Alice and I had been talking about food today on our drive to work when we saw the big orange Saint Lawrence Gridiron truck drive by us on Maple Grove. This immediately began a spirited discussion about pork bellys and delicious savory chunks of meat. We had eaten at the Gridiron before at a food truck rally that was held at Whole Foods. It was fantastic. We were both sad to see the truck driving off in the opposite direction. I looked at the bag of hot pockets sitting in my lap and died a little inside.
Upon getting to work our modus operandi is to go into the break room to get coffee and complain about our impending work day. Things were going along as usual when Alice stopped mid-sentence and pointed. I looked out the window and this is what I saw:
The truck had parked a parking lot away. I had about a half hour before I started but Alice was due to start in a few minutes. I looked at her, smiled, and started out the door. I was off to visit a food truck named after a man that was slow-roasted until he was dead. Life is good.
Dreams of fried macaroni and cheese and pork belly screamed through my mind as I crossed the parking lot. I was a little afraid as I got closer because they didn’t look very open. I stood there like a kid at Christmas until Brian popped his head out. He let me know that they would be ready in about 15 minutes. He could have told me an hour and I wouldn’t have budged. Work be damned, this is pork belly that we are talking about. PORK BELLY! The wait gave me a chance to study the menu anyway:
My only regret was that I could only pick two things.
Pretzel Fried Chicken. Brisket. Meatloaf. PORK BELLY. Poutine. Mmmmmm. Oh, lord. You know I try really hard to be objective with these reviews, but it is sooo damn hard when confronted with the things I love. I get giddy. Forgive me.
I decided to get the Pretzel Fried Chicken. Chicken is probably my least favorite protein but the thought of a nice piece of it fried seemed good on a cold, winters day. Oh yeah. I also ordered the Pork Belly Bites. Big surprise there.
While I was waiting, Brian came out to talk to me. Nice guy. Really passionate about what he is doing. He told me about an upcoming dinner he was planning called the Saint Valentine Pop-Up Dinner. He showed me the menu he was planning on his phone. I won’t take away from his big reveal, so all I will say about that is that I will be there. He had an evil glimmer in his eye when he told me that it was one thing when a customer had a menu to order from but with these dinners…he had you where he wanted you. I think I have to work on the 14th but, once again, my job comes second to my belly. Deal with it, job. I will be there.
Five minutes later my food came out.
L: Miss Sexy Pretzel Chicken R: Pork Belly Bites
I thanked all involved and ran back to the break room. I was so excited about my food that I just began babbling to people I didn’t know about my selections. I believe a conversation with a co-worker I had went something like this:
“CHICKEN AND PORK BELLY!!!”
“Excuse me, what was that?”
“I GOT FROM THE TRUCK!!!! LOOK!!!!”
“you’re kind of scaring me”
“TRUCK! PORK! LOOK!!!!!”
After that person
went ran away, I split everything down the middle so Alice could have half and squirreled myself away in the corner to enjoy my meal.
Let me start with the Pretzel Fried Chicken: Moist, juicy, delicious. St. Lawrence changed my mind about chicken. But the crust, how do I describe it? Slightly sweet, infinitely crunchy, the batter made from pretzels stole the show. Alice and I were picking at the tray like a crack head scours a rug. So good. It was served on a bed of hand cut fries that were crisp on the ends and tender in the middle. There was a generous sprinkle of sea salt.
The Pork Belly Bites were savory cubes of fat and pork fried and thrown in with a delicious sauce that I believe to be balsamic vinegar based (wild guess, actually.) Served with what I believe to be either chicharrones or some sort of shrimp chip. I don’t know, I’m not a mind reader, I’m just a fat guy. It was really hard to savor them and not just shovel them in my mouth. I somehow managed to do both.
Look. I know that this review is insanely positive. I know it sounds like I am reviewing a close family members restaurant. But these people really fucking care about what they do and it shows in the food. Every single part of my meal was very well thought out and executed. Their menu has all of the makings of a mad scientist on a mission to take over the world. And you know what? I hope they do.