A couple of years ago I was hooked on watching video podcasts. They were on all sorts of things, some nerdier than others. One particular favourite of mine was this dude travelling all over America and eating at food trucks. That was it. Nothing magical or high brow. Just a dude trying out all sorts of crazy and wonderful dishes. I longed for the day I could go to America to do the same thing. A few years on and the food trucks are coming to me.
This weekend was the British Street Food Awards South West & Wales heats, hosted by BEATS a Bristol-based food collective who won the award last year for best collective. I went to their weekly events last year in the summer which as you remember I absolutely loved. I still dream of the fried chicken I had there.
This year there was 13 trucks all competing for the glory of to be crowned the Best British Street food from the South West & Wales, and being parked up right outside At-Bristol Science Centre, it was going to be a big food nerd day.
After doing a full turn of all the trucks and what they had on offer (I wasn’t gonna just load up at the first truck, that’s how you get food envy) my first pit stop was The Cauldron. Seasonal, local produce, sustainable and eco-catering and most importantly a whole heap of sexy pork dishes. Hubba Hubba. Now when faced with a fit list of piggy delight I didn’t go for the usual pulled pork, even though that looked damn good…..
I went for The Hedonism, smoked pigs head terrine on granary bread with bramble jelly. Well I might as well start as I mean to go on. Meaty heaven. Gentle smoke notes to the silken smooth meat with the sweetness of the jelly to cut through the richness of the meat. Great way to start a foodie feast. (At the end of the day The Cauldron was voted the winner of the heats – congratulations guys! Great work!)
I then followed my nose and the queues to a home boy. Hickory Pig based at The Three Tuns in Hotwells, Bristol and having some damn sexy pictures on twitter, I knew I had to try what they were offering. I went for the Chilli Cheese Fries but could of happily ploughed through the whole menu. Hand cut skin on fries, smothered in smoked brisket chilli all topped with a crown of cheddar cheese (only from Cheddar).
Listening to the live music, a pint of cold cider and shoving these beauties in my face in the sun was what weekends were made for. Addictive smoky spice of the ridiculously tender brisket with the sharp mature cheddar, all dancing with the tang from the chilli mayo. Simple but a thing of beauty. (I had so many people falling in love with the pictures of the fries below on twitter, facebook and Instagram – you’ve been warned!)
After all the meatiness, I went on a quest for some veggies (and more meat…). I love dumplings. I’ve professed my love for them many times on here and was super happy to see Dorshi dumplings representing. Ok so I didn’t go purely veggie when ordering, and you wouldn’t blame me when you heard the meat option. The Piggy – Three handmade organic pork and black pudding with ginger and leek. All served with a superfood rainbow salad and pearl barley fried ‘rice’. And that doesn’t even cover the sexy toppings either. The poor guy had to list these off with every order – Paprika and lime baked breadcrumbs, Sesame seed mix, Pickled rhubarb, Ginger and soy dressing, Coriander, spring onion and mustard leaves and to top all that hot or less face melting sriracha sauce. Phew..
The dumplings were plump with delicious meaty goodness, I love the use of the creamy black pudding in the dumplings. Also the ‘fried rice’ using the pearl barley is something I really want to try to recreate at home. After this dish my love for dumplings have grown even stronger.
After all that meat, (yes I had finally finished eating a lot of meat), I needed a sweet treat. It’s a known scientific fact that no matter how much savoury food you have, there’s always room for something sweet.
American Kitchen was exactly what the doctor ordered. With an ultra sexy selection of brownies and pies on offer, it was hard to pick what delights to have.
I ended up buy two brownies (yes I shared with my housemate and didn’t hoover them up by myself). The Caramel Pecan is incredible. I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E. Buttery pecans with silky caramel, deep rich gooey chocolate. Yum.
If I thought the Pecan Caramel brownies were great, then I wasn’t prepared for the heavenly goodness of the Peanut Butter Brownies. Gooey swirls of creamy salty peanut butter nestled throughout the banging brownie. So so good. Well played American Kitchen. Well played.
I love the Street Food collective, love it brings together people and ultimately feeds my greed for trying out new cuisines. Also the social element of chatting to the servers and other people eyeballing your plate. bring of the Street Food Revolution!