June 22, 2010

Meso Hungry

Business owners Christina Alonso, who was previously in interior design, and Eric Ariola, former financial planner opened up Meso Hungry in January of 2009.  Their unique culinary concept evolved from a blend of the flavors they grew up with having their familial roots in Cuba, Vietnam and Lao.  Christina’s mother had a large role in the start up and contributing her peanut sauce recipe as well as the naming of the trailer.  She speaks seven languages, and ‘me so hungry’ is one of her endearing phrases. 

A vegetarian since 1999, Eric’s favorite item on the menu is the “Sweet Shroom” which consists of Jewish rye, covered in homemade vegan ‘Sadie sauce’, portabella mushrooms sautéed with sweet Chile and olive oil, some Chinese BBQ sauce, fried egg, fresh sprouts, greens, carrots, cilantro and hot sauce.  What’s ‘Sadie sauce’ you ask?  This sauce was developed out of necessity, Eric explains, “I don’t like giving away dry vegan sandwiches.  So the sauce went through about 4 or 5 trials, and when I had it right, I named it after my dog ‘Sadie’.” Sadie is a lab mix the couple rescued.

While Eric is chowing down on the Sweet Shroom, you can find Christina munching on their Pork Banhmi, which is also their crowd favorite.  This sandwich is made on Mexican French Bread (pan de francais), covered in sweet cilantro mayonnaise (made fresh every morning), BBQ pork, fresh cucumber, jalapenos, pickled carrots, cilantro and hot sauce. 

What does Eric have to say to new trailer food vendors? “Just because your hours say you’re open from 11-7, that doesn’t mean that’s all you have to work .  We are open 120 hours, but I’m working 150 hours per week with prep and clean up.   If it’s something you love and are passionate about go for it, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have experience or its too hard – it can be one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do.  I’ve worked in politics and finance and I have never gone home more satisfied.”