Mother Trucker or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Lorry

I’ve wanted to try Dim and Den Sum for over a year. To put it lightly, they’re famous around here in the Land of Cleve. They’re one of the first food trucks to show up around the midwest. And while all you west-coasters will be rolling your eyes, we take a little longer around here to catch on to a good thing.

For those of you not indoctrinated into food truck culture, these roving “restaurants” set up shop at different street corners and office buildings every day or so, then release the details on their websites, Twitters, or FriendFaces/Facebooks on where to find them. Often they’re considered to provide a true taste of what goes on in the region, be it tacos, burritos, stir-fries, or massive sandwiches.

Last Friday, I checked up on their location before heading off to lunch. Right next to the farmer’s market (wait, when did we get a farmers market in downtown?).

I’ll let their website speak for itself on their style and menu, but it’s right up my alley: Asian-American-comfort fusion. I’ve heard for a long time that their food was pretty amazing, and not just for meals on wheels.

I wasn’t ready for something quite this exquisite:

Dim and Den Sum Kung Pao

Pao right in the kisser!

This, dear readers, is the Dim and Den Sum Kung Pao Chicken with edamame, fried rice, asian slaw and kimchi. From the back of a panel van. In Public Square. Cleveland. Ohio. It looked so good I forgot to take the picture before I began shoving it into my grateful gaping maw.

Mind you, if I wasn’t attempting to retain my girlish figure, I would have obviously gone for the PBLT; pulled pork, bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich with srirachi aioli. But again, it’s summer and I go on vacation in a couple months.

Seriously, this was incredible as I said, not just from a truck, but as high-end food. I admit, it could have used slightly stronger asian flavors (I like that sort of thing), but it was leaps and bounds over the stereotypical bourbon chicken and fried rice from that joint down the street.

It’s a shame most of us are afraid of these thanks to stories from the previous generation such as “Ptomaine Tom’s Barf Wagon,” apparently (I’m told) a legend around the Ohio State campus circa the late 1960s for having less-than-stellar-food-that-was-amazing-when-drunk-and-possibly-probably-stoned.

Apparently there’s a fleet of food trucks abound north-east Ohio these days; see Walnut Wednesday, and the more enlightened of my co-workers have been dually impressed with the quality and variety of food available right around the corner, being sold out the back of something once reserved for questionable stereo parts.

Keep your stereo parts, I’ve got an iPod. Got any fois gras?

1 comment to Mother Trucker or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Lorry

  • princesszyrtec

    Your bravery has inspired me to stop by one Toledo’s bbq set-ups — you know, the kind that operate in the parking lot of a mechanic’s shop or behind a ramshackle corner store — and see if all the smoke and heat can kill the bacteria.

    In actuality, I’ve always wanted to stop by one of these long running “establishments” because the smell is just so savory, but I confess I’ve been a bit intimidated. Also, it would give me a chance to finally try some bacon fried greens.

    When I do, and live to tell the tale, you’ll all know about it.

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