What have we got here? Espresso alla moda, meat-free burgers and sandwiches, and très thin pancakes with ambrosial delights. That's what's on the menu for this week's Tucson Food Truck Finds.
Bella's Gelato Shoppe
Have you tasted ice cream's better half? Here's the scoop. The term "ice cream" may be a rough translation of the Italian word "gelato" but there are notable differences between the two, so says the Food Network blog, citing aeration, flavor, and butterfat. A key point for Bella's Gelato Shoppe: Italian gelato has less fat than American ice cream, so there you go.
Best Seller:Triple Dark Chocolate. Dark chocolate isn't for everyone, especially if you're accustomed to sweeter snacks. But if you approach chocolate gelato like you're sipping fine wine, this one's for you: the flavor is decadently rich, but not bitter. Lovely bits of chocolate shavings greet your tongue as you spoon through this smooth and creamy delight.
Recommended:Affogato. This translates into English as "drowned," so you can assume there's liquid involved–in this case, strong black coffee. Bella's scoops up your choice of gelato then adds a shot of hot espresso, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. The magic potion resembles an abstract painting as the layers begin to swirl and blend, and it's garnished with a petite biscotti. Tasty!
Where to Find: Catch the colorful trailer at Green Things Farmer's and Artisan Market on Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. On select Fridays evenings swing by Casa Video and Film Bar for an Oatmeal Stout Gelato. The hugely popular 2nd Saturdays Downtown outdoor event hosts Bella's on the southeast corner of the Ronstadt Transit Center intersection, 215 E. Congress St., Tucson.
This food-truck-turned-restaurant is still rolling around town as a food truck, too. That means more chances to taste its delicious vegetarian/vegan fare besides schlepping to the downtown cafe. Veg in a Box's niche is a GMO-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and "free of any animal product" menu.
Best Seller:Beet Burger. It's a housemade beet patty (spelled B-E-E-T, not B-E-E-F) with a slice of pickled beet, caramelized onions, greens, tomato and house sauce, presented on a toasted gluten-free (organic millet and flax seed) bun. Be adventurous.
Recommended:The Reuben. This sammie sports thinly-sliced organic beets marinated in pastrami spice, topped with vegan cheddar cheese, braised kale kraut, and caramelized onions. It's grilled and served on gluten-free sourdough bread.
Where to Find: Get up early to arrive between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. at the Rillito Park Farmers Market, 4502 N 1st Ave, Tucson. Good news! Veg in a Box adds a new spot on Thursdays from 10:00 p.m. - 2:30 a.m. at the hip Hotel Congress/Club Congress, 311 E. Congress St., Tucson. Walk around to the East Toole Avenue entrance to find it.
This award-winning crepe cafe on wheels offers both sweet and savory delights. They range from quintessential sweet-tooth combinations, like bananas, strawberries and Nutella, to gourmet ingredients, like Manchego (Spanish cheese) and fig jam. Your choice of fillings is nestled in a huge, freshly-made crepe. Call or text ahead to add a gluten-free crepe to your order.
Best Seller:Breakfast 2.0. For a hearty way to greet the morning, choose this crepe with its fresh and local chicken eggs, green chiles, Arizona cheddar cheese, salsa, and nutritious avocado slices. It's listed on the menu boards as a special but it deserves a spot on the permanent menu.
Recommended:Crepe Cake. Need a cold summertime treat? Ask for a slice of this inventive variation on the layer cake. Picture a freshly-made stack of Planet’s signature olive oil crepes, delicately layered with fresh whipped cream and French custard. The masterpiece is assembled in the morning, sliced and wrapped individually, then refrigerated. These pieces go fast.
Where to Find: Currently, the only time and place to find this creperie in public is on Sunday mornings at St. Philip’s Classic Farmers Market in St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. (southeast corner of River and Campbell). Planet is also available for private parties and catering gigs.