Monday, November 1, 2010

Full Steam Ahead for Farmhand Foods

(We realize this food event was already covered by Carpe Durham, but are so excited about this delicious Durham addition we decided it couldn’t hurt to cover it some more!)

Last Thursday’s pairing of local food and local brew brought out the crowds to taste test Durham’s newest food truck addition, Farmhand Foods. When we arrived at Fullsteam shortly after 5:30 p.m., people were already lined up along Rigsbee Avenue, with beers in hand, chatting and waiting for their turn at the sausage truck. Despite the wait everyone was relaxed, enjoying the casual atmosphere and eager to show support for the local food scene. It was very exciting to see everything coming together for this corner of downtown Durham.

Besides adding a new genre to the growing food truck scene, Farmhand Foods provides handcrafted sausages made from animals that are pasture-raised in North Carolina. The result is fresh and tasty beef and pork sausages served up with a twist. After reading the descriptions on the menu, we struggled to narrow down our options and ordered all five—four sausage variations and one vegetarian sandwich (since we aren’t trying to grow our guts, we split them between the two of us).

The first thing to note is that all the sausages were served up on Guglhupf pretzel rolls—we are not sure if this will be standard practice, but from the positive feedback we think they should consider it. The bread was soft and fresh but substantial enough to hold together while you dive into your sausage. We each had a clear favorite, but were quite pleased with all four sausage offerings.

For one of us, it was the Spicy Italian Sausage served with chow chow and mustard. The combination of spice and tang had hints of tradition, but with its own stamp.

For the other, the favorite by far was the Country Breakfast Link featuring maple butter and roasted apples. The sweetness of the butter and apples on the fresh bun make even Monday mornings worth waking up for.

We also enjoyed the bratwurst and polish sausages, but they didn’t quite have the standout flavor of the other two—our suggestion would be switching up the pickles for jalapenos on the polish sausage. Finally, we shared the Seasonal Vegetarian Sandwich made with shitake mushrooms, goat cheese, arugula and pesto. Although fresh, we thought it lacked flavor and was overpowered by the goat cheese, but being that we aren’t vegetarians, we are hesitant to make a final judgment.

Fullsteam’s open space with large tables and open doors to allow for moving inside and outside easily, was the perfect spot for a food-truck-get-together. After enjoying our meal on the wall outside, the GWG ventured inside to finish our evening with a beer and check out the live music.

We tried two of Fullsteam’s beers: the Hogwash, a hickory-smoked porter; and the Carver Sweet Potato Beer. Both were refreshing after a large dinner and were nice to sip while we enjoyed the blue grass band playing on the stage and watching the variety of people who attended the event. From families with children, to friends young and old, Fullsteam has a distinctly Durham feeling and is a great spot to slow down and catch up.
The GWG think Farmhand Foods has it right, “(m)eat [and drink] local” at these two great Durham establishments.

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