food truck quick bite: batter up! state fair food comes to food trucks
It's a lovely brisk weekend day. There is just a nip of chill in the air and small grumble in the belly. What better way to fill a hunger pang than with a quick trip to SOMA StrEat Food Park. It is relatively early on a Saturday evening and the sun is just beginning to set. There are not many folks prowling around the park leaving me and the SO to walk around unfettered with our pick of trucks and tables to eat at. There only seems to be a handful of them right now as others look like they may be rolling in soon. While choices are limited, I do zero in on one I haven't seen before and make my way over.
Honestly, not the most appealing looking from first glance. Almost looks like someone found an abandoned one and thought, hey, let's start a food truck! Then got their cousin to graffiti something up and go with the easiest thing to serve--deep fried stuff. Thus their name, Batter Up. Meaning things are battered and deep fried and looking at the offerings I started having flashbacks to state fairs where they will do the same thing to any food you can think of. Cookies, ice cream, bananas, meat, cheese. If you can batter it, you can fry it. Now I've had the deep fried sweets and stuff and honestly, not the biggest fan. But meat or cheese on a stick--totally down for that!
And what better way to try it than to get one of each. One with chicken apple sausage ($7) and one with a log of jack cheese ($4) inside. It actually took a bit longer than I would have to get them, but that really just meant they were made to order. I got them hot and crispy, fresh out of the fryer looking like corndogs. I couldn't tell them apart and apparently neither could the cook as he forgot which was which. Didn't really matter, I was gonna eat them both the same way.
The first one I opened was the chicken apple sausage. The batter on both of these is pretty much what you get on a corndog. It is sort of a mix somewhere between cornbread and pancake batter. A distinct corn flavor and just a bit of sweetness. While it was nice enough, I think with the chicken apple it isn't necessarily the best breading as this particular sausage already veers toward the sweet. Mix in the breading and I thought it was a bit much. What it needed was some spicy mustard to break it up. Sadly, they didn't seem to have any (found that odd). I ended up sneaking some regular mustard from another truck. It sort of helped. Spicy would have been better. For the price it wasn't the biggest sausage. I might have felt better if it was a buck less, but, you know, food truck prices. It isn't like this sausage corndog tasted bad or anything, for the most part it was what it was. Just not something I was really gravitating to taste wise.
The deep fried cheese was pretty much the same size as the sausage, the major difference was the breading was thicker on the cheese than on the sausage. But here, because of the kick from the cheese, it works better. It was like a giant piece of cheesy jalapeno cornbread and something I did like. This didn't need any condiment side to help it out, it was fine all on it's own. I'll even say it didn't need any butter like I would normally drench cornbread with. The creaminess from the cheese, of which there was plenty, was more than enough to match the breading. I'd say the price, size and taste were pretty spot on for this hunk of deep fried-ness.
Well, it wasn't a total loss, and when all is tasted and done, deep fried stuff ends up a lot like pizza--when it is good it's really good, when it's bad, eh, it is still pretty good. While the sausage wasn't necessarily to my liking, it won't terrible. The battered and deep fried cheese however, totally worth the price of admission. And while I know Batter Up has other things on offer, it is the fried cheese I'd probably get again. It would make a great side dish or appetizer to something from another truck. It also gives you a chance to spread the food truck love around too. You can't eat everything deep fried! Well.....