Sunday, April 28, 2013

Justice League of Street Food - April 27, 2013

Justice League of Street Food returns in 2013! They teased their rallies would end, but they were back for more. They cited Denver's W-line for the celebration cause, but I'd accept spring weather and more food tracks as causes.
With 580+ saying they're going on the JLSF Facebook, you need a strategy. Coordinate with friends, arrive early, scout out the trucks.
First up was spirit sampling from Santa Fe Spirits, Downslope Distillery, and Stranahan's. They were giving generous sample pours for cash donations toward local charities. Santa Fe Spirits featured an apple brandy, a gin comprised of 6 botanicals from the Santa Fe region, and vodka. The gin and vodka were notably smooth. The Santa Fe rep was really friendly, informative, and did a great job promoting her product.

Downslope was a little lax in contrast. After discovering the ruination of Stranahan's whiskey, it's become important to learn as much as possible about spirits advertising themselves as locally made. I'm more likely to support Santa Fe Spirits efforts because of their knowledgeable answers.

My suggestions: know your product, listen to the question and answer the question with a direct answer rather than a rote response. Also, because I want to sample and enjoy your unique products, maybe have a small trash can nearby (for the generous pours) and some water to clean the palate. This was particularly needed when I sampled Downslope's Pepper Vodka and tried their rum and whiskey next. The peppery spicy vodka completely destroyed my ability to discern their other spirits.
Next up was our regular favorite, Biker Jim's. They weren't clearly advertising today's JLSF special, but it was the rattlesnake and pheasant dog with diced jalapenos.
I was expecting a dog with character and a spicy kick. In reality, it was mild and the onions and cream cheese dominated. It was ok, but cheers for splitting it in half. I would have preferred the elk jalapeno cheddar which delivers the venison and spice.
Biker Jim's was adjacent to Quiero Arepas. I was complaining to my friend that I didn't see the sense in paying $8 for Venezuelan street food. The woman pictured above overheard me and proceeded to show off her fully packed carne mechada arepa. Color me more intrigued, but I can get similar empanadas and arepas for less cost at the Empanada Express Grill. Sorry QA, but your ROI seems low.
Next up, my friends custom ordered a bowl from the Crock Pot truck. Their motto is slow cooked gourmet cuisine. You get to customize your bowl with 3 different subcategories and can add extra. Their bowl contains Thai jasmine fried rice, savory pulled pork, chimichurri, and fire roasted corn salad. They ecstatic about the pork, so I had to have a taste! Savory and rich, a heart plugger.
The Squirm Burpee Circus has arrived! Their practice space is nearby and they randomly showed up with some of their show's nifty gadgets and spectacular spectacles. They put on an amazing show and I discovered they will be performing at Elitch's this summer. Check them out!
This is the Petite Royale from Capt'n Crabby. They were offering one other crabby item, The Petite Crab Cake, and corn on the cob dipped in Old Bay butter. Chips are included in the price and you can't swap out items if you're hankering for bell peppers instead of spring mix with your crab cakes. Note: We'd like to opt out of the chips. They taste good, but we'd rather opt in than not being able to opt out.
These might have been JSLF's best buy. These are pierogies from Baba & Pop's Kitchen. They offered two options: potato & cheese topped with caramelized onions, bacon & sour cream; and pulled pork topped with green chile & sour cream. They were priced 3 for $4 or 6 for $6. The pulled pork definitely won me over while the potato & cheese were solid. I was more of a fan of the caramelized onions and bacon than the pierogies' filling.
This picture illustrates my biggest complain against the Justice League of Street Food. So many people love bringing their dogs, but the animals were suffering in the heat. There was very little shade and no available water. Dogs were constantly seeking the beer woman's ice wagon.
Otherwise, the only shade was near the trucks. I wouldn't mind bathing in the Denver Biscuit Truck's savory fumes.
We ordered The DBC Club featuring buttermilk fried chicken, bacon, cheese, shredded iceberg lettuce, tomato, chipotle ranch. This was the true winner. Thick, crunchy bacon, spicy sauce, flaky biscuit, tasty breaded and fried chicken. I want more!!
Just as there are winners, there are losers. Meet the Bliss Roll from Yatai Food Cart. It has avocado, mango, wakame (edible seaweed), rice and included wasabi mixed in. Cream cheese was an optional add-on. It sounds good, but it was created in such a way that all the flavors blended together. It did absolutely nothing for me.
One truck that caught our attention was The Denver Pie Truck. The kids working the truck were on top of their game even before the party started. We scouted the location and discovered the Lemon Ice Box pie was the best choice. When we were nearly finished, we stopped and ordered the Lemon Ice Box pie. Guess what? The 5" pie written on the dry eraseboard was not available, only the little ones were. The pie had good lemony flavor with some crust at the bottom. Overall, not remarkable or interesting. Except for the Inventing Room, JLSF dessert trucks strike out.
The final truck was Fat Sully's. I miss them from when I lived 3 blocks away off Colfax. Large NY style slices, piping hot. I wished they had a specialty pizza for the event like they've done in the past.
Overall, the Justice League of Street Food is a party for everyone. I think it's a great excuse to enjoy different Denver neighborhoods, hang out with friends, enjoy special foods, and appreciate unusual entertainment.

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