Today was so beautiful that I couldn’t bear the idea of sitting inside for dinner. It was late, after my kid’s soccer class, which was after 2 hours of playing soccer on the playground. He was beat and I needed to get him home at a decent hour. We were in close-in SE for class. Brain churning. Thinking. Thinking. YES! I’ve been wanting to try the new Cultured Caveman cart on Hawthorne. It was perfect. A respite from the headache of trying to make sure that nothing we were ordering might have something in it that we don’t eat. Yes, all the food at the cart is 100% gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free!!! No risk of cross contamination, no explanations to give, no questions to ask, no concerns. Easy as meat pie.
We pulled up and there was no line. Good. I read the menu to my son and he lit up when I read bone broth. I asked for a sample for him to taste and she happily obliged, though mentioned that usually they don’t give samples. OK. Good enough. My kid (6) was a bit bummed that it was sour (the chef told us it had vinegar added) so we skipped it. But we did order the following.
- Chicken Tenders
- Grass Fed All Meat Chili
- Ginger Carrot Kale Salad
- Beet and Walnut Salad
- Brussels and Broccoli (Mash)
- French Fries
Well, actually not french fries. I had read about their french fries. I was soooo excited about their french fries. But alas, they’ve stopped serving them. Apparently it was taking too long to get them cooked up, which was fine when it wasn’t busy, but a problem when there was a line up. Seems reasonable. Sad, but reasonable. Maybe en masse we can convince them to resurrect the fries on Monday for happy hour or something.
But we did get the rest. Let’s go down the line, shall we?
1. Chicken Tenders. My child has never had chicken nuggets. We got these and he took a bite and closed his eyes and said “I bet this is what chicken nuggets taste like…” with a giant smile on his face. “Au contraire, my sweet child, I responded, these are sooooooo much better than chicken nuggets. Night and Day.” The chicken tenders at the Cultured Caveman were beyond tender. Melt in your mouth, coconut flour outer, hot, tasty, perfection. There was a lovely aioli served on the side but really they were fabulous plain. I love to cook and often feel like I can reproduce dishes on my own but there is no way I could make this happen at home. Next time it’s 2 orders of these for sure.
2. Beef Chili. Very good. Not too chili-ish, which made me happy. There were only a few large chunks of meat, and mostly sauce, which was a little disappointing but could have been luck of the draw. The beef was tender and tasted as grass fed grass finished beef should taste. Like beef. Really really good beef.
3. Ginger Carrot Kale salad. I loved this. Tangy and yum. My child, who will eat just about anything with kale in it didn’t prefer it because he oddly doesn’t like lemon. 2 thumbs up for me.
4. Beet and Walnut Salad. I wouldn’t think to cook beets and shred them but the beets in this salad were cooked and then tossed with carrots, jicama and walnuts and mixed with a light dressing. I would have eaten more but my child hogged it for himself. Enough said.
5. Brussels and Broccoli. When I arrived this was sold out, as evidenced by a sticker on the board next to the menu item. Fortunately for me, they were making more! Unfortunately for me, the sticker was over the word “mash.” I wouldn’t have gotten it as I’m not a fan of the crucifer mash (wild understatement.) When I mentioned that we didn’t prefer it and that I was surprised at the mash as it seemed to read Brussels and Broccoli, the women behind the counter said ‘oh, yes, the sticker was over mash…’ but that was it. I was honestly a bit bummed they didn’t offer to take it off of the bill I was more bummed to have to throw it away. Far from a deal breaker, but still…
6. Bacon Candy. Not as exciting (to me) as french fries but a perfect sweet bite. A medjool date with a raw almond in the center, all wrapped in bacon. My little one was over the moon. There were 3 in the order so we had to roshambo for the last one. I won but I let him have it anyway. Of course.
Overall I’d without question give this cart a two thumbs up. Nothing fancy. Nothing gourmet. But very good food. And knowing that everything is gluten, dairy, and soy-free will without a doubt make this a go-to spot for an easy, quick, delicious and healthy meal for me and my family this summer.
Next time I’ll try the meatloaf. And maybe a paleo popsicle.
Go check them out on 4031 SE Hawthorne, across from New Seasons or their original home at 1477 NE Alberta. 11-8 every day!