It had been decided the night before that “The Friends” would be sampling the fare from Sarge’s Chef on Wheels. He was scheduled to appear at Fairview Nursery in Cary. It was anticipated that rain was imminent in the afternoon hours as well. Upon arriving, Bad Boy and The Southern Belle decided to do a little browsing before ordering, hoping the rain would subside. It did not. Browsing however did result in the purchase of a ficus bonsai, as well as an attractive pot. If there is one thing to note here, it is that local businesses, who encourage food trucks to visit their establishments during peak times, see a significant increase in customer traffic. It is the observation of the friends that a ‘symbiotic relationship’ is a windfall for both food trucks and unrelated business owners.
Having weathered more climatic events that I can recall, I wasn’t going to let a little precipitation and chilly wind stop me from reviewing Sarge’s Chef on Wheels’ cuisine. I had already decided that I was going to sample for myself the Caribbean Jerk Chicken Tortillas. With the words, ‘Caribbean’ and ‘Jerk’ in the title, I had decided that this was a ‘must taste’ for me. Having actually eaten on several occasions at The Jerk Spot, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, where jerk had originated, I would know the difference between calling it ‘Jerk’ or being Jerk. The dish did not disappoint. Though it wasn’t as spicy as it should had been, it certainly was tropical and flavorful. Tones of fruit sweetness and the mild seasoning were blended nicely. The crisp blend of purple cabbage and lettuce on top made for a hearty finish.
The biggest surprise of all was the Shrimp-n-Grits, Sarge’s signature dish. Though not a fan of this particular southern specialty, I was optimistic that I would enjoy it. A rich, creamy texture of cheese and grits complimented a hearty portion of shrimp. I am a fan!
The Shrimp Po Boy however, failed to impress. It was shrimp-skimpy, and offered nothing outstanding in way of a memorable sandwich.
The Philly Jerk, however, brought some heat. This sandwich provided the warmth on a dreary day. I do believe that it took most of the afternoon to quench the thirst it left in its wake. If you like spicy, without being too hot, this sandwich comes close. Housed in a traditional French roll, with a sautéed vegetable medley, and toped with provolone cheese, the sandwich is very hearty,
Attempting to be adventuresome, the friends choose side dishes that are not typical. Fried okra was the choice this time. I hadn’t eaten this since I was a young boy, and remembered now why. The okra was breaded, which did not enhance its desirability. I found them to be soggy and disappointing.
Until next time…Stay hungry my friends—and eat adventurously!
While usually able to multitask, I was stuck at a previously scheduled appointment that was running one hour behind. The menu had been previously viewed, so I had the Southern Belle and the Bad Boy order for me since I was indisposed. It was pouring rain, so I really did not mind skipping the outside part of the activity.
I met my friends back at the meeting place, where my industrious friends had taken pictures of the items ordered. We then divided the food and began our reviews.
I will start with the Shrimp Po Boy. I selected this sandwich because I had previously lived in Louisiana where the shrimp po boy originated. The sandwich’s presentation was pleasing to the eye. The bread was fresh and firm, not at all soggy from the dressing and the lettuce. The shrimp was sweet and the dressing had a slight hint of heat. It was an average Po Boy. I was disappointed with the small amount of shrimp on the sandwich. I am use to sandwiches overflowing with freshly fried shrimp, and this one was very skimpy. I had only 1 piece of shrimp on my third of the sandwich. For $9.00 this was rather expensive for that amount of shrimp.
The Shrimp and Grits was my favorite of the items sampled. I am usually not a fan of this dish, but Sarge’s version was the best that I have ever tasted. Way to go Sarge, converting this traveler, to being a fan.
The Philly Jerk was an adventure to the palate. It was a pleasant heat, which I enjoyed. I have lived in Pennsylvania and have eaten the original Philly Cheese steak, so I was confused with the name. While it was definitely a jerk, it was not a Philly Cheese steak. However with that aside, I did enjoy the sandwich.
The Caribbean Chicken Jerk Tortilla had heat combined with a fruity back note. While messy to eat, it was very good. I would be interested to see it made with Pork.
The fried okra was obviously made from frozen breaded okra. It was terrible. It does not stay warm, so I was left with soggy cold pieces of okra. Enough said.
The rainy day did not dampen the spirit of this Southern Belle. I just slipped on my rain boots and popped up my monogramed pok-a-dotted umbrella and headed for Sarge’s Food Truck. Because there are times I struggle making a menu selection, I had checked out Sarge’s menu ahead of time and had decided on the Gourmet Chicken Salad sandwich. Alas, no chicken salad today. So, I had to make a quick choice and since my delicate palate is in training for “hot and spicy” dishes. I picked the Philly Jerk.
This was my first experience with a Po-Boy and I was pleasantly pleased. The shrimp were cooked perfectly and the sauce had just the right amount of spicy. Like The Traveler I would have liked to have seen more shrimp. The presentation of the Caribbean Chicken Jerk Tortilla was delightful; the wedge of pineapple was a nice touch and let you know to expect a fruit flavor at the end of your bite. I must say my palate “in training” was not ready for the Philly Jerk. To me the heat was turned up too high and I could only take a bite or two of this selection. Now, my mama always told me “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” I’m taking Mama’s advice for the Fried Okra.
I have saved the best for last. Sarge’s signature Low Country Shrimp and Grits is the headliner for this food truck. Never, never, take this dish off the menu. I have tasted shrimp and grits all over the south and Sarge’s is one of best I’ve ever had. After one spoonful, I was grinning like a possum eating sweet taters.
Let’s do lunch, y’all! -Belle
Bob appreciates the spicier things in life, He normally does not like chicken, but the heat made it tasty, He does like shrimp, but due to the lack of shrimp in the Po Boy he did not get a piece. Bob loved the shrimp and grits, licking the container clean, looking for more. He turned up his nose at the okra. Bob would have appreciated the tortilla more if it had been made with fish, but overall the meal was satisfying and he gives his paw of approval, purring contently until it is time to eat again.