Monday, August 10, 2015

French Fry Diary 683: The Tot Cart

While I'm very close to the city of Philadelphia, I don't get into the city all that much, so there's a whole world of food - specifically the favorite fried food - that I don't get to talk about all that often. I'm talking about food trucks and carts. Unfortunately for the most part they are a city thing, but every once in a while, one will amble over t this side of the bridge.

National Night Out is one of those times. As part of the event, the powers-that-be tried to get everyone to go to what's left of the Echelon Mall, or as they like to call it, Voorhees Town Center. Face-painting, an outside viewing of Cars, and a variety of food carts and trucks were part of the bait. The food cart in question was The Tot Cart. Their motto is "Gourmet Tots, Straight to You" Come on, how could I resist?

In what is already a flustercluck in parking at the best of times, the powers-that-be made parking into a nightmare by blocking off most of what is usually an empty lot. Is it any wonder the Echelon Mall no longer exists? Malls aren't passé, but inept mall management is. Enough about what used to be a viable mall, we're here for the favorite fried food, in this case, tater tots.

I was joined by friend, fellow South Jersey Writer, and sometimes FFD contributor, Sarah Hawkins-Miduski. She had visited The Tot Cart before at another location, and had been impressed. Sadly that was not the case this night.

The signboard in front of the truck offered such goodies as Boardwalk Tots, Drunk Tots, New Bay Tots, Half-Loaded Tots, and Cowgirl Tots, all under the banner of Gourmet Tater Tots. Lots of promise here, most including The Tot Cart's famous Drunk Cheese. I ordered the Just Tots with the Drunk Cheese on the side, while Sarah got an order of the Half-Loaded Tots. We were prepared for the best, but should have done the opposite.

I had asked if the tater tots were made from scratch, and although the woman in the cart seemed pretty well versed in the making of tots from scratch, she admitted that these were frozen Ore-Ida Tater Tots. I was shocked, and sadly, they tasted like the worst deep-fried frozen tater tots you could imagine. Add in that I suspected they had been cooked quite some time before our arrival, these were pretty bad tots, a solid disappointment.

I did like the Drunk Cheese however, a secret beer cheese, or so they say. The cheese had a thick deep flavor, very tasty and would have gone well with fresh tots, had they been available. This added frustration made me less happy. Sarah was not as unhappy but admitted her previous experience was much better, and she wished she'd had those tots. She also thought the bacon, which was a bit too salty, didn't add much to her tots. It wasn't all bad, we talked about upcoming Disney trips as Sarah is a regular listener of The Make Mine Magic Podcast

I was very excited about this outing, and wished the tots had been better. I hope to sample them again at another time, when circumstances might be different, but as for now, I really can't recommend The Tot Cart, sorry.

1 comment:

Joanne Costantino said...

Try the Ott's Tots at, where else, Ott's in Washington Township.