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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Columbia Eats: Alfresco Mobilista

I was fortunate enough to have Columbia's food truck rodeo coincide with my fall break this week, which meant I finally had the opportunity to hunt down and tackle Columbia's up-and-coming food truck contender Alfresco Mobilista, or Alf Mob for those in the know. Alfresco's been turning a few heads and proving they are more then just a catchy name with their inventive plays on Mediterranean favorites, giving perhaps not-so-subtle Southern nods to traditional favorites like the gyro and Grandma's meatballs.

I was quite a bit late for the rodeo, but fortunately just in time to catch one of the last chicken meatball gyros and hickory smoked pulled pork quesadillas of the day. The chicken meatball gyro features three deep fried spheres of chicken, coaxed with spices, battered by panko, sat on top of a bed of sweet and sour slaw and dressed with an aioli and stout chili Q-sauce. Whew.

I have to say, if this was how it was served to me, I would have been pretty happy. The chicken meatballs were crisp and flavorful, almost like a meaty falafel. Paired with the slaw, it was a nice duo, one worth revisiting either with the gyro or perhaps better yet with the fried chicken bistro salad which adds fried onions to the mix for more texture. The meatballs were just a touch dry, and this wouldn't be much of an issue in any other case, but the pita, disappointingly, was a bit on the burnt side, slightly dry, and fell apart here and there during the eating process, raising the notice on the dryness of the meatballs a touch. A soft, warm pita would have been pretty spectacular, tying the pieces together into a well-built vessel.

I wasn't sure how to feel about the quesadilla. On paper, it sounded pretty fierce with the slow roasted pork, pesto, jack pepper cheese, and stout chili Q-sauce slathered all over, but the real final result was a bit mixed. At its best, it was a nicely crisp quesadilla packed with flavor, but in it's less exciting moments there were a points where things just got wildly soggy from all the juices and sauces dripping about, which became somewhat unappealing. I think I would unfortunately have to pass on this bite the next time I venture over to Alfresco. On a more upbeat note, a glance at the desert of the day, a chocolate bread pudding, looked amazing. A heaping bowl of chocolate pudding topped with homemade whipped cream, it seemed like a steal for $3. If there is one thing Bone-In and Alf has proven, it's that they can churn out some devastatingly good-lo deserts.
No Reservations, The Dig on Alf Mob
Costs: There's a little less on variety here, expect
upwards of $7-9 for everything outside of dessert.
Try: Either the chicken meatball gyro
or from what I hear the shrimp burger.
Find out where they are at:

My first taste of Alfresco was a bit uneven, but they provide an exciting menu that has the potential to come together wonderfully through time. I did arrive late on the scene this day, so there's a chance I may have just gotten the unlucky end of this, but from what I had Alfresco looks like it has a bit of catching up to do if it wants to match up to the quality of its local competitors Artisan Bone-In and 2 Fat 2 Fly. The creativity is wildly fantastic though; I think it may be what catapults Alfresco above and beyond as word spreads out about their exciting rifts on Mediterranean favorites. A few tweaks, a couple of months and this could be a really amazing truck to be reckoned with. Here's hoping they are up to the challenge.

Alfresco Mobilista on Urbanspoon


The Hungry Lady said...

You should try the pasta salad next time. It's outstanding. I tried the gyro about a month ago, and it was perfect. One of the best lunches I've tried in Columbia.

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