Tag Archives: Amigosan

Restaurant Week 2015 – Lunch at The Big Easy, Raleigh, NC

bigeasy

  • Executive Chef: Frank Ferlo
  • Location: 222 Fayetteville St. Raleigh, NC 27601
  • Phone: 1-919-832-6082
  • Date Visited: 1/31/15 at noon

Emblem_Triangle2015v4Initially, the friends had intended to have lunch at the recently opened restaurant, Bolt Bistro. When we arrived, we found it unexpectedly closed for lunch. Befuddled, we were determined to find a nearby location participating in the Triangle Restaurant Week. In dining, as in life, always have a contingency plan. Across the street we saw, The Big Easy, a restaurant that we had originally selected for our list of eatery to try, but only offered dinner samplings for restaurant week.

“Now is as good a time as any,” I remember telling Belle and Traveler, followed by “Laissez les bon temps roulez!”

dragonflymarket_1373571988_140As you could guess, their specialty is Cajun cuisine, indigenous to Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta region of the US. I must warn you, their menu,whether lunch or dinner, is vast and diverse. Since this was lunch, we selected an appetizer of fried oysters and sandwiches: shrimp Po’ Boy for Belle, oyster Po’ Boy for the Traveler and a muffuletta for me. As luck would have it, I have wanted to try a muffuletta for some time. This sandwich is served on muffuletta bread, which is round in fashion, with a hearty crust. It is filled with a variety of meats; mostly consisting of sweet soppressata, mortadella, capicola and provolone cheese, and topped with olive tapenade and giardiniera. Thank God I could order a half-a-sandwich. The size of this portion is almost disturbing to a light luncher. All of the food was well prepared, and the staff was pleasant and knowledgeable. If you enjoy, or have ever been temped to sample Cajon food, I would recommend The Big Easy.

As fate would have it, The Big Easy will be celebrating Mardi Gras in block-party fashion on February 17, from noon till 10 pm. This event will have street performers, music, as well as several food trucks from around the Triangle, including:

For more information, go here.

bruce_smLet the Good Times Roll – Badboy

Amigosan at Raleigh Brewing Company

raleigh-brew


rbc_logo_small_red1There are few things more rewarding in the Triangle than going to a nearby brewery for a pint, and finding one of the area’s best and creative food trucks is there to satisfy your hunger. This trend is showing up almost everywhere across the Triangle as it turns out. Recently Belle and I made a return visit to Raleigh Brewing Company to enjoy their handcrafted brews, and as fate would have it, Chef Ed Sautro and his wife Nicole of Amigosan food truck, were on-hand to provide the sustenance. We had met Chef Ed earlier last year, and became immediately enthused by his fusion skills. Taking a Mex-Asian approach, Chef Ed provides the diner with a unique experience.

Raleigh Brewing Company is located at 3709 Neil Street, Raleigh, NC. There artisans, called brew masters, labor to create such masterpieces as: Bl@ther$k!tea – Scottish Ale, City of Blokes – a bitter ale, Hell Yes Ma’am – a Belgian style golden, Hidden Pipe – a hearty Porter, House of Clay – a Rye IPA, Moravian Rhapsody – a Czech styled Pilsner and, my favorite, Oak City Coffee Ale – a coffee infused ale. We began our night with primers: for Belle a Moravian Rhapsody, a crisp, hoppy and refreshing Pilsner brewed with traditional Pilsner malt, Saaz hops, and German Lager yeast. For myself, an Oak City Coffee Ale, whose flavor is simultaneously sophisticated and sassy. ‘Priming,’ I should explain, is properly preparing the palate and exciting the stomach for what is to come. A good handcrafted brew is an excellent primer, and can complement the meal as well.

amigosan


UH5Cjr3yBelle and I arrived via Uber a little before 6 pm, which gave us a few minutes to talk with Ed before he had to set-up for the evening’s hungry patrons.

“I’ll let the food speak for itself,” he explained with an air of confidence, as he turned his attention to the task of prep work. I had no doubt Belle and I would later be impressed.

