Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tooth or Pancakes...

I am not a morning person. Runs in the family. My sister and I were the only kids I have literally EVER heard of who had to be pulled out of bed on Christmas morning, once we knew the joy of sleeping in. Or at least the joy of not-getting-up-just-because-you-are-told-to-and-the-whole-house-is-up-you’re-going-to-miss-it-fine-nevermind-we’ll-just-leave-you-alone. However, there is one thing which remains absolutely WORTH getting up early for, almost exclusively on Saturdays. The Pancake Breakfast. I really don’t care who’s throwing it, or why. I mean, of course I care-it’s just that whether it is a small town fire department, or an airplane hanger bursting with members of the Tampa Bay Goth Senior Citizens Unite members-pancake breakfasts are consistently awesome.

Lately, a cosmic conspiracy has kept me from the pancake breakfasts I love so much. The Toluca Lake Fireman’s pancake breakfast was conveniently railroaded by an emergency dentist appointment. It had been on my calendar for months. It DID NOT go down without a fight. Tooth? Or Pancakes…Tooth? Or Pancakes… In the end, the tooth won due to my realizing that if I ended up without any teeth, I would also never be able to enjoy pancakes again. Very Gift of the Magi.

The Beaumont Cherry Festival Pancake Breakfast was wiped out by a very late night at work the night before. It all started to seem just a little too perfect. Somebody didn’t want me to have pancakes. And I was getting grouchy about it to be sure. Look, I hate to mess with the space-time-continuum as much as the next girl, but I finally got my pancakes.

And a hush fell over the land.

I got a hot tip on a food truck sighting in Los Feliz, and hot-footed it over there pronto. (And by “hot tip” I mean I consulted my RoadStoves iphone app, a comprehensive listing of all the working food trucks, and their GPS locations. And by “hot-footed,” I mean took the 101 to Franklin, and adhered to all speed limits.)

The Los Feliz Sunday farmer’s market was in full swing-a beating heart of artisanal scones and cheese samples. Love it. Wedged in the back was my first mark: the Gastrobus. This is good one, guys. Since this was my first truck-fooding to blog about, I overdid it for sure. I secured the perimeter. Clean. I noted the exits. Lots. It’s outside, so…lots. I clicked a few stealth photos, the novelty camera clicking sound effect on my phone ruining the stealthness of it all. And finally, I ordered. Despite the fact that truly absolutely everything on the menu looked fantastic, I decided to test the butterfly effect and get my beloved pancakes. PEACH AND ALMOND PANCAKES with whipped cream and cherry sauce. AND a Grapefruit mojito. I was served by Lana, who very sweetly indulged my zillion questions, and explained that they get to the farmer’s market in the morning to see what’s fresh, and create their menu from that. So simple. So brilliant. Soooooooooo delicious.

These were pancakes with a pedigree. Marzipan-y and full of peaches. The kind of almondness you smell before you taste. Whipped cream that starts to melt in the LA heat because it’s, well, real. The cherry sauce on top like the exclamation point, sweet and tart and perfect, as though saying “I know you just withdrew a million dollars, here’s an extra thousand for your trouble.”

I met some great peeps at the communal table, all equally as excited about the Gastrobus as I was. People with homemade blackberry jam on their hands, and roasted vegetable scrambles in their hearts. I threw down for the Grapefruit mojito-something I will now crave on every hot day. It’s summer in LA, so that’s quite a bit of craving I have in front of me. Fizzy, with the squinting hit of grapefruit, and the mellow freshness of mint. The kind of thing you could drink from a pitcher in a rocking chair in a Tennessee Williams play-while mopping your brow. You have to mop your brow with a handkerchief, they all do it, so you just have to. Over ice, naturally.

As I walked back to my car, drowsy with pancakes, but good-natured from drinking something from a straw, it occurred to me that thanks to Lana, the gastrobus, and a near-worshipful relationship with pancakes, the first truck-fooding had been about as perfect as can be. And it all went down at 1:00 in the afternoon. I didn’t even have to get up early.


  1. i'm adding you to my blog list frances! love it! lunch soon - maybe after i get back from honeymoon in a few weeks? i'll hit a food truck with you... :-)

  2. Great writing! Looks like you had fun, ever thought of being a food critic. You have a real knack for this kind of stuff.