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Number eight on our list of 101 Best Food Trucks in America 2013 isn’t like most food trucks. In addition to his truck's full vegan menu, Adam Sobel is devoted to making sure that no animals are harmed in his business. He even gutted his food truck to replace the grill with a new one that has never touched animal flesh. His goal is to create a seasonal menu that serves "food to help you transform into a being of pure light who can serve all living creatures simultaneously and eternally." The menu features everything from breakfast to raw food to pastries. There are even burritos with scrambled tofu and refried beans. And of course, the cinnamon snails (aka cinnamon rolls). We caught up with Sobel to talk about his truck, his inspiration, and the food.
When did you launch your truck?
Valentine's Day 2010.
What was the inspiration for going into this business?
I always wanted to bring bold, flavorful, decadent vegetarian food to the street, where people who otherwise wouldn't go into a brick-and-mortar vegetarian restaurant can get their minds blown. Before building the truck, I worked in vegan restaurants for a decade, dreaming of doing a vegan food truck.
What's the story behind the name?
Well, amongst a lot of other things, we also make cinnamon buns (aka cinnamon snails). Also, it's a cute name and it rhymes with "Guacamole."
What's the inspiration for your cuisine and recipes?
Making vegan food that has enough balls and bold intense flavors to impress the most unwilling carnivore. A lot of our food is inspired by flavors I have experienced traveling in Asia.
What's your signature dish? Is it also your most popular dish?
We offer a lot of exciting food, but maybe our signature dish is: lemongrass five-spice seitan with curried cashews, arugula, Sichuan chile sauce, and wasabi mayo on a grilled baguette.
Our most popular item is probably our vanilla bourbon crème brûlée donuts, which we make with a Makers Mark bourbon-based custard. We won a Vendy Award for these back in 2011 and haven't been able to take it off our menu since.
If you haven't already, would you ever go brick-and-mortar? And if you have, is there anything you feel gets lost in the transition?
Maybe I'd do brick-and-mortar, but with a different really exciting concept I have in mind, that isn't too similar to our truck (other than being vegan).
How did you come up with your truck's design? Is there a designer you'd like to give a shout-out to?
Worked with a tight budget and the help of a lot of our friends on the interior and exterior design and layout of the truck. Big ups to our friends, Greggie, Bruce, Billy, Michael, and Frank.
Does your truck have a vanity license plate? And if so, what does it say?
Our Vanity Plate Reads "FederalBootSnark302."
What model truck do you have?
1991 Chevy p30.
Spain- DiverXO- Three Stars in 2019
More arthouse than restaurant, David Muñoz's occasionally magical restaurant fell down on some easy basics dirty, streaked dishes, forgetful and poorly-trained service got in the way of an otherwise out-of-this-world kitchen and physical space.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Thanksgiving Weekend 2010
what a great thanksgiving weekend.
so much to be thankful for.
the festivities started early this year.
wednesday afternoon i made 1 out of my 2 assignments for thanksgiving dinner = stinky salad!
don't let the name fool you, it is delicious! thank you grandma jackie.
early thursday morning, as in 5:30 AM, james and i were wide awake.
i guess we were excited for everything that would happen this weekend.
i made my grandma carol's rolls. from scratch!
it was super scary since i'd never done it before.
we packed up, got ready, and with my apron on.
we were off to the jeremy ruesch household in kaysville where i would finish the rolls and help chels get a few things ready for dinner
and the boys were off to their annual turkey bowl,
which turned out to be james' favorite turkey bowl EVER (he said)!
chels and i balanced all of our food assignments and were off to james' parents' house.
we arrived to all the familiar smells of thanksgiving: turkey, yams, and pickles (i love em).
the table was set so cute with little pumpkin name holders on our plates.
we sat down to a fabulous dinner and enjoyed lots of laughs.
afterward, we rolled ourselves out the door and to the movie theatre to see good ol harry potter.
i'm not a fan, so i took that opportunity to take a little nap. :)
then we were off to lisa's dad's to eat yet another thanksgiving dinner.
the house was packed with loved ones and lots of food. again, there was lots of laughter and lots of eating.
we headed out around 9 PM and were on the road again, snuggled in the van, and.
me without my purse :(
we just couldn't get enough of the theatre, so friday afternoon we went to see TANGLED.
chels and i braved the mall and super target,
the boys made a krispie kreme run for us (are we pathetic or what?),
and we were all in bed by 11, completely zonked out.
james and i went back home to run a few errands, and pick up my parents' christmas present (a post on that later),
and then we were headed over the river and through the woods, to the holmes house we went.
