For one night, four food trucks and a theater put a GLITCH into their routine.
GLITCH Durham: Recap
Last night (March 16th), American Meltdown, Chirba Chirba, Porchetta, and Sympathy For the Deli came together to wow food fans. Instead of serving favorites like Grilled Cheese, Dumplings, Pork Sandwich, and the French Dip”less”, these trucks had to throw a GLITCH into their routine and wow guests with something new. The Carolina Theater also had to plan differently. Instead of guests seated in the seats, they were on stage. So what does the Wandering Sheppard and Aziz Ansari have in common? We have both been on The Carolina Theater’s stage in March 2014 (cue Reggaeton horn)!
Course 1: Charcuterie Plate (Sympathy For The Deli)
I love Charcuterie, which was fitting with the The Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon I was paring this meal. Before noticing the items on the plate, I already recognized the Peackles (The Pickled Peas) that I had on their truck before. For some reason, these were much better than the last time I had them. The Hot Smoked Salmon was delicious and amazingly the best thing on here. Amazing, because usually I give high marks on Duck. The Duck Breast Prosciutto was good, but I guess I was shocked on the Salmon (I am not a Salmon guy). Also on here were some Toast Points from the Guglhugf Bakery, a horseradish-like sauce and a creamy chevre-like cheese. Overall, a good start for the meal.
Second Course: Lamb Ribs and Grits (American Meltdown)
When this bowl dropped to my table, I could feel my lips smacking. I grabbed a little piece off the end of the lamb and smeared a bit of those grits. Oh Man! The goat cheese creaminess and the sweet, smoky, crispy end of the lamb was a taste explosion. As I started to get deeper into the meal, I continued to enjoy the grits. But trying to get the meat of the lamb rib became laborious. A few guests including myself picked it up like a pork rib and began gnawing on it. I’m not sure if that was okay, but I was going to let that lamb go to waste.
Third Course: Crispy Pork Belly (Porchetta)
Having Porchetta there and not making a pork dish is like asking for the Sun and not let it shine. I really enjoy pork belly, so this selection was an easy one. The Pork Belly was sitting on a carrot and apple puree with jicama and apple slaw. I am not sure if the puree was a way for me to get my veggies without my taste bud’s knowledge or maybe an abundance of apples in this dish, but I only tasted apples and pork. Not complaining, but clever if that was the intention (I probably should eat more veggies). The pork belly was nice, crispy, and had some really good lean pieces.
Course 4: Pineapple Cake (Chirba Chirba)
If you like the tartness of pineapple, you would enjoy this. This dessert really seemed to boost that characteristic. I don’t know how, but it did. Also in this dessert was a brown sugar caramel, pecan brittle, and a cherry liqueur. It was the better of the two desserts, but I wasn’t head over heels on this one.
The Wife’s selection
Truly the Ying to my Yang or the Ying to her Yang, my wife actually picked all the items I did not pull for. She mentioned her choices before ordering and I concurred that she was ordering the opposite of what I wanted. It was kind of humorous, but we do have differing tastes.
Alternate Course 1: Cobb Salad (Chriba Chirba)
Cobb Salad is definitely a glitch to Chirba Chriba’s normal process. However, they took the Cobb Salad and put an Asian spin on it. They took an Asian Green mixture as the base and topped it with Avocado, Chopped Soy Tea Egg, Spiced Duck, Sugared Tomatoes, Smoked Tofu, Crispy Pork Belly and Duck Skin and dressed it with a Rice Wine Vinaigrette. I am not sure my little taste got all that, but I did enjoy the Pork Belly piece I got.
Alternate Course 2: Gumbo (Sympathy For The Deli)
Inside there was Handmade Andouille Sausage, Tasso Ham and Chicken. I made sure I got a bite of that Andouille and it was very tasty. The brown broth in there had lots of flavor, as well was the veggies accompanying it. The sausage was not hot and spicy, but was not bland by any means. This is one item my wife got that I really enjoyed.
Alternate Course 3: Cornmeal Crusted Cod (American Meltdown)
On the menu, it listed Fish (Catch of the Day). So when you bought tickets, you didn’t know the exact white fish you were getting. The sauce was a Buttermilk Bell Pepper Sauce and Succotash. I didn’t get to taste the sauce or succotash, but the fish did taste a little salty for my taste. My wife made a comment that it had too much breading.
Alternate Course 4: Pear and Brown Butter Tart (Porchetta)
This course was the one that puzzled me the most. I basically found this to be a biscuit with pears on top. It didn’t target my sweet tooth at all. I overheard someone say where’s the honey? My wife ended up reluctantly eating most of this dessert, even though she claimed halfsies before the meal. She didn’t like either dessert as she prefers Chocolate-based desserts.
I talked to other guests and this was very similar to the Cookery Toro cuisine-themed dinners. I think what those guests were getting at, it took the food trucks out of their norm and instead of quick, mobile eats into courses that you may find in a brick and mortar setting. I’ll admit not everything was a slam dunk for me, but I enjoyed everything about the experience.
I do think dessert was a low point and I think that is huge. I think of dessert as the climax of the meal, the point of the murder-mystery that it wasn’t who you thought it was, or the point where the two lovers finally lock lips. And dessert didn’t do that for me. So my recommendation is to extend to one of the dessert trucks next time. They don’t have to make their usual, but they can probably throw a glitch into their routine. That’s just my opinion.
But otherwise this was a great experience, I hope to see more things like this and hope food trucks gained new fans that night.