After finishing our first round, I went out to place our orders, only to find a crowd had already gathered around Amigosan. I knew that this was an encouraging sign.

Belle and I had ordered a wide-range of choices, though the choices that anyone can make can vary significantly between patrons. The menu choices are; pick your protein – chicken, steak, pork or tofu. Next, pick from which style you want with your flour tortilla:

  • Amigosan – Shredded Kale, Napa and red cabbage slaw, tossed in sesame soy dressing, finished with Cojita cheese and sweet and spicy aioli.
  • Taj Mahal – Curried fresh spinach, cucumber and carrots, spiced chickpeas with Masalia Curry aioli.
  • Sombrero – Shredded Romaine, tossed with southwest Caesar dressing, Mexican corn relish, Jack and Colby cheese, topped with Chipotle lime cream.
  • Thai Thai Again – Napa/Red Cabbage blended with peanut sauce, carrots, toasted coconut, finished with Sriracha Crema.

Belle and I selected; Amigoasn with steak, Thai Thai Again with Chicken, Loaded Tater tots, Amigosan style and Loaded Nachos styled Thai Thai Again, with steak. One of the most delightful things about the food is its presentation, ‘a feast-for-the-eyes’. Wonderful colors and arrangements make each entrée visually appealing. Next is the way it tantalizes the palate with a crunchy texture and a burst of dressing flavor in each bite, none overpowering the other.

shrimpAs we were finishing, Ed appeared at our table with a sampling of his nightly special. Just when I thought we had gotten away with a nearly perfect sampling of Amigosan, Chef Ed raised the bar – Shrimp so delicate, highlighted with Napa cabbage, carrots, cucumber with rice wine vinegar, wasabi aioli and black sesame seed. Now the evening had reached its gastronomic summit! I highly recommend you try Amigosan’s food truck some time soon. You won’t be disappointed.

Belle and I have found going to a local brewery where a food truck is on site with windows up a great way to end the workweek and start the weekend. No fuss, no frills – a great casual outing with good food and brews.

bruce_smStay hungry my friends

 

 

 

“Just-for-the-Fair” Food Truck

acf


Just-for-the-Fair Food Truck is one of the food trucks you’ll find at the NC State Fair this year. This food truck is the brain child of American Culinary Federation North Carolina Chapter (ACF of NC). The ACFofNC Just-for-the-Fair Food Truck is run by numerous chef volunteers and students during the fair and a significant amount of the proceeds will go towards a scholarship program to help inspiring chefs to succeed. They developed a menu just for the State Fair based on local favorites. Here is a sample of the Just-for-the-Fair Menu:

BBQ Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Hush Puppy, batter fried and served

w/Still There Shine BBQ Sauce

Cajun Seared Catfish PoBoy with Creamy Cole Slaw and Remoulade Sauce

Carolina Breaded Chicken Tenders with Sweet Potato Fries and Siracha Ranch Sauce

Sweet Potato Waffle Fries

Le Bleu Bottled Water

Cheerwine

Still There Shine Sauce

edandcrewThe bright yellow Just-for-the-Fair food truck caught our eye when we came out of the Scott Building and we went over to check it out. We were greeted by two very enthusiastic chef volunteers, Chris and Jeff. They were happy to share the concept of the ACF of NC project. But first they wanted us to meet the other volunteers, Ed, Karl and LJ, working on the truck this night. To our surprise Ed was our friend, Ed Sautro, owner of Amigosan who was donating the use of the Amigosan truck for the fair. While Jeff was taking orders and Karl and LJ were busy cooking them, Chris and Ed gave us the details of the project from the menu selection to the scholarship program. We ended our night at the Fair with a great meal of the BBQ Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Hush Puppies and Cajun Seared Catfish PoBoy with some Sweet Potato fries.

The ACF of NC Just-for-the-Fair Food Truck is located between the Midway and the Scott Building, along the easternmost side of the Fair, near Gate 11. Please stop by and enjoy some locally inspired food. S. Belle.

s_belle_sm