Monday, October 25, 2010

Where Ya At, Matt?

After creating a Seattle Street Eats guide on Foodspotting, I've been trying to make more of an effort to check out the burgeoning mobile food truck scene. Today the first truck that came to mind was Where Ya At, Matt? - a New Orleans restaurant on wheels that tends to get closer to my office than many others. Though 'closer' is a relative term.

I grabbed the #16 Metro bus at 3rd and Columbia, heading NW. Like every time I get on an unfamiliar bus in town, I felt apprehensive about whether I'd miss my stop and end up on the freeway. Seems like less than 1% of drivers in Seattle bother to call out stops, and 50% of those who do are unintelligible. Did he just say this is the last stop downtown, or the last stop in the free ride area? Big difference worthy of enunciating.

Anyway, a few stops into Belltown I spotted a street sign for Vine, where I hopped off and headed toward the waterfront. There at 1st and Cedar I spotted the big red truck parked at the Chase Bank, right where their twitters said they'd be. (Twitter turns out to be the communication channel of choice for mobile food trucks, particularly since Seattle's food laws aren't exactly encouraging of their enterprises. Recently, Skillet Street Food had to close up shop before they'd opened at their planned downtown location, thanks to the SDOT.)

I already knew what I wanted when I arrived, so when the guy taking orders (Matt himself, perhaps?) asked, I put in my order for a Fried Shrimp Po' Boy and a bag of Beignets ($12 even). While I waited, I watched other early birds glowing with glee as they got their muffuletta sandwiches and tubs of jambalaya. Sadly, I saw one guy drop his jambalaya, though the sturdy container thankfully didn't let much out, and the incident didn't seem to dampen his spirits.

After my order was up, I ended up walking the long trek back, finding myself unsure which bus would get me back. It was cold but dry, and my sandwich kept one hand warm. When I got to work, I dug into the sandwich and found it messy but flavorful, with bright red ripe tomato, crisp lettuce, and LOTS of fried shrimp falling out all over.

The beignets turned out to be messy in their own special way - three big bombs of confectioner's sugar waiting to go off. One exploded on my black hoodie, and the others I shared with some coworkers who share my sweet tooth (and frequently share their sweets with me, too). Later in the day, one still had white dusty evidence down the front of her jacket. Despite enduring the trip back to the office, the beignets were still light and fluffy.

A lunch of fried goodness leaves one feeling a bit on the heavy side in the afternoon, but this fried goodness left me feeling just as happy. Hopefully Seattle will loosen up the archaic laws that outlaw food trucks from parking on city streets, and technically forbid ice cream trucks, so these small businesses can flourish and Seattle diners can enjoy the variety.

Where Ya at Matt (Mobile) on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Jason said...

On Wednesdays, Matt brings his truck to SLU, only about a 5-minute walk from the buildings. All the more reason to look forward to the new campus :)