow/taste factor!

Super Tender Shrimp Taco
Chicken Taco on Fresh Corn Tortilla
Working Hard to Feed the Hungry Foodie Crowd

Big Train was also doing a tasting of a few of their drinks.  They usually sell to restaurants but it sounded like there was a chance they will be selling to the public in the somewhat near future.  Their Horchata was my favorite of the three and to be honest I had more than my fair share.  We are looking forward to trying more of their extensive list of flavors.

Green Tea, Horchata and Jamaica - They Went Quick!
So Many to Choose From!!

Both SOHO Taco and Big Train were very good and we are looking forward to the opportunity to get more food and drink from them in the future.  Thanks Anita!!

Click Here for more Photos from the event!


Soho Taco  on Urbanspoon

CHANCE TO WIN VIP PASSES: Alzheimer’s Gourmet Food Truck Block Party April 14

Alzheimer’s Food Truck Block Party to Wrangle More Than 20 Gourmet Food Trucks for Signature Event to Launch 2011 Walks to End Alzheimer’s

We recently posted an article about the upcoming Alzheimer’s Food Truck Block Party at the Central Park West in Irvine. There will be 20 gourmet food trucks from Orange County and Los Angeles, entertainment by DJ Ray Samora, and other assorted street performers.

The goal of this amazing event to encourage motivated and hungry guests to sign up for the upcoming Alzheimer’s Association’s 2011 Walks to End Alzheimer’s events beginning with Doheny Beach on May 7 and The District in Tustin on June 18.

We have a pair of VIP Passes to giveaway!!

VIP Pass includes:

  • Access to the gourmet mobile dining area and 19 gourmet food trucks
  • $5.00 in Truck Cluster Food Bucks
  • Swag Bag with cool stuff
  • Complimentary Smart Water

Contest details:  

There are a three ways to win:

1.  Follow @satnightfoodies and @AlzheimersOC (1 entry for each follow).

2.  After you follow, simply RT this link (1 entry). We’ve made it easier for you tweeters, all you have to do is copy and paste the following into twitter:

I entered to win VIP tickets to the @AlzheimersOC #GFT Block Party April 14 via @SatNightFoodies http://bit.ly/AlzheimersOC RT to enter!

3. Finally in the comment section below let us know which of the 20 gourmet food trucks you are looking forward to visiting the most

That means you can get a total of four entries!!

Contest ends Tuesday, April 12 at 11:59pm PT and the winner will be announced on April 13.  One lucky winner will win a pair of VIP passes (Valued at $25).  Good luck and happy tweeting!

Event details:

Location: Central Park West, Irvine (Michelson & Teller)

When: April 14, 2011 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Website: http://alzfoodtruckblockparty.com/

List of Gourmet Food Trucks:

Bacon Mania
Barbie’s Q
Barcelona on the Go
Chomp Chomp
Fresh Fries L.A.
Greenz on Wheels
Kabob Express
Komodo
Longboard’ s Ice Cream
Louks to Go
Nom Nom
Short Stop BBQ
Spudrunners
Tapa Boy L.A.
The Burnt Truck
The Flip Truck
The Lime Truck
The Munchie Machine
The OC Food Truck
Uncle Lau’s BBQ
Tino’s Pizza

Alzheimer’s Gourmet Food Truck Block Party April 14, 2011

Alzheimer’s Food Truck Block Party to Wrangle More Than 20 Gourmet Food Trucks for Signature Event to Launch 2011 Walks to End Alzheimer’s

The food truck frenzy is sweeping Orange County! On Thursday, April 14, 2011,

The Alzheimer!s Association will be front and center of the rolling food craze when it hosts an incredible gourmet food truck event. With authentic, innovative cuisine rumbling into Irvine from all over Southern California, you can bet the Alzheimer!s Food Truck Block Party will be packed with hungry mobile gourmands chomping at the bit to try the latest meals on wheels from more than 20 of the most popular gourmet food trucks in Southern California. So work up an appetite and bring everyone to Central Park West in Irvine (Michelson & Teller) on April 14 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The goal of this amazing event to encourage motivated and hungry guests to sign up for the upcoming Alzheimer’s Association’s 2011 Walks to End Alzheimer’s events beginning with Doheny Beach on May 7 and The District in Tustin on June 18. Guests will entertained by a celebrity and street assorted street performers, and have a chance to win a cruise or other prizes in an opportunity drawing. Off-site parking will be available.

