Daily Marauder


FOOD TRUCKS IN THE WILD: THE GRILLED CHEESE TRUCK by Marauder

FOOD TRUCKS IN THE WILD: THE GRILLED CHEESE TRUCK

Grilled Cheese Truck

Last night in Silverlake here in Los Angeles, I made up my mind to track down The Grilled Cheese Truck after consulting with @thirteenny and convincing @kw to come with me. I located the cheesy goodness on Twitter and made my way down to MOCA to sample the wares.

After driving around for 20 minutes trying to locate a spot, I gave up and parked my car with the hazards on. There was no way I was walking away without a grilled cheese sandwich in hand, even if I had to cry in front of a parking attendant to get one. Out-of-state plates are so useful in times of need.

Menu Grilled Cheese Truck

After a quick read of the menu, the combinations were a bit less than inventive. They could learn something from a quick study of S’Mac’s menu in the East Village, NYC. Mac & Cheese yes but stunning combinations of cheese all the same. All the same, a good classic is a good classic. I was ready to get this cheesy party started.


I went with the Cheesy Mac and Rib because really, isn’t it double the carbs, double the fun? Now, paying $7 for a grilled cheese sandwich isn’t something I’m in the habit of doing but what the hell, a girl’s gotta eat.

Grilled Cheese Truck LAist

Photo Credit: Zach Behrens/LAist

The sandwich left me with several highs and a few low notes. On the upside, the cheese was perfectly melted and the sharpness of the cheddar perfectly paired with the sweetness in the BBQ pork and caramelized onions. The induced sad face came from the clump of BBQ pork aggregated in the middle of the sandwich rather than spread around for evenness. I expect a little extra on a $7 sandwich. Of course, I’ll pay $15 for a Katz’s Pastrami because I know it will be perfection every time.

In the end, as I shivered on the street while watching my illegally parked car like a hawk and downing melted cheese, I was satisfied with my melted goodness. That said, I won’t be as intent on tracking the truck down in the future.

The trucks’s chef Dave Danhi hails from an impressive list of restaurants from the Water Grill, Roxbury Supper Club, Habana, and Georgia. After a pre-melt in the Farmer’s Market, the truck launched to the masses on October 27th. The power of the launch was strengthened by Danhi and partner Michele Grant’s twitter feed launched 2 months earlier to spread the buzz. That goal was certainly attained as I don’t know single Angelino who hasn’t mentioned the truck in the past week. At this point, food trucks and twitter feeds are almost synonymous with each other. If you’re looking for a Twitter list of food trucks in your city, check these out:

LA

NYC

SF

As I drove home to West Hollywood full of toasted cheesiness, I passed countless Mexican food trucks and began to ponder. Yes, there is a food truck craze in full tilt. Yes, we love them. But what about the trucks that started it all? On my next commute home, I’m stopping there and getting a $3 taco. I’m pretty sure I’ll be even more satisfied.

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
April 9, 2009, 6:22 PM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,

TECHNOLOGY

Hitachi and a Silicon Valley company named GestureTek are working on a prototype that allows TV viewers to control their sets with hand movements instead of a remote control. The system, somewhat like Nintendo’s Wii console, uses a specialized video camera that is mounted on the TV to record human movements that are then translated into TV commands. CNET (4/8)

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STARBUCKS SENDS ME SOME ENERGY: DOUBLESHOT + A USB COOLER by Marauder
February 6, 2009, 1:39 PM
Filed under: Feature, TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

STARBUCKS SENDS ME SOME ENERGY: DOUBLESHOT + A USB COOLER

usb-doubleshot

Starbucks (thanks Elavia) sent me a care package this week with the essential ingredients for good blog-making: caffeinated beverages and a USB cooler as powered by my computer.  Coming to grocery and convenience stores this month, you’ll find the Starbucks Doubleshot drinks.

doubleshot

They come in 4 flavors including vanilla, coffee, mocha, and cinnamon dulce.  I sit sipping the new flavor, cinnamon dulce as we speak.  It tastes like a cinnamon bun mixed with a little milk.  Not exactly my drink of choice but for you sweet drink junkies out there, this is for you.  I mean, I’m the girl who drinks her coffee black with no sugar.  I’m also a little intimidated by the size of the can.  Think of the extra large version of the Red Bull can and you’ve arrived at the size of this product.  Who drinks this much beverage all at once?  Luckily, my clumsiness kicked in and I spilled my can all over my desk.

computer-doubleshot

My intrigue over this particular care package really comes from the USB cooler/warmer.  Plug this device into your computer via USB to keep any beverage warm or cool.  There’s a separate switch on the back for either.  I like to let my beverage linger on my desk over several hours.  Now, at least I can keep it at relatively the right temperature.  Ingenius.  Click here for one of your very own.

