Sunday, December 30, 2012

DAYS 33-35: Denver and HOME!


FYI: These events took place in October.  After driving from Denver to Wisconsin and arriving home at the end of our trip on October 26th, 2012, we were exhausted and just wanted to enjoy being with family, celebrating my birthday with friends, deep-cleaning the filthy camper from being on the road for over a month, and packing everything up for our big move to Austin, TX the following week.  

Once we arrived in Texas, we got settled in to our new home, began working and enjoying  Austin, and I've finally found the time to write this blog entry from events that took place almost 2 months ago!  It's hard to believe we've been living in Austin that long already, but we love it and have been so busy!

From here on out, we plan to continue to document all of our food truck dining experiences to share with you, whether it be more trucks in Austin, or trucks we stop at while traveling.

Thank you again for all your support and for following our blog!!


Thursday, October 25th - Friday, October, 26th, 2012: Denver and HOME!

Luckily, when we woke up on Thursday morning in Silverthorne, CO, the snow had already begun to melt and the roads were already plowed.  We started heading to Denver around 11am.

Driving from Silverthorne to Denver.

We quickly got to Denver after a beautiful drive through the snowy mountains and into the city.  We easily found a food truck called 'Hey! PB&J' on Facebook, but with no exact address where it was located, we decided to follow directions to where Google Maps said it was.  Once we arrived, it was clear that we had been directed to the actual home of where (we were assuming) the owner of the truck lived.

Belafonte in the rearview.

We finally figured out where the food truck was parked that day and continued driving.  This took us to Auraria College Campus near downtown which is home to three universities in Denver.  It took a while to find parking, but we easily spotted the dozens of food trucks parked in the center of it all.

Driving into downtown Denver.

Auraria Campus - Denver, CO

We found 'Hey! PB&J' almost immediately with it's hard-to-miss bright purple truck.  It was a beautiful truck and you could tell the owners really took pride in it.  Speaking of the owners, they were wonderful and truly interested in our trip.  They gave us tons of advice, let us look inside the truck, and even gave us a free sandwich!

'Hey! PB&J' food truck.

Gourmet Grilled PB&J menu.

Myself with the owner and the nice guy who worked there.

It took a while to figure out what I wanted, but I finally decided on the 'Cranberry Pecan.'  Mitch was going to wait to order something from another truck that caught his eye, but the owner insisted she make him something on the house!

Cranberry Pecan Sandwich - Pecan butter, fresh and dried cranberries, white chocolate, and cream cheese.

What we got:
Cranberry Pecan Sandwich
Blackberry Jalapeño Sandwich (Sorry, for some reason we didn't take a picture of this one! :( It had homemade peanut butter, charred jalapeños, homemade blackberry jam, cream cheese, and bacon!)

Total (with tip and a free sandwich): $10

Both of the sandwich's were to DIE FOR.  Oh wow, they were so delicious!  I was stuffed after finishing mine, but Mitch still wanted to check out another truck before we left.  Thank you again to the kind owner (I wish I could remember her name!) for the free sandwich and for her hospitality and advice!

Next we stopped at a truck called the 'Pink Tank' where Mitch got to talking with the owner.  He was an very interesting guy who told us that he just decided he wanted to open a food truck one day.  His wife thought he was crazy, but he bought a truck, rebuilt it, and never looked back.

'Pink Tank'

'Pink Tank' menu.

I wish we would have asked him the meaning behind the name of the truck.  It had an eclectic menu and Mitch easily chose the chicken and waffles, which was one of his favorite menu items on the menu from his restaurant in Milwaukee.

Chicken & Waffles - 3 crispy fried chicken legs with homemade hot sauce, topped with bacon crumbles, served on a buttery, beer-battered waffle with maple syrup and hot sauce ice cream.

Enjoying his chicken & waffles.

What he got:
Chicken & Waffles
'The Benz' (The owner included this for free!)

Total (with tip and a free 'Benz'): $12

'The Benz' - a burger with grilled ham and a fried egg, topped with Havarti cheese and maple hollandaise sauce, served on a croissant.

