Last Friday was just one of those perfect Minnesota summer days. The kind of day that we dream about during the bleak, dark days of winter: sun shining, birds singing, a slight breeze ruffling through my hair. And it was made just that much more perfect when I spotted the shining beacon of light and tastiness that is Aussie’s Kebabs food truck.
I had a good feeling about this one the moment I spotted it. First of all, there was a considerable line of people in front of the truck, which obviously means that it’s worth the wait. Secondly, I have been eagerly awaiting the arise of the doner kabob in the Minneapolis food truck scene; I spent a chunk of time in London right after college and the doner seems to be a food group of its own in Europe. For those who may not be familiar, the doner is a mixture of lamb and beef broiled on an upright skewer and carved to serve. While I know that there are Turkish restaurants in the cities with doners on the menu (notably Black Sea on Snelling in St. Paul), there’s just something about a foil-wrapped doner to-go to munch on while wandering around a crowded downtown that feels so wonderfully European.
The menu at Aussie’s is straightforward. You first choose what type of kebab you’d like: doner or chicken ($7.25), or vegetarian ($7). You then pick your sauce from a list of seven options (I stayed classic, with tzatziki and sriracha), and then any add-ons for $.25 each (I opted to only add cucumber to mine, but the pineapple was an intriguing option). You place your order at the front of the line on the right with a worker standing in front of the truck who enters it into an ipad and takes your payment. He was helpful and often offered recommendations for sauces and toppings. I liked this system because it made for a much more pleasant and personal ordering experience than yelling into the truck and hoping to be heard over the passing traffic noise and the hubbub of food-making going on inside the truck. Once you’ve placed your order and paid, you then head to the back of the line on the left to await your lunch.
It took a little less than five minutes before I was at the front of the truck again and they called my name. The doner looked incredible, wrapped in shiny foil and helpfully opened at the top, ready for eating on the go. Good thing too, because this block of Marquette between 7th and 8th has gotten more and more crowded with trucks and patrons every week! I dodged the crowds, sneaking a few bites as I walked, and made my way to a quieter area to sit and savor my lunch.
This doner is exactly what I had hoped for, actually perhaps better than I remember the doners in Europe. The meat is spicy, perfectly seasoned, and juicy. The subtle creaminess and tang of the tzaziki sauce provided excellent balance to the spicy sriracha sauce. But the thing that really sets this doner apart is the fantastic pita: chewy, soft, and grilled to perfection. Yes, yes, I am a carb lover so take this with a grain of salt but I am telling you: I could eat that pita bread for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and never grow tired of it.
Aussie’s Kebabs: oh, you will see me again. And again and again.
I was impressed with the operation they’re running. The ordering system worked smoothly and they had three people inside the truck able to focus entirely on churning out great food.
Nice! I appreciated that it was ready to eat on the go, with minimal packaging or waste.
Value for Dollars
$8.08 was my total with tax, which is admittedly kind of a lot considering that I didn’t even get a drink or a side. However, I would –and will!– definitely pay the same again (just maybe don’t tell my husband I’m planning to make a habit of spending $8 on my lunches, okay?)
Overall Food Truck Experience
Maybe it was a perfect storm of it being Friday, beautiful outside, and exactly the lunch I was looking for, but I was a very happy camper.
(side note: Oh, and then THIS was happening like a block away and I was so blissed out and wrapped up in my lunch that I didn’t even notice.)
But don’t take my word for it!
Keep on truckin’!