Mobile Chowdown V recap

Susanne and I had ourselves a blast at the Mobile Chowdown V last Friday, in the parking lot of Qwest Field. Romantic setting, I know, but we were there to explore the engine-inclusive side of cuisine, not make out in public. We lucked out and found a parking spot 1.5 blocks away, albeit only after accidentally making our way to the garage for the last home game of the Mariners. Fifteen dollars for parking is $15 less we’d have had for all of the fare at the event!

We walked in to the fenced-in event shortly after it started. The Chowdown ran from 5-10PM, and we figured the lines for certain trucks would only get longer later, so we first waited for the Where Ya At, Matt? truck, which features Creole and N’Orleans-style fixings. We opted for a port po’boy sandwich and a bag of fresh beignets. The sandwich reminded me a bit of the items at The Baguette Box on Pine in Seattle, but these had more meat and were right at the tipping point into too many flavors—smoky pork, crisp slaw, a fresh pesto, sprig of cilantro, salt and pepper—but we definitely enjoyed it.

At Got Soup? (I swear not all the vendors use questions as names) we picked up a bowl of jerk chicken soup with black beans and chard, and it was delicious. It’s hard for a meat-focused soup to be balanced with other items, none of which gets overpowered by any other element. But this soup nailed it, and also had the benefit of not being too salty, probably one of the most common crimes committed in soup-making.

Many of the vendors were giving some of their proceeds from the event to the Susan G. Komen Foundation for breast cancer research. This was nice, but it does make me wonder how many things October is a host for. Answer: it’s a lot. We walked by the pink ribbon truck, which was doing its own brisk business, and stopped next at a burger truck. Now then, anyone who knows me knows I am a sucker for burgers, but not at $12 a pop. I would have preferred to see some tasting-sized items, although I suspect the vendors would find that a lot of work for not enough money. But I passed on the burger.

We got two desserts at Hot Cakes—Susanne a molten chocolate cake, and I an apple pie with cardamom and ginger. Hot Cakes had a toppings bar  outside their truck, covered with local whipped cream, organic jams and pie fillings, maple syrup, and the like. It was a little like the set up at Portage Bay Grill, which really must be on everyone’s Seattle bucket list if they live in or visit the city. Susanne’s cake was very good, a little less molten than “sludgy,” which when chocolate is concerned, is not a bad thing. I very much enjoyed the spiced apple cake, but I had a hard time eating it out of the paper sack, getting 62 percent of the flaky crust on my person. Go ahead, call me a flake, but know that you’re being unoriginal.

Susanne and I then got a curry chicken taco from Curry Now! (more excited punctuation, I know), not realizing it came with fresh tomatoes. I left it for Susanne to eat, because I just never go to the fresh tomato place. She remarked that the corn tortillas were really great, lamented that she had to wait for it to cool down enough to eat, and wished it had included some Basmati rice to help suck up all the juices.

We got a couple of doughnuts from our now-beloved Top Pot doughnuttery, and headed home, stuffed to the gills. I would have liked to have tried some pork from the Maximus Minimus truck, but they were almost out of everything by the time we made it over there, and the line had at least 75 people. But I’ll find them one of these days, and at least I’ll have some room for a sandwich.

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