Mitch with the 'Pink Tank' guys.

More trucks parked at the campus with the beautiful snow.

After stuffing ourselves silly, we got back in the Jeep, got some gas, and stopped at coffee shop to use the free internet so I could write the previous blog entry from Seattle.  We finally got back on the road around 4pm and decided to drive as far as we could that night.  

We wanted to drive to Wisconsin without stopping, but, at around 4am, we were exhausted.  I wanted to stop at hotel for the night instead of camping (the temperatures were in the 30s!), but Mitch insisted that we camp one last time on the very last night of our trip.  After much pouting, I gave in and decided he was right!

Last day driving.  Leaving Colorado :(

Beautiful bridge in Iowa.

After a long drive through Colorado, Nebraska, and into Iowa, we finally stopped at a KOA campground in Des Moines.  We were so cold and tired that we didn't even take any pictures to document it!

Wisconsin!  We made it!

We got going around 11am the next morning, excited about our drive home.  Looking back at our trip, it went by WAY too fast and we were so sad it was over.  What a whirlwind!  This road trip was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for us and we will remember it for the rest of our lives!  We got to see so many friends and family members that we hadn't seen in so long, we met so many wonderful and generous people along our way, and we saw some of the most beautiful corners of this country that not many people get to see unless they take the time drive through them.  

We feel so fortunate that we were able to take this trip and gain the experience necessary for the next chapter in our lives living in Austin, TX.  Our ultimate goal is to open our own catering/food truck business which is already well under-way.  Mitch has been booking catering events and we will continue to save our money to purchase the perfect truck for us without going into a huge amount of debt.

Last sunset of the trip just minutes before pulling to Mitch's parents house in Wisconsin.

Total Food Truck Spending for 4 Days: $22 (under budget)

Total Spending:
Gas: $289
Des Moines KOA Campground: $32
Coffee Shop in Denver: $4
Colorado Gift Shop: $22
Lunch on Friday: $13
Food truck food: $22

Total for 3 Days:  $382 (under budget)



We made it under our budget by $3!  We thought for sure we were going to go over $6000, but we didn't!  We weren't even trying that hard to make under during the last couple days!  

And that's our trip.  So sad it's over, but so excited for the future!

Thank you everyone for following us and supporting us!  Stay tuned for more blog entries to come documenting our continued love for food truck food in Austin!

Mitch and Laurel

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Photo Book

Click here to view this photo book larger

Shutterfly photo books offer a wide range of artful designs and embellishments to choose from.

DAYS 28-33: Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado

Sunday, October 21st - Thursday, October 25th: Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado


We woke up early at Krista and Ryan's and started our drive east.  The drive out of Seattle and through Washington was absolutely gorgeous.  Unfortunately, there were no food trucks anywhere that we could find.

We made a stop at a place called 'Fred Myers' to get some groceries and some books for me for the long drive.  We continued through Washington and into Idaho.  We stopped at a campground in Boise, ID for the night.  It was super late when we got there, so we cranked the space heater and went to bed.  I'm sorry to report that we didn't eat a single noteworthy thing this entire day!  No food trucks to be found, no gourmet cooked dinner at the campground - only leftover food that we had in our cooler.

Boise, ID - very pretty, but no food trucks:(


The Boise campground was by far the weirdest campground we've stayed at.  It was clear that there were more permanent residents staying there than temporary overnight campers.  The lady in the office was so confused when I wanted to check out in the morning.  She even asked why we were moving and where we were going to.  I explained to her that we were just there overnight and we got in very late.

Homemade pumpkin bread from Krista for breakfast :)

We stopped for some coffee and to get an oil change, then we were off towards Utah.  We stopped at local diner in Twin Falls, ID to get a late lunch/early dinner.  Again, there were no food trucks anywhere, so we had to settle for a restaurant.

The restaurant was called 'Idaho Joe's' and it was surprisingly very good!  

I had the fish fry with baked potato, side of vegetables, a salad, and cornbread!  

Mitch had a mushroom and blue cheese burger with fries.

