Food & Drink » Food Features

Mystery meat



Enter the 5th Amendment. Plenty of restaurants have specials, whether for a day or a week, often based on an idea the chef had coupled with the availability and price of certain ingredients. And Big Truck has specials, too — a “dirty bowl” or a kind of tostada or taco. But Big Truck also has a secret.

Every day (almost), the 5th Amendment changes. And every time, you must wait at least a day to find out what it was. You can ask, but the folks at Big Truck won’t tell you until they’re ready. So I decided to roll the dice for a week and try to figure out what was in the 5th each day and explore my own obsession with that menu item.

Chef Kathryn Mathis (one half of the duo known as the Taco Twins, along with Cally Johnson) said it’s truly a creative outlet.

“We wouldn’t feed you anything we wouldn’t eat ourselves,” she said. “It’s not Fear Factor; we’re trying to make something people like that maybe they haven’t had before.”

My guesses: • Monday: Chickpeas, baby spinach, goat cheese and grilled, marinated mushrooms. • Tuesday: Fried seafood, spicy slaw, arugula and peppers. • Wednesday: Breaded pork, lettuce, rice and pineapple salsa. • Saturday: Pot roast, carrots and fried onions. • Monday: Fried okra, guacamole, arugula and pico de gallo.

Actual ingredients: • Monday: They weren’t divulged, but Kathryn said I was pretty close. • Tuesday: Calf fries, arugula, rice, spicy Dijon mayo and escabéche. • Wednesday: Ancho turkey, scallion rice, lettuce and pineapple pico de gallo. • Saturday: Braised pork in coconut milk, sweet potatoes, asphalt salsa and chicharrónes crumbles. • Monday: Fried oysters and okra with cabbage, chipotle guacamole and pico de gallo.

The craziest ingredients generally made for the most memorable tacos. While the Greek taco on Monday was good, it paled next to the heat and crunch of the calf fries on Tuesday.

Don’t like calf fries? Too bad. They’re delicious when prepared correctly.

While I was way off on Saturday’s, it was probably my favorite. Sweet and spicy.

What’s great about the 5th is the adventure. You can get the same thing every time you go in (I’m partial to The Guardian, myself), but after a while, it gets monotonous. So for $3.50, you get a little mystery.

That said, if you have allergies, maybe steer clear of the 5th.

“We will answer the question, ‘Is it shellfish?’ And if you say you don’t eat pork, we may nod our head yes or no at that,” Mathis said.

“But if you have multiple allergies or you’re a picky eater, chances are it’s not for you.”

If you like a little risk, or just want to play food detective, the 5th is a fun, delicious option.

Even when you end up with a mouth full of fried testicles.

Latest in Food Features

Add a comment