Tuesday, June 30, 2015

automatic taco x restaurant 17

restaurant 17 joined automatic taco behind the wheel (or i guess grill might be more appropriate) last week at community tap for a pop up dinner. both greg mcphee (executive chef of restaurant 17) and nick thomas (owner of automatic taco) were working the truck, making it a truly special collaborative menu. 

justin went for the duck confit taco with cherry mole sauce and pickled heirloom carrots, while i sprang for the gulf shrimp and pineapple ceviche and grassfed carne asada tostada, which had heirloom tomato, lardo grilled onion, cotija cheese and salsa verde. at $4 a pop, the ceviche was a good deal because they gave you so much shrimp, and i thought the plantain chips were a really nice touch. it always amazes me when chefs can still squeeze in the little details despite cooking in a motor vehicle in 100 degree heat. i also really enjoyed the tostadas because they were covered in salsa verde, which i would bathe in if it were socially acceptable, but still retained their crisp, crunchiness. we got some blueberry doughnuts with cardamom ice cream to cap things off. and you'd think eating doughnuts fresh out of the frier on a june evening would be too much, but these were so, so good. as you were eating them, the ice cream melted into a chilled dipping sauce that made them surprisingly refreshing. (they also had trout poke lettuce wraps and fried churros on the menu). we paired everything with some drinks from community tap - beer for justin, rose for me - and camped out on their back porch.

mc phee told the greenville news "[restaurant 17] needs to be friends with anyone involved in local foods; that's how you create a more cohesive food community. so we're hoping to make more friends downtown so we can do more pop ups in the future."

i love this attitude. i've never seen as much support among local makers/movers/shakers as i have in greenville. it's a much more collaborative atmosphere than competitive, which leads to some really unique events and opportunities for the city. also, i'll be the first to admit that i don't get out to traveler's rest as often as i would like to, so the fact that restaurant 17 is trying to build more of a presence in greenville is really exciting. but, they did recently launch a new bar menu, and a family-style, prix fixe menu is in the works too, so i have a feeling i'll be out there sooner rather than later. check out the food below and follow me on twitter to stay tuned for any more upcoming pop ups.

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