Wednesday, October 15, 2014

the mechanical owl

in other, much sadder, greenville food news: the mechanical owl food truck is closing. if you’re unfamiliar with the owl, it started as a restaurant over on wade hampton boulevard with aaron manter, owner and executive chef, and joseph mccarter, chef de cuisine at the helm serving what they called “fine dining for the working class.” in october 2013, the restaurant closed its doors, but saw the chance to reinvent itself when neue southern made a sudden departure for portland and had to leave their truck behind in greenville. thus, the mechanical owl was born and had its maiden voyage in august 2014.

yesterday, manter made an announcement on the owl’s facebook page that he had taken a full-time position at the peace center. since the owl was something he had poured his heart into, he didn’t want to neglect it and felt it best to lay the venture to rest. sad news for greenville’s budding food truck scene, but here’s hoping he adds some of that low-brow, high-flavor flare to the menu at geniveve’s.

justin and i had the good fortune to sample their fare a few weeks back when we were at quest. The menu featured:

dumplings with smoked tofu, kimchi’d veggies and soy green onion 

potato croquettes with cheddar, bacon and banana peppers 

cuban pork rilettes with grain mustard, swiss mayo and dill pickle on toasted swamp rabbit café stecca bread

cornmeal fried okra

and blueberry cookies.

it was dinner time, so we split the croquettes and cuban sandwich, which were the perfect accompaniment to the beers — not too heavy but still hearty enough to keep us full all night. the croquettes were so good. imagine fried mash potato bites and then throw banana peppers on top. (full disclosure, i am a banana pepper fiend, so maybe I’m biased to how good these were.) the rillettes were a nice departure from your traditional cuban, and i especially enjoyed the pickled onions, which I got to eat both helpings of since onions aren’t really jt’s thing.

The owl will have their final dinner service friday night, october 17th at 6 pm at the community tap. definitely make plans to check them out!

the seasonal pumpkin beer at quest is super good, especially when enjoyed on a cool evening outside at one of their picnic tables.
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