Monday, November 12, 2012

When is a Food Truck Burrito Not a Burrito? When it's a Tunnbrödsrulle from Chef Pelle

It's not often I find myself excited by a food truck that doesn't feature either Asian or Latin cuisine, but that's what happened today when I paid a visit to Pelle Nilsson's Nordic truck at SoMa StreatFood Park.

When the StrEat Food park tweeted that "Chef Pelle" was on the lunchtime roster I was curious enough Google the unfamiliar name. I was headed for Costco (across the street from the Park) anyway, and hopeful of finding something new to try out for lunch.  "Chef Pelle," it turned out, is Pelle Nilsson, who has been cooking in high-end venues since he was 14, traveled throughout Europe and Asia to broaden his knowledge of world food, and has had several executive chef stints in Hawaii and the Bay Area before turning his attention to catering. Needless to say, I was curious to find out what he would do from a truck.

I circled the StrEat Food Park's vendors once looking for "Chef Pelle" before realizing that the truck I was looking for was identified as the "Nordic Truck."  It's a somewhat nondescript truck decorated with home-grown artwork and its menu sprawled across a white expanse in a less than elegant longhand. After perusing the menu, I selected what the menu described as "{Tunnbrödsrulle} beef & pork sausage w/ mashed potatoes, shrimp salad & cucumber salad wrapped in thin flat bread" and a side order of home-pickled herring.

When my unpronounceable lunch came, it had the appearance and heft of a burrito, but couldn't be eaten like one, because the fresh flatbread had nowhere near the tensile strength of a flour tortilla. Once bitten into, it began to look as messy as its combination of ingredients sounds, and I resorted to eating it with fork and knife (which is how Swedes are reputed to eat sandwiches, anyway). The sausage was long and hotdoglike with a bit of snap, and amazingly enough the range of textures (from the insipid mashed potatoes to the firm crunchiness of the cucumber slices) and flavors (the shrimp salad added a curiously salsa-like counterpoint) played together like a symphony.

The home-pickled herring was also a tart bit of heaven in a plastic cup. The generous portion of herring (for  a $3 side dish) had a nice firm bite to it, and the pickling liquid was so refreshing I wanted to drink it all. It's a safe bet I'll return to try everything else on the menu, like the aquavit cured salmon crostini, the crab and shrimp melt with scallions, parmesan and provolone cheese, and ooooh, yeah, the Swedish meatballs. And it's an equally safe bet that I'll have a side of pickled herring each time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments will be moderated. Spam and unnecessarily abusive comments will be deleted.