Olympia Food Writer Dines On Tasty Food Truck Meals by Mary Ellen Psaltis. ThurstonTalk.com, January 16, 2013.
Although it’s wet and freezing outside, there is lunchtime bustle around the food trucks at the intersection of 4th Avenue and Plum Street in downtown Olympia. People are even lined up. It’s as if the wagons have circled up and you get to pick which option tantalizes you most. Wait no longer to discover the buzz in and around food trucks. Here a just a few reasons:
Breathe our glorious Pacific Northwest air.
Spending a few minutes outside each day will get your blood flowing and give you first hand information about the weather. It’s really not raining all the time. You might be able to walk from your downtown office or from wherever you were parked for your downtown errands. There are a few free, off-street parking spaces between the food trucks and The Filling Station Espresso. Alternatively, press the meter button and get 15-minutes of free parking, long enough to place your order. Read the posted menus while you walk around the trucks, thus augmenting your appetite. Share picnic table seats with other diners.
Expand your culinary geography.
Get your bite of Mexico from Tacos California (360-870-9032). Just saying their name gets my son smiling. He said their burrito is “big enough for one lunch plus a snack,” but I noticed that his burrito did not survive long enough to eat any of it later. My veggie burrito was nicely merged flavors of grilled onions and peppers. My leftovers provided his snack – nice of me to share.
Tacos California has three other locations:
800 Sleater-Kinney Rd. SE Lacey 360-789-9767
Harrison Ave. in West Olympia 360-789-9305
7619 Martin Way E. Tanglewilde 360-789-6333
About Nineveh Assyrian
“After working throughout my childhood in my parents' restaurant and in the service industry as an adult, I have decided to create a restaurant to satisfy my passion for cooking the food of my people.
Nineveh, the last capital of the Assyrian Empire was once one of the largest settlements in the world. Around 700 BC the Assyrian Empire stretched from Egypt to Persia. Assyrians were adept at many things - making great strides in Astronomy, Mathematics, Medicine, and Science. The food enjoyed daily by these ancient people, the food of my ancestors, is what I bring to Olympia.”
Nineveh was once a city of Assyria (more ancient times) but now it’s painted on the side of one of the trucks. At Nineveh Assyrian (360-513-7072), you discover Middle Eastern dishes like falafel, shawarma and tabouleh. My pita, called the sabich, was packed with fried eggplant, organic hard-boiled egg, hummus, amba (pickled mango) and topped with fresh vegetables. You could substitute potato for the egg for a vegan option.
Truly out of the ordinary, I appreciated the various tastes and textures of this ‘sandwich.’ Though not a fan of garlic fries, we did order the hand-cut fries. They turned out to be wedges of potatoes – crisp and warm – that came with a garlic aioli that reminded me of tzatziki without the cucumbers. The sauce was excellent on the sandwich, too. I have become a fan.
When I indulge in treats, I expect fresh and real ingredients. That’s what they use at Abby’s Cookies and Cupcakes (360-561-9413). All made from scratch with no artificial flavors, colors and no shortening (that means there’s butter), you won’t find a bad choice. Yes, there are even gluten-free and vegan options from which to choose. Their goodies are also located the Co-op, Tofu Hut, Bayview Thriftway and the Hands On Children’s Museum. Owner Abby Mondau is happy to fill your order for weddings, baby showers and any other sort of party. On an exciting note, Mondau and her team are working on opening a new cafe in the south Capital neighborhood this spring.
Get pumped up.
We love our coffee in the northwest. Once a real gas station, The Filling Station Espresso (360-754-8415) handcrafts beverages. You can go decaffeinated, if you please. Walk up or drive through.
Support the local economy – even on Sunday.
Ian Shulman, owner of All Fed Up (360-464-5757), believes in food that is simple and clean. Trained at the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland along with his wife Angela Isaacson, they like being part of the community. Using fresh, local and organic ingredients, All Fed Up will fix you a stellar breakfast burrito (can be eaten for any meal) or sandwich. You will also find soup on tap. Shulman realized it was challenging to find a quick breakfast on Sunday, so he is there to serve you. My stomach was happy to get fed that cold Sunday morning.
Don’t fret about the weather. The enclave with numerous edible possibilities will warm you up. Yes, some days you’ll want the comforts only a dine-in restaurant can deliver, and that’s to be expected. But in-car dining on a blustery winter afternoon is its own kind of picnic.
The day after our lunch I was reminded of our dining pleasures as the scents floated out of my car as I opened the door. They surrounded me as I settled into the driver’s seat. I inhaled deeply, remembering that life really is delicious.
\ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)
1: an ancient empire of Ashur
2: a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern
Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)
a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of
its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender
4: a democratic state that believes in the freedom of
religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the
principles of the United Nations Charter —
Ethnicity, Religion, Language
Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
\ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)
1: descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur
2: the Assyrians, although representing but one single
nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now
doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle
ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding
hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the
East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.
These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the
Christian Era. No one can coherently understand the Assyrians
as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church
from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly
difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for
in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control,
religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a
criterion of nationality.
the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya,
Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean,
Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu,
Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye,
Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. —
1: a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of
the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.
2: has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical
Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.