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First Impressions: Winking Scotsman and Bentos


The Tartan panel on the side means meat pies are a cookin'
Winking Scotsman: From Honeykiss to Sassafras to Dough Mama and beyond, the Columbus area has more than its share of wonderful, generally sweet-ingredient pies from which to choose (I really don't know how I could possibly choose if they had a Columbus Underground-styled Best Bites: Pies event similar to their Best Bites: Dessert event held earlier year.)

Savory pies are a bit more of a challenge. Empanadas at the three El Arepazo locations are always an option, and Salam Market on Columbus' Northeast side has been heralded for its Middle Eastern meat pies, as noted in this Columbus Crave article.

It was about this time last year when I was getting my taste of a more English-style of savory pie in the pasties that are common through Northern Michigan. While that first tasting was decent enough, this year's take on the meat pie I've happened on this year is not only much tastier but much closer in the Winking Scotsman food truck.

I caught the this new food truck in the parking lot of Palmer's Beverage Center on Indianola Avenue in Clintonville a few times before I dropped by to sample their goods. The menu was very simple - the owner Scott, who was quite affable, said that his side items simply weren't selling, so he decided to pare it to the bare bones pies, chips and beverages. Interestingly, I had actually caught him in an unusual position: he had sold out of his original batch of pies for the night (his best sales day so far, he stated) but if I came back in a half-hour or so, he'd have some fresh baked ones and give me a pie for half-off.

To paraphrase an oft-repeated movie line, he made me an offer I couldn't refuse.

Meat pies = yummy + filling. And a lucky bonus half-off for coming back
I decided to give both pies a try, and like the Northern Michigan pastie, these pies did the trick of providing some portable, filling food. These pies were much tastier than their pasty cousins we sampled up north as well, sporting a pleasant wheaty crust and fillings that were neither too drippy or dried out. While both were good solid creations, my spouse and I gave the nod to the poultry side, with a juicy chicken interior backed up with tasty mushrooms, the light tang of feta and a touch of bacon goodness..

The latest whereabouts of the Winking Scotsman can be found on their feed on Street Food Finder.

Winking Scotsman Food Truck
Various locations around the Columbus Metro
(614) 556-1190
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Bentos Food Cart offers freshly made, modestly-sized meals
with an eco-friendly touch

Bentos: my experience with the bento box is fairly limted, ranging from a fairly traditional culinary version (those offered by the Japacurry Food Truck in San Francisco) as well as an athletics-related food version (in triathlon terms, the bento box is a little bicycle case where I would keep those nasty tasting gels and other energy supplements in triathlon-style events.)

In terms of the Columbus food cart Bentos, owner Shannon Bowman offers an American take on the traditional type of Bento Box, providing freshly made, organic-when-possible meals that can be catered to various dietary needs (paleo, vegan, etc.) Bentos even sports a eco-friendly aspect to its meals, as the containers and eating utensils are composed of biodegradable materials.

In many ways, the boxes sold from the food cart would be a perfect side item for another food truck's entree dish, or a perfectly-portioned side dish for a midday bite. Prices all are fairly reasonable, with everything we saw priced at $4.

The Peanut Thai Noodle Salad with salted Edmame sported some overly chewy noodles but otherwise was pleasantly tasty . The Dueling Salads, a newer item, was a better creation, with a zingy yogurt dressing to link the coconut rice salad and raw carrot salad (while some may prefer to keep the salads apart, the two dueling entities mixed together proved to be a winning combo for my palate.)

A selection of more comprehensive catered lunch items can be ordered through the Bentos website. Those who order 10 or more of these can receive free shipping of their orders depending on the zip code provided or may be picked up at their 231 E. Livingston Street location (Bentos uses the facilities found at The Kitchen to prepare their meals.) These lunches also generally include their pecan rum cake, a decadent creation I had the fortune to sample at a recent event of theirs.

Whereabouts of the Bentos Food Cart can be found on their website.

Bentos Food Cart
Various locations around the Columbus Metro
(614) 715-4515
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