Food Truck Friday: Auntie's Frybread
Native American comfort food has finally hit L.A.'s food truck scene. Launched only a few months ago (thanks to a Kickstarter campaign) at local farmers markets, Auntie's Frybread (@auntiesfrybread) headed out on wheels just last week. The motto on the brown and tan truck proclaims "Native American fusion." That word, "fusion," often masks a multitude of culinary sins, but at Auntie's Frybread, nothing needs to be disguised or covered up. The golden discs of freshly fried dough speak for themselves.
The discs of frybread look like some precipitous lunar terrain with knolls of dough rising from the surface while sugar amasses in the valleys. The crisp center bubbles with airy pockets while the outer rim offers chewy satisfaction. The dough is sweetened one notch above neutral and has the faintest whiff of (could it be?) apple. A classic, dinner-plate sized frybread -- served naked or with your choice of honey, powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar -- may be the best $3 we've spent at any food truck.
The savory frybread is served in two sizes: 8-inch regular ($6.50-7) and 3-inch "sliders" ($2.50), topped with vegetables, barbecued beef or chili. This is where the "fusion" comes in. The Veggie is an uninteresting scoop of sauteed vegetables (zucchini, mostly) in bland, faintly sweet chowder that turns the frybread underneath into a soggy mass. We prefer the Original, topped with a mild bean and beef chili, cheddar cheese, lettuce and tomatoes. Imagine Taco Bell chalupa, finally done right.
The real trick to frybread is making dough that's filling, not heavy or greasy. Auntie's Frybread is satisfying yet light, and it arrives exuding residual heat from the deep-fryer. We have no idea who auntie is, but we're coming back for her frybread.
The Upshot: The plain frybread is delicious, easy to eat and at $3, a great deal. For $6.50, a trio of mix-and-match sliders is a good entry point. The frybread should be eaten as soon as possible, while it's still warm. This is not ideal food for takeaway.
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