Sushi and Georgia O’Keeffe

Crazy Fish Sushi and a book of Georgia O'Keeffe paintings (Click to Enlarge)

Crazy Fish Sushi and a book of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings
(Click to Enlarge)

It was way too hot. The mercury was rising well past the century mark and the Texas sun was beating down, roasting the world with its searing incandescence – still, I wanted to get out and do a bike ride – get some mobile urban photography done – for fun and fodder for blog entries. I packed up, rode to the station, took the DART train downtown and started wandering around.

The night before I had ridden some similar streets with a lot of other folks – the Critical Mass Dallas last-friday-of-the-month ride. I had a blast. We rode from Main Street Garden Park, through downtown, past the Hyatt Regency and across into Oak Cliff, down to Bishop Arts, and then on to a Cuban-Themed party on a rooftop along Jefferson Street (a few doors down from the Texas Theater).

A lot of cool folks, a good time. We rode back across the Jefferson Street Viaduct bike lane – which was spectacular at night. I’m going to have to repeat some of that ride with a camera and a bit of time.

At any rate – one nice thing about a night ride is the cool air.

By noon the next day – cool air was only found inside.

I locked up my bike in Deep Ellum and started walking around, but the heat was getting to me. I was feeling dizzy and my mind was fuzzing up like an old slice of bread. So I thought about bailing and heading home to flop around in the air conditioning, but I had brought two liters of iced water in the cooler that straps to the back of my commuter bike. I’ve learned that I can take the heat pretty well as long as I keep moving and drink as much cold water as possible.

I drank some water, rode a bit, drank some more, found some shade… and felt a lot better.

A week ago, I had been in Klyde Warren park, killing a few minutes, and had thumbed through a book of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings that was set out in the reading room in the park. One quote from the book was still rattling around in my head – but I couldn’t remember it exactly and without the exact words couldn’t find it on the Internet. I wanted to use the quotation for a bit of writing/photography. The mystery quote was bothering me like an unscratched itch so I decided to ride back there and take another look at the book.

While I was there I bought a sushi roll from the Crazy Fish Truck (plus more cold water and a diet coke ). Then I was able to get a little green table in some dappled shade and sit down with the paintings and my food and hang.

Oh, I did misremember the quote a little bit. I am happy to set the record straight – but I’m thinking that my misremembered version might be… if not better, more useful for my purposes.

Crazy Fish Sushi Roll, and a Georgia O'Keeffe

Crazy Fish Sushi Roll, and a Georgia O’Keeffe

Cedars Food Truck Park

Looking for something to do over the Weekend, I was drawn to the Grand Opening of a new food truck park, Dallas’ first, The Cedars Food Truck Park, down in the Dallas Heritage Village on the south side of downtown.

I rode the DART train to the Cedars Station and walked across the no man’s land south of downtown to the park.

Most of the food trucks were in a big arc around the open grounds.

A lot of trucks and a wide variety of food.

There were eighteen food trucks at the park for the grand opening. It’s a little scary how many of them I have already eaten at and written about:

Since I was there early and it was still scorching hot – the lines were non-existent and I chose some sushi from Crazy Fish.

Music was provided by a three piece mountain-folk group, The Sicklies – that I know nothing about but will see again if I have the chance.

The Sicklies

Liquid refreshments were provided by the folks from the nearby bar/club Lee Harvey’s – serving up some beer from the Deep Ellum Brewing Company. Their stout was as excellent a dark beer as I have had in a long time – really good stuff.

Beer from The Deep Ellum Brewing Company, served up by the folks from Lee Harvey’s. The beer lines were plenty long – a lot of thirsty folk.

The whole evening was a blast. As the evening grew long and the air grew cooler the crowd grew until there were long lines at the food trucks and even longer ones for the beer. I didn’t stay too late – I didn’t want to make the walk back to the DART station in the pitch of night.

Sometimes the big city shows you its good side – it did tonight. I’m not sure if it was the presence of all the old historic buildings, the comradeship of the past, or if it was simply a well-planned event, but everyone was smiling and talking to each other. A happy time… with food, and very good beer.

A photographer – You don’t see these cameras very often any more. Shame, really.

Sushi from a Truck!

The food truck extravaganza was packed. I knew from experience that the trucks would be running out of food soon. Desperate for something new, I scanned for the closest truck that I had never tried before and spotted one called Crazy Fish – sushi, baby. That’s the ticket.

