Thursday, September 13, 2012
Nammi’s free silkworm banh mi: a creative, creepy hit
Just close your eyes and chow down.
DALLAS First day on the job they said, “We’re going to need you to eat silkworms. And, maybe some jellyfish.”
The silkworms and jellyfish in question are from DFW-based Nammi Food Truck, which has teamed up with Dos Equis for a promotion that vows to put free food in your belly, "no strings attached." The catch? This food involves silkworms, jellyfish, and crispy quail.
The two Dos Equis workers assured me this was the “most interesting food truck in the world." Admittedly, it was my most interesting food truck experience to date. While most customers only took one of the free banh mi sandwiches, I tasted all three. The verdict: The silkworms stood out with a surprising dark horse victory over their more innocuous-looking competitors.
Nammi created the special menu specifically for the Dos Equis promotion that runs through September 22 at various locations. Their Soy Silkworms (soy fed silkworms; they’re the real thing) are “seared with green tea sesame sauce” and placed on a hearty banh mi roll -- a crispy baguette of French influence. When it comes to consistency, the Dos Equis promoters described it perfectly: like sautéed mushrooms. The flavor was rotund and smoky -- just unusual enough be interesting without detracting from the pleasure of a warm sandwich right off Nammi's grill.
Advice: Close your eyes and chow down.
Sandwich Two, the jellyfish, was chewy like calamari, and mild. I thought I detected a subtle fishiness, but it was hard to tell, as the the satay chili oil marinade overwhelmed -- in a good way -- the jellyfish with a pleasant kick, reigned in by a cool cucumber salad topping.
Sandwich Three proved less adventurous. Its crispy quail was served on the banh mi with a black bean sauce. While tasty in its own right, it did not stand out as especially unique. And we're not kidding here: It tastes a lot like chicken.
The promoters reported that 20 minutes into service, they'd already talked people into trying "several" silkworm and jellyfish sandwiches, a fact quickly confirmed as a host of interested patrons quickly surrounded the truck, beckoned no doubt by the costumed samurai shouting “Free food!” while swinging a prop sword at passing cars. Despite a growing crowd, lines were short and the Nammi crew cranked out sandwiches in record speed, with very little time between each gutsy order and brazen first bite.
You can catch the special menu -- and the free noms –- once per day through September 22 at various locations.
Full schedule is here, and be sure to look for "Dos XX Promo" on the Truck 2 schedule.
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