Thursday, October 4, 2007

Upheaval, Distress, and Street Food

Hello, poor readers. This blog of ours has been neglected of late, hasn’t it? We do apologize, but life has gotten in the way recently. (What do you mean, life got in the way? How does life get in the way of eating??) Well, life doesn’t get in the way of eating, but it certainly gets in the way of cooking.

Cheesy and Queesy have been having quite a time, indeed. One of us has been traveling all over the East Coast on the weekends and she has her own tales of foods good and bad. I have just been dealing with apartment woes. Remember the new apartment that I waxed poetic about a couple of entries ago? The one with the spacious and sunny kitchen? Well, it did not turn into the long-term home that I hoped it would be. What with badly cooked fish and crazy roommates, Cheesy is on the move again, this time to a tiny studio in a big high rise in the Art Museum area of Philadelphia.

Due to the high level of discomfort in that apartment, I have not spent much time in the kitchen, which saddens me to no end. You see, when I’m really upset, I don’t eat that much because my stomach hurts. But when some of that stress has abated but I’m still troubled in spirit, I eat. I would have loved to sit down with a bowl of pasta tossed with a little olive oil and the last of summer’s fresh tomatoes and soft, slightly melted mozzarella cheese. Or made a large pot of soup and read while it simmered gently on the stove. Instead, I’ve been studiously avoiding the awkward apartment and, when I’m actually there, keeping to my room (which is no where near the kitchen).

So, there have been very few chances to play with new or old recipes. But I have been exploring the exciting world of……street food!

Philadelphia—especially the area around the University of Pennsylvania’s campus where I work—is absolutely teeming with food trucks and vendors. My favorite so far is the Mexi-Philly burrito truck, located on Spruce somewhere between 36th and 38th. This truck offers several different kinds of burritos, including tofu, eggplant, and roasted pepper. But my favorite by far is the $2.25 bean burrito that is both tasty and filling. For so little money, you get a nice sized burrito with refried and blacks beans, rice, cheese, and your choice of fresh salsa inside it. If you’re not up for a burrito, right next door is the crepe truck that offers both sweet and savory crepes for about $5. There is a myriad other cuisines offered, from Chinese to Middle Eastern (there are several great falafel trucks) to your normal hoagies, hot dogs, and fries. And, as always, there’s the inevitable and invaluable Wawa!

Eating cheaply has always been a challenge for me. But, through self-imposed exile from my own kitchen, I think I’m starting to learn the art.

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