Oh. My. God. Fried oyster taco (when I told my friends today that’s what I ate for dinner on Friday night, my friend Brandon started giggling like a middle school boy. Brandon, get your mind out of the gutter). This was The Tin Kitchen’s Friday special , both at lunch and where I scored it at Food Truck Friday. Even though I had already ordered a chicken shwarma pita from The Herban Legend (which was also amazing) once I saw this creation on The Tin Kitchen’s menu board, I knew I had to have one (and my inner fat kid was proud of myself for ordering two dinners).
If you missed it, I am so sorry for you (but you probably didn’t freeze your booty off in line like I did while waiting for it). Freezing my booty off was a perfect trade off for this delicious creation. It was incredible (I am at a loss of words to describe just how incredible it was, it was that incredible). A perfectly toasted tortilla was the vehicle for fried oysters over creamed kale with a smoked tomato and bacon dressing and asiago cheese. Yum. The flavor profile was spot on; the oysters were salty and firm but not quite as perfectly fried crisp as I would have liked (but I am going to blame the weather on that one; as soon as the steaming hot oyster mixed with the lower 50s elements of Friday night, the breading got a little soggy). The smoked tomato and bacon were the perfect compliment to the oysters’ salinity, and the creamed kale was well seasoned. I never thought I would be a huge fan of creamed kale, but it was super delicious. It was a taco that I would eat again, again and again. My tastebuds are tingling with delight just thinking about it.
The Tin Kitchen is one of my favorite Charlotte food trucks (don’t worry, I’m not neglecting you, Papi Queso!). It’s a fabulous mobile eatery (in the form of a simple silver truck cruising around town affectionately deemed “Bessie” on Twitter), serving up creative, high quality delicious dishes, presented in the form of tacos (but also sliders and quesadillas and other things too!). The highlights of The Tin Kitchen’s dishes are definitely the unique flavor combinations that always seem to work and their use of gourmet ingredients (pork belly and oysters coming out of a food truck definitely surprises some people). The taste and quality of The Tin Kitchen’s food rivals some of the best restaurants in Charlotte; which is why I knew that fried oyster taco had to be mine, I had a feeling it would be great!
I was introduced to The Tin Kitchen last fall, when Food Truck Friday was just a mere fledgling, and I was immediately hooked. You can find The Tin Kitchen all over Charlotte during the week (they post their location on Twitter and you can find their upcoming schedule on the website). I always seem to miss them Uptown at lunch, but I love catching them at Food Truck Friday and out behind NoDa Brewing Company. In fact, I was super excited a few weeks ago when my friends wanted to grab some beers at NoDa Brewing and I hadn’t eaten dinner–as soon as I saw a glimpse of silver I knew I was having tacos and beer for dinner!
I decided to go with a mix and match approach, because I am so indecisive and can never pick just one (and why should you have to?!). I decided on a pork belly taco (with kim chi and a hoisin glaze) and a chicken tinga taco (chipotle braised chicken with tomatoes, charred onions, salsa verde, queso fresco and scallions). Both were great. The pork belly had hints of sweetness throughout, and the pork was perfectly crisp on the outside and super tender on the inside (it just fell apart with each bite). The chicken tinga taco is one of my favorite combinations from The Tin Kitchen–it’s a unique spin on a traditional chicken taco with a more complex flavor profile. It’s delightfully smoky with a hint of spice; the veggies brighten it up and the queso fresco cools everything down.
Kate got the chana masala tacos, a wonderful Indian inspired taco with chick peas, coconut curry sauce, apricot cous cous and goat cheese. They smelled amazing. We shared the chips and salsa–and I love a good, tangy mango salsa. I washed all of my delicious tacos down with a few pints of NoDa’s Gordegous, their fall pumpkin beer, and some Coco Loco.
I love The Tin Kitchen not only because the food is delicious, but it’s also affordable–one taco is just $3.50 (the oyster taco price was a bit steeper at $6, but I’m going to go with the fact it was oysters), so you can get a whole meal for under $10. They let you mix and match your tacos; which I love because I want to try a variety, not two or three of the same. They also offer sides for a $1.50 or you can go for a combo of tacos and sides (the spicy pickled vegetables are tangy, spicy and refreshing, the charro beans are smooth and warm, and the chips and salsa have a good zing). Besides tacos and sides and combos (oh my!) The Tin Kitchen has quesadillas, sliders, salads, soup and daily specials. While I haven’t tried their other offerings, I can only imagine and hope they are just a great as my first Tin Kitchen love–the tacos.