Local food truck, Bark and the Bite, is using jackfruit as meat substitute

The Northeast Minneapolis food truck is serving up the flavorful, unripe fruit.

Nathan Nasuta help a customer at The Bark and Bite food truck at Bent Brewstillery in Roseville on Saturday, Apr, 8. 2017.

Meagan Lynch

Nathan Nasuta help a customer at The Bark and Bite food truck at Bent Brewstillery in Roseville on Saturday, Apr, 8. 2017.

Joe Cristo

While finding meat substitutes can be a drag, jackfruit has become the substitute of choice for staple foods like pulled pork and pork cutlets.

So after scouring the city for the best jackfruit sandwich, I visited the Northeast Minneapolis-based food truck Bark and the Bite to get a take on this new culinary experiment.

Bark and the Bite’s menu is ever-changing and features a variety of delicious smoked meats and toppings. Its vegetarian option is the BBQ Mock Jackalope sandwich.

The young, unripe fruit tastes, feels and can smell like meat.

Going into this thinking you’ll taste something just like meat will set you up for disappointment.

First, the sauces.

Bark and the Bite has three barbecue sauce options: the sweet “cherry bourbon,” the spicy “vodka chile” and the middle-of-the-road “bark sauce,” any of which can be placed in an IV bag and pumped directly into my bloodstream. Sides include the classic baked beans with bacon and the inventive arugula potato salad. And of course, like any good barbecue restaurant, they have delicious coleslaw.

I ordered the barbecue mock jackalope sandwich with honey-spiced hush puppies and a side of cider vinegar slaw.

The sandwich was on point. The consistency is peculiar in that it isn’t completely meat like, but close enough that you genuinely feel the food bite back. Every good meat has a specific mouthfeel that makes you feel like something hearty is in your mouth. This sandwich has that.

I chose the cherry bourbon sauce for this trip. Again, it was great with a perfectly balanced sweetness. It doesn’t hit you like a sticky soda as many sauces will do.

The honey-spiced hush puppies were one of the best treats I’ve had in a long time. As a seafood lover, I generally prefer my hush puppies filled with shrimp, but accepting the fact that this chef knows better was not difficult at all. The interesting take on a southern staple was refreshing and welcome.

Bark and the Bite is one of the cheapest food trucks I’ve eaten at in recent memory.

It’s easy to say that the jackalope sandwich was adequate enough to satisfy someone that finds virtue in the vegetarian ethic. It may not be as successful in flipping the most fervent of carnivores to the other side, but it has a shot.