Susie Q’s Lunchbox: Cheap homage to Louisiana…
I’m sure when Louisiana-born Dale Hawkins wrote Susie Q in 1957, the last thing he thought it would spark was a Nola, Louisiana food truck (with a name that literally gives new meaning to the word food porn: Susie Q’s lunchbox, indeed) that sat in a parking lot in the East Bay of Northern California. Having taken on the name (and the attempt to execute food that sparks misty-eyed memories of Nola) of this frequently covered song, this food truck probably didn’t realize that they were taking on an expectancy to deliver. Properly. They probably just thought it would be cute. Maybe I’m being a bit too harsh, did I mention the owner of truck’s name is Susan?
Out of all the trucks at Alameda’s Off The Grid, Susie Q’s crew were the only crew adorning whites. Chef whites, for those of you unfamiliar with the jargon of the food industry sub-culture. There was a line that formed at their window-step long before they started to take orders, so I followed suit like any patriotic American and gave in to peer pressure without question. The beauty about food truck pods is that you can usually try something out, and if you’re not pleased, walk away reasonably unscathed financially, and mosey on to another truck that’s a sure bet. Luckily, that was my experience.
At $10, their Oyster Po’ Boy is a miniature version of the real po’ boys. Roughly three to three and a half perfectly fried, satisfyingly crunchy oysters, sitting on a bun the size of a hot dog bun. And not the foot long version. Also, with (cold) bacon bits and (room temp) slaw that had so much mayo it was making me nauseous. The slaw ladened side of the bun started to disintegrate long before I half-way consumed the damn thing. There’s good messy, which is intentional, and there’s bad messy, like the walk of shame after a Saturday night in the dorms.
Gumbo, $7 of sausage broth. Albeit amazingly deep flavored sausage broth that was truly satisfying. However, the description on the window said it had rice, as traditional in any gumbo with its bottom layer of rice to capture the hard work of roux and reduced broth and the holy trinity, but this had no rice. Ok, in all fairness, it had two miniature quenelle football shaped clumps of rice. No exaggeration. It was supposed to have chicken, where? It had a generous amount of sausage, but the broth wasn’t a tight consistency. It was more loose than me when I got my first apartment at 18-years-old. It had amazing flavor, don’t get me wrong. If this was just labeled sausage soup, I would have been perfectly happy. But, as with everything, sometimes the negative just outshines the positive.
You can thank the media for that. Or, the bustlin’ Suzie Q’s crew.
Susie Q’s is based out of San Rafael, but you can find them on Saturdays at Alameda’s South Shore shopping plaza.