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Friday, July 13, 2012

Vegan Food Truck Lunch

Either I was late to the food truck phase or food trucks were late to New York. There's not a lot of parking space here. There are food carts on any corner. We have restaurants, bodegas, and delis galore. Why food truck? I still don't really know, but I do know that I spied with my little eye a vegan, raw food truck randomly parked next to Union Square (where I often eat my lunch) one day a couple months ago.
They are called The Squeeze, as they started out as a pressed juice business, but they don't have much of a current web presence that I can see (there are a few reviews) so I kind of have to make stuff up. Not their existence, though! That is real! I ate at this very truck for lunch today:


As I said, they started out as a pressed juice business but they are not only raw food, as I assumed (and they certainly advertise as such). This is a poor shot of their menu:


They make juices and smoothies, as well as snacks and sides - notably raw funyuns! There are crackers and the typical raw snacky stuff (granola, kale chips) but the savory dishes are for the most part not raw - vegan mac and cheese, hot dogs, bruschetta, and meatballs among other bites. Even the salads were not entirely raw! There were only two options: kale and quinoa, and mesculun greens with a topping.
It was sort of difficult to get the woman's attention at first, and once I had asked for the quinoa salad, she told me they "had just run out." I'm sure I missed it by seconds, considering the lack of a line and her playing around on her phone when I approached the window. She somehow suckered me into buying the mesculun salad (for 3 dollars more) anyway because I'm a pushover. There's no description of the salad on the menu so I wasn't sure what to expect. I ordered it with a topping of artichoke-walnut pesto (okay, she told me she'd put in on) and got this:


There are Bubbie's raw pickles on top, along with dehydrated onions, and an oil-lemon dressing on the side. The salad was tasty and filling, don't get me wrong but it seemed really bizarre. Why dehydrated onions on a not-raw (due to the artichokes) salad? (Though they were slightly sweet and chewy and fun to eat). Why pickles, of all things? It was sort of salty and could have used even a cheap extra vegetable like tomatoes or shredded carrot to balance it out. So.
I'd say, know what you're getting into before you order from the truck. The food was tasty but not well explained, beyond their juices. I wonder if they get most of their business on those. I might go back to splurge for a raw snack or juice, but as for providing a meal, the truck is lacking.
You live, you learn, as Alanis says.

17 comments:

  1. Sounds like a very bizarre experience! Bummer that she wasn't very attentive. I feel like a food truck lends itself so well to being personable and getting to know your customers. Guess not in this case? The salad looks good and sounds interesting at least? Hopefully there is another (better) vegan truck lurking on a NYC street corner. :)

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  2. If you were to open up a food truck, you would put her out of business! My first experience with the Vegan Van was a 45 minute wait - I'm so glad I've tracked her down again and found out that isn't typical. If you see the truck again, will you try it again - or probably not? The salad certainly sounds unique.

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    1. This is my formal request for the return of one, Maud a.k.a Food Feud, to the blogging world. Please tell her that she is missed! :)

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  3. Huh! Weird. I dream of starting my own food truck, but it would be way better. Actually, it'd probably be way more unhealthy, but the menu would make more sense at least! I love food carts though, that was one of my favorite things about Portland! It's cool that it's catching on in other cities!

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  4. This read was really an emotional roller coaster for me. I started with initial intense jealousy, followed by frustration, then disappointment, finally ending with exhausted acceptance. Phew! I'm wiped out.

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  5. I passed by this vegan food truck in Union Square, but I thought everything was overpriced, so skipped it. Did you know Jus just raised their prices...again?! Sad that I can't afford their green drinks now. Too rich for my blood :*(

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  6. Oh my goodness. Get thee to the Cinnamon Snail- STAT! Ah-mazing grub, awesome personalities, and absolutely no BS whatsoever.

    And what's with that graphic, anyhow? Are they trying to popularize the notion that vegans punch themselves in the eye with citrus?

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  7. You have to worry if you can't get the server's attention "Please take my money, no really please!" Worth another go or has the ropey salad put you off a second visit?

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  8. oh my gosh I can't wait to try this truck! thanks for the heads up:) THe salad looks delicious!

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  9. Bummer the food truck wasn't better, maybe they're still working out the menu? I've been lucky enough to like everything I've gotten from food trucks, so far. :-)

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  10. Yes, kind of a bizarre salad, but artichoke-walnut pesto sounds yummy. When I had jury duty, I noticed there was a food truck in front of the court house every day. Unfortunately, it didn't seem to have much vegan food so it didn't get my business. A vegan food truck sounds like a cool idea, but I imagine it might have a harder time making it in a place like Hartford. There is a cupcake truck in Hartford though: http://blog.thecupcakebrake.com/. No vegan options yet, but maybe that will change.

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  11. Too bad the truck was a bust because it looked like it had potential. Maybe the juices will be better. So, I was just catching up on your posts and OMG MEN! and Kittens! Awesome stuff.

    Speaking of awesome... I got the zine! It's so great. I totally geeked out over it. I like the stories, especially the health fair, haha. Girls to the Front is next on my reading list :)

    Oh, and thanks for the cute card too!

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  12. I agree with Shen. I really tried to get to the Cinnamon Snail when we were there. I don't know why vegan food truck sounds fun, but it does to me. I know my kids would love it. I've thought about booking a trip to Rhode Island primarily just to visit the vegan icecream truck. You know I'm not even kidding.

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  13. I have yet to see a vegan food truck in my neck of the woods - so exciting you found one. Looks like it needs to be fined tuned - but it sounds like it has potential down the road...

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  14. Wow, I wish that truck came my way :-)


    Ciao
    Alessandra
    http://alessandra-veganblog.blogspot.co.nz

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  15. Sounds like the woman is just another hired employee who is more concerned about her social life than making money. I bet if it were the owner serving you it would have been a much more enjoyable experience. We don't have any fully equipped food trucks in our small little town but we do have a food car that not only has the best hot dogs in town but the guy who works it is very nice an conversational. I go there all the time and always tip him extra because he's out there literally every day.
    I recently did a blog for my company's website about some food trucks around the country with some really crazy menu items. They aren't vegan but they were pretty interesting to read about:
    http://www.jesrestaurantequipment.com/jesrestaurantequipmentblog/culinary-monsters-or-masterpieces-unique-and-bizarre-food-truck-dishes/

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