Month: July 2011

KoKyu BBQ

In my ongoing quest to try all the food trucks currently tooling around the Triangle there was one truck that kept slipping through my fingers and my twitter feed:  KoKyu BBQ.   KoKyu, which is a Korean BBQ and fusion style food truck, tends to hang out at Motorco for Sunday Bloody Brunch, but I just hadn’t made it out to Durham on a Sunday recently.  Luckily Ko Kyu has started venturing out more, and I was finally able to catch them at Motorco, along with Pie Pushers, The Parlour, The Grilled Cheese Bus and the nearby Sausage Wagon, on a food truck filled Friday night.

Jon and I meandered through the crowds and the food truck mass and headed straight to the spray-painted truck with the old-school Nintendo in the window.

Look at that!  So fun!

The menu is well selected, with lots of different options including a few vegan/vegetarian choices.  We decided to order a short-rib quesadilla, an “unreal” buffalo chicken slider, a sweet potato “tako” and some duck fat tots.  We waited about ten minutes for our order and then took our food to a nearby patch of sidewalk.  All the picnic tables outside of Motorco were taken, but it was a beautiful night out and we didn’t mind flooring it.

Looks awesome, right?

I’ll start with the duck fat tots.  So, basically, these are tater tots, but extra crispy tater tots because they were fried in duck fat, which is the perfect frying vehicle duh. They were dusted liberally with fresh, fragrant rosemary and came with a rooster (as in Sriracha) and mayo dipping sauce.  These were really great.  Tater tots are already a great thing, so just, times that by lots.

The “unreal” buffalo chicken slider and the sweet potato “tako” were both the size of a snack-wich and packed tons of flavor.  The sweet potato “tako” consisted of sweet potato and sweet potato fries, bean sprouts, avocado and tons of cilantro along with some Sriracha sauce, all in a soft taco shell.  Tasty and fresh.  The “unreal” buffalo chicken slider was also fantastic, tastier and more satisfying than the tako because, really, you can’t beat a buffalo chicken slider from a truck.  However, the “chicken” is a soy patty–which I didn’t realize until scanning the menu later.  It even tricked the tofu-hating Jon.  The slider also had a lot of great flavors going: the tangy/sweet/spicy buffalo sauce, gorganzola cheese, some chopped celery for crunch, all on a soft bun.

Last, and best, was the short rib quesadilla, which was such an awesome umami experience I can’t even describe it.  Two giant, perfectly pan-crisped quesadilla pouches, filled with some kind of soft and tangy cheese, caramelized onions, and tons of tender, awesome short rib meat.  This was great.  This was so great that it inspired us to make quesadillas the following night, but that’s another post.

Cilantro!  Sriracha sauce!  Leftover burning spicy sensation on the lips and tongue ( I know that sounds like an STD but it isn’t guys get over it).  Ko Kyo is a Durham food truck treasure and I wish I hadn’t taken so long to try it!  I can’t wait to get back to get me some BBQ/tako-y/Koreany fusion soon.

You can follow KoKyu on their Facebook and Twitter feeds.  They don’t update their locations as much as some of the other trucks, but it is absolutely worth tracking these guys down and snagging some takos, tots, sliders and quesadillas.   Also, they have this old-school Nintendo that you can play while waiting for your food!  In my opinion this the best food truck in town not counting The Parlour, which is a bus, not a truck, and which serves ice cream and so it has its own category of fun.  And yes, of course I had some Parlour ice cream as a palate cleanser.  Who do you think I am?

Acme

A few weeks ago LivingSocial or Groupon or one of those sites ran a deal for Acme, a restaurant in Carrboro.  Acme is a consistently solid establishment: I have never had a mind-blowing meal here but I have also never been disappointed.  On this particular summer Friday Acme once again did not fail: we had a solid meal with solid service and we left satisfied.

We started with a great, summery appetizer of heirloom tomatoes and house made mozzarella.  This was a perfect dish y’all, I could have eaten it for the main course.  The tomatoes were perfect and juicy and the mozzarella was mild and creamy.  The dish was garnished with deviled eggs and a tasty basil pesto which we sopped up with the bread.  Summer is awesome.  Apologies for the dark photos–didn’t want to use the flash.

For the main course Jon got a steak with garlic mashed potatoes, all well done.  I had crab cakes with a succotash of kale, butternut squash, corn and tomatoes.  Really tasty all around.

We–or rather I since Jon isn’t a dessert person, sigh–ended with a brownie sundae.  Impossible to mess up, really.

Acme is a great place to go for a reliable good, fairly upscale meal.  A Carrboro institution one might say.  Y’all should check it out if you haven’t!

Breaking Bad is Back This Weekend!

Hooray hooray Breaking Bad is back!  I have no room to whine because I only watched Season 3 last month, but this is an incredible show and I am so excited to see where it goes.  If you do not watch Breaking Bad you should, it is brutal and awesome and beautifully made.

