Follow That Food Truck!

monstaToday I ventured into the lot of food trucks. Food trucks have become popular for practical reasons:  low overhead costs, and the ability to serve people a variety of meals on wheels. I decided to explore “Food Tuck Fridays” in Maitland, Florida at Maitland RDV Sportsplex. The crowd was minimal–a perfect amount of people to draw interest to the car-studded parking lot, but not too much to overpower the senses. Later, crowds of hungry people came to explore the world of food trucks, advertising an array of sandwiches, cupcakes, soups and entrees for hungry patrons.

I mulled over a few options, and wandered to a food truck, Monsta Lobsta, that sold lobster and crab sandwiches. The truck was decorated in a minimalist style, but smelled of fresh seafood. I ordered the $10, 4 oz. half-lobster, half-blue crab roll. What bliss. The crispy, buttery roll added a nice crunch to the lobster; the seafood was light and refreshing. You are given chunky, well-sized portions of crab meat and lobster bathed in green onions, salt and pepper and fresh, tart lemon. The amount was quite filing and made a great lunch. They also offer interesting options, such as bisque soaked lobster rolls, as well as spicy lobster rolls. You can purchase 7 oz. rolls for $12 as well.

I also had a gluten-free cupcake from the YumYum cupcake truck. A cupcake–about$2.75 was juicy and packed with a pleasant peach flavor. The bits of fruit make their appearances in between bites of moist cake. The vanilla bean icing was a bit too sweet for my tastes, but everyone has a different taste. This options is perfect for those with specified dietary needs. The truck also offered non-gluten cupcakes in vanilla, pineapple and orange cream.

Food Truck Fridays offers its patrons fresh, open air, meals ranging from baked Jamaican patties to cupcakes to exotic soups to Mediterranean wraps. Patrons have variety and most importantly, the power to give into  food wishes.

Maitland RDV Sportsplex 

Food Truck Fridays (click link) 

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Local Eats! Cafe Tutu Tango: Aligator Meat& An Upside-down Pineapple Martini? Is This Safe? (With recipe)

A few months ago, I had the pleasure at dining at Cafe Tutu Tango, a restaurant that offers eccentric, globally inspired tapas, bohemian elements such as paintings drenched in vivid splashes of rich textures, and sometimes, live music and dancers. This has always been a special place for me, because I enjoy being surrounded by artists, poets and the like. The energy of Cafe Tutu Tango is unparalleled to most restaurants. I’ve had my fortune told to me one time (for a low low cost of $5) but it offers a fun and enthusiastic ambiance that is sure to please. This location happened to be on International Drive in Orlando, Fl. Now, for those of you who have not had the pleasure of traveling to Orlando, International Drive is home of many tourist attractions such as restaurants, bowling alleys,  museums. This area of town offers exciting and diverse opportunities to try good food and have fun.

Cafe Tutu Tango not only offers a vibrant atmosphere, but you’ll find interesting items on their menus. Offered are classic appetizers like spinach dip and hummus, but you’ll also find unique items like Alfonrno roasted pears with arugula and bleu cheese, and Goat cheese timbale- goat cheese with green apples, seasonal fruit, and toasted baguette. Pizzas are offered, as well as  dishes that include aligator meat, Grilled guava BBQ grilled pork ribs (I’ll discuss this shortly), and seasonal items, like Cajun chicken egg rolls, fish tacos, and  other interesting bites. (Check out their website:  http://www.cafetututango.com/ )

I was feeling adventurous, so I decided to try something different. Something I knew would be unique to Cafe Tut Tangos. Before I even ordered my entree, I visited the crowded bar, and looked over a drink menu that offered fun  featured drinks, like “Matisse Margarita” , “Picasso Punch”, “Munch’s

Not my original photo, but this gives you an idea of how pretty the drink is 🙂

Screaming Jalapeno Margarita” and “Upside Down Pineapple” made with Van Gogh Vodka. The Upside down pineapple martini caught my eye specifically because it was a unique drink made with vanilla bean infused vodka pineapple and caramel. I’d have to  say this drink, (only $7.25) was one of the most memorable martinis I’ve ever sipped. After tasting a layer of caramel that isn’t too thick or rich, you get to the smooth, tropical pineapple splash of flavor that is mixed in with vodka. This was a bliss I hadn’t even imagined, and I have since then dreamed about this drink. I have actually obtained a recipe for this drink as well which sill be included at the end of this post.

Now, the aligator jambalaya. I had eaten gator meat once, and found it reminded me of a mix of chicken and fish- more with a pronounced fish taste, but not overwhelmingly so. The consistency of this meat in this dish made me think of duck- lean, but a little fattening. Perhaps it was the sauce. The portion size was not the biggest for the $8, but it was still fun to try. Seasoned with poblano peppers and incorporated with chorizo, this fun dish was spicy and enjoyable to eat. The meat itself was tasty, just a little lean, and offered a light texture that filled me up without the itis. Although I wouldn’t recommend sharing unless you have others sharing with you, this dish is worth a try.

Cafe Tutu Tango is a fun, lively entertaining atmosphere that is family friendly, usually busy, and colorful as life itself. With local artists providing fascinating surrealist portraits, or funky beaded jewelry, this restaurant is sure to please eccentric crowds, foodies, children, or yuppies looking for good food, and great drinks.

Upside down Pineapple martini Yumfactor– 5 tongues! (5 out of 5 start) Smooth, decadent, and unique, this drink is sweet, and the vodka flavor comes through nicely. $7.25

Aligator Jambalaya Yumfactor– 3 tongues and a tastebud. (3.5 out of 5) This is a fun, unique dish, worth a try, but may not be a favorite for everyone. I enjoyed it, but it could be better. How specifically? That’s a great question.

Now, here is the recipe for the fabolous martini I reviewed: http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink12303.html

Have you ever tried this drink? What do you think of gator meat?

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