Recently I was genuinely curious to try a local food truck called Caveman Cafeteria. I will be honest, this whole drive to eat from food trucks is a new thing for me. I know, it’s been years that people have been going to and enjoying food trucks all over the country. In fact, there is an entire TV series and contest around food trucks!
But for me, I get nervous when I think about ordering from a food truck, and it’s the goofiest of reasons. First of all I question my judgement in trusting the food being made in the same venue that used to be reserved for ice cream, but I can get over that pretty quick.
My big conerns (I have three) are:
1. I feel like I need to make a decision really fast. They are in a truck after all, am I keeping them from going somewhere more important?
2. There is always a line, and food truck lines freak me out. I can never tell where they start at food trucks, at least at fast food restaurants, there’s a clearly defined “start” and “finish” but at a food truck, it’s like a little mini mob and you just have to know who was there before you and who is there after you.
3. Then there is the fact that these guys are on the move! So randomly they won’t be on the corner you saw them on last time, and I have to be vigilant in documenting where they are, and follow them on Twitter just to see if they are near me. It’s hard keeping up with resaurants who have wheels.
It’s quite a stressful situation for me. Maybe I’m the only freakoid in the world who feels overly anxious when I don’t know what I want because it all sounds new and different, and someone always steps in front of me or my friend that came with me because they are “really busy” and need to get their food ASAP. So then I’m nervous,and grumpy because somone just cut in front of my place in the mob.
So on this fateful Friday, I was hungry and was excited to try something new. So I found the Caveman Cafeteria on Twitter, found their location and rallied a few folks from work to go with me to try this Truck-O-Food.
On this Friday they were off of 16th between Market and Larimer and via Twitter they told me that the Wagyu meatloaf was on special, however the Steak and Kale is their most popular.
Now, if you are like me, you didn’t say “Wagyu meatloaf” in a confident manner. In fact, every time I said it out loud to my colleagues at work, it sounded like “Ragu meatloaf” which sounds like something I would create by scrounging around my cubpords the day before shopping day and try to pass off a hodge podge of ingredients including the jar of Ragu I bought over a year ago when I was on my couponing binge, and I just found it because yes, our cupbords are That Bare. So I went on a mission to find out what in the world Wagyu meat is.
It turns out Wagyu is not a type of “meat” but the type of cow that it comes from! I should have known that, but for some reason this surprised me. This type of cow comes from Japan (welcome traveler!) and specifically is one that is predisposed to marbeling, which I have learned over time means two things concurrently, “fat” and “deliciousness”. In addition it has a higher percentage of omega-3 and omega-6 in the meat. Both of which are really good for you! And for those of you looking for the dreaded “pink slime” there is none here. Just good ‘ol fashioned meat, and the good stuff too.
Because this meat is very good, good for you, has it’s own name and is visiting from Japan, it warrants a price tag higher than your tyipcal ground beef. I was not prepared for this, but you are now, so that makes me happy.
On this day, three of us ventured out and I was prepared to order the Wagyu Meatloaf. I always order what the servers / owners recommend. They know what’s good! And by figuring it out via twitter prior to showing up at the truck, I just eased my anxiousness by a third. However when we got to the truck, I didn’t see Wagyu Meatloaf on the menu, so my anxiety almost took me down. When this happens to me I feel like Woody Allen was just unleashed in my head, and every insecurity I have ever had comes creaping back. I turn into me in Jr. High / High School with braces, glasses and a bad perm just stumbling over my words trying to talk to the cute guy in the school. I try to pass myself off that I am a normal functioning human being, but inside, I’m FREAKING OUT because the one ounce of control I had in this situation is now gone. I knew what I wanted, and now I don’t.
So in this situation, I see my colleague friend ready to order and the “important” guy steps in front of him and orders before my friend. Seriously man, you know your place in the mob, and cutting in front of my friend, not cool.
Ok so it’s my turn to order, and I order whatever “wagyu” thing I see on the menu which happens to be sliders. If you don’t know this about me, you will now…I Love Cheeseburgers. Seriously, I adore them. I want to try everything on a cheeseburger, and will eventually have to split my blog up into Cheeseburgers vs. Non Cheeseburgers as I will have so many “I love cheeseburgers” blogs. So I figured I couldn’t go wrong.
The Chef recommended I go with the Kale vs the buns, and I figured why not. The very best part of a cheeseburger is the meat, and again, I go with recommendations especially with a hungry mob surrounding me.
In my frenzy I didn’t check the price of these special sliders until I paid, $12. Now, some of you may think, “Wow, $12 for Wagyu sliders? That’s a great deal!” I immediately thought “Wow, $12 for sliders with no side or drink? These better be damn good.” See, I have found in my hunt for the perfect cheeseburger that there is a direct correlation for the price of the burger and the quality. However it seems to be inverse to me, the lower the price, the better the burger. I’m automatically removing all fast food burgers in this situation…but think about it, what’s the most delicious burger you have ever had? I’m guessing that 9 out of 10 of you just thought of that awesome diner you stumbled on, and paid $5 for a huge burger, large fries right out of the fryer and a cold beer during happy hour. See?
So I was hoping for these sliders in question to prove my theory wrong. I mean it’s not a “slider” it’s a “Wagyu” slider.
I was handed this lovely concoction.
Looks delicious, sliders with mushrooms, onions and cheese on a bed of Kale. I dove right in and it was pretty good! The meat was tender, and it was the best food out of a food truck I’ve ever had that wasn’t frozen or in rocket form. Granted, it was the first food I’ve ever had out of a food truck that didn’t have music box music playing from it, but to date it was the best I’ve had.
Being a Kale virgin up until this point, I didn’t feel comfortable eating the Kale as it looks like garnish to me, and if you’ve ever eaten garnish when it wasn’t actually part of the meal it’s something you never forget. However, he told me about the Kale, so I knew it was part of the meal. It was crunchy and pretty good, except for one thing. The sauce. There was a sauce all over each part of the meal (you can see it on top of the burger in the picture) that was just about the saltiest thing I’ve eaten in a long time. I’m not against salt, I enjoy it, in light doses, but this was so salty I felt parched halfway through the meal.
I have to be honest, it really runined it for me. Not only did I pay $12 for a burger (if you’re doing the math in your head, 3 sliders=1 burger), but then the “kale bun” was covered in salt and everything was a bit too greasy for fancy meat. My friend told me that Kale abosorbs flavors, so if you use too much salt, the Kale will increase that flavor even more. This was definately the case for me.
I almost wanted to return it, but then I felt bad since I have lost my place in the mob, and I know that they JUST ran out of Wagyu sliders. I’m not saying they were horrible, they actually were pretty good if you could get a spot that didn’t have the sauce.
I want to try these guys again, but this time I’ll be a little more vigilant with my ordering, ask for “light salt” and hold my own against the mob. Maybe I should try the Steak and Kale next time since a lot of people order it.
I know a lot of my friends like this place, so please don’t take my word for it, there are way more people that swear by it than don’t, but if I’m spending $12 on a burger, I want fries, ketchup, and a drink.
The one thing I loved about this place is the atmosphere. The two guys working were super nice, very kind, funny and jovial. The sun was shining, and there’s no better place to enjoy lunch than right in the heart of downtown Denver where you can enjoy the sun, talk with friends, and compare notes on food. For that, I am thankful, and happy I tried the Caveman Cafeteria.