Columnist Caitlin Weigel cooks up a special Lunchies-edition treat from Vernalicious.
I seem to have special radar for aesthetically appealing trucks. (And yes, for all the haters, trucks can be beautiful. They’re not all wheels and grime.) On any given day I can easily bypass the dozens of silver-sided food trucks around me, but should something more colorful enter into my line of sight, even from three blocks away, I’m on it.
My attraction to pretty trucks stems from an assumption that if the truck owners have made a truck that visually appeals to me, we are probably like-minded folks, and these people will probably have delicious food that I will enjoy. And maybe we’ll become best friends and they will let me live in their truck and eat for free all the time so I can drop out of my ridiculous upper-level courses that make my brain ache and just become a traveling eater with two cool truck-chef friends. I don’t know. That’s just a thought.
I first saw Vernalicious (who sounds like a poorly named rapper-stripper, and not a delicious eatery), two blocks away. Out of the corner of my eye, a green and white truck beyond the Insomnia Cookie spot on Montgomery Avenue popped into my line of vision. And with that first half-glance I resolved to make her mine.
So after class I booked it on over to Montgomery, hoping it wasn’t just some sweet mirage of a food truck. But no–it was the real deal. And, as an added bonus, there was a man giving away samples. I am a total sucker for customer service and this dude was all smiles, warm words and free stuff. Naturally, I wanted to buy everything the truck had to offer as if to say, “Hey, Universe! You often do a terrible job of rewarding the hardworking good guys, so I will do it for you! Starting with this truck!” A little human kindness goes a long way in my book.
I ordered the griddled macaroni and cheese, not totally confident as to what I was getting myself into. While waiting for my food, I thought about McGriddles and then about girdles, both of which were making me nervous about my menu selection. But just as my mental image of obese men in corsets shoveling grease muffins down their gullets was reaching a crescendo, I was handed my order and the nightmare bubble popped. What was delivered was a small mac’n’cheese brick with a crispy outside! Thank god!
Was it delicious? Duh. It’s basis is a kindergarten classic whose ooey gooey-ness can only be matched by my emotional feelings toward the dish. On top of that, it’s been (I assume) griddled to create a flakey, golden brown ‘crisptastic’ outside. It was a good thing and I immediately said “pshaw” to those proverbs–there is no such thing as too much of a good thing. So I made the griddled mac again for dinner that night.
The results were mixed. And by mixed, I mean bad.
Unclaimed Easy Mac found at the back of your cabinet is probably a bad starting point. Forming the mac and cheese into a brick by hand was also what some may consider a ‘mistake’. And not looking up what it means to griddle, and using your subpar phonetics skills to convince yourself that griddle is just a fancy word for grill, could result in a less than desirable dinner.
At this point I would like to offer my sincere apologies to George Foreman. I’m sorry for what I’ve done to your grill. It was never meant to end this way.
End result? Hunt down that mirage and buy your own $3 griddled mac brick. And while you’re there, casually ask how one ‘griddles’ something because I’m still at a loss.
Caitlin Weigel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I disagree. I ate at this truck and was sick from the food. It may me visit the Dr along with my son. Stay away. The cheese was sour.