'Idaho Joe's' - Twin Falls, ID

We continued our drive into Utah, by-passing Salt Lake City, through some treacherous mountains in the pouring rain, and eventually made our way into Wyoming.  We decided to stay the night at a campground in Rock Springs, WY.  

The only picture we took in Utah!
Life elevated.

During our drive that day, we stopped at gas station called 'The Middle of Nowhere' that was literally in the middle of nowhere - nothing for miles and miles and miles!  The best part of this place were the ALPACA'S that were fenced in front of the convenience store of the gas station just hangin' out!

They were the cutest alpaca's!  Kingsley hated them.  Typical.

A cool tunnel we drove through in the mountains of Wyoming.


We were very excited for today!  Today we were driving into Colorado to visit Mitch's brother and cousin for two nights.  We woke up in Wyoming to light snow flurries and temperatures in the 30s, but it got nicer out as we drove down into Colorado.

This guy was parked next to us at the campground when we got up to leave in the morning.  Antler christmas tree AND they were from Wisconsin!  

Welcome to Colorful Colorado.

Approaching the Rockies.

Mitch's brother, Collin, and cousin, Matt, live together in Silverthorne, CO, near Dillon, Frisco, Breckenridge, and Keystone.  We stopped for lunch in Steamboat Springs, about 45mins from Silverthorne.  Once again, there weren't any food trucks, so we stopped and asked some cool looking dudes where we should get lunch.  They recommended a place called 'Black Country Provisions' for sandwiches.

'Black Country Provisions' - Steamboat Springs, CO

What we got:
Tuna on a Baguette with Chips and Izze Blackberry soda.
Turkey, Avocado and Bacon with Chips and Izze Blackberry soda.

Total: $29 (is it me, or is that a lot for some sandwiches?)

Tuna sammy.  Mitch didn't seem to think getting my smiling mug in the picture was important.

Turkey sammy.

We arrived at Collin and Matt's house around 5pm.  Mitch made dinner for everyone and we hung out at the house for the night.

I had 3 sweaters on in this picture - I'm not used to this cold weather!
T-bone steaks for the guys (clearly I was NOT thrilled with the choice of dinner)... with rosemary potatoes and sautéed mushrooms.


Today Collin and Matt both had off of work, so they drove us around to show us where they worked and to get lunch.  We stopped in Frisco, CO at a place called 'Pika Bagel Bakery & Cafe.'

'Pika Bagel Bakery & Cafe' - Frisco, CO

What we got:
Hummus and veggie bagel sandwich with chips and a hot tea.
BLT bagel sandwich with chips and coffee

Total: $24

Hummus bagel.

BLT bagel.

We are very happy to report that we found a roadside stand/food truck selling homemade venison jerky's, all kinds of produce, and jelly's, called 'Uncle John's Farm Stand.'  We stocked up on stuff to make for dinner that night.

What we got:
Spicy Buffalo Jerky 
Raspberry Jelly
Corn cobs

Total: $31

'Uncle John's Farm Stand' - Frisco, CO

This was the last week they were open for the season, so we were lucky to find them!

The goods.

We did a little more sightseeing, including going to the local 'Breckenridge Distillery' for some complimentary bourbon shots and a tour of the facility.

Collin and I and a lot of whiskey.

Scenery shot.

The guys - Kingsley, Mitch, Matt, and Collin.

It was starting to get very cold, so we headed back to the house.  Before we knew it, it was snowing!  And it didn't stop for the rest of the night.  We wondered if we were going to be able to leave in the morning!

The Belafonte's first snow!

23 degrees and snowing.

Mitch made dinner again for everyone....

Spaghetti squash, roasted potatoes, jasmine rice, and sweet corn succotash.

Tomorrow morning we are leaving to start our trek back to Wisconsin.  We're going to stop in Denver for the afternoon to eat at some food trucks (I guess there's a ton there), then drive as far as Des Moines, IA to camp overnight one last time before our trip is over!  

