I am an unabashed carnivore. I love to eat meat. The chances of my going vegetarian or, God forbid, vegan, are slim to none. That said, I also love vegetables, and I love people who do creative things with vegetables. Great things done to plant matter are one of the hallmarks of a truly serious chef.
I was curious, then, when the Seabirds truck pulled up to Bootlegger's Brewery last week. (Did I mention that in addition to meat, I also love beer?) Once I read the menu, I had to try it. I mean, who makes jackfruit tacos?
The veggie burrito reminded me of burrito night at my vegetarian father-in-law's house: spiced beans and sautéed veggies wrapped up in a large flour tortilla. This was substantial enough to be lunch by itself, but I wanted some crazier vegetables: zucchini and bell peppers were fine, but why not something dark and leafy green?
Sweet potato fries were crispy and meaty enough to taste like sweet potatoes; a little more salt would have been nice. Corn salad with avocado, tomato and onion was a better choice for a side dish.
We ordered one of each taco. the jerk tofu was good but extremely aggressively spiced; it and its dressing (onion, cilantro, red salsa and lime juice) overwhelmed the delicate taste of the tofu.
I viewed the deep-fried avocado taco with grave suspicion--the last time I had cooked avocadoes was a disaster of a pizza at Pat and Oscar's--but when I bit into it I was very surprised. The avocado was still creamy, and went perfectly (if not especially healthily) with cabbage, onion and a tangy tequila sauce.
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The winner, however, was the jackfruit taco, made from a Southeast Asian fruit more familiar to me in canned, be-syruped form. This was cooked so that it was slightly stringy. Mixed with a green salsa, it was absolutely a dead ringer for chicken tinga; I dare you to do a blind tasting of chicken and jackfruit in the same sauce and tell me which is which.
The Seabirds truck also gets props for getting the food out relatively quickly. Only a few minutes elapsed between my orders and my food's arrival, which tells me that they run a tight ship and an efficient commissary.