beer belly

New York City food trucks have succeeded in altering their popular perception. While there are still many trucks in the city that major in greasebomb fare prepared in dirty quarters, a fair number of establishments have rolled out that focus on unique, refined eats.

Miho Gastrotruck is San Diego’s own farm-to-street food truck. A brief chat with co-owner Juan revealed that his background at The Linkery, a farm-to-table restaurant in North Park, helped hone his desire to start his own establishment with the same food ethics. After nine months (!!!) of brainstorming, planning, and organization, Juan and his partner were able to start their business. The truck is impeccably clean, much different than one’s initial thought when the phrase “food truck” passes from ear drum to auditory cortex. All of the ingredients are fresh, organic, and intermingle into inexpensive and fantastic dishes.

Last week, the truck was parked outside Ballast Point Brewery in Scripps Ranch (just around the block from me!) to help introduce a new brew called the San Salvadore Saison. Miho Gastrotruck cultivated a signature dish for the opening: a strip of pork belly braised in the new saison and a corn fritter. I ordered this special and the Spinach Strawberry Salad with candied nuts, goat cheese, and a strawberry balsamic vinaigrette. Salad from a food truck? Certainly, and with a freshness you could taste. The spinach was local and ridiculously tasty. The nuts were candied by the folks at Miho, and their crunch worked famously with the soft cheese and the melt-in-your-mouth, taste-like-they-should strawberries. It was also dressed with the perfect amount of tangy-sweet dressing, also Miho-made.

Now, to the special. I started with the corn fritter because few things go better with beer than fried food. It was very light and a little spicy, served fresh out of the fryer. It paired well with the saison which was one of the milder beers I have had to date. The star of the show, which even outshone my taste of the award-winning Ballast Point Sculpin IPA, was the pork belly. Crispy on the outside and loaded with beer flavor, the meat fell apart under just a slight nudge with my plastic fork. When braised meat is that tender, you know before you even eat that it will be phenomenal. And phenomenal, it was.

The rest of Miho’s menu looks sublime, so I am excited to follow them on Twitter to grab some grub from them again.

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