Miami Food Trucks [1/28/2012 Update]
In the past year there has been an explosion of the number of "gourmet" food trucks in South Florida, following the trend in Los Angeles and New York City. (I am including trucks, trailers and at least one little three-wheeled vehicle, and one gourmet cart) Most of these are in different places at different times and dates. One finds them by means of Twitter or Facebook or going to http://www.Burgerbeast.com
I posted an informal review of one of the first of them, Latin Burger and Taco.
Here's the review thread: http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/tm.aspx?m=584078 LATIN HOUSE GRILL
Latin House Grill is owned and operated by Michell "Chef M" Sanchez and his family. The regular menu consists of what I think of as "latin-american fusion" fare based on filled tortillas in various forms, burgers and various sides, specialty items and desserts. There are three house-specialty sauces used on many of the items. They are mango-habanero, ghost pepper (hot!) and avocado-lime, in addition to the more common latin "crema" sauce. Chef M wearing a Burgerbeast.com tee shirt: Latin House Grill Menu:
I have had one of the wild, custom-made burgers, a slider, a quesadilla and various tacos. I recommend all of them!
Here is a ChimiBurrito being prepared: Two Cheeses on top of Carne Asada "Vacio" style Skilled Hands Folding the Tortilla Finished ChimiBurrito
I had a Mad Love Burger, and watched a couple being prepared: Pico de Gallo Placed on top of Grilled Cheeseburger with Grilled Onions
I believe that one had crema and ghost pepper sauces. Finished Mad Love Burger Mad Love Burger with Curly Fries Pittsburgh-Style!
Latin House Grill will prepare your hamburger grilled to your liking, unlike some places. Here is one that was ordered extra-rare: Extra-Rare Mad Love Burger:
This is a grilled ribeye taco with pico de gallo, mango-habanero sauce, crema and avocado sauce: Ribye Taco
The menu is more limited at lunchtimes. Some days there are various combination box specials. The day that I had one, the special was a slider, a quesadilla, a chicken taco, a beef taco, "wheelies" and a soda for $10.
The slider that day had melted, smoked cheddar cheese, bacon and mango-habanero sauce on a mini-brioche bun. It came well-done (as is often the case with mini burgers or sliders). The quesadilla had, I believe, seasoned grilled ribye steak with swiss, mozzarella and provolone cheeses. It was very good. One taco was filled with carne asada (marinated and grilled skirt steak), and the other had cilantro and onion marinated and grilled chicken. I went with the Chef M's choices of sauces, and pico de gallo salsa was served on the side (not shown in the photo). The "Wheelies" are a crunchy upgrade from the more common potato chip served elsewhere. I am not sure what they are made from, other than that Chef M jokingly referred to them as "vegetarian chicharrones" (cracklings). They were quite tasty. $10 Combo Lunch Special of the Day
I enjoyed everything I had on a couple of visits to Latin House Grill, and plan to try more menu items in the future.
In Little Havana there is a small, stand-up-dining-only, family-run seafood restaurant called La Cameronera. It is famous for their fried shrimp, fish sandwiches and other specialties, and was on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives
. One of the restaurant family members, David Garcia, has created a food truck called the Fish Box, cooking up several of the restaurant's specialties around town. Fish Box David Garcia serving in the truck:
These are the house-specialty fried shrimp, along with house-made cocktail and tartar sauces:
These were very good. They were perfectly cooked, with a crispy coating coating tender, briny shrimp. The shrimp are dipped in a house-specialty "red" marinade before frying, as is the lobster when available.
I also had a Miami Cuban specialty, the "minuta" fish sandwich. These are various catch-of-the-day small fish (I believe usually snapper of some sort), boned and butterflied leaving the tail on, breaded and deep-fried and served on a cuban bread roll. The minuta gets a "yellow" dip, different from the one used for the shrimp.
The default serving of the Minuta at the Fish Box is with tartar sauce, ketchup and chopped onions. The tartar sauce is a bit more acidic (tart) than the average. They will, of course, serve with any combination of the sauces and onions that you request. I went with the trio, as I wanted to try it "authentic-style." Open Minuta
I wasn't expecting originally expecting the onions and two sauces, but the sandwich was good. As was expected, since the family has their own fishing boats, the fish tasted as fresh as can be, and was perfectly fried.
On another occasion I had an off-menu item, a lobster nugget sandwich. Lobster Nuggets and Tostones
The deep-fried lobster nuggets were served on a cuban bread roll with a house-made "pink" sauce, which is the house tartar sauce with something red and spicy added (my guess is sriracha sauce). I bought the off-menu tostones on the side. Tostones are chunks of green plantains that are fried, smashed and then fried again. The result is crispy on the outside, and creamy on the inside. These were the best I have ever had! The lobster was tender and fresh-tasting. I feel that the pink sauce is too assertive for the mild lobster, mainly because of the acidity of the tartar-sauce base, but I did enjoy the sandwich, and recommend it if it is available.
Just yesterday, I had a chance to taste the Catch-of-the-Day Fish Sandwich
, which was what we call "dolphin" down here, but which the rest of the country now knows by the hawaiian name, mahi-mahi. This was a nice piece of a filet, and was very fresh-tasting. If you like dolphin, you'll love it. It is served on a cuban-bread roll, and like the minuta, the condiments are tartar sauce, ketchup and raw chopped onions. I'd like to try this with the pink sauce some time. Catch-of-the-day Fish Sandwich
The same dolphin was used for these fish fingers, which are made with the plain breading (very light). They were fresh and tender, too. Fish Fingers
I got a chance to finally try something I've read about, "bollitos" (bollos in Key West). They are black-eyed pea fritters. They are crunchy on the outside, and soft on the inside. I found them to be a bit bland by themselves, but good dipped in cocktail sauce, ketchup or the "pink sauce". Think of them as cuban hushpuppies. Bollitos
I've caught up twice with the Ms. Cheezious truck, which is all things grilled cheese.
It is the creation of Brian Mullins, shown here handling a customer at the "office." Brian Mullins
We've had five of the sandwiches. Four were the named combinations from the menu. The Italian
This is "provolone, red and yellow tomato and cream cheese on country white bread" on the menu, but I think I had basil in mine, which was quite good. I was a little surprised at cream cheese in it when I read the menu, but it added a creaminess that worked well. Grilled Harvest
"Spiced apples and havarti cheese on multi-grain bread." I substituted white bread. This was great. It could be a dessert, and would probably work with the shaved ham on the menu, also. Crabby Cheese Melt
Crab salad with sharp cheddar; I substituted the multi-grain bread. The fresh crab salad was great, and went well with the cheese. Goat Cheese & Prosciutto
"Goat cheese, prosciutto, tomato and arugula on marble rye bread." The salty-creamy-tart cheese went well with the prosciutto, and the arugula added a bitter-greens counterpoint. Swiss & Gruyere on Country White Bread
This was my own creation, close to a conventional diner grilled cheese sandwich. The two cheeses were a good combination, and it was perfectly grilled. Sweet Potato Fries
The only side I got was the sweet potato fries. They are frozen sweet potato fries, but were crispy and good.
[MORE TO COME...]
post edited by MiamiDon - 2012/01/28 11:06:58