Total Food Truck Spending for 4 Days: $31 (under budget)

Total Spending:
Gas: $464
Idaho KOA Campground: $33
Idaho Joe's restaurant: $33
Starbucks: $11
Wyoming KOA Campground: $35
Food Stand: $31
Black Country Provisions: $29
Pika Cafe: $24
Fred Myers: $46

Total for 4 Days:  $706 (under budget)

Tomorrow, Denver.  Then through Nebraska and Iowa before returning to Wisconsin for a week.

Mitch and Laurel

Monday, October 29, 2012

DAYS 26 - 28: Eugene, Portland, and Seattle

Thursday, October 18th - Sunday, October 21st, 2012 - Eugene and Portland, OR and Seattle, WA


We woke up in Crescent City, CA and headed straight out to the woods behind our campsite to explore the redwoods.  They were unbelievable!  We were in awe.

Hugging a SMALL redwood.

The woods at our campground.

Testing out the timer function on our phone camera.  It only took 15 times to get a shot that turned out.


Crescent City, CA - KOA campground.

Breakfast - toast with peanut butter, bananas, and 'Queen Sofia's Urban Honey'.

We started our drive into Oregon around 1pm.  He were headed to Eugene, OR which means we had to make our way from the Pacific coast to the inland through the mountains.  The drive was INCREDIBLE.  It was a very narrow and curvy two-lane road that was absolutely beautiful.

We stopped in a small town called Cave Junction, OR to get gas and immediately discovered a food truck!  It was a pizza food truck, so we were very excited because we haven't stopped at a pizza truck yet.  It was called 'Rosie's Inferno Fired Pizza' and it was in the gas station parking lot.

The chef at the 'Rosie's Inferno'.

'Rosie's Inferno' menu.

What we got:
The 'Bianca'
The 'Phoenix'

Total (with tip): $19

Our pizza's in the 1000 degree brick oven - they only took 2 minutes to cook!

The Phoenix (chile oil base, chicken, fresh jalapeños, roasted red peppers, smoked mozzarella, and cilantro) and the Bianca (garlic olive oil base, mushrooms, ricotta, mozzarella, and basil).

The pizza's were absolutely fantastic and the crust was phenomenal!  It is amazing to believe that these were made so quickly out of a food truck!  We were very impressed and they tasted delicious.

Awesome retro sign I saw.

After stuffing ourselves with pizza, we continued our drive towards Eugene, OR.  We arrived in Eugene around 6pm and hoped to find somewhere to eat for dinner, but every food truck we found (there weren't many) was closed.

Instead, we found a cool little health food market to buy some ingredients to make dinner at our campground later that night.  The campground was in Albany, OR, about halfway between Eugene and Portland.  

Sweet potato tacos with sweet potato leaves, spicy mayo, avocado, and tomato relish for dinner.

Mitch's favorite - Adoboloco Hot Sauce from Hawaii.


Yay! I've been looking forward to this day the entire trip!  Today we stopped in Portland to eat at some trucks and then we were on our way to Seattle to visit our great friends, Krista and Ryan, who live there.

We got to Portland for lunch.  I found a food truck online that sounded pretty good, so decided to seek it out.

'Hog and Hen Acadian Kitchen' google search.

Thanks to the discovery of the 'Hog and Hen' online, it lead us to a huge row of food trucks!  Unfortunately, neither of us ended up eating there, but I want to give them a huge shout-out for leading us to all the food trucks near them!  If all food trucks were as easy to find as this one, our food truck hunting would be a lot easier!

Row of food trucks in Portland.  There was every kind of food truck you could think of!

I found a vegan food truck to order from (first one I've found on this trip!) and Mitch found a modern Asian truck to eat at.

'Homegrown Smoker Vegan BBQ' menu.

What I got:

Vegan BBQ Tempeh Slider
Vegan Portobello Slider
Vegan Mac n' Cheese with vegan chili 

Total (with tip): $8

Vegan BBQ truck.

Vegan slider and mac n' cheese.

Everything was SO GOOD!  It always amazes me how 'regular' food can be converted into vegan food.  Everything was so yummy and comforting and tasted great!  Plus, I got all this food for only $8! Pretty incredible.

