Thursday, August 26, 2010

Trolley Stop Market

Our culture is all about hype. In fact, we probably prefer potential performance over actual performance. It's probably indicative that there is an energy drink called hype (yet I do find the name of that product strangely funny). The importance of hype and potential is also exemplified in the sports world where we are always on the look out for the next big star. We are truly tantalized by potential. And I totally fall for this. That's probably why I love the NFL and NBA drafts. Think about it. Teams almost always draft the athletic guy who's got potential and has "amazing length" over the guy who actually performed in college (go to the one minute mark in the video below).

We love to hype up the new, unknown thing. And just like that "extremely athletic" power forward with "great length," Trolley Stop Market has also been receiving its fair share of hype. For that reason, Neel and I joined some friends from church for dinner at Trolley Stop. Though the place has only been open for around 2 months, it has getting rave reviews. These reviews were confirmed to us by friends who told us that their pizza is amazing and their burger is great, one person even claiming that it's the best burger in town. Because of these bold words from multiple sources, Neel and I were both pretty excited to try this place out and our expectations were set relatively high. Oh, how we love the hype around a new restaurant!

The whole stick of this place is fresh, seasonal food. Their menu changes constantly depending on what they can get fresh, but it seems their one constant is pizza. The best place to check out their daily selection is their facebook page. Of course, this theory of fresh, seasonal food is right up our alley.

Trolley Stop actually contains a market in it where you can buy fresh fruits and veggies. For this reason, it really doesn't have a restaurant feel, at least for dinner. Instead, it has more of a market feel with a by-the-way-we-have-a-restaurant-too option. It also has a strong mid-town feel with retro art work everywhere and benches. Unfortunately, it seems that all the hype about this place flows from its lunch, not its dinner. While the lunch menu is apparently diverse with offerings of sandwiches, burgers, pizza, etc, the dinner menu is basically limited to two choices: pizza and the special. The special changes each night. When we went, it was taco night. Other nights include vegan night and burger night.

I didn't want to get pizza because I knew I was going to eat pizza at an event this upcoming weekend; so Neel and I both opted for the tacos. I got the veggie (mushrooms, beans, and peppers), and Neel got a steak & chicken combo. The meal was accompanied by fresh peach salsa and chips as an appetizer and then black beans, and corn on the cobb as sides. Unfortunately, the place kept on running out of things: they ran out of chips and they ran out of one of their desserts that we requested later. Not a good sign. After our meal, I talked to someone who explained that this place is basically a lunch place and often runs out of food later in the day. So a good strategy might be to call before you go for dinner. But supposedly, lunch is crazy busy.

Anyways, back to our meal. The peach salsa was very good, and you could tell it was very, very fresh. Unfortunately, the tacos left much to be desired. They were way too dry because they basically contained nothing except black beans, very little mushrooms or peppers. It just needed that something extra, whether it be more seasoning or salsa or perhaps guacamole. The same was true for Neel's chicken and beef tacos. Though the meat was tasty, they too were way too dry. It was almost as if they were confusing fresh and organic with plain and tasteless.

The black beans were ok but nothing to write home about either. The best part of the meal was actually the corn, and I don't even like corn on the cobb! But this corn was different because it was covered with a cream cheese glaze and with some feta. It might sound shady, but it was probably the best corn on the cobb I've ever had. We tried to finish the meal with a chocolate & peanut butter pie, but they were out. So we opted for the lemon ice box pie, and it was pretty good, sufficiently tart and the crust was awesome. I would definitely get it again just for the crust. As for the price, each taco meal was about $9, so not too expensive which was a plus.

Overall, the meal was pretty disappointing. I think that largely had to do with the hype the place had received though. But, just as with the NFL draft, I'm a sucker for the hype and want to give the place another shot at redemption, especially at lunch time. I'm going to avoid dinner again, however, and especially avoid dinner on taco night. With their limited menu and inability to keep items in stock, it seems like dinner is an ad-on anyway. I wonder why they do dinner at all rathan than scrap it and just focus on lunch and breakfast? Anyways, I'm highly ambivalent about Trolley Stop Market, disappointed with our own experience but willing to try it again. For these reasons, we give Trolley Stop Market 2.0 stars.


  1. You need to go on burger night.
    It is neola farms beef, the same they serve at interim but for aonly $7.50.

  2. Yeah, you've said their burgers are good....that's what we were hoping to get when we went, but they didn't have them :( We're definitely going back...we're giving them the benefit of the doubt that it was just an off night.