Review: This bi-weekly menu from the Green Tidings food truck has its ups and downs

The Green Tidings food truck outside of Cole Field House. The truck operates from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. every weekday from various locations, such as the UMD Farmers' Market and Regents Drive Garage. (File Photo/The Diamondback)

The Green Tidings food truck has been an on-campus staple for the University of Maryland since 2013. Chef Thomas Schraa crafts a new menu for the truck every two weeks, keeping all the meals seasonally fresh, local and sustainable. With that in mind, I sat down and taste-tested some items for this cycle’s menu. 

Thai Red Lentil Soup ($3)

To preface this, I’m not a big soup girl. However, I decided to take a leap of faith outside of my comfort zone and order this.

It was actually incredible. It was hot when I ordered it, and pretty warm 20 minutes later when I went back for seconds. It was pretty thick and had a somewhat grainy texture, as you’d expect for some sort of legume-based liquid. 

There was this red oil on top — which I later figured out was chili oil — and once I mixed that in, the whole soup had this spicy kick to complement the hot temperature. There were also julienne snow peas mixed in, and while I enjoyed the crunch of the stalk, I didn’t think the flavor matched what I was experiencing otherwise. 

Overall, it was really filling and exceeded all expectations I had. 

Truffle Scented Kennebec Fries ($3)

To preface, I love fries. If something comes with a side of fries, I’m 20 times more likely to order it.

But these were lackluster. I’m not sure what “truffle scented” was supposed to mean, but they just tasted salty. Any other supposed flavor undertones were muted. I will say, taste aside, the fries were perfectly crispy on the outside and mushy on the inside.

The smoked ketchup that I got on the side was the saving grace. It was way more flavorful than the fries themselves. This ketchup tastes like how a summer barbecue smells. 

I was pretty disappointed and didn’t finish the order. I would be open to trying the fries again if they had a different flavor palate, or if I was just in the mood for plain ole fries. 

Vegetarian Slider Duet ($8.50)

This entree came with two sliders: one Impossible Burger and one chickpea burger, each garnished with lettuce, tomato, shredded onion and cumin-scented carrot raita. (On a side note, I don’t know why they offer so many insert-flavor-here-scented items. I didn’t taste or smell any truffle on the fries, and I didn’t taste or smell cumin in this condiment.)

These garnishes overpowered the actual burgers, and after I took them off, the Impossible Burger tasted much better. The Impossible Burger tastes just like a normal burger — as is the point — but I was missing the interesting flavors the food truck normally supplied. With the chickpea burger, the raita was a little more acceptable because the burger was already infused with carrots.

I definitely like the chickpea slider more, though it was extremely mushy and fell out of the sides of the whole wheat bun as I took my first bite — but the flavor was what mattered more. It didn’t necessarily taste like chickpeas, but it did taste like your typical veggie-type burger, which I’m always down for. 

I wouldn’t order this again, but for what it was, I didn’t hate it. My main issue with this dish was the lack of originality that I normally associate with the Green Tidings truck. 

Lamb and Goat Cheese Pita Sandwich ($8)

This was probably my favorite thing I tried from the truck. At first I was a little hesitant, because of the very apparent odor emanating from my to-go box. But once I got home and opened it up, I knew it would be good. 

The soft, fluffy pita was so packed that the lamb and cheese were spilling out. It was definitely very messy, which made me glad I was eating it in the comfort of my own home, but it was all good nonetheless. 

The lamb was spicy, but it would have tasted like a sloppy Joe without the kick. The goat cheese mellowed out the stronger flavors of the lamb, and the two worked together perfectly. The cheese was more of a thick sauce than the crumbles you get on your salad. The side included a meager helping of pickled cauliflower and some carrot slices. I think the dish could’ve done without the side, because it was the polar opposite of the warm, spicy sandwich.

This order is definitely what I’d recommend to anyone who asks what’s good at the food truck. It had all the components I look for in a dish and was totally worth the $8.

 

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