Sunday, August 12, 2012

Biker Jim, Pomfreet and the Food Truck Party at the Denver County Fair

What would summer be for a food blogger without posting about a food truck? I'm not talking about the food truck in the traditional sense that serves really good, cheap Mexican fare-- but the new, still-somehow-booming fleet of flashy, mobile super-kitchens that continue to swarm Denver's streets. Just like it's hard to throw a baseball and not hit the side of a barn (though not for Rockies pitchers), it is hard to walk downtown  and not spot a food truck--but just like you don't throw stones in glass houses, don't throw balls near food truck parties as you might crack a screen on an LCD display.

My latest foray with a food truck came at the end of a long day wandering around the Denver County Fair. It wasn't exactly a large gathering of food trucks-- five or six were corralled around the Southeast patio of the National Western Complex-- but it was packed with people like me--hungry after staring at so many delicious-looking chickens and goats and oh-so-glad to not have to eat at one of the Stock Show lunch counters or choke down another giant, dry turkey leg.

"Off the Streets and Into Your Mouth" is of course the tag line and main logo on Biker Jim's upscale version of his original food cart. It is a very literal name (which I enjoy immensely) though it might err on the too-literal side of things. It might be more appealing as "Off the Streets, Cleaned Thoroughly, Cooked and Then Into Your Mouth". Or maybe a different preposition would have cleared things up more: "From" The Streets? "Near" the Streets? I'm not sure why he didn't emblazon a large "Biker Jim" across the front, as that name in itself is synonymous with great Denver street food for anyone who has spent any time in Denver.

In the end it was a Biker Jim sausage through and through, complete with his signature cream cheese and caramelized onion toppings. I had the elk cheddar brat and it was fantastic as always--a true sweet meat. Though I still prefer the original Biker Jim grill on the mall from a simple cart, I suppose if anyone has earned the right to put his feet up and his menu on an LCD display it is him.

Next up was the Pomfreet truck: simple name for simple fare. The truck deals exclusively in fries and sauces to dip them in.

We ordered the freedom fries for the boys, which were the standard fries. I could be wrong but I think freedom fries are what uber-patriots called French fries after France did something in the W-Bush-era global reign of terror that uber-patriots didn't like (I think it was not blindly supporting the unilateral invasion of a Middle Eastern country for no legitimate reason or something like that). Maybe it was a purposeful shot of irony (which goes well with any fried food) to name the truck after the original French (Belgian) name of Pomme Frites, and then the first menu item after good ol' fashioned French-hating Americans.

The fries (I cringe at writing freedom fries--even in parenthesis--though I am going to start calling my sauerkraut liberty cabbage again) were excellent by themselves and outlandishly good with the garlic aioli dip. Our babies love their garlic and their fries--and with their new-found love of adult-sized plastic forks-- they were so happily occupied that the Pomfreet truck would serve well as our new babysitter.

Mom and dad ordered the green chile-smothered "Poutine". The green chile was simply chunks of mild Hatch chiles instead of a green chile sauce, and all the the smothering was done by a not-too-cheesy, creamy cheese sauce. I suppose it should be called a cheese-gravy as that is the only thing that would make it poutine-like instead of just good-old chile-cheese-fries. And there is nothing wrong with that. It was a fantastic and perfect with my sausage. Biker Jim and Pomfreet should always park next to one another.

The last bit of blog-worthy irony of the night was that the last food truck to open its higher-than-thou window to the masses of the County Fair folks was one serving "Caveman Food". Of course cavemen food, or the paleolithic diet, argues that we should eat as our pre-historic hunter and gatherer anscestors did. Gathering and hunting, of course, is much easier these days with a truck and a gun, so I'm not sure exactly what the delay was about, unless all the chopping and prep work was done with stones and spears.

The best part of the truck-eating experience for our family now are the trucks themselves. Our boys love--and I mean love--trucks. Despite a relatively gender-neutral upbringing, they gravitate towards large, motorized vehicles like a moth and its porch light on a dark summer night. Maybe that is the appeal of the food truck. Don't we all (at least many of my male readers) have more toddler in us than we would like to admit?

Food trucks like these are here to stay without a doubt. I just still can't believe that there are still so many and the prices that some of them charge. Despite this cynicism-laced post, I had a good meal that day from Biker Jim and Pomfreet, all for an arguably reasonable price, so maybe the market is taking control of food truck prices at last--or maybe we are all just used to it now. And even though I can't help think about all the "other" food trucks out there full of true and tested street-worthy fare, it is still just fun to sit on a curb-- or in our case the steps of the Stock show grounds-- and chow down.

Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs (Food Truck) on Urbanspoon


  1. Thanks for the warning on pomfreets. I would not give a nckle to someone who thinks Feedom Fries is an appropriate name for french fries!

  2. Pomfreet reminds me of two things: First, the 'poutine' is a classic French-Canadian gut-buster. Second, that a similar concept of a fries-only eatery rose and sank in Boulder. Spuds had three kinds of fries (fried, half-baked and baked) with all manner of toppings. It might have lasted on The Hill, but it didn't make it long on a downtown side street. At least the truck can move to locations where business is promising. Claire @



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