So here are a bunch of articles to read about Breaking Bad.  Hopefully this will convince you to watch it if you already do not watch it:

NYTimes Magazine’s “The Dark Art of Breaking Bad

Chuck Klosterman for Grantland

NYMagazine‘s interview with showrunner Vince Gilligan

One thing that each article touches on is the show’s unflinching chronicle of a man’s transformation from ostensible nice-and-good guy to legitimate terrifying drug lord murdering bad guy.  Chuck Klosterman points out why this is so startling–most other shows on television already have their main character situated in good or bad territory.  Dexter is a serial killer.  Tony Soprano is a mob boss.  Don Draper lives in the 60s and people were weird in the 60s.  But Walter White’s transformation in Breaking Bad–and I would be remiss here not to mention Bryan Cranston’s incredible, gut-wrenching performance in the role–is just astounding and cringe-worthy.  I regularly ask myself why I should like Walter White, and it is a credit to the showrunners and Vince Gilligan that I am still rooting for Walt’s success and survival.

Anyways, time to commence my weekend.  Looking forward to reading more of my book, seeing Harry Potter, and capping things off with truly awesome Breaking Bad.

Watch Breaking Bad or Walter White will let you drown in your own vomit.
Watch Breaking Bad or Walter White will let you drown in your own vomit.

Also, I am not at the Harry Potter END OF ALL THINGS Midnight Showing, because I am Old

Oh and also, just in case you didn’t realize, I am not attending a midnight showing of Harry Potter and the Death of Childhood Deathly Hallows Part II.  I saw a bunch of prepubescent witches and wizards (the witches looking mostly like Catholic school girl knock-offs) prancing around Only Burger today due to its proximity to the Carmike Theaters.  Presumably they are at a midnight showing right now.

Want to expecto my patronum?

Now to those of you who are at the theaters, have fun y’all.  I had my midnight showing days back when I was still a young, carefree student, typically over winter breaks.  My favorite midnight showing experiences involved 25+ people from the Pine View Class of 2003, all boys except for me and Cady. (hi Cady! We represented well didn’t we?).  Every winter break for three years we’d all trickle home from our universities and congregate at the Hollywood 20 on Main Street in downtown Sarasota to watch the Lord of the Rings movies.  Those were younger days.

I enjoy Harry Potter lots and lots; I went to nearly all of the midnight book parties.  I definitely spent long weekends during various summers (and somehow they were all rainy weekends, so no guilt!) locked in my room devouring the books.  I’d stay up all night reading the books–it was an epic and exhilarating experience.   There is nothing like holding a freshly-released volume of a series in your hands and knowing that you are about to get the next chunk of a fantastic story; I’m reliving that thrill right now with the newest Song of Ice and Fire book, just with a bit less marathoning and a bit more paced enjoyment.  (Also, more sex and death).  However, I never really got that sense of heart-pounding anticipation and excitement with the Harry Potter movies.  They are enjoyable and remarkable works of art in their own ways–the creative geniuses who designed the world, from sets to costumes to props to creatures, all deserve a huge round of applause–but I’ve never felt the need to rush out to a midnight showing of the films.

Midnight release party, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, 2007. These are actually my sister's friends. You know you are old when you go to a Harry Potter midnight release party BY YOURSELF and end up socializing with your younger sister's friends, not that they aren't lovely and enjoyable people. Theme of this post: AGE.

I had my Harry Potter midnight party days back at the Barnes & Noble in Sarasota and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  Y’all can have your popcorny, crowded, Harry Potter midnight party day at the numerous sold-out theaters around the country.  Seriously, have fun.  I’m going to go get a good night’s sleep, so I can enjoy my Friday and then go catch a matinee of the film sometime this weekend. Because I am old, and old people go see matinees.

PS: The girl dressed as Sybill Trelawney has a blog too, it is about cooking, and it is pretty rad.  She’s in med school now.  I feel old.

Contest Entry Post, Sometimes You Win Things!

Last week Beryl over at the lovely lifestyle blog Beryl Lynn had an Etsy giveaway.  I entered (lots and lots) and guess what, I won something!  I won a set of gorgeous business cards from Avie Designs.  Here is what they look like:


Pretty, right?  I have been wanting business cards for awhile, because I feel that they are a mark of being a serious adult.  I wonder what gave me that idea…

Oh, right.  Anyways.

So now I am going to write a blog post to get myself more contest entries, namely, I want this, and luckily the nice folks at Big Girls, Small Kitchen are giving some away as part of their brown bag lunch challenge week.

Now I don’t know about y’all, but when I worked I almost always brought my lunch to work with me.  Now that I am semi-employed I am still bringing my lunch with me–today it was leftover whole wheat pasta tossed with some tomatoes, mozzarella, white beans and pesto to make a quick and easy pasta salad.  I got my inspiration for the dish, which is a favorite of mine, from Deb over at the Smitten Kitchen.  Just make her version of a caprese salad (really tasty on its own mind you) and toss it with some cold pasta.  So so so easy y’all.

I love bringing my own lunch to work, most people look at me all jealous and it gives me a sense of satisfaction: I am feeding myself and I am being frugal!  Often lunch is delicious leftovers, such as butternut squash soup or some lentils.  Sometimes I whip up a quick tuna salad on some lettuce.  Sometimes I am really in a rush and I just make a quick peanut butter sandwich.  I always accompany my lunch with a diet coke (also brought from home, no need to spend a dollar on a can from the nearby deli!) and bring some Greek yogurt or a banana for a snack later on.  So easy, so sensible!

And you know what would make my from-home lunch even better?  An adorable BuiltNY lunch tote in which to carry it.  So I hope that my online contest entry luck stays strong and that the Big Girls, Small Kitchen folks pick me as a winner!