I don’t like fried okra. I remember my mom making it as frequently as she could when I was a kid. She loved it. But she never made me eat it, thank goodness. I suppose because it’s not particularly good for you and that meant more for her. Kind of like how I don't force french fries and mac and cheese on my kid. "Oh, you don't want it? No problem. More for me."
Because of my long-standing hatred of fried okra, I was dubious when some of my food blog (eatie) friends started talking about the fried okra that Smoke Et Al serves, noting how wonderful it is (and really not talking about much else). “You must try this okra.” (No.) "But this is pickled first.” (So? Does that mean it won't still be slimy and okra-tasting?) Yuck. My doubt remained despite learning recently that I kinda like pickled okra (thanks to The Wild Hare).
So, this (unseasonably warm) week, when the food trucks gathered for lunch in Centennial Park, I headed over to see my friends at Riff’s Truck. They are always willing to change a little bit up for me if there’s not already a vegetarian item on the menu. I had some no-chicken lettuce wraps (sounds no-great, right? Wrong—that ginger dressing is fantasticalamal. Anything would taste good with that dressing). I also got some sweet potato fries and fried plantains to share with Mini Eats.
And though that was quite a lot of food, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to tell all my friends that I still don’t like fried okra, even if it’s pickled first.
But noooooo, that will not happen. This fried pickled okra is really good. Great, even. Suprisingly great. And it comes with some smoked paprika (?) pepper (?) aioli (?) that they call ‘Bama white sauce. Whatever it is, it’s so good that Mini Eats dipped her fried plantains in it and then buried her face in the cup.
Short version: my friends were not joking about this pickled and fried okra. It's really that good. I didn't have anything else from Smoke Et Al, though their menu indicates they are more than willing to accommodate vegetarians (yay!), so I may see what they can come up with the next time I'm out. Visit their website (or follow them on Twitter) to keep up with where they are and make plans accordingly!