I have to say, I have been pretty bad about getting around to all of the food trucks. I guess I am kind of weird about liking to sit down and eat, and since I don’t work in any of the offices where the trucks often park, it makes it more challenging for me. Also, in winter, you can’t even sit down outside. I am assuming the trucks’ business suffers a fair amount in cold weather, but maybe I’m wrong—whatcha think?
Anyway, I was in Carmel at an appointment and noticed on twitter that Spice Box was at an office building close to me. So I decided to pick it up and take it home to eat. I figure Indian food could probably travel fairly decently (and that’s what passenger side seat heaters are for right?). So I hunted them down and got the “spice box” with two of the main dishes—the spicy shrimp and the butter chicken ($9 for 2 items, $7 if you just want 1). It also comes with rice and a piece of garlic naan.
The first thing I noticed about this truck was how exceptionally nice the two guys were who were working there. They asked me if I had been before, and took a lot of time telling me about the different options. I wanted to try a couple of different things so I got the shrimp and the chicken, although they really had me sold on the chicken. One of them then asked if I liked spicy things and told me about the sauce they had on the side and fixed me a little cup of it to go with my lunch. He was telling me all about the ingredients (Thai green chili, cilantro, a tiny bit of mint, a bit of yogurt, as well as many other items). It is pretty obvious that they are enthusiastic about their food. They also specifically asked for any feedback, good or bad—they obviously are looking to make their truck as successful as possible.
And the food, well, that butter chicken was delicious. It consists of chunks of boneless chicken in a rich hearty sauce—the sauce had a fair amount of spice, and it lingered in your mouth, but not in a hot burn your mouth kind of way. Lots of Indian spices, lots of butter and tomato paste. It was really addicting. The chicken stayed tender and the sauce was great soaked into the rice.
I didn’t like the shrimp as much, not because it was bad, but just because I really liked the chicken more. The shrimp was well cooked (I would worry it would get overcooked in a dish like this) and the sauce had a bit more heat, but it was more of a curry type taste, with a distinct undertone of coconut, which isn’t my favorite thing. So it is more of a personal preference. But I will go back and get the chicken in a heartbeat (and apparently it is one of their most popular items so I guess I am not the only one).
I really enjoyed the green sauce too—it had a lot of cilantro in it and I liked the freshness it added to everything (I pretty much added it to all of it). It also added a bit more heat, but wasn’t overwhelmingly hot. Be sure and ask for some of this if they don’t offer it (my guess is they will though, as friendly as the were).
The Naan (which is an Indian flat bread) was tasty—it had a lot of garlic flavor, which is always good. My only complaint was because they put it in the box with the entrées, it gets a little soft from the steam of the food. I would have liked it a little firmer (maybe if they wrapped it in foil separately or something). I probably would order an extra piece next time too. It had a really great flavor.
I would say this is a truck that is worth checking out if you happen to have them in your area. I am looking forward to getting the butter chicken again. And don’t forget to tell me about your other favorite food trucks. You guys were the ones who turned me onto this truck, and I appreciate it.
Spice Box (food truck)