it has been a wonderful relaxing weekend,
we are so blessed and so grateful for our families and everything we have been blessed with this past year. />
i am especially grateful this week because dev will hit his one year mark on thursday :) :0 :)
14 November 2010
This is The Pie
Every year at Thanksgiving, pie-duty inevitably falls to me. And my family is very specific about which pies I am to make. Apple pie--our family's favorite. And pecan pie--it's such a sweet indulgence, and we're all about treating ourselves since it's Thanksgiving. And pumpkin--well, because it's tradition, right? Recently we've started having a berry pie show up at the table too. But, I think everyone in my family knows that the pumpkin pie is the ugly duckling of the lot. We have it there for show, and everybody takes a little taste, but what we really want is the apple or the pecan or the berry.
Well, all that is going to change this year. It's high time that if I'm going to invest so much energy in making a pumpkin pie on top of all the other ones, it had better be swoon-inducing too. And with this new recipe I've developed, I know the pumpkin pie will finally take a competitive place among its cousins.
My strategy? A crisp crust (fully blind-baked before adding the filling), a silky-smooth pumpkin filling with the nuanced addition of candied yams, and a topping of sweet and crunchy pecans resting on top. And the nice news for me, Miss Pie-Baker? This Thanksgiving, I won't have to make a separate pecan pie--this single recipe lets the best of both types shine!
I think you'll absolutely love this pie. I know I'm already looking forward to it being a recurring part of Thanksgivings to come!
Pumpkin and Caramelized Pecan Pie
Makes 2 (9-inch) pies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. fine-grained salt
2 Tbs. sugar
1 1/4 cups cold (salted) butter, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 Tbs. ice-cold vodka (do not substitute! alcohol evaporates during baking)
4 Tbs. ice-cold water
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 cup drained candied yams (or sweet potatoes)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. fine-grained salt
1 1/2 Tbs. salted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup light corn syrup
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
2 cups pecan pieces
For the crust, place flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse 2 seconds to mix. Add the butter and gently pulse on/off until butter is blended to the size of peas. Sprinkle the mixture with vodka and water, then continue to gently pulse just until dough starts to hold together in large clumps.
Divide dough into two portions and wrap in plastic wrap, flattening into 6-inch discs. Chill for at least 45 minutes and up to two days. For each disc, roll dough out between two layers of plastic wrap into 12-inch circles. Peel away the top layer of plastic, then center a pie plate over the center of the dough and carefully invert the pie dough together with the pie plate. Gently rearrange the dough to fit into the corners of the plate, and then chill for 15 minutes, keeping the plastic wrap still on top.
Remove plastic wrap and fold all ragged crust edges under to make it flush with the pie plate. Using thumb and fore-finger, pinch crust to form a fluted edge. Chill again for 15 minutes.
Line both of the pie crusts with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights, dry beans, or pennies. Bake in a pre-heated 400 F oven for 15 minutes, then remove foil and weights and continue baking for 5-15 more minutes, until crust is golden brown. Remove crust from oven and reduce oven temperature to 300 F. Note: It is important at this point to fill the crusts while they are still warm from the blind-baking step and to proceed with the final baking step, as the residual heat of the crusts will help set the pumpkin filling.
For the filling
While the pie crusts are chilling and baking, prepare first the pecan topping and then the pumpkin filling.
For the pecan topping, melt the butter in a large microwave-safe mixing bowl. Remove from microwave and whisk in the sugar and corn syrup, then the eggs, vanilla, and salt. Fold in the pecan pieces to coat each piece thoroughly with the sugar mixture. Set aside.
For the pumpkin filling, whisk together the sweetened condensed milk, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl. Combine the pumpkin puree, yams, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a small pot and bring to a sputtering simmer over medium heat. Cook for about 15 minutes more, stirring constantly and mashing yams to form a smooth mixture.
Remove pumpkin mixture from heat. Add pumpkin to egg mixture in 4 separate additions, whisking to fully incorporate pumpkin between each addition.
Strain pumpkin mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a large bowl, using the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula to press solids through. Divide pumpkin mixture between the two warm pie crusts, then top with pecan filling, being sure to evenly divide the pecans over each pie.
Cover edges of crust with aluminum foil (to prevent your perfectly-baked crust from getting burnt!), and place pies in oven (now at 300 F). Bake for 60 to 75 minutes, until filling puffs up. Remove pies from oven and let cool slowly to room temperature for at least 3 hours.