Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Denver Food Trucks (continued) at Civic Center Eats...


I think it's official: I LOVE food trucks. I have jumped on the bandwagon, er, truck. For a long time food trucks just weren't my thing because more often than not there were few, if any, vegetarian options on board. But things have really changed! Now I can always find something to eat-- and I'm talking about something substantial that guarantees I'll be sated after a food truck pit-stop! My quest to eat from as many of Denver's Food Trucks as I can possibly handle, continues... 

I decided to take the boys to Civic Center Eats, a food truck gathering that runs over the summer months on Tuesday and Thursday. I knew we wouldn't last long given the rising Celsius (read: 100 degrees), but I thought we could handle it for a few moments before heading over to the (air-conditioned) Denver Art Museum.
Despite the heat, the crowds were out-- but people in Denver are so freakin' nice, that waiting in the hot sun didn't seem to ruffle anyone's feathers. We waited and then we ate. 

I finally got to sample a Banh-Mi sandwich from Manna From Heaven-- voted the best food truck (2012) in the Westword Magazine. I had heard really good things, but I wasn't sure what to think of this Vietnamese food truck with a name that doesn't quite ring Southeast-Asian to me. So, the verdict? Delicious. They had a vegetarian version of Banh Mi that was packed with tofu, pickled carrots, sprouts, potatoes (which I had not seen before) and topped with a generous handful of cilantro. It was coated in a fabulous (traditional) chili-sauce that reminded me of the sauces I put on everything when I was in Vietnam. The sandwich was really good. I now get the hype. 

I quenched my thirst with a gigantic limeade because one has got to keep hydrated in this weather! I also packed up a Mile High Mocha cupcake from The Denver Cupcake Truck which had a chocolate-mocha base, toffee bits and an espresso cream frosting that I ate at home with an iced coffee. Um, heaven? Yup, I think so.

Otis cooled down by having a scoop of snickerdoodle ice cream from Coaches Scoop. He ate it so fast that I almost didn't have time to get my own spoon in there! I think the perfection of the ice cream, coupled with the near 100 degree temperatures, were to blame. It hit the spot...

Only one thing could cool this guy off...snickerdoole ice cream from Coaches Scoop.

Based on today's positive response (from all parties concerned), I think I'll be heading back next week. I'm looking forward to trying the Veg Head (falafel balls with seasonal slaw, yogurt sauce, and tahini) from Stick It To Me and maybe a little somethin'-somethin' from Little India. I'm also going to have to try the grub from Vegan Van, which is only at Civic Center on Thursdays. 
I should also mention that I was eavesdropping on a bunch of guys sitting next to me (shameful, I know!). They were raving about the food and talked about a lot of trucks I still haven't tried-- so I know that it's going to take all summer to go through the menu options. I also learned that Mo's BBQ has a spicy-tofu BBQ sandwich, so I'll report back on that after I try it.
And one more thing: please note that I do not know any of the vendors personally, nor am I compensated for reviewing any of these street eats. I write about the trucks (and local businesses) because I love food. And I'm finding lots to talk about here in Denver. That's why I do it and it just makes me happy! 
If you're in Denver, check out the scene-- and click here for a list of vendors and their days at Civic Center Eats. 
Vroom. Vroom. 
Update: I went back to Civic Center Eats today (Thursday). The Sesame Seed Truck and The Vegan Van are where I made my pit-stops. Lunch included "The Ludacris"-- a vegan-take on "chicken" and waffles, which was really tasty, and Tofu Crisp-  fried tofu with pickled cabbage, pickled daikon, cilantro, carrots, cucumbers and I opted for the peanut-sauce. Perfect and fresh- a delicious bite.
Both trucks served dishes that made me certain I would stop by again for other menu items. 
Happy Eats!


The Vegan Van's "Ludacris"-- "chicken" (seitan) and waffles.


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14 comments:

  1. Oh, that looks so GOOD! And your boys are so adorable, even in the heat.

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    1. Thanks so much! I'm going back next week with a friend-- we are going to conquer all the trucks pretty soon-- well, at least the ones with vegetarian options...which is getting so much easier :)

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  2. This just made me VERY, VERY hungry!
    There's a "Hump Day" cafe on Wednesdays. It's smaller scale, but good food too. Thanks for writing about Denver and it's burgeoning food culture. My husband and I follow your blog religiously. We LOVE it!

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    1. Thanks Kathleen. I heard about "hump day"--I'll have to check it out. Thanks for loving, following..and for commenting!

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  3. I'm beginning to think that Denver is a lot more than cowboys and steer. Food trucks, markets, architecture-- I'm not surprised you like it so much.

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    1. Thanks for your comment Timothy. It is a GREAT city. If you hurry you can still see the YSL exhibit (closes July 8th). Of course a trip to the Botanic Gardens is a must too! Check out this post from the Kizuna exhibit. http://sparrowsandspatulas.blogspot.com/2012/05/japanophilic-kizuna-and-black-sesame.html
      And in case you are wondering, no-- I do not work for the city's tourism board :) Enjoy the weekend!

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    2. Well, maybe you should work for the city!

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    3. @ Jon the Mon: :) Are they hiring?! We seriously love it here!

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  4. Oh my gosh! I am dying to try the vegan "chicken and waffles"! I love that you are reviewing the vegetarian options with the food trucks. I've got your blog on my reading list now.

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    1. Hi Jenna,
      They were SO good. I'm going to try their Rueben next time. There are some great looking sandwiches at The Sesame Seed too-- which I will try next week (and I'll be sure to report back-- usually I do short little posts on FB). And at the Highland farmers market-- Latke Love's Oy Vey Caliente!-- potato latkes, with VEGETARIAN green chili, cheese, and a fried egg. It's fantastic. I can't even begin to think of how much I'll be trying at the Vegetarian Society of Colorado's Food Fest this weekend in Golden:) Happy eating and cooking. Thanks for following.

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  5. I have my chance to try the Vegan Van tonight! They will be up the block at Sweet Action from 6-11 so my dinner plans have been made. Eeeee!
    Can you believe that I have lived in Colorado for 35 years and I did not know about the Vegetarian Society or their Food Fest? You have only been here a few months and yet you are turning me on to new things right and left. I feel like I have been living under a rock. Kudos to you for being so connected to the community!

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    1. Thanks so much Jenna! I try to be an explorer or sorts, and I drag the boys everywhere. I had an awesome sandwich from Watercourse yesterday-- that place has great food. The VegFest was more of a food expo-- tons of vendors giving out samples of their vegetarian and vegan fare, educational booths, wildlife sanctuary (animal rights) booths...that sort of thing. There were some awesome sweets and I couldn't believe some of them were sans-dairy. What did you think of Vegan Van? Their seitan supplier (Denver Seitan) was at the VegFest. I picked up their "chicken." Now I just have to figure out what to do with it!
      We are off to the Cherry Creek Arts Festival! Hooray. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  6. Manna from Heaven is delicious! One of the best trucks out there.

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  7. You have convinced me-- I will have to eat from these trucks! Are they still at Civic Center? Love your blog, by the way.

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