General admission is $5, which includes access to the mobile dining area, gourmet food trucks and complimentary bottled water. VIP tickets are $25, which includes access to the mobile dining area, gourmet food trucks, free valet parking, $5 in Cluster Bucks, a swag bag and complimentary bottled water.

The Alzheimer!s Food Truck Block Party benefits the Alzheimer!s Association, and is generously sponsored by Lennar, Central Park West, Cluster Truck Events and Patrician Company, Mariner’s Travel and Silverado Senior Living.

So don’t miss out on this phenomenon—it’s happening right in your own backyard! Invite friends, family and the culinarily curious. The food’s fresh, tasty and priced right. And you can register your team to Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

For more information on this exciting event, go to Alzheimer’s FoodTruckBlockParty.com.

WHAT: Alzheimer!s Food Truck Block Party
WHO: More than 20 Gourmet Food Trucks including:

Bacon Mania
Short Stop BBQ
Barbie’s Q
Spudrunners
Barcelona on the Go
Tapa Boy L.A.
Chomp Chomp Nation
The Burnt Truck
Fresh Fries L.A.
The Flip Truck
Greenz on Wheels
The Lime Truck
Kabob Express
The Munchie Machine
Komondo
The OC Food Truck
Longboard’s Ice Cream
Uncle Lau!s BBQ
Louk’s to Go
Valentino’s Pizza
Nom Nom

WHERE: Central Park West, Irvine (Michelson & Teller)
WHEN: April 14, 2011 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
WEBSITE: http://www.alzfoodtruckblockparty.com/

Event Wrap-up Food Truck Festival at Santa Anita Park

Infield at Santa Anita Park

This past Saturday Kim and I had an opportunity to check out the Food Truck Festival at Santa Anita Park. They had 80 gourmet food trucks from Los Angeles and Orange County. The event was held on the infield of the track. This is the largest food truck gathering that we have ever heard of and we think they did a great job with it.

Horse Racing and Gourmet Food Trucks!

Not only were there gourmet food trucks but also live music, horse racing, betting, drinking, activities for the kids and plenty of seating to help you enjoy the event. I would guess there were about 17 to 20 thousand people in attendance and it was not over crowded. Don’t get me wrong the place it was packed but with so many trucks to choose from a vast majority of the lines were 15 to 20 minutes long. That is really not bad at all considering some of the events we have been to.

Even Some New Trucks Showed Up
Calm Before the Storm
The Live Music was a Nice Touch
@TheShrimpPimp @cheeseballwagon @greenzonwheelz & More
Great Balls on Tires - @GreatBallsOT
Cheeseballs from the Cheeseball Wagon
Huge Line at the Grilled Cheese Truck
More Gourmet Food Trucks
Rosa's Bella Cocina Famous Zeppoles! (Fried Dough with Powdered Sugar
More Gourmet Food Trucks at Santa Anita Park
Grabbing some BOO-Yahs from @ChunkNChip
And They are Off!
Plenty of Seating
Spicy Tuna Nachos from @JogasakiBurrito - Yum!
Strawberry Candied Jalapeno & Earl Grey Ice Cream from @CoolHaus
Fry Bread Trio from @AuntiesFryBread - Yum!
@TheGreasyWiener & @LobstaTruck

Test Kitchen – Mocha and Blood Orange Madeleines

I am not known for my baking skills. Even when I worked in the restaurant biz, baking was my curse. I could not even make something as simple as chocolate chip cookies. However, now that I am older, it seems easier than I remember. We spent some time this weekend working on a few Madeleine recipes. This time we experimented with different flavors. We learned a ton and will use that in our next session.

