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Keep on Food Truckin’

By Bill Hatfield · June 8th, 2011 · Lunchline
A few years ago, one of the best things about visiting other cities was exploring their food truck options. Not only do they almost always have really good, cheap and fast food, but they provide a great option for talented chefs to show off their creations to the public without the massive expense of a storefront restaurant. Now, thanks mainly to the efforts of Councilmember Laure Quinlivan, we actually are seeing an explosion of food trucks here in Cincinnati.

These mobile eateries are a good reason to get on the food truck bandwagon and support these hard working entrepreneurs. Unfortunately, a few of the first group of pioneers have shut down (I miss you, Senor Roy’s!), but we are getting interesting new replacements.

One new truck that has gotten a lot of buzz lately is Turophilia, usually located in the parking lot at Eighth and Vine, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. They serve fresh, healthy, kinda funky quesadillas that are created by Fallon Horstmeyer. “Turophilia” is the love of cheese, and that love is totally shown by Fallon in her preparations.

Turophilia has a full menu of 15 unique quesadillas made with whole wheat organic tortillas, and Fallon selects about a half dozen to prepare each day.

Its Facebook page lists the daily choices. I couldn’t choose, so I got three of them, planning to share with others. (Yeah, right.) The Plain Jane ($5.25-$5.75) with turkey, bacon, avocado and cheese impressed me from the first bite. The tortilla was thin and perfectly crisp. The ingredients were so fresh and they blended together texturally to produce almost the perfect bite. The bacon was crisp, the avocado smooth and the cheese was gooey but not overpowering.

My favorite ’dilla was The Nietzsche ($5.25-$6.25). This vegetarian quesadilla features roasted red pepper, spinach, onion, garlic, goat cheese, cilantro and cream cheese. Again, everything was cooked to absolute perfection. Now I am a huge fan of both goat cheese and cilantro and I think that either one makes any dish taste better, but together? Wow. Just simply, wow. It’s brilliant. Vegetarians need to stampede the Airstream to get this for lunch. Vegan? No problem. Fallon offers vegan cheese as a substitute, not only for the Nietzsche, but for any quesadilla on her menu.

Interestingly, the quesadilla that I was most interested in trying was the one that fell a little bit short. The Bobby Woo ($5.75-$6.75) is an intriguing sushi-inspired quesadilla containing baby shrimp, avocado, wasabi, rice, cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese and spicy mayonnaise. Maybe I just like my sushi cold, or maybe there is just too much going on in this ’dilla, but it didn’t quite work for me. I think I would have liked it more if I ordered it spicier. The menu says that you can get it as hot as you want, but I wasn’t asked that when I ordered. Fallon also has another sushi-inspired dish called The Sushi Dave ($6-$7) that I really want to try as it has smoked salmon, cream cheese, rice, wasabi and scallions. Bottom line, these quesadillas are fantastic.

Another cool truck you might have missed is located in the parking lot across from Macy’s at Fifth and Race. Vinnie’s Gourmet Pretzels is open 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday and has large, freshly baked hot pretzels and really good homemade lemonade ($2). The pretzels are $3 each or two for $5. The Friar is a basic pretzel with sea salt; The Pope is coated in parmesan cheese; The Morning Monk has cinnamon and sugar. Next time I want to try The Sister of No Mercy, with Vinnie’s fire sauce and parmesan cheese. Check out its Facebook page for updates.

CONTACT BILL HATFIELD: dining@citybeat.com



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