'Phat Cart' food truck.

'Phat Cart' menu.

What Mitch got:
Crispy Chicken Bento Box
Crispy Shrimp and Chicken Dumplings
Coconut Juice

Total (with tip): $13

Shrimp and dumplings.

Crispy chicken bento box.

Mitch said the chicken was super, super crispy and delicious and it was served with sticky rice and veggies.  It had a spicy lime aioli drizzled on top which really added to the flavor.  The chicken dumplings were braised chicken and vegetables in wonton wrappers and deep-fried served with a sweet and sour sauce, as were the shrimp.  Every was very good and made fresh to order. 

Portland was whirlwind because we were literally only there for 20 minutes before we were back on the road again.  We couldn't find parking, so we parked in a loading zone and ordered and ate our food as fast as we could.  After our meal, we started our way to Seattle!

Seattle skyline.

We arrived at Krista and Ryan's house around 5pm.  It was so great to see them and awesome to know that we were going to be staying with them all weekend!  They just bought a new house in Mukilteo, WA (about 15 mins from downtown Seattle) AND just a had a baby in August.  It is such an exciting time in their lives and we are so lucky to be able to spend time with them!

Mitch, Ryan, baby Andie, Krista, and myself.

Andie Rose!

Mitch made dinner for us that night (someone had to break in the new kitchen!) and we hung out at the house for the night.  Everything was homemade with ingredients that Krista had in the pantry and it was all incredible!

What he made:

Pan-seared halibut with lemon garlic butter.

Pacific Northwest crab cakes with Adoboloco jalapeño aioli.

New York strip with roasted garlic and whiskey pesto.

Peach and apple crumble pie with sour honey whipped cream and poppy seeds.


Today we drove into Seattle to go to Pike Pier and walk around.  We decided that eating at the pier was considered eating at a food market, so we ate there instead of hunting for food trucks.

Space needle.

Pike Pier/Public Market.

Beef tongue.


Krista suggested we eat a place called 'Beecher's Homemade Cheese'.  The line was out the door, so we knew it would good!

Lunch at the Public Market.

We met a guy who could solve a Rubix Cube in under 25 seconds!

What we got:
Ham and Cheese sandwich
Mac n' Cheese
Herb Cheese Curds
2 Local Beers
2 Coffees

Total (with tip): $36

Ham and cheese sandwich, curds, and mac.

Everything was so good!  We walked around the market for a while, then made plans to visit our friend, Dave, who lived about 5 minutes from downtown.  Dave is the lead singer of Mitch's favorite band, Aqueduct, who Mitch has become friends with over the past year.  He is one of the nicest and most talented guys you will ever meet! 

Dave and Mitch (and the dogs) at Dave's amazing house overlooking the water.

Check out Dave's band, Aqueduct, at:

After visiting Dave, we drove out to the Puget Sound to admire the views.  Even though it was raining a little, it was still beautiful.  

Formal family pic.

Drift wood.

Mitch made dinner again that night....

Cucumber and radish lettuce wraps with Cyprus Grove Humboldt Fog cheese and 
candied sesame seeds.

Whiskey chicken marsala and eggplant with roasted white sweet potatoes and local mushrooms.

Thank you so much to Krista and Ryan for letting us stay with them all weekend!  It was great to sleep in a real bed and not in our camper for a few days!

Tomorrow, we are on our way east through Washington and into Idaho and Utah.  After that, we will be driving into Wyoming and then down into Colorado to visit Mitch's brother, Collin, and cousin, Matt, who live in Silverthorne, CO.

Total Food Truck/Market Spending for 3 days: $76 (under budget)

Spending for 3 days in Oregon and Washington:

Gas: $294
Food truck/markets: $76
Coffee: $6
Groceries: $25
Campsite in Albany, OR: $28

TOTAL: $429 (Under budget!)

Leftover from our $6000 budget: $1091 - SIX DAYS LEFT! Do you think we can do it?

New posts to come:

Silverthorne, CO

Mitch and Laurel