Sunday, September 20, 2015

My First Food Truck- The Outside Scoop

Finally! I got to experience my first food truck! A while back I talked about food culture. Food trucks definitely have made an impact on food culture. Des Moines has a new and growing food truck scene and I am so glad to be here to experience it from the ground up. Lots of other cities have HUGE food truck followings. Austin, Portland, Los Angeles, New York- and loads of others- have swarms of fans who follow their favorite trucks on social media to see where they are setting up every day, and loads of people who see the trucks as a great way to try something new and totally different.

photo from The Outside Scoop's Facebook page
Like I said, Des Moines is a little bit late to the party, but our local trucks are more than making up for it. From the humble taco trucks to some pretty upscale menus and clever food carts it's a fast growing part of the culinary scene here. The city has been craving something new and food trucks are the answer. Lunchtime in downtown is  food truck heaven. Every day the different trucks post on social media where they plan on setting up for lunch, and later in the day as well- some as late as bar-closing time. Some trucks and food carts have "residencies" at local breweries and clubs, setting up in the parking lot and giving patrons some great food options. Works well for everyone- the trucks are making money, the bars don't have to have kitchens and the customers don't have to go somewhere else for something to eat. Just step outside.

I couldn't wait to get to the window- my first food truck!
(this is an unknown coworker)
Some of the big employers, including mine, often contract with food trucks to visit office complexes over the lunch hour as a convenient lunch option. The other day our company had a visit from The Outside Scoop. Based in Indianola, The Outside Scoop has a slogan- Small Batch....From Scratch, and their ice cream is beyond delicious. Owned by Joe Doering, this ice cream shop prides itself on it's small batch recipes that utilize as many locally sourced products as it can. The custom recipes include real chocolate, homemade baked goods, real fresh fruits, and no additives like emulsifiers or stabilizing ingredients. I can tell you, after tasting this ice cream personally, you can TELL this stuff is free of all those chemical ickies that are in the commercially made mass produced stuff in your grocer's freezer. Their menu is a rotating selection of about sixty flavors.

So The Outside Scoop has a storefront in Indianola, and at some point Joe decided to expand his venture and join the food truck scene. This was an awesome decision. The pretty pink Outside Scoop truck looks like it's got fudge sauce drizzling down, and pays homage to downtown Des Moines, known as The Loop, with "Scoopin' the Loop" proudly displayed on the truck. As I said, the truck paid a visit to our office the other day and it was a very very popular break spot for all of us. The sun was shining and it was a warm late summer day- perfect for an ice cream break. The truck had a great selection of flavors that day- vanilla bean, chocolate brownie, blueberry lemonade, pumpkin, salty caramel, strawberry sorbet, snickerdoodle and nutter butter. I could not resist the salty caramel, a fact that is well known by my friends and family. If it says salted caramel I am going to want it, and it was heavenly. So creamy, so smooth, good caramel flavor, not excessively sweet, and every once in a while I'd get a hint of salty flavor. I don't know they did it, but it was incredible. The ice cream definitely had that homemade consistency- I can't really describe what I mean by that, it was just icy and creamy and there was no "fatty" feeling in my mouth after eating it, like you get with some ice cream brands. I wish I could have tried more flavors that day but you can bet I'll be following these guys around.

Stay tuned for more food truck adventures as we visit all the Des Moines food trucks and food truck events.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 55: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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