Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Great Balls on Tires: Just a bite...
“Tony will finish it.” I think as I stare down at my heaping container of garam masala chicken meatballs with coconut madras curry, crispy fried onions, tomato chutney, cilantro chutney, and saffron basmati rice from the Great Balls on Tires food truck.
I grimace at the amount of food that I’ve just ordered – food that I don't need at 4 pm on a Sunday afternoon when I’d eaten lunch just two hours prior.
A big lunch. I’d practically inhaled my quinoa salad with tofu, mixed greens, radishes, and fennel, and then nearly swallowed the apple I’d selected for “dessert” whole.
There was no reason to be ordering a second lunch after that feast of... fiber. Even if that feast of fiber had been kind of boring, a bit bland and not at all worthy of my total inhalation of its contents. (Sometimes not even quinoa can save a salad.)
So as I’d been sitting in my favorite local wine shop, DomaineLA, sipping the wines selected for that Sunday’s tasting event with Great Balls on Tires and feeling malnourished from my sad salad, I couldn’t stop thinking about them.
Especially after a fellow taster started raving about the meaty food truck’s Indian-inspired Ballywood Ball ($6), one of the more inventive offerings on the menu created by Chef Michael David, who was formerly the Executive Chet at Comme Ca Restaurant. As her eyes sparkled with signs of sublime satisfaction, I’d decided that I couldn’t continue my casual sipping until I’d tried it also.
“I’ll just take a bite,” I’d told myself as I walked up to the truck to place my order.
“No harm in that,” I’d justified.
Even now, just moments after being presented with the weighty portion that includes two massive meatballs, a tuft of fluffy rice, and the chutneys and crispy onions, I’m still convinced that I won’t eat it all. I’m still convinced that I’ll just “take a bite” and then pass the rest along to my friends.
“Tony will definitely eat this,” I reason once again, as I slide my fork into the supple flesh of the garam masala-spiced chicken meatball, impressed by the meltingly tender interior.
The flavors explode in my mouth – crushing my tongue with heat, fragrant spices and sweet intermingling tones that soften the blast from the curry and accompanying chutneys. I gasp in surprise.
“This came from a truck?”
My fork is moving faster now – scooping up the delicate saffron basmati rice, siphoning off bite after bite of the oversized meatballs, and dancing in the chutneys that both brighten and punctuate the dish.
I can’t stop. Even when Tony arrives, I can barely get myself to form the words, “Do you want any?”
Because suddenly I don’t want him to want any.
I don’t want him to finish it.
It’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted from a food truck, and today I want to take all the bites.
Great Balls on Tires