Keeping It Flavorful: Food Truck love

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Tis the season for get together’s with family and friends. Plus, all the delicious meals and treats. Some may say bring on the peppermint, bring on the egg nog.

But this is Winters. Most folks who are returning home for the holidays are looking forward to their favorite meals. At least, that was one of my main goals when I was going to college. I’d fly in from Kalamazoo, Mich. about twice a year and I made sure to get my fill of local eats and drinks.

Now that I’m living here again, I have different foodie things to which I look forward. I pass by two of our most beloved eateries at least six times a day as I taxi my children to and from school. The El Verduzco taco truck and the Buckhorn BBQ food truck.

Each truck has their respective lines throughout the day, between the lunch time rush at the high school and most businesses. The temptation beckons out to me daily, but those lines are my only saving grace (for both my wallet and my healthier eating goals).

I’m heading into this month with new nutrition goals in mind, and a new column to explore Winters’ culinary offerings. I’m partnering up with Express staff writer Aaron Geerts to bring you our favorites from around town.

I headed out to the Buckhorn BBQ truck this week to find something that was a healthier choice, and, yet, brought in the beef. Not only was I successful, but I found a veggie options for my husband. Which basically means that I bring him home food so that I, too, can have a taste.

I brought him home the grilled portobello mushroom sandwich. I was impressed. Most portobello sandwiches feature the big cap stacked between the fixin’s and bread. Not this one. The meaty portobello cap had been sliced into generous, bitable chunks and layered with grilled onions.

It’s served with a barbecue ranch sauce, but he (we) layered on the sweet and spicy barbecue sauce. It was the right balance with the crisp lettuce and fresh tomato. The sweetness of the grilled onions and the smokiness of the mushroom were a delicious pairing. I only took the one bite, but he seemed to enjoy it.

I wanted to make sure I had room for my bun-less tri-tip plate. I don’t eat meat often, but I decided that it has been a heck of a week after covering the Tractor Parade and I deserved some tri-tip. I’m also trying to cut out on bread so the bun-less tri-tip seemed like my best option.

I brought it home thinking that I would add some spinach to the plate with the tri-tip and grilled onions. 

However, those intentions went awry because I had ordered some french fries as my side and I didn’t want them to get cold as I dug the spinach out of the refrigerator.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t miss the bun one bit. I’m certain it helped me save room so I could further enjoy eating more of the tri-tip. I brought home the creamy horseradish as well as both the bold and the sweet and spicy barbecue sauce options. My tastebuds were happy with the flavor experiments of which sauce combinations were the best.

Perhaps next time I’ll have to have the spinach ready to go so I can try to incorporate those leafy greens in.

Aaron’s Flavor Faves

By Aaron Geerts

We know it, we love it and couldn’t imagine it parked anywhere else but by the side of the Mariani Nut Company, El Verduzco is one of Winters’ favorite restaurants on four wheels. Although there’s no wrong item to order on the menu, I have to pick a favorite.

Was it hard to pick a favorite? Not really, because I’ve essentially been ordering the same thing from Verduzco since I was ten. My go-to item, rain or shine, is the carnitas burrito with sour cream and cheese. Would I like some extra salsa with that? Uh, yea! It also pairs perfectly with the only real Jarritos flavor choice: Mandarin (with Limon coming in second).

The carnitas burrito with sour cream is my top choice not only because it’s fairly inexpensive, but because it’s perfection wrapped in a tortilla. From the very first bite, it’s a flavor fiesta for your taste buds. The warm flower tortilla invites the delicious Spanish rice, beans, salsa, cheese and sour cream, but the guest of honor is, without a doubt, the carnitas. Cooked to perfection every time, the carnitas pork is juicy and bursting with flavor that brings the whole burrito together.

The price, the flavor, the location and — more often than not — short wait time to receive my order, all combine to make the El Verduzco carnitas burrito with sour cream my favorite pick on the menu.

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