Brace yourselves, Minnesota: Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern is opening a food truck called AZ Canteen, and he's doing it in the apex of all things Minnesotan, the Minnesota State Fair. Come August 25, the Canteen will open serving food inspired by Zimmern's global travels. And before you start getting nervous about eating crickets or whatever, it's not actually all that out there: the menu has dishes like cabrito butter burgers (with a new custom goat blend by Pat LaFrieda), crispy pork belly with green papaya salad, and griddled veal tongue sliders. It will also serve ice cream sandwiches from Izzy's in St. Paul.
Zimmern is also in the process of opening two sandwich shops, one at the Minneapolis airport and one at LaGuardia in New York City.
AZ Canteen will be stationed at the Fair through its end September 3 , after which it will roam around the Twin Cities. Also, you can rent it for events — Bizarre Foods birthday party, anyone? Above in the slideshow, the menu and the truck art. Below, the press release.
Update From Zimmern's PR: The event at the State Fair is a preview event. Between 12:00PM and 5:00PM on August 25 (and only August 25), the truck will hand out goat sausage samples. After that, the truck will stick around and "additional activities" will happen, but they'll no longer be handing out samples. (Advice? Get there early.) The official launch of AZ Canteen will happen sometime after the 25 — check out their Twitter for details — and the truck will be located in the Twin Cities.
AZ Canteen Menu
· Andouille, Oyster and Crab Gumbo
· Crispy Pork Belly With Green Papaya Salad, Chiles, Lime With Fried Egg
· Cabrito Butter Burger With Roasted Tomatoes, Charred Onion, Pickles
· Cabrito Sausage Grinder With Cabbage Slaw
· Griddled Veal Tongue on Butter Toasted Bun With Lemon, Capers, Arugula and Tonnato Sauce
· Izzy's Handcrafter Ice Cream Sandwiches
· Nicaraguan Dulce de Leche Shaved Ice With Pound Cake "Loly's Style"
· Jamaican Hibiscus Punch, a Selection of Natural Homemade and Artisanal Sodas, Juice of the Day, Bottled Water
· Sides Available: Potato Salad or Chips
ANDREW ZIMMERN TO UNVEIL NEW FOOD TRUCK AT 2012 MINNESOTA STATE FAIR AZ Canteen to Showcase Menu Items from Around the Globe,
Inspired by the Acclaimed TV Host’s Culinary Adventures
St. Paul, MN (August 16, 2012) – Andrew Zimmern, the two-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, food writer and teacher is rolling into new culinary territory on Saturday, August 25th with the launch of AZ Canteen, an Andrew Zimmern Food Truck. Widely recognized for hosting Travel Channel’s popular Bizarre Foods series, Andrew will unveil his latest culinary venture at the Minnesota State Fair, one of the largest food events in the world.
The model for AZ Canteen naturally evolved from Andrew’s experiences visiting hundreds of food trucks and street stalls around the world, as well as creating several airport restaurant concepts. Designing a mobile restaurant affords Andrew the luxury of traveling alongside AZ Canteen for events and appearances around the country.
“The menu will be differentiated and delicious. I have been lucky enough to travel and eat my way through over 100 countries tasting everything I can along the way,” Zimmern said. “I want to expand the protein choices of Americans with the overarching goal of restoring health and wellness to our food system one plate at a time. Take goat for example. I love it and we’re featuring it first and foremost. I partnered with Pat LaFrieda to create a goat burger blend and a goat sausage that is indescribably superb.”
From savory options like Cabrito (goat) Sausage, Crispy Pork Belly and Griddled Veal Tongue Sliders, to sweet selections that define truck dining, including Ice Cream Sandwiches from Andrew’s favorite scoop shop, Izzy’s Ice Cream in St. Paul, MN, AZ Canteen is paving the way as a flavor and ingredient thought leader in the industry.
The graphics for AZ Canteen were inspired by the foundation of what the food truck represents: flavorful food and a unique experience. The icons embody the perfect intersection of food and travel, reflecting the ingredients used in the menu items, with a nod to vintage travel stickers and suitcases.
During AZ Canteen’s inauguration, fans can expect to see Andrew behind the truck’s grill serving up delectable dishes, then throughout the year for select days and events. Regardless, diners can anticipate great food and an even better culinary experience.
With future plans to expand the AZ Canteen roster beyond a single truck, Andrew hopes to capitalize on his extensive international “Bizarre Foods” fan base, launching food trucks in several countries.
For updates on locations, hours and menu items, AZ Canteen devotees can defer to the company’s Twitter (@AZCanteen), Facebook (www.facebook.com/AZCanteen) or website www.AZCanteen.com.
* * *
· AZ Canteen [Twitter]
· All Andrew Zimmern Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Food Trucks Coverage on Eater [-E-]