Monday, 9 March 2009

streetfood dallas

Sreetfood Dallas ! before i came out to the city of Dallas i had read an article on the Internet fromD magazine titled a " foodies guide to streetfood" by Rawlins Gilliland, i decided to contact Rawlins before i left the uk and see if he could point me in the right direction. He not only did that but decided to take me to some of the places that featured in the article.

we agreed to meet on Sunday morning and try some of the foods that he had experienced. He arrived at my hotel around 10.45 with two hounds in tow.

From speaking to Rawlins the original article came about by wanting to find real streetfood made to order by a real person offered from a window kiosk or cart and to show the food culture still exists in parts of Dallas. This was going to be good.

We head off to north west Dallas to a mainly Hispanic area and after about 20 Min's from the downtown area we arrive at Tacos to go . A small taqeueria that with a blink of an eye you would miss and not even know it existed. It has a few permanent stalls which are placed around this stainless steel counter with a window on either side of the building and all very clean. What could i expect of the food from here? I was about to find out.

As we arrive at the window we are greeted my Mauro who instantly recognises Rawlins. We explain that i have come over from the UK to look at food in the US and today and i am particularly in the streetfood featured in the Magazine.

After Rawlins explains the menu to me Mauro brings out the first tacos, comprising of the Mileneza and the chorizo, I first take a bite of the Mileneza, the flavours are immense, the lightly breaded beef strips that have been pan fried and seasoned to perfection, the ripe avocado slices are topped with sliced fried onions and coriander wrapped in a soft tortilla, i decided to add a little more punch by adding fresh green chili sauce and and the juice of a lime.After trying the barbacoa and the fajita we move onto the pork burrito with pork and beans, a meal in itself for a giant let alone two people who have just polished of the tacos.

The visit would not be complete without trying the Sopes de pastor [ pork] a thick corn cake fried and slathered with refried beans shredded pork, Mexican cheese, ripe avocado and again topped with fried onions and coriander, How i am supposed to eat as it is open and stacked, well the only way is dive in and get messy, and boy was it messy but good

All this was washed down with a Big Red and a Jarritos [ tamarind soda]

We then move onto another highlight of Rawlins tour, downtown to Shed 1 at the Dallas farmers where we find Paul's corn stand, on arrival Paul is not around so Rawlins heads off to find him, but not before ordering me a ear of corn, The corn is place into a rotating oven where it is roasted with the leaves on, after a couple of minutes it is ready. It is then covered in butter,mayonnaise and Parmesan cheese, i am then offered a range of other toppings to complement the all ready smothered corn. I go for the lemon pepper.

Biting into the corn i am instantly hit by all the flavours, it is perfectly roasted and the Parmesan is a great addition complimented by the zing of the lemon pepper. As i proceed my way down the cob, Rawlins appears with Paul the owner who is amazed that i had seen the article in the UK and was now stood at his stall trying his corn. He then proceeds to get the article which has been framed and we pose for some photographs, he then insists i try one of the sausages that he also sells, which is served on a stick, i top this with mustard, and give it a go, this again is very good with a nice level of spice.

Since Paul's stand featured in D magazine business has been very good and i can see why, there is a steady stream of customers and at one point 20 or so people gathered around all eating corn and sausages.

What a great way to spend Sunday morning.

We then proceed to head off around the market, each stall has the most fantastic array of fresh produce, it is hard to understand that in this country of fast and junk food why more people do not make use of all these wonderful ingredients. As we pass each stall we are offered tasters of watermelon, Mango's, and the best grapefruit i have ever tasted the Texan red..

After Rawlins makes a few purchases it is time for us to conclude, i can honestly say that i have seen a side of Dallas that as a tourist you would not even know existed, and having done so tasted some of the best food since arriving in the city.

Whilst i had tasted some of the cities leading chefs dishes the previous night along with a lot of foodies of the Dallas area, these two streetfood vendors are the soul of the Dallas food scene, to which i have been fortunate enough to see.

"What a breakfast"

I now head over to Renee and Doug Toon the courier agents to have[ yes you guessed it] some more great food and Texan hospitality, Doug has prepared ribs which have been smoked and cooked in the back yard, these are served with grilled asparagus tips and beans, all accompanied by some spicy cornbread which i wash down with iced tea.

I certainly will not be requiring another meal today, i head back to my hotel to prepare for my last days trawl to Central Market & Market street, two supermarkets that are supposed to be comparable to wholefoods.

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