I scurried to the back of the long line and found it moving quicker than it looked. While I was waiting I scanned the board. Most trucks, when faced with giant crowds like this, simplify their menu in order to get the food out quicker. They had four rolls advertised – Sweet n Spicy, Crunchy Philli, Eye of the Tiger, and TNT. I settled on the last two.

As I crept closer to the front of the line the woman kept yelling out at the crowd, apologizing. “We’re making these rolls fresh, by hand, on order, so it takes a while,” she said. She looked harried and exhausted.

Finally I placed my order. While I was chatting with the woman making my rolls the next guy stood up to order. “I’m sorry,” the woman said, “We have to close for a few hours, we just ran out of rice.”

I was lucky enough to get the last two rolls. I guess I should have shared them with the folks in line behind me.

But they were too good to share.

The Crazy Fish food truck.

The menu, four different rolls.

It really is all about the sauce. How can you not love anything that has both Sriracha and Wasabi in squirt bottles? In my opinion, food is best when used as a method of transporting spicy sauces to the taste buds.

The line, waiting for Sushi.

My two rolls. The Crazy Fish truck makes it clear that they are not about tradition – they are about deliciousness. I find that philosophy hard to argue with. And yes, I put a lot of Wasabi and Sriracha on my food. So sue me.

Food Truckapalooza

There was a lot going on over the weekend. One of the events I had circled on my calendar was a Food Truck Festival in the parking lot at Valley View Mall. It looked like fun. One of the selling points was that they were bringing some trucks in from Austin, a famous Mecca of Gourmet Foodtruckery.

After work on Friday, the weather was threatening, light rain and boiling clouds, but Candy and I drove over anyway. We paid the five bucks to get in and I put the wristband on. Now, I knew I’d be careful because I wanted to come back on Saturday and didn’t want to pay another entrance fee.

What is it worth to sleep with a Tyvek writstband on? Should I have simply torn the thing off and just handed over another fiver? I’m too cheap so I wore the thing.

I haven’t worn a watch for years – ever since I read a news item that said young people didn’t wear watches because they rely on their smart phones. I want to be cool. With a wristband on, I kept unconsciously glancing down at my arm for the time – the old muscle memories of wearing a watch are still there.

Friday evening at the Food Truck festival had a healthy crowd but not too many. The trucks had small lines – a short wait to order and a couple minutes for your food. Candy and I could sample a few of the many trucks that were there.

We had sliders from Easy Slider, which were good, and a pulled pork grilled cheese from Jack’s Chowhound, which I liked better than the Steak Frites I had from them before. We tried two kinds of pizza, a thin crust from TX Delizioso and a thicker one from Doughboy’s Pizza. Candy found some ice cream from Short N’ Sweet and then we headed home – full, but none the worse for wear.

On Saturday, Candy was off to New Orleans and I drove down to the Dallas Arboretum to meet with some friends and take some pictures. When that was done, I was hungry, so I headed back north to the Festival.

The crowd was huge. The place was packed and every truck was sporting a long snaking line of food fanatics waiting for their grub.

I knew from experience that lines like that mean the trucks were going to start running out of food soon so I jumped in line for the Crazy Fish truck to get some Sushi. I was lucky, right after I placed my order they had to close down… out of rice. I had their last order (though they were able to open up a few hours later).

While I was eating (I know sushi from a truck sounds odd – but I will eat anything… and the food was good, I’ll write a review in a day or so) the Three Lions truck pulled in and stopped. A line began to form immediately; before they could open a hundred people were queued up. I looked around for something else I had never tried and found a Colombian food truck from San Antonio and had some Platanos Fritos and Chicken with Rice (review to come).

Some friends were supposed to meet me and I called them to warn of the crowds and the trucks running out of food. They said they’d come anyway, but were about an hour out. I was tired and full of food, so I took a little nap in my car, and felt a lot better when my friends arrived.

The choices were getting limited – truck after truck was shuttering down, out of food. We did manage to score some really good Korean Bar-B-Que Tacos from the Chi’Lantro Truck. The Austin trucks did rock the festival, but Dallas isn’t very far behind.

One other truck that we checked out was a new one – the Coolhaus truck, a recent transplant from LA. They had excellent ice cream sandwiches – but I liked their design – pink roof and brushed steel, plus the fact they are named after the architect that designed the Wyly Theater.

With this many people willing to pay five dollars apiece simply for the opportunity to wait in line up to an hour to get food out of a truck…. I can’t help but think this gourmet food truck thing still has some legs in Dallas.