Mocha Madeleines

I was super excited about these but they didn’t come out the way I anticipated. In this case I took a standard Madeleine recipe and added Starbucks Via instant coffee along with shavings of unsweetened chocolate. This batch came out almost bitter tasting. The coffee flavor was right on but the chocolate didn’t work. The chocolate looked great, providing a nice marble-effect, but next time I would use semi sweet instead.

Rescued with Semi Sweet Chocolate

Lucky for me Kim came up with a great idea that saved these from the trash. Kim melted semi-sweet chocolate and dipped them the Madeleines. They were awesome after that! If you plan to dip your Madeleines in chocolate, using unsweetened chocolate in the batter is fine. If you are not dipping them, then make sure you use semi sweet chocolate in the batter.

Blood Orange Makeleines

We juiced a bunch of fresh blood oranges and reduced it down along with Grand Marnier to make a syrup. We folded the syrup and some fresh blood orange zest into the batter. For half of the batch we sprinkled some raw sugar in the Madeleine mold, before pouring the batter in, for some texture and additional sweetness. The sugar was a nice touch but the cool part was you could really taste the freshness of the zest. Then you also get a rush of citrus flavor on the back end. It was really unique and it made them addicting. Next time, I plan to reduce the juice a bit more so I do not water-down the batter. I would also add raw sugar to every Madeleine mold . Not so much for the sweetness but it because it adds a slight crunchy texture.

Any suggestions on flavors we should try next?

Great New Way to Eat Sushi – Jogasaki Sushi Burrito

People may say that the gourmet food truck craze is on its way out, but I think they are wrong. There are a ton of new trucks coming out, and yes, many are knock-offs of existing trucks or concepts, but every once in awhile you find a truck that offers something unique.

If you want a different but great tasting gourmet food truck experience then I suggest you track down Jogasaki Sushi Burrito. These guys are rocking it. Let’s start with the concept, “Sushi Burrito”. Doesn’t that just sound funky? If funky means perfectly prepared spicy tuna, crab, incredible sushi rice, with your choice of light, crunchy tempura shrimp or Japanese BBQ eel, all wrapped with either rice paper or a flour tortilla, then this is funky!

Those are just a couple of the options you will find. We tried a number of items on their simple menu. To be honest, after Kim and I finished our lunch, we waited in line again to take food home for dinner. There are only a handful of trucks that we have done that with.

Round Two!

Here are the items we grabbed on this visit.

Jogasaki #3

There are three different Jogasaki Burritos, all come with spicy tuna, avocado, cucumber and are wrapped with rice paper. After that, you have combinations of crab, BBQ eel and shrimp tempura. Number 2 is the most popular from what we can tell. I think it has to do with the combination of crab and shrimp tempura that provides a creaminess and also great crunch from the perfectly cooked shrimp.

“Lobster” wrapped with Flour Tortilla

This one had baked langostino, crab meat, avocado and cucumber along with something that tasted like peanut sauce. I chose to have this wrapped in a flour tortilla. The langostino and warm are warm in contrast to the coolness of the cucumber. The “Lobster” burrito had a ton of flavor. The flour tortilla was a nice touch. It make the burrito a little more filling than the rice paper. Both wraps work, but I suggest you stick with the tortilla on the langostino burrito unless you are counting calories.

Spicy Tuna Nachos

Depending on how healthy you are, you are either thinking, wow this sounds gross or this is the coolest thing in the world! Would it surprise you that I was the latter? Very simple and incredible dish of nacho cheese Doritos topped with spicy tuna, avocado, eel sauce and sesame seeds for garnish. It was reminiscent of my youth (the Doritos), with the spicy tuna adding a twist of sophistication. This was a very clever and well-thought out dish.

Jalapeno Bomb

Tempura jalapenos stuffed with spicy tuna sliced in half and topped with eel sauce, bonito flakes and sesame seeds. It is not too spicy, but packed a big punch of flavor. The batter was light and crispy just like the way they cook the shrimp. The jalapenos were fried al dente and the spicy tuna was not overcooked. These are my new favorite “poppers”.

