Ninja Burger – Mini Burger Truck – Sacramento, CAFebruary 8, 2011 • By Rodney
The Mini Burger Truck has the distinction of being Sacramento California’s very first gourmet food truck! For the uninitiated, when you think gourmet food truck, don’t think of that roach coach that stops by the construction site selling microwaved food and prepackaged junk food, think your favorite local farm-to-table or gourmet food restaurant on wheels.
I’ve been to a couple of gourmet food trucks in other cities and each time it’s been a great experience. There are different trucks offering a wide variety of food choices. Not surprisingly, the trucks that I’ve tried have all been burger trucks. Each time I’ve gone, there’s been a friendly, almost “community like” atmosphere around the truck. Some people eat their food while standing, some sit in their parked cars, other, more experienced food truckers might bring their own folding camping chairs or setup a picnic. While other cities like Portland, NYC, and even our southern neighbors in Los Angeles have embraced the mobile food culture, the city of Sacramento has yet to fully support this refreshing way of dining.
This was my first visit to the Mini Burger Truck and I ended up eating 3 (mini) burgers to fill my lunch appetite. I’ll be reviewing each burger I try there separately (which will give me an excuse to go back again and again :) The standout burger that I’ll be reviewing for this trip was the Ninja.
OK….picture some Asian slaw, pea shoots, jalapeño and a lotus chip, drizzled with a sriracha aioli. Sounds like the makings of a smokin’ salad, right? Now throw that on top of a burger made of fresh (and local) Angus beef and surround it by a locally baked brioche bun.
That is the Ninja burger from the Mini Burger Truck and it will karate chop your mouth with flavor.
The lightly toasted bun was a little crispy, but was still soft enough to not make the burger holder too crunchy. Although the toppings were much fancier that I’d usually put on a burger, they all worked together nicely on this Asian themed hamburger. The slaw, pea shoots and lotus chip gave the burger the “normal” lettuce texture, but had the added benefit of adding a sweet and salty flavor to the sandwich instead of being just a token vegetable.
I’m a big fan of spicy food and the combination of the jalapeño and the sriracha aioli gave this sandwich more than enough kick to earn its Ninja name. The heat was also a bit sneaky like a ninja. At first, it’s just a cool combination of flavors, then the spice of the sriracha and jalapeño creeps up behind you for the knockout. It’s not the “hot for hot’s sake” kind of spice either. The spiciness actually makes a meaningful contribution to the hamburger.
I’m totally sold on the food truck culture. The fact that the first gourmet food truck to hit Sacramento is a burger truck was a win-win for this burger junkie. I had a great lunch with the added bonus of meeting several people that I’ve been following and chatting with on Twitter including @yetanothersusan, @lttlewys, @wales2k and @LawrenceRillera.
I was also able to meet the very cool owner of @miniburgertruck, Davin Vculek. I gave him one of our “I Love Hamburgers” stickers (and a t-shirt) and he promptly put it on the truck!
All 3 burgers I tried that day were great, but the Ninja really did a crouching-tiger-hidden-dragon-like leap to the top of the pack with it’s unique ingredients. You know, it wasn’t until just now that I realized that the burger didn’t have cheese on it. I would say 99.9% of my burger eating is of the cheeseburger variety, so the fact that I didn’t notice the cheese missing from this burger says a LOT.