Don Bauder 7:39 a.m., May 22
For a few reasons, the Paleolithic Diet appeals to me. Despite the fact that the reasoning behind it is highly conjectural, the logic at play makes a lot of sense to me. The basic theory is that, because homo sapiens' primary evolution happened before the advent of agriculture, modern humans never adapted to a post-agricultural diet.
The key to good health, Paleo dieters claim, is eating the kind of food that was available to our Stone Age ancestors. Meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts should compose the bulk of the diet. Products of modern (i.e. within the last eight thousand years or so) agriculture, most notably cereal grains and excessive sugars, don't have a place in the diet. Excessive salt is also forbidden. Food can be cooked, although raw fruits and veggies are a big part of the diet.
Evolutionary biologists could argue the truth of that to death, but it makes sense to me. I also like it because the emphasis on lean protein and quality vegetables means the food can be delicious and still be considered healthy.
I visited the North Park farmer's market to eat at the "Not So Fast Food Truck," which bills itself as the "Paleo friendly" truck in town. As far as I know, it's the first dedicated Stone Age eatery in San Diego.
The truck's menu was mostly burgers and sandwiches, which were served on lettuce wraps instead of buns.
Yup, that's "protein style" at In n Out. No sense in ignoring it.
I tried a bison burger ($10) and some coleslaw ($4) as a meal. Bison is notoriously lean so the burger looked unappealing despite the thick slice of melted cheddar cheese and deeply caramelized onions on top. Despite the odd appearance, the deep flavor of the bison had a primal meatiness to it that suited the messy eating. Minimal salt made the taste of black pepper stand out. Ensconced in romaine lettuce leaves, it was like biting a slippery, green taco burger--pleasantly different.
The cole slaw had been augmented with sliced pears. Acidic flavors and crisp textures characterized the slaw, which I found to be a good compliment to the bison burger.
This was a totally different way to eat, but it felt familiar because the basic items are all innocuous on their own. But try to go a whole day without eating bread. It's hard!
The rest of the truck's food has the sheen of healthiness to it: sides of fresh fruit and vegetables, salads, and coconut water instead of soda all made me feel like I was doing my system a favor. Because the $10 bison burger was modest in size, the cost of entry seems a little bit steep. More wholesome foods have a filling effect, which negates the apparent cost somewhat, but the price is still the biggest hurdle.
For the truck's location, follow it online at notsofastfoodtruck.com or find @notsofastfood on Twitter.