Spicy (No Name) Sauce

They have a special spicy sauce that you can buy. It is a great add to all of the burritos and the jalapeno bombs. Be careful, it is hot. We both loved it. I think it is made with the same sweet eel sauce used on the BBQ eel burrito and with what looks like a roasted serrano or jalapeno. It is both salty and sweet. Not only does it add heat but it adds another layer of flavor which enhances the burritos.

If you are looking for a creative new truck in the Los Angeles area, then Jogasaki is worth hunting down. I also want to mention that they are super friendly both in person and on Twitter. I hope they decide to get an Orange County license because we would love to see them more often.

Jogasaki Sushi Burrito on Urbanspoon

Karaoke and Food Fundraiser for Japan Relief Efforts

Marian the Foodie, Proof Bar and three gourmet food trucks are teaming up to raise money to support 2011 Japan Relief Fund.  It will be a night of karaoke, drinks and great food.

Participating Food Trucks:

Piaggio On Wheels – Argentine Taco Truck (@PiaggioOnWheels)
Chomp Chomp Nation – Singapore American (@chompchomptruck)
Tapa Boy – Filipino Breakfast (@TapaBoyLA)
Rolling Sushi Van – Sushi and Frozen Yogurt (@RollingSushiVan)

Event: Karaoke and Food Fundraiser for Japan Relief Efforts
Donation: There is a minimum donation of $10 to attend the event.
Charity: 2011 Japan Relief Fund
When: Monday, March 28
Time: 9pm-11pm (Setup at 8:30)

Location:
Proofbar
215 N Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701-4862

Challenging Ourselves with 14 Days of Food – Fresh Diet

Yesterday we started on Fresh Diet.  Fresh Diet is a company that cooks and delivers well-balanced food directly to your house.  There was a Groupon offer for Fresh Diet, so we thought this would be a low risk way to try a healthy food delivery system, as they can be pretty expensive, but also a good way to shed a few pounds prior to our vacation in May.

First Set of Bags That Were Left on Our Doorstep

TWe had a couple of small issues when we first signed up because of the Groupon deal, but after talking to a very friendly customer service person, we were on our way.  The process is fairly simple.  Once your account is live, you login to their site and select what you want from the daily menu. .  For each day you choose 5 meals, breakfast, lunch, dinner (including 2 sides), snack and dessert.Each meal offers a selection of four different entrees. Their online system was pretty intuitive. If you select a carbohydrate entrée for breakfast and try to select a carbohydrate entrée for lunch, a screen pops up and says something like, “in order to meet your weight loss goals, it is not recommended to select two carb meals per day.” It really makes you conscious of your food intake.

Inside One of the Bags

You can complete a food profile, which allows you to select things you do not like or won’t eat. Perhaps you don’t eat red meat or you don’t like raw tomatoes. You can also choose days to stop service delivery as well. For example, if you go on vacation or are traveling for work. We decided to take the weekends off so we can still enjoy chasing trucks or checking out new restaurants.

Here is what Kim and I got on the first day:

Old Fashioned Oatmeal with Apricot and Toasted Pecans

The oatmeal was good, pretty bland, considering it did not have any brown sugar or sweetener.  The pecans added a much needed texture.  Kim cut up the single dried apricot so she could enjoy it with each bite.

Artichoke & Brie Cheese Omelet with Seven grain Toast

This was surprisingly good.  There were a lot of pickled artichoke hearts and enough Brie cheese so I did not miss anything.  Only complaint is the toast.  It was two pieces of very dry bread.  I am guessing it is old bread because it has the consistency of Styrofoam. Also there is no butter or margarine.

Classic Cobb Salad with Grilled Turkey and Turkey Pastrami

Kim really liked this salad, there were good-sized chunks of meat and it was very fresh.  There was more Ranch dressing then she could actually use.  She will get this again.

