Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Craziest Food Truck in Boston: Staff Meal

FA Rating: FFF
Price: $
Holy shit, their truck got vandalized, they sold it, and soon they're opening up a brick and mortar called Rising Sun Tavern. I can't wait to support them! Though, I do still have a $16 credit for Staff Meal...

The Staff Meal boys consistently make fascinating choices menu-wise.

Readable Menu from 8/14


They love meat.


I marked the calendar for a visit to the Staff Meal food truck to finally eat the food on my upcoming August 22nd birthday, and while I still plan to make that a reality, I couldn't wait any longer when, quite famished and with a few extra minutes to spare on my way to work yesterday, August 14th, I saw their truck parked in front of the library, crossed the street, and started on the menu with the first item.

Arepas with Pickled Watermelon Slaw - $3



Now, I'm not the most quiet-minded kind of person, not the best at "living in the now," despite all those Eckhart Tolle audiobooks I've consumed* and my regular attempts at yoga and meditation.  So, even though I think I regret that my mind works this way, with constant streams of words flowing through it at almost all times, I'd still like to share with you what was going through my mind as I ate these arepas: "Oh my god.  Oh my god.  How can these be this good?  How can these be this good?  How can these be this good?"

They were so fucking creamy and bursting with flavor I didn't know corn had the potential to express. The pieces of pickled watermelon and the cilantro were added delights to the bites they joined.  I have a whole menu to go through, but I want more of these. I want to wrap bacon and breakfast sausage in these things.  I'm not sure I can eat anyone else's arepas after this.


____

After their need to cook more food, poor weather, and some construction work thwarted my plans to return to Staff Meal three times, I finally made it back the other day so that I could try the foie gras bakalavah and one of their current sandwiches.

Out of the current menu (this will link to whatever their current menu is the day you click it), I chose the Steak Bomb:

Steak Bomb - $7
Shaved Beef with Duxelles, Mortadella, Marinated Red Peppers, Smoked Gouda Fonduta



So.. much.. meat.. and meat and mayonnaise and creamy cheesiness..  mmm.

Still, I realized something about myself from this: shaved meat isn't my favorite thing.  Next time, it's the short rib for me.

What your hand will look like after eating this "bomb"


Foie Gras Bakalavah - $4 Bakalavah with Foie Gras, Pepitas and Fig Vincotto


Now it should be said that I, historically, am not a fan of bakalavah. "Sugary" and "sticky" are not descriptions that I like to apply to my food. As a foodie asshole, however, I am compelled to try something someone calls "foie gras bakalavah" simply because it's such a ridiculously interesting combination. You can get me any time with this simple trick. In fact, I'm going to google around later today and try to learn enough html to make a little Foodie Asshole roulette widget thingy.

Anyways, while I didn't really taste the foie gras per se, I did actually enjoy this. And not just because the nice Staff Meal people didn't charge me for it in way of apology that they had to stay in the kitchen the night of my birthday** when I had planned to get dinner from them during my lunch break at work.  The pepitas were a really nice touch, combining with the saturation into the pastry of the fig vincotto sauce (I assume that's what that layer of sweet sauce is) to render the bakalavah into a texture I actually enjoyed. And the sauce itself was quite tasty. I even tried pouring the remainder of it it into my Au Bon Pain coffee to try to improve that garbage (didn't work).


I finally ran into the boys again (2/2/2012) and got to try this:

Italian Sub Taco with Chips - $4


I'm a total fan of carb swapping (I once got out of bed in the middle of the night and drew up plans I for a restaurant called Bagel It! for which I put every awesome dish on a bagel (I had just moved to NYC at the time)), and this was a yummy carb swapping adventure. The chips add such a nice crunch, the whole thing was great, though I did sort of feel like it was wrong that I was eating it while sober.  Because they do the Level Up thing, I used my $2 off and paid only $2 for this taco (so get your extra $5 by clicking here, which gets me $5 too, and I'll be your best friend)!

A bit of the all taco menu from a rainy March 1, 2012


Bicol Express with Pickled Green Papaya - $4


I learned that bicol express is a delicious Filipino pork dish (with basically the same stuff as Thai food). Coconut milk plus chiles and shrimp paste = beautiful pink color (remember this for when you wanna cook your lover somethin' next Valentine's Day). As you know, any sauce that is pink or orange has my name on it, especially if cilantro also joins the party. Clearly this was awesome.


When my mother was in town summer 2012, we went to SOWA together. When deciding what food truck to eat from, I thought she should have some Staff Mealage:



We decided to share the beef barbacoa, baja sauce, pickled slaw and plantain chip burrito for $7.


My half, which was still ridiculously filling. Always remember that a full on burrito will fill you up for the next eight hours. This was delicious, though I did wish I had some hot sauce lying around. About six different people came up to my mother and me and asked us where we got out food. Then they either came back to our table or we saw them walk by with burritos of their own. Good decision.

Find their current location by checking out their Twitter feed.

Staff Meal (Food Truck) on Urbanspoon

*I highly recommend taking those in the form of audiobook, as his voice Tolle's mesmerizingly soothing.

**I spent the evening of my birthday handing out samples of canned turkey chili at my day job, and I had a few samples myself only because my Staff Meal birthday dinner plans had been thwarted.  While I only have about half a cup of the chili, I hardly ever eat beans anymore and so my body isn't used to them.  Thus, I spent the night of my birthday trying to hold in chili farts at work.  This video response to a question I sent in to Miranda July is all the funnier to me in that light: