Thursday, March 3, 2011

Introducing Columbia's very first lunch truck!

I am so excited about what I just had for lunch that I can't contain myself and must write about it now.  In fact, I am so pumped to share it with you, that I'm actually finishing my meal as I type.

At about 11 o'clock this morning, I got a text from A that just said: "Three words for the hungry lady: bbq lunch truck."  Intrigued, I googled it, and discovered that he was referring to Bone-In Artisan Barbecue on Wheels. I immediately texted him back to let him know that I was definitely in for lunch.

It turns out that today was the debut for Columbia's first food truck.    Because of that, the service was a little slow (but the owners/operators/chefs apologized to everyone multiple times), but I expect that the speed will get faster as everyone gets more comfortable with the new work environment.  There were a ton of people there when A and I arrived, and even more when we left.  Right about the time that we ordered our food, things started to be a little more streamlined with the service.  A little tip though, that might make things run even smoother?  Once someone orders, have them move to the side and take the next person's order.  By the time the third or fourth person is ordering, the first person's food should be ready.  This will help alleviate some of the crazy bottlenecking that was going on today.

This is from where we were standing in line.  When we left, the line was well past this point.
The menu on the side of the truck.

As soon as we joined the line, we tried to crane our necks to get a look at the menu. In keeping with lunch truck tradition, it was handwritten on the side of the truck.  We were a little torn about what to get, but in the end decided that since it was a barbecue truck, we'd go for barbecue staples.  A ordered the Pulled Pork sandwich, and I had the Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich.  Both were served with hand-cut chips and cilantro lime slaw.  We debated about sharing the fried apple pie as well, but since we both had to get back to work, we decided that we didn't have enough time, and so we would wait until our next trip.

Like I said, we were waiting in line for awhile.  Thankfully it was a pretty nice day, so it wasn't too bad.  Also while we were waiting, one of the employees came out with a fresh batch of chips, and was passing them around to all of us.  Very smart move there.  Not only did it keep us from gnawing off our own arms from hunger, but it also ramped up our interest in trying some of the menu items.  Why?  Because the chips were crunchy, fresh, and seasoned with dill.  Talk about an unexpected flavor.  They were out of this world good.  I only got to try one while we were in line - I thought it might be a little over the top to chase the chip lady around the parking lot trying to get more - but I was able to satisfy both my craving and curiosity once I got my meal.

We finally got to the window and placed our orders.  A got the pulled pork sandwich.  It's pulled pork in a pepper vinegar sauce on focaccia bread.  Deceptively simple.  The vinegar sauce wasn't overpowering.  The focaccia was fresh.  The pork was tender.  I'm pretty happy that A let me try a bite of it before we headed back to our respective jobs.  I would definitely put this sandwich on my "to be tried" list.

The pink stuff is the slaw.  The sandwich is at the top. 
As for what I did try, it's going to be exceptionally hard to not order it every time.  I had the beef brisket sandwich.  The brisket is smoked and then  put into a hickory hoisin sauce and served on focaccia.  Y'all.  I don't know that I have ever had quite such an amazing sandwich.  The brisket actually melted in my mouth and the pieces that escaped from the sandwich fell to pieces in the basket.  The dill flavor on the chips definitely lived up to the brief taste I had had while in line.  And the slaw.  Cilantro and lime flavored?!?!?!?  Outstanding.  It had a little bit of a kick to it too, but I guess that was just the concentrated cilantro.  I honestly want to find out how they make this slaw so that I can take it to every summer cookout that I go to.

This was the inside of the sandwich.   You can see just how stuffed with beef it was.
I am one hundred percent going back to this truck, if for no other reason than to get the amazing slaw.  But also because everything on the menu looks so good.  If the other menu items even come close to how good my meal was today, it will definitely be worth it.  There were only two drawbacks: the line & wait time (which I really think will get better after a couple of run-throughs) and the saltiness.  Of course I knew this was going to be a salty lunch - brisket and chips?  Definitely salty.  Not bad at all.  Just make sure you have a lot of water on hand.  I killed a full liter of water during the course of lunch.  But that sure isn't going to keep me from going back as often as possible.  Plus I still really want to try the apple pie.

Final Rating

Make sure you follow Bone-In Artisan BBQ Truck on Twitter and Facebook so you can find out their next location. You can also visit them on the web.

Bone-In Artisan Barbecue on Wheels on Urbanspoon

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