Cape-cod Wrap with Spinach, Smoked Turkey, Caramelized Onions and Cranberry Relish

Overall a good wrap, the cranberry relish (more like jelly) added a nice flavor.  I wish it had a little more meat but I was not left hungry.

Grilled Chicken Breast with Roasted Tomato Alfredo Sauce, Herbed Barley Pilaf and Steamed Broccolini

As you can see the chicken had grill marks but Kim said it tasted more like it was boiled because it was a little dry.  That is too bad as that simple detail could have really made this dish nice.  The sauce helped make this one better but unlike lunch Kim felt that she could have really used more sauce.  The barley pilaf and perfectly cooked steamed broccolini were very nice sides.

Roasted Pork Meatballs with Roasted Tomato Alfredo Sauce, Herbed Barley Pilaf and Grilled Eggplant

I am very glad I ordered this one; the pork meatballs were tender and full of flavor.  I had a ton of sauce, which was odd as it was the same sauce as Kim’s chicken dish.  Maybe a consistency issue or maybe there was a different reason for it.  I am looking forward to trying their other pork dishes.  Neither Kim nor I were hungry after dinner.  It was just the right amount of food.

Smoked Cod Mousse with Crostini

Super small portion and the smell reminded me of cat food, however it tasted good.  The crostini was super dry but not “as” bad as the toast I had with breakfast.  Not sure I would pick this item again.

Prosciutto Ham Wrapped Asparagus Tips

The asparagus was cooked al’ dente which was nice.  It wasn’t all “tips” but I did not mind.  The prosciutto ham was nothing to write home about and I was surprised it had very little flavor.

Asian Style Broco-Slaw with Shredded Turkey

Kim really liked this snack, the veggies were crisp, full of flavor and size was bigger than she expected.  I wish I got to try this one myself.

Pink Poached Pear filled with Creamy Ricotta & Honey Roasted Walnuts

Sounds great, the pear was cooked perfectly, but neither of us was sure what the ricotta brought to the dish.  The ricotta added no flavor, almost felt like wasted calories.  The pear had a nice flavor, very subtle but fine.

That was the first day.  Neither of us went hungry, and overall the food was good.  Half of it was nothing special and felt precooked but the rest was cooked perfectly and made me forget I was on a “diet”.  Very much looking forward to the next 13 days and if all goes well I will be posting more of the food so you can see it.

 

Hidden Pizzeria Serving up New York-Style Pies – Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

Our last trip to Las Vegas, Kim and I stayed at the new Cosmopolitan Hotel on the Strip. They have a large number of restaurants and we had the chance to try a few of them.

The Long Dark Hallway

They have a hidden “Pizzeria” on the third floor, which is located down an unmarked hallway between two restaurants. We did not see a listing for it anywhere but when we found it, it was obvious it was either not that much of a secret or they must just have spectacular pizza because their small waiting area was packed.

Picture a stack of pizza ovens, only three people working, one at the cash register, one tossing the dough and prepping the pizzas and one expediting the completed pies out of the oven and into boxes. It felt like a simple but efficient, New York-style pizzeria.

Half "White" and Half Pepperoni & Sausage

You can order pizza by the slice or by the pie. We opted to get a pie, half “white” and the other half with pepperoni and sausage. The “white” has mozzarella and ricotta cheese with a garlicky white sauce. The pepperoni and sausage half had a red sauce with a touch of spice. The crust was thin, crispy and cooked to perfection.

Even though the pizzeria was busy, things moved quickly as most people, including many locals, picked up a slice or two to go. Seating is limited inside, but the Cosmopolitan provides several open lounge areas on the third floor with a miscellaneous collection of retro chairs, ottomans and side tables that you can use. We opted to take our pie down to the second floor and grab seating in the Chandelier bar so we could enjoy it with cocktails.

If you are in Vegas and want some simple but very good pizza, I recommend you head over to the Cosmopolitan and pick some up. Oh and if you are staying at the hotel, they deliver!

NNPK (No Name Pizza Kitchen) (Cosmopolitan) on Urbanspoon