Learning to say “arepas” and enjoying a delicious one!- Mr. Good Stuff (Arepas, Burgers, Gluten-Free)

Last weekend one of my friends was competing in a CrossFit competition out in Doral and I went to go cheer him on. After having Apple Maps direct me to the wrong spot up in Hialeah (in their defense Google maps would have also sent me there) and dealing with being stuck waiting behind trains, weird turn-offs on Okeechobee Road, and then slow work getting through all the stop signs in Doral I finally arrived. I unfortunately had missed one of his competitions but there was another one in about an hour. In the meanwhile we hung out, watched some the competition in other heats, and were able to enjoy a few food trucks that had stopped by!

Portland is really well known for its food carts (winning in 2010 best food cart city in the world according to Budget’s Travel) so I have a lot of experience and love for food trucks. I’ve checked out a couple in Miami, especially at the gathering at Tobacco Road on certain Saturday’s, and enjoyed a few that I’ve tried. In Portland a lot of food trucks stay in little “pods” during the week and are easy to find in the same spot. Pods are semi-permanent and exist all over the city, in all kinds of neighborhoods. Even my mostly residential neighborhood in Portland has one with 5 or 6 near Adidas headquarters. There are multiple pods in downtown just a few blocks from each other with probably 20 or more carts each! Portland takes its food trucks seriously just like it takes its microbrews and brunch seriously!

In Miami the food trucks tend to travel around and be in different locations and I haven’t had many chances to repeat try something. While I’ve certainly found individual food items from food carts I’ve liked I thought it’d be hard to write posts about food trucks when their locations vary (since I want people to be able to use my posts to experience things) and I’ve only tried one thing usually. Mr. Good Stuff changed my view of that a bit- not only trying more than one thing but also figuring it’d be worth people following them on Twitter if they want to find out where they are on a day.

Since moving to Miami the arepa (corn pancake) has quickly shot up the list of some of my favorite foods (it probably competes with pulled pork and Passover brisket at the very top). At the event I spent a little bit of time with my language-expert friend going over how to accurately say “arepa.” The experience reminded me of a time studying abroad in Croatia when I had difficulty sounding out the “ZJ” at the beginning of a Croatian friend’s name. Eventually I just started saying her name really fast and she was like “yes you got it!” I knew “arepa” was not supposed to be pronounced in a way that sound like “a-rape-a” but I don’t do well hearing a specific sound that I needed to change and then trying to add it to a word I’ve been saying incorrectly before. Similar to the “ZJ” sound I needed to figure out a way on my own to say it so it sounded correct to the other person. I ended up coming up with saying “aaaah” a little drawn out like when a doctor checks you throat, emphasize the “ray” also a little drawn out, and then add the “pa” at the end pretty quickly. I felt a little bit like I sounded like I was talking slow to a baby but my friend said I got it correct then! Feels a little bit like trickery to me but I’ll still take credit.

After that I could confidently walk up to Mr. Good Stuff and order one! Mr. Good Stuff has a number of stuffings, what they call luna toppings, to put in their arepas. I went for the Sweet Caroline arepa, which is pulled pork, coleslaw and cheese. Sounds like the perfect combination of my two favorite foods right? I also can’t dismiss that I was probably drawn to it too because the name “Sweet Caroline” always makes me think of the classic song that closed out one of my college bars, Max’s, every night! The arepa itself was mostly soft with a little bit of crisp, which is my favorite. It was then stuffed with tons of pulled pork, some coleslaw, and some cheese! I was really impressed how much pulled pork was in there. Probably about half of that would have filled it up pretty well and no one would have noticed, but I guess Mr. Good Stuff thinks they can do much better! The pulled pork was flavorful and filling and a nice combination with the arepa. I usually- let’s say- “strongly dislike” coleslaw but it added a nice sweet touch to the overall arepa.

My friend later when she was hungry got one Mr. Good Stuff’s stuffed burgers, which sounded really incredible from the menu. There were tons of different cheese, meats, and vegetables you could stuffed in the middle of a burger or on top. She really liked hers! Scoping out the menu there also were some fried plantains that came stuffed with different kinds of fillings that also looked good. The guy at the counter also gave my friend two fried cheesy bites to sample. When she asked if there was any flour in them he said nope they’re completely gluten-free, which was awesome! The deep fried crispyness is rarely a texture you can experience when you’re gluten-free so they were really delicious.

Mr. Good Stuff was a great find at the CrossFit competition and one I will look for again to try one of their stuffed burgers (and maybe another arepa again!). If you’re looking for where they are at you can follow them on Twitter @MrGoodStuffs. Check them out and comment if you have any other great food trucks you’d recommend checking out in Miami!

One of the cheesy bites

One of the cheesy bites

The Sweet Caroline Arepa

The Sweet Caroline Arepa

Look how stuffed it is!

Look how stuffed it is!

Mr. Good Stuff

Mr. Good Stuff (food truck location varies)

@MrGoodStuffs on Twitter 

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