Friday, July 19, 2013

Food Truck Friday - Saffron Spice

The success of some food trucks eventually results in a physical location (or two), like Skillet and Marination. In fact, I'm excited to be heading to Marination Makai for the first time tonight. Other trucks, like Saffron Spice, are an expansion from an existing physical location. In their case, they have a booth at the Pike Place Market, and now have a bright yellow truck that visits South Lake Union regularly.

On my first visit, I went for one of their Rice Bowls, which they seemed to be pushing. In addition to basmati rice and a spring greens salad, you pick 2 items from the list. I went with Spinach (Palak) & Paneer and Lamb 'Kebab' w/ Mint ($8)

Although the Palak Paneer looked a little anemic, with just a few small pieces of un-fried paneer on top, when I tasted the spinach I was really pleased. It's full of flavors from a range of spices - probably the most flavorful spinach I've had at an Indian/Pakistani restaurant. The lamb was similarly flavorful, and cut into small pieces - making it easy to eat with a little rice in every bite, though not what I expected as 'kebab'.

Also, it seemed like you might get a drink w/ the rice bowl, but it wasn't written anywhere or clearly communicated to all customers, so I'm not sure.

I enjoyed the food on that visit, but my chief complaint is that the menu is confusing. To me, it's not a good sign for your business model if you have to have someone explain the menu to every customer. They seemed to be pushing the bowls, but the sign threw more than just me off. It says pick any two, but then some items have varying prices listed, and some don't have any. Turns out they charge the higher of the two prices of the two items selected, but that's not apparent. I would just go with a flat amount. If nothing else, I would add numbers next to each item, to streamline communication.

On my second visit, I decided to switch to the other menu of "Wraps 2 Go".

I went with the Bombay Chicken Wrap ($7.99, theoretically), which included Chicken Tikka, creamed spinach and garam masala, along with cucumber, and a cabbage/carrot slaw, all wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla. Somehow, the branding made me think they were pre-made (2 Go suggests they're the quick grab-and-go option), but they were made to order like the rice bowls. And they're sizable. My wrap was 7 inches long and 3 inches in diameter. Just like my previous lunch, this one was really flavorful, with the garam masala (cloves, cardamom, cumin, pepper, cinnamon) very evident. It wasn't at all 'hot' spicy, but every bite was packed with spices.

My only complaint on this visit was that the menu listed what I ordered as $7.99, but I got only $2 back from my $10 bill. They decided, I guess, to keep that penny. If they don't want to deal with change, they should change the prices on the menu to avoid shorting their customers. It's just a penny, but still. Given the quality of the food, I'm sure I'll be back though.

Saffron Spice on Urbanspoon

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