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING: TURKEY DAY FREAK-OUT MOMENT by Marauder

HAPPY THANKSGIVING: TURKEY DAY FREAK-OUT MOMENT

There is no Daily Marauder edition tomorrow Thursday November 27th or Friday November 28th.  In honor of this Thanksgiving, I bring you the top Thanksgiving meltdown moment as offered up from Cast TV’s Marie DeOrio. I know it looks like Aliens-meets-chicken, but I assure you, it’s a turkey. Happy gobble day all.


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COMBINE DRIVING: TECHNOLOGY GETS COUNTRY by Marauder
October 27, 2008, 6:13 PM
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , , , , , ,

COMBINE DRIVING: TECHNOLOGY GETS COUNTRY

Looks like something you would see out of a book on Walt Whitman no?  I took this picture over the weekend while visiting my grandfather in the country wilds of Cadiz, KY.  Apart from playing central operations for the Trigg County Ham Festival earlier in October, Cadiz is also home to a pretty substantial farming community.  My family owns corn, soybean, and dark tobacco fields.  As a girl who sometimes likes to get her hands dirty, I thought I would take a trip out to the soy bean farm.  Above is the shot taken from my 2 mega pixel iPhone.

I decided to get a bit more hands on and take a couple trips around the field on this piece of equipment above called a combine, a harvester used to pick the soy beans.  The machine separates the bean from the pod filling the tank.  Not only did I feel like a bit of a bad ass, I found the way this thing worked to be pretty damn remarkable.

Above is a shot from inside the cab of the combine looking down on the header picking soy beans as we put-putted along.  The header is loaded with a reciprocating knife which moves back and forth to de-pod the soybeans in creepy precision.  The machine senses the distance from the ground and consistently moves the header up and down to account for any changes in the field.  Some of these combines are loaded with GPS, key to making any piece of technology that much better.  Apparently, my cousin Bob first outlines the field with the GPS-loaded combine.  The machine then literally turns itself as it moves about the field.  And here I thought the driverless SUV from CES was pretty kick-ass.

Now, I know farming may not be so excitement central for us urban types.  But my trip to farm country reminded me that technology isn’t segregated for usage by city-dwellers.  It finds itself in the most remote places.  In fact, the town of Cadiz also has free wireless.  Cadiz 1.  NYC 0.   To be fair, at least New York isn’t located in a ‘dry county.’  Life doesn’t really seem worth living without a Grey Goose martini served up with a double tooth pick of olives.  Sigh. . .

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COFFEE AND FREE WI-FI by Marauder
June 11, 2008, 6:47 PM
Filed under: Feature | Tags: , , , , , , ,

COFFEE AND FREE WI-FI

The Recap

In February, Starbucks ended its 7-year relationship with T-Mobile for provision of Wi-Fi services in favor or a new relationship with AT&T. T-Mobile sued Starbucks because they say they have the exclusive right to “sell, market, and promote” in stores until the Wi-Fi networks have been completely transitioned to the new system. As of this post (6/11), T-Mobile & Starbucks have settled that suit.

Free Wi-Fi For All. . .Starbucks Customers

Given Starbucks’ new relationship with AT&T, users are allowed 2 hours of free Wi-Fi daily given that they spend $5 monthly on a rewards card. Let’s face it, that’s almost a single coffee. One coffee a month for 2 hours of free Wi-Fi daily. Done and done.

The Experiment

That’s all I needed to know to venture out in my quest for free Wi-Fi at the closest Starbucks. At the time, this happened to be a Starbucks in Warwick, RI. I asked the boisterous teenager at the counter about the free Wi-Fi with over-exaggerated zeal in my eyes. To my surprise, she knew nothing about the rewards card purchase for free Wi-Fi. Regardless, I requested the rewards card, loaded up the prerequisite $5, purchased the obligatory latte and went on my way.

I hopped online, registered my card, and speeded ahead with the free Wi-Fi experience. The only confusing part of the entire transaction was really connecting to AT&T in the store while the T-Mobile Wi-Fi service is clearly still offered at the location.

Go Out and Get You Some

THIS IS AWESOME. I could only ask for more in terms of allowable hours in one day. For $10, could I work from Starbucks all day? That much Java and free Wi-Fi would lead to some insane work efficiency. Let’s forget attempting a government-enabled free Wi-Fi system. Let’s just blanket the world with Starbucks (as if that weren’t already the case). Pay $5 per month for broadband access to your java supplier rather than the $30 to your cable company.

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TECHNOLOGY by Marauder
April 15, 2008, 6:17 PM
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: , , , , , , ,

TECHNOLOGY

Low-priced production has helped companies such as California-based Vizio compete with giant TV makers in the U.S. Vizio’s share of the North American LCD market rose to 12.4% in the fourth quarter of 2007, trailing Sony by just one-tenth of a percentage point. (The Wall Street Journal 4/15)




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