Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Crazy Vegan Cinco De Mayo

When imagining Cinco De Mayo, the all too familiar intense college nights of downing tequila shots until four in the morning pops until my head. This year, my Cinco De Mayo was nowhere near a crazy night, unless referring to the large amount of food I ate. Also, the only drink I had that night was water, to wash down all the delicious food.

My friend and I camped out early at the Vegan Cinco De Mayo celebration at The Other Door bar in North Hollywood. We wanted to ensure we would be one of the first fifty guests to receive a free goody bag. While waiting, we inquired about the drink specials at the bar and they were having a faux happy hour, with just $1 off beers. My friend ordered one, while we anxiously awaited the event to start. Finally, just before 7 pm, when the event was officially beginning and the food trucks would start selling their food, I went outside and grabbed two goody bags, since my friend was still nursing her beer.

The goody bag was definitely worth the wait. It had an assortment of vegan product samples from soy beef jerky to a vegan cheese mix to vegan condoms. There were also various coupons for popular brands, including Tofutti and Wayfare and even two buy one get one free vouchers for meals at Follow Your Heart! I can't wait to use these.

Next, I was excited to try all the food. There were so many offerings, I found myself debating what to have.  First, I had a cactus tamale from Mama's Hot Tamale ($3).

This was delicious. I have oddly never had a tamale before so I had no idea how to eat it. After removing the husk, I was pleased to find a delectably soft tamale, oozing with a savory, well spiced cactus. The tamale was so well seasoned and perfected by the mild green salsa I topped it with. I love how the cactus had a slightly bitter taste, but was not too spicy.

Next, my friends and I went to the Fresh Fries truck and could not decide what to order. I love their concept of combining a variety of fries with a unique array of toppings. I only wish they were more customizable.

We ordered the Sweet Potato Hummus which was topped with paprika and sesame seeds ($6).

These fries were so delicious and were not too greasy. The hummus added a savory, slightly spiced flavor to help balance out the sweetness of the fries. I loved how the hummus made such a creamy topping, which worked perfectly on the soft, well-cooked fries.

Unfortunately, I missed out on Doomie's Home Cooking's delicious chimichanga. Nevertheless, I was able to place an order of beef taquitos ($4) right before they ran out.

The taquitos were so delicious and had a deep fried crispy outer layer filled with slightly chewy, savory chunks of beef. The dish was so well spiced and flavorful and had such great textures. The topping was just as delicious and perfectly balanced with mildly spicy salsas and a touch of cream.

We couldn't end the night without some dessert, so my friend and I shared a tres leche cupcake ($3). The proceeds from the cupcake went to help fund a vegan Peruvian restaurant project.

The cupcake was very good although the cake lacked moisture. Nevertheless, it still tasted quite good and was not overly sweet. The frosting was so delicious and rich with a sweet-cream flavor and notes of rum. There was also a caramel glaze that took it over the top.

I really enjoyed this event and I hope the superb turnout will lead to more trucks gathering for a completely vegan event. I had such an amazing meal and did not end up spending much, since the food trucks were inexpensive and I shared most of my meal. I was able to feel completely satisfied for under $9 and I had some goodies to take home as a souvenir.

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