Dayton food truck scene offers assortment of options

Using the term ”fast food” as a descriptor of a meal comes with a certain stigma to it that the recent food truck movement plans to change. This isn’t your average fast food, and luckily the Dayton area offers a large assortment of food trucks to try, offering a variety of flavors that will make even the most well seasoned food eating veterans come back for more.  

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C’est Cheese: This cute little grilled cheese-focused food truck sets up shop in Oakwood every week at lunchtime so for anyone with an interest in artisan grilled cheese. I ordered two sandwiches one called “Oh My Gouda”, and the other called the “Ham Reuben”. While they looked very similar in appearance, I could tell this was a situation where judging a book by its cover would do the sandwiches a disservice. “Oh My Gouda” was a fantastic grilled cheese sandwich, served with mushroom, gouda cheese, roasted garlic, mozzarella and a tangy mustard mayo. The mushrooms really complimented the gouda and the sandwich as a whole was toasted perfectly. “The Ham Reuben” had ham, swiss cheese, and sauerkraut with thousand island dressing on rye. The sandwich was a seasonal item on the C’est Cheese menu and was definitely my personal favorite. It didn’t have an ‘over the top’ amount of sauerkraut which was refreshing when compared to other reubens. This sandwich is definitely better than your average reuben.

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Ramen Rickshaw: I arrived on the scene twenty minutes before the truck opened up and was the first one in line. Shortly after, a huge line formed behind me, further planting the popularity the food truck has amassed during its short lifespan. I ordered a large bowl of noodles, served in a pork broth that took 24 hours to make, with a wonton, roasted pork and a hard boiled egg as toppings. “Ramen Rickshaw” also offers a vegetarian broth option. This ramen was perfection in a bowl. The egg, wonton and pork slice made for an amazing appetizer before digging into the soup itself. The noodles were cooked flawlessly, not undercooked or overcooked. But the real star of the show was the broth. This was by far the tastiest broth I’ve had the pleasure of eating. It offered a delightfully potent taste of spices that wasn’t overpowering and really made an impression. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to view old store bought ramen the same ever again. Go to Ramen Rickshaw only if you want to have the bar set for the best noodles you’ll ever eat.

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Zombie Dogz: As I approached “Zombie Dogz” I was greeted by a long line despite the fact the truck had only opened 10 minutes prior. Being the winner of the 2015 Hot Dog Vendor of the Year award this came as no surprise. After the wait, which wasn’t as long as I expected, I was greeted with two of the food truck’s specialty hot dogs, “The Bandito” and the “Sho Stopper”. While both hot dogs are meat based, “Zombie Dogz” offers vegetarian alternatives on their menu. Both hot dogs looked amazingly tasty but the “Sho Stopper” was the one I decided to eat first. My first impression of the “Sho Stopper” was that it looked delicious; it’s overall presentation made me know I was in for a spectacular dish. The hot dog was immaculately topped with bulgogi beef, kimchi, Asian coleslaw, sriracha aioli, a peanut crumble and scallions. This interesting combination of Asian influences and an American hot dog was definitely a show stopper! From my first bite to the last I savored the delightful, spicy taste the hot dog offered. If you are a fan of Asian food of any kind don’t let the fact it’s on a hot dog turn you off from ordering it. “The Bandito” offered a less aesthetically pleasing look, but it definitely did not detract on the taste. As opposed to the “Sho Stopper” with its Asian influences, “The Bandito” offered mexican influences with spicy salsa, sliced avocados and chorizo sausage crumble, topped with shredded cheddar cheese and cilantro sour cream. This hot dog could best be described as a “taco-dog”, which is not even remotely a bad thing. The ingredients were all natural and it tasted like I was eating something from an authentic Mexican restaurant that happened to be on top of a hot dog; so if you’re a fan of the spicy tastes of Mexico this hot dog comes highly recommended.

Photos and Story By Jason Otis

otis.jason@oakwoodschools.org

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