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DINING: A little bit of truck, part III

September 15, 2012
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Dining - A&E

September’s food truck trek continues, this time with stops at Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort Food Truck and Cutie Pies Pizza.

At this bayou-on-wheels, “Southern Comfort” primarily means po-boys. Once a delicacy in these parts, the classic sandwich is an increasingly available option in Indy, which is all to the good.
 

ae-chef-dan-15col.jpg The shrimp is delicious in Chef Dan’s Po’boy. (IBJ Photo/ Perry Reichanadter)

How does Chef Dan’s stand up? Well, its Andouille Sausage Po’boy ($8) contained grilled chunks of sausage and a mildly spicy, slightly cheesy spread. The sizable portion of pig definitely sated my guest’s appetite. But the sandwich as a whole appeared a bit bare in a room-temperature, lackluster bun (where’s a good baguette when you need one?). At the very least, the bun could have been placed on the grill for 30 seconds to pick up some crunch. And a dollop of cole slaw to top the whole thing off and balance out the pork would have been nice. (We could have had the slaw, or fries, on the side, but we upgraded to hearty Red Beans and Rice for $1 more.)

We also added a side of collard greens ($3), which were more buttery than you’d expect in Nawlins, but this version had just the right sour sting from the greens to make it mouth-watering. The cornbread that came along for the ride was too fluffy and finely grained for purists, but we were satisfied with the agreeable sweetness.

The Shrimp Po’boy ($9) had the same bun issues, but the seafood itself was delicious—crispy, spicy and better-than-average size, topped with that sweet Cajun mayo. This one was partnered with the kind of Macaroni and Cheese ($3 on its own or a $1 upgrade) adults prefer, relying more on real cheese than Whiz-like sauce.

And we couldn’t resist the Swamp Water ($2), a mix of lemonade and sweet tea that was about as sugary as any reasonable adult should be able to handle while still being refreshing. Even Arnold Palmer would be puckering up.

This week’s lunches also included an encounter with Cutie Pies Pizza, where a slice and a breadstick come in at a steep $5, but where the Aloha pizza might make you forget the ticket price. Not pretending to be New York or Chicago style, Cutie Pies uses finely chopped ham, bits of bacon and just enough pineapple to accent without overwhelming, all hidden under a layer of cheese to craft a hearty slice of goodness.

You can track down Chef Dan’s Southern Comfort Good Truck at www.chefdansindy.com and pursue Cutie Pies at www.cutiepiespizza.com.•

—Lou Harry and staff
 

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  1. I took Bruce's comments to highlight a glaring issue when it comes to a state's image, and therefore its overall branding. An example is Michigan vs. Indiana. Michigan has done an excellent job of following through on its branding strategy around "Pure Michigan", even down to the detail of the rest stops. Since a state's branding is often targeted to visitors, it makes sense that rest stops, being that point of first impression, should be significant. It is clear that Indiana doesn't care as much about the impression it gives visitors even though our branding as the Crossroads of America does place importance on travel. Bruce's point is quite logical and accurate.

  2. I appreciated the article. I guess I have become so accustomed to making my "pit stops" at places where I can ALSO get gasoline and something hot to eat, that I hardly even notice public rest stops anymore. That said, I do concur with the rationale that our rest stops (if we are to have them at all) can and should be both fiscally-responsible AND designed to make a positive impression about our state.

  3. I don't know about the rest of you but I only stop at these places for one reason, and it's not to picnic. I move trucks for dealers and have been to rest areas in most all 48 lower states. Some of ours need upgrading no doubt. Many states rest areas are much worse than ours. In the rest area on I-70 just past Richmond truckers have to hike about a quarter of a mile. When I stop I;m generally in a bit of a hurry. Convenience,not beauty, is a primary concern.

  4. Community Hospital is the only system to not have layoffs? That is not true. Because I was one of the people who was laid off from East. And all of the LPN's have been laid off. Just because their layoffs were not announced or done all together does not mean people did not lose their jobs. They cherry-picked people from departments one by one. But you add them all up and it's several hundred. And East has had a dramatic drop I in patient beds from 800 to around 125. I know because I worked there for 30 years.

  5. I have obtained my 6 gallon badge for my donation of A Positive blood. I'm sorry to hear that my donation was nothing but a profit center for the Indiana Blood Center.

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