I Scream!

(This was written in October 2010 with no place to share it and so I am just humbly presenting it to you.)
I have never eaten at a gourmet food truck in my entire life.  In fact, until about 6 months ago, I didn’t even know they existed.  How is it possible, you ask?  Well, when you live and work within a 5 mile radius and that radius does not include one of the main stops of said trucks, you can get a little out of the loop.  Who knew that the epicenter of the culinary world was constantly on the move in a plethora of trucks and that there was a serious cult following with websites, facebook pages, twitter posts, etc.  And then 6 months ago I took a job that landed me in the worst commute known to man from Warner Center in Woodland Hills to Wilshire and Normandie in Koreatown. 

The dreaded sign that will tell me how awful my morning is going to be.  This sign comes about 35 minutes into my commute and in case you can't read it that says 90 MINUTES to Downtown!!

All things being said, one could get quite bitter taking that drive daily, but I keep reminding myself that the beginning of this job marks my entrance exam into the glorious world of food on wheels.  My new coworkers were quite versed in the GFT language searching for things like Kogi, Nom Nom, and other such things that made no sense to me. 
And then it happened.  One fateful day, my coworker decided to forward me a link to a gourmet food truck that specialized in ice cream.  

The email that started it all!  You can blame MV for all this ice cream madness!

How did she know that my entire childhood surrounded fond memories with ice cream?  My grandparents had me sit on the ice cream maker as my grandpa and dad took turns churning the handle of the old fashioned non-electric device that could produce the most amazing, fresh, delicious, wholesome ice cream on the planet.  When my mom was pregnant with my sister, we all walked every night to the local ampm to get Big Mamas which amounted to a grapefruit sized pile of ice cream on a cone, coated in chocolate and nuts.  It was like an ice cream drumstick on steroids.  How could my coworker know that by forwarding me a link to a gourmet ice cream truck, she would send me on a six month all intensive, non-stop, obsessive attempt to get to this truck?  I have spent the last months thinking about Pancake Breakfast and Donut – no not from IHOP but from Lake Street Creamery.
There have been several botched attempts that did nothing but stir an intense determination.  First, work has a way of seriously putting a cramp in my culinary style!  How can I get down to Wilshire and Hauser, park my car, enjoy my ice cream peacefully and make it back to work without anyone realizing that I had been gone forever and a day?  Oh, how I spent many, many, many days dreaming of opening the Lake Street Creamery website and seeing that they had decided to abandon their usual spot and head up Wilshire and plant themselves somewhere in Koreatown.  No such luck.  Work day jaunts – not happening.
Second, I have a 2 year old son.  This means that attempting to make a second commute of the day down to Abbot Kinney in the evening would be like playing with fire – not a good mix with cold ice cream!  Kids come with schedules, routines, play time, healthy dinner, bath time and early bedtimes.  All things that mean my dreams of suddenly showing up in the Lake Street Creamery line in the evenings would only happen if they parked outside my door!  And then, my closest attempt: Lake Street Creamery and Grill ‘Em All together in the VALLEY!!!  I told everyone and their mother, daughter, grandmother, friend, boss and pets that I would so be there because luck finally was going my way – I had that day off of work and would be at home in the VALLEY!  So, imagine my dismay and disappointment when I had to pass up my possible enjoyment of unique ice cream with bacon for a toddler with a cold.  Ugh!  Epic failure again!
So, when my husband said, “Sweetie, there’s a food truck festival in Valencia this weekend” my first thought was “Sure let’s plan to go” while constantly telling myself “It’s never gonna happen!”  And then all the planets aligned, the ice cream gods were gracious, and my son fell asleep in the car on the way home from a pumpkin patch.  Could this be happening??  Could I really get the chance to try some Lake Street Creamery ice cream??  We headed out to Valencia, hoping, praying that my son would not be grumpy when he woke so that we could stomach the idea of standing in line with a toddler boy who is seriously the happiest when he can run around in circles. 
Little did the festival organizers know how determined I could be.  Not enough parking?  No problem, I have fabulous parking karma and was amazed that someone waved at me to follow him over two spots where he pulled his car out for us – score!  Not enough room to walk around?  No problem, I’m really only here for one truck and it was parked right in front of where we entered.  Long line?  No problem, don’t underestimate my ability to be patient when there is the promise of sweet yumminess at the end of the tunnel.  A 2 year old who couldn’t run in the immense crowd?  No problem, he was so enamored with the gigantic trucks making all kinds of sounds that he didn’t realize that he was being contained in my arms.
And then it happened!  The heavens opened up and I was standing in front of the window to order, looking up in pure, unadulterated joy at one of the owners, ready to take my order.  The emotions swelled up!  I was like a kid in a candy store – actually, better than that, I was an ice cream junkie at Lake Street Creamery!  Even the beautiful lady with bright red lips taking my order couldn’t help but comment that I looked quite happy.  Oh, if only she knew that this was momentous for me!  I wouldn’t say I was just happy, I was ecstatic!  We ordered three flavors in order to try as much as we could carry with our 3 free hands (still carrying our toddler for fear that he would start to run and would end up on a cross-country run ala Forrest Gump.)  My husband, who doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth and was therefore a little miffed at waiting that long in line for ice cream, took one bite of Pancake Breakfast with a nice piece of bacon, looked at me and said, “Ok, so worth the wait!”  Sweet, salty, savory all in one little scoop!  Donut was divine!  Close your eyes and you feel like a cop on a snack break!  And then we took a bite of the California Zephyr which our son had been scoffing down like it was pure bliss.  That first bite transported me away to our Honeymoon, sitting on a Caribbean beach sipping a mojito.  I put fresh mint in just about every type of drink – fresh water, ice tea, etc.  This ice cream was like they took a survey of my likes and dislikes and then produced this specifically for me. 
What a treat for the whole family!  Lake Street Creamery that night gave us the opportunity to fulfill a 6 month mission for me, a divergence from savory to sweet temporarily for my husband, and the excitement of ice cream for dinner for my son.  Worth the wait?  HELL YEAH!!!

Dream come true!