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Curb Your Enthusiasm –
Perhaps it is the elusive nature of foodtrucks, or perhaps it is only my semi-recent awareness of great burgers, but somehow Curbside has just now popped up on my burger radar. After my recent visit to Baton Rouge and reviewing the high end burger offerings at Fat Cow, a friend recommended I try Curbside next time I was in town. This was same way I learned about what is currently one of my favorite burgers, and coincidentally also a burger truck (bus). Thanks to spring break schedules, I had a free week and would be back in town so my first goal was to try the Curb out.
On a particularly nice south Louisiana evening we decided to give it a try. Typical of food trucks, Curbside serves burgers at a different place every day and utilizes social media to keep the tech savvy crowd up to speed. There was a food truck “round up” going on that night where Curbside and several other trucks with differing cuisines were gathered. We made our way out and found the round up. Without a doubt, Curbside was the most popular. While other trucks had between 5-10 people lined up, Curbside easily had 30 people just waiting to place an order. This was a good sign and I was kicking myself for seemingly being the last person to know about this.
Curb Appeal –
The line was moving surprisingly fast. The only thing really slowing it down was when they had to pass orders through the same window that they were taking them in. The menu was also surprisingly high end for burgers. This being only the second burger truck Burger Tyme, I was noticing a trend. Not having a fixed location apparently frees you to have gourmet, local ingredients like; fresh ground beef, house made pickles, praline (prah-leen for those who say it wrong) bacon, and their signature condiment – pork belly preserves. They explain it as pork belly cooked down with garlic, shallots, and some other things until it has a texture of marmalade (see photo below)…
Our turn to order came as I attempted to stop drooling. I ordered the K.G.B. burger which combined the praline bacon, pickles, cheddar cheese, and a fried egg (my weakness). “We’re out of eggs but we still have the bacon”, I was told… What a dilemma! Still thinking of candied meat I told her that was fine. My wife ordered the Brian burger which had the preserves on it. I was secretly very happy because I was going to have a bite of hers, although she did not know it yet. We rounded out the order with some fresh cut fries. We were given a number and the waiting began.As with all food truck dining, seating was at a premium, meaning there was none. Fortunately there was plenty of ground to sit on, so we grabbed a premium spot under an oak tree and watched as the line never seemed to get shorter. With impressive speed our number came closer and was finally called.
The first thing I noticed was the presence of an EGG! Either they were messing with me or they could see how sad I was and found one. Either way I was already happy. I was also impressed with the quality of the lettuce. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more vibrantly green and appetizing leaf, be it on a burger, salad, or anywhere! Visual inspections over I took a bite. WOW! This was a flavorful burger. While difficult to put in to words,the praline bacon added a tasty sweetness with an almost vanilla or coconut note. It was crunchier than regular bacon, almost to the point of being too hard, but very good. The patty had a weaker sear on it than I prefer but was seasoned well and added a nice beefy foundation to the overall flavor. I’m usually not a fan of cheddar on burgers merely because it doesn’t melt well but the rich nuttiness was a good match with everything else going on in the burger. I took a bite of my wife’s burger to try the preserves and it was as good as I was led to believe. When I think of preserves I think of sweet jam but this was savory and smoky. It was a nice condiment and I can see why they would put it on everything they sell. The fries were very good too, thin cut and cooked perfectly.
The Wrap It Up –
What is it about food trucks? Specifically burger trucks?! The food has been consistently better than most of their brick and mortar counterparts. Curbside was no exception. The scavenger hunt aspect of tracking down your meal combined with the payoff at the end of delicious burger is what will keep me coming back. While there were few elements that I think could use a little refinement, a lot more about Curbside leads me to say that this is without a doubt one of my new favorite burgers in Baton Rouge! I just wish I had known sooner!