Posts tagged durham
The Chirba Chirba Dumpling Truck just pulled up outside my office, and I couldn’t resist the charm of its mascot. Painted on the side of the yellow truck, the smiling, plump, cartoon dumpling seemed to say “please eat me… I am so scrumptious and cheerful.”
Chirba Chirba’s menu is short and sweet, featuring three types of dumplings – two meaty, and one vegan. Called “Veggie-lings,” the vegan dumplings are moist and savory, containing seasoned mixed vegetables, mushrooms, and soy sheet. A pineapple salsa tops off the dumplings, adding a sweet complementary flavor. The truck also offers a vegan side item, máo dòu, which is your typical salty edamame appetizer. Several complimentary self-serve sauces allow you to customize your meal.
I spoke to Chela Tu, one of the truck’s four co-founders, about the beginnings of Chirba Chirba. She said the truck was the brainchild of her group of friends, all of whom have strong ties to China and a love of dumplings. They chose the name “Chirba Chirba” because it means “Eat, eat!” in Mandarin Chinese, sort of like the expression “Mangia, mangia!” in Italian. The truck is only about ten weeks old, and the Durham-based group is still getting the hang of things in the food truck world, but already has plans to expand the menu. The next addition will be a gluten-free dumpling option, Tu says.
In honor of finishing a big freelance project, my boy treated me to a fantastic dinner last night at The Cuban Revolution in Durham. For drinks, I ordered the Cuban Sunrise and my boy got the Cuban Revolution Old-Fashioned. The sunrise was a perfect layered drink with rum, pineapple juice, and grenadine. It was sweet without being headache-inducing. The Old-Fashioned was a deceiving concoction of what appeared to be fruity ingredients, but turned out to be straight whiskey, which I graciously offered to drink for him.
For tapas we got the fried green beans, chips and black bean salsa, and guacamole. They were all fantastic, especially the green beans. My only complaint is that after asking the waitress and calling twice to ask whether the green bean breading is in fact vegan, I am still not convinced that they were giving me a straight answer. It would be really fantastic to see this place (and many others) point out allergens on their menu. Anyway, the green beans were so good, they are inspiring me to fry my own at home, so I know those will be 100% vegan.
I ordered Raul’s Sampler for my entree, which consisted of black beans and rice, maduros, and tostones. By itself, the beans and rice were enjoyable, but I added guacamole, salsa, and the maduros to the bowl and mixed it all up. After that, every bite was amazing. The tostones, which are mashed and fried plantain slices, were really not very good. They have almost no identifiable flavor and the texture isn’t too hot either. I will steer clear of those the next time I go… I don’t know if it’s an acquired taste, but they just didn’t do it for me.
Overall, the meal was excellent and I had a great time with my devilishly handsome companion.