Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Treats Truck: A Mid-Afternoon Adventure

The Backstory

A little while back, maybe a few months, I caught wind of something called 93 Plates. Without previously knowing of The Wandering Foodie, I found the idea intriguing on all parts. Doing what I often do when finding a new blog - added it to my Google Reader and also followed him on Twitter.

At some point, while still unemployed, I tweeted out that if he was ever looking for a fill-in, I might be up for it. Mainly because my schedule was flexible at that time and, still, curiosity about the project was there. Then, on the 29th of January, Hagan tweeted out an emergency cancellation at Treats Truck for lunch. That day, the truck was parked at 38th and 5th, and I happened to have time for a real lunch break so I offered to share in some small sampling.

And there I was, on a chilly January afternoon, getting fresh air and a full tummy and being a part of something I honestly think could only happen in NYC.

The Treats Truck
all photographs provided by Hagan Blount

I've been to the truck a few times when I was working at 34th st and 5th ave. I've met Kim Ima, the owner, then and also while volunteering at The Vendys back in August (fun times). She's a sweet lady, an easy business to support. She has a truly cute, vintage looking silver truck that is easy to spot amidst the crazy streets of Manhattan.

From the first bite, I truly believe her slogan is an extremely fair representation of her product. Simple, classic, American desserts. Often a bit rich and sweet, but there are some true stars in the bunch.

Sugar Dots

Incredibly classic, straightforward sugar cookies topped with a simple icing and sprinkles, these cookies acted practically as a palate cleanser between richer samples. I am a fan of the two sizes - the smaller "Dot" is a great little $0.50 snack. I can't complain nor rave about these - what you see is what you get.

Cran Almond Crispy

This was one of two items who I personally think don't fare well in the winter. The cold air doesn't do the best for Rice Krispy treats. And this was a marshmallow square amped up - with dried cranberries and almonds. More marshmallow would have been nice, and maybe in the summertime? But mainly it's a pass for me.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

Yet another classic American cookie, this is a solid but not spectacular cookie. It is also offered with pecans, which I might be willing to try. The cookie was dense, but without the nice combination of chewy toffee edges and moist center.

Raspberry Brownie

The brownies from the Treats Truck are rich, sweet, chocolatey bombs. Kim offers many different varieties, with caramel, raspberry, pecan, plain, spicy Mexican cocoa, and others (espresso, etc) available. With all her bars, she will ask if you prefer a corner, edge or center, which is a great little detail. The raspberry brownie was the second dessert damaged by the cold - the fruit swirl on the top had solidified  in the cold. Not very easy to bite into or chew up, the winter is not the best time for the raspberry brownie. [As a side note, I've tried a bit of one of these brownies in the summer and the texture and consistency of the fruit is far better and makes for a more complete flavor.]

 Peanut Butter Sandwich

Boy, if you like peanut butter, these are SO the cookies for you! It's the classic peanut butter cookie with a rich peanut butter filling. The small cookie is a bit decieving - there is a ton of peanutty flavor in a small package. She also offers the sandwich cookie with a jelly filling for some true nostalgia. And one other side note - as with most classic peanut butter cookie recipes, these are GLUTEN FREE.

The Truckers - Caramel Creme and Chocolate

Truckers, oh truckers, you both swooned me and turned me off in the same category. Yet another very rich option from The Treats Truck is the Caramel Creme Trucker. The cookie is buttery, a bit like a shortbread cookie, delicious with caramel flavor. The cream in the center is what I would classify as a standard cookie filling. The Caramel Creme Trucker falls into my top favorites from the Truck.

Unfortunately, the Chocolate Creme Trucker did not match up. Somehow, the chocolate cookie tasted chalkier, less chocolate-intense and just not quite on the money. If you're craving chocolate, go for a brownie.

Pumpkin Cake

Kim offers pumpkin and carrot cake, and Hagan told me that both received a strong endorsement from the ladies at Blondie & Brownie. After trying the pumpkin cake, I must agree. The cake had a nice balance of sweet, pumpkin and spice. Topped with a cream cheese frosting, I consider this one of the tastiest and best monetary values from The Treats Truck. Straightforward is the name of the game, and if you like pumpkin cake, I recommend this one.

 Pecan Butterscotch Bar

Winner, winner, chicken dinner! The pecan butterscotch bar is truly my favorite from the Treats Truck. Yes, it's sweet and rich, dense indeed, but the butterscotch flavor and spread of pecans? Truly delicious. I must must encourage you to get an edge or corner bar - the delicious toffee flavor gets more intense at the edges, as the texture gets firmer. For less than $3, I definitely say this bar is worth swinging by The Treats Truck when in the neighborhood.

The Verdict

So the verdict on my experiences? Well, when it comes to The Treats Truck, "Not too fancy, always delicious!" still sums up the baked goods pretty darn well. My experience eating at the truck with 93 Plates did not change my opinion on the truck - it's worth checking out for certain items, certain cravings, and most definitely worth visiting to meet and chat up the very sweet owner, Kim. I want to thank her (and obviously give full disclosure) for the food, and thank Hagan for the experience.

There has been various musings around the web about the purpose and drive behind 93 Plates. I just want to say I understand all opinions on the matter, and I'm not going to say anything more brash about it. I haven't had the time nor desire to "seriously analyze" it all. But I did comment on friend Amy's blog before finally getting to this write-up.)

1 comment:

TeJota said...

When I spot the Treats Truck I'm tempted to stop and pick up a few items.But since I didn't know whether or not the desserts were worth their weight in salt to get the belly and head aches from the gluten I always pass by. Next time I'll stop for sure and get some (if she has them) Peanut Butter Sandwiches and Caramel Creme Truckers. Thanks for the posting.