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Don't Miss the Magic Bus


The 2011 Street Food & Chef Truck season has been a hit so far with so many solid options, even though, as fans know, the lines at our favorite trucks can be a bit arduous. It was later than I thought when I spotted just two people waiting in line for the Magic Bus Cafe at the Midtown Farmer’s market last Saturday. My hungry gal pal and I took one look at one another and made a beeline for the bus.

You can’t miss the Magic Bus. It’s a big, purple 1978 Chevy school bus decorated with flowers, doodles, peace signs, and blue stripes. There’s seating inside the bus, where you can eat your dog and catch a glimpse of photographs of the owners posing with celebs such as Bonnie Raitt, but they also sell dogs through a window for walk-up service. As for the music-loving owners, chef Chris Lockyear, who worked for years at Bobino and D’Amico Cucina, runs and owns Magic Bus with his wife, Cathy, a former assistant deli manager at The Wedge, and her twin sister, Chrissy Russell.

When you’re ready to order, you start by selecting your dog. You can order a grass-fed Thousand Hills Cattle Company hot dog, an all beef natural casing Boar’s Head frankfurter, or a Smart Pup tofu dog—something to make us all feel happy. They split and fry the dogs on a griddle, and then top the dogs with several combinations that run the gambit, from a simple “Plain Jane Dog” to a “Meet Me in the Morning Dog,” which is topped with scrambled, organic eggs, bacon, and shredded cheese.

My gal pal and I grabbed a couple of dogs. She ordered the tofu “Mexicali Blues Dog” topped with spicy relish, sliced jalapeno, refried beans, and shredded cheese. I ordered a grass-fed beef “Magic Chili Dog” with shredded Colby-Jack cheese, bean chili, and chopped onion. The spicy relish on the Mexicali Blues Dog was tangy and slightly fiery. The grass-fed beef dog’s casing was snappy, and the split, fried beef was juicy, salty, and slightly caramelized. The chili was somewhat lacking, so I added mustard to mine, but even with the mustard, chili, cheese, and onions the flavor of the split, fried beef hot dog kept on shining.

If you’re thinking “I want it, I want it, I want it, I want it,” upcoming stops are posted on their website. This week you can catch them in the following locations, weather permitting:

• 7/21, 4-9 p.m., Park B4 Dark, Como Ave., St. Paul
• 7/23, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Midtown Farmers Market, Minneapolis

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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