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Aug 2, 2009 07:34 AM

Curbside Kitchen - New mobile food trailer in St Paul

Just as I prepare to leave town (sniff) it would seem there is a burgeoning (ok, maybe nascent is a better descriptor) street food scene in st paul.

Late last night while walking home down grand we spotted a converted airstream trailer with the words "Cubside - don't make us pull this kitchen over" written down the sidewalk side. We had actually seen it on grand a few days ago but from the street side while driving by and it didnt appear any different from a regular vacationing trailer, but we were oh so wrong.

The proprietor was sitting outside when we walked up and was a very affable guy, we chatted about the weak-ness of the minneapolis ban, his background and efforts to get the trailer ready and what they were doing to promote their efforts. My only issue was his need to badmouth chef shack which just doesn't cut it by me - ok they arent food gods but they are bringing some damn tasty food to minneapolis out of a comically tiny space, and their creativity and execution works for me.

He said they were staking out lowertown during the days and twittering their locations by night - from reading their twitterfeed this is a VERY new effort with a soft opening only a few days ago and not even a week since they completed the mobile kitchen and got health dept approval. their websites not even live yet, but on to the most important part, the food:

We tried two of the 6 or so offerings last night. An order of chicken tacos and a grilled brie and capicola sandwich that came with garlic fries. i just had a bit of the chicken taco as it wasnt my order and thought is was ok, but between my state and the singular bite i wont pass judgement. the grilled cheese was very good with a nice amount of meat which served as an excellent compliment to the brie. good level of GBD'ness on the outside of the sandwich. It came in a take out box with a small cup of sport peppers and a mound of really tasty garlic fries that reminded me of the ones gordon beirsch used to make at the ballpark in SF before they went way downhill. nicely crisped maybe half inch fries, well salted and hit with a good load of parsley and garlic. this is excellent food for 1 am if your parked outside a couple bars, not sure how it would fly as a workday lunch (unless you telecommute).

the prices seemed a bit high, but commensurate with chef shack - all in the 6-8 dollar range. i dont remember too many other details of what was on the menu, but they take cards and are planning to be around town both for late nights and lunchtimes, and it seems saints games as well.

st paul streetfood - 1
minneapolis ban - 0

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  1. I wish the Asian and Hispanic street food scene would come to University Ave in SP. Imagine huge bubbling cauldrens of pork and other simple good things like authentic Mexican street tacos. Or getting a nice bowl of Pho or chickens feet, or even some bbq Asian pork. Maybe I've been watching too much Bordain lately. But this would be so awesome if it's even legal.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Fudist

      There IS a taco truck that prowls University avenue, run by the folks who run Border Cafe. We hit it up about a week ago when it was parked in front of the midway super target. tacos are 2.50 meican style (double corn tortilla, cilantro and onion) and were offered in lengua, chicken (grilled), pord (adobado/al pastor) and ground beef, i believe. they were good but not exceptional, convenient but probably not destination-worthy. also had a tasty 2 dollar tamale. the had burritos available for about 6.50 as well.

      1. re: tex.s.toast

        thanks. i ogled this truck last week but i was on my way to bangkok thai deli so i resisted the urge to squeal to a halt and check it out. did you try the lengua taco by any chance?

        1. re: soupkitten

          I did, and while it was tender and moist i found it to be somewhat under seasoned. the al pastor was the clear winner among the three meats we tried - the chicken and lengua both needed some extra seasoning. that said the little cups of salsa de arbol that came with were excellent and really reminded me of some of my favorite californian institutions.

          1. re: tex.s.toast

            I agree the Al Pastor was clearly the highlight of the tacos.The carne asada taco was very bland and needed salt. Also I quite liked the yellow/orange zesty sauce that came along with the tacos. The tamales were not ready when we first arrived but my mother went back and she was less than thrilled. She is however hispanic and has been making them for over 50 years so she knows her tamales

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