French “Fridays”: The Roaming Buffalo Food Truck
blog by Ben Tsujimoto • July 11, 2011 @ 11:51am
There still aren’t many restaurants in Western New York that hand-cut their fries. It’s easier to buy them pre-prepared in bags—the process is quicker and the results are, at times, equal.
The Roaming Buffalo, the area’s fourth food truck, kicked off service last Tuesday at River Fest Park (on Ohio Street, not far from Michigan.) While the newest mobile food vessel offers traditional Buffalo food—think roast beef on weck, wings and a bevy of burgers—the french fries were the goal of our first visit.
Sneaking craftily next to the truck’s door, I noticed a 22 quart tub of sweet potato fries soaking in water. Patrons will be pleased that the fries—both regular and sweet potato—weren’t lodged in the freezer for hours. While the hand-cut process shows tender-loving-care, the sliced potatoes are then doused in peanut oil, a healthier and more flavorful option than the typical corn-based oil, before being fried.
“We saw how well The Whole Hog was selling the sweet potato fries,” said Taylor, who worked briefly as a cook at Kathleen Haggerty’s food truck. “I was a little surprised when they took [the fries] off their menu, and I knew we needed to offer them.” Taylor’s sweet side dish is covered with cinnamon, honey and butter, a concoction that lends much more flavor than regular fries.
Personal taste determines whether frozen fries or hand-cut fries are preferred—the Roaming Buffalo’s fries were heavy on skin and slightly wrinkled in texture, though the peanut oil did bolster the taste. Credit Taylor and co. for taking on the painstaking process of creating healthy (although flavor trumps health in Taylor’s book, he mentioned) and authentic french fries. Do they always turn out as consistently as chain, once-frozen french fries? Probably not. But, despite the often chaotic nature of food truck service, it’s comforting to know that Roaming Buffalo cares about the quality of its fare.
Give both varieties a try when you visit the Roaming Buffalo—we’d suggest the sweet potato version—but be prepared for a french fry experience utterly different than any fast food chain.
**One helpful note: the Roaming Buffalo does accept credit cards, which they run through a nifty device attached to a cell phone. Solid.**