Oh, give me land, lots of land under starry skies above,
Don’t fence me in.
Let me ride through the wide-open country that I love,
Don’t fence me in.
–Bing Crosby, “Don’t Fence Me In”
Hiller’s Outside of the Box, a moveable feast, available now in the West Bloomfield store.
Open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday, the two food carts set up at our 15 mile and Orchard Lake road market near the bakery are positively stuffed with toe-curling fare whose flavors waft in from the door. Good luck walking by without stopping. I can’t.
The menu changes daily so check out the chalkboard. The offerings typically include five different hot dogs with toppings, one hot entrée, and a handful of way-scrumptious salads.
The revolving offerings include, oh! I’m waxing faint just from listing: Vietnamese Curry, with chicken and eggplant, green beans, and potatoes served over Jasmine rice, or sometimes Korean Bulgogi fried rice; Chicken/Apple Sausage with mango chutney and feta; chicken sausage with lime Roulade and Wasabi Pea Crumbles, a Kosher all-beef hot dog with New York-style Kraut, Banh Mi, (Vietnamese baguette sandwiches), filled with Veggie Pate, Roasted Chicken, and Marinated Shreds of daikon and carrot, Grilled Colored Peppers and Portobello Mushrooms with a Balsamic Glaze, and a Spicy Asian Cabbage Salad.
Need a drool cup yet? I understand. Here’s more temptation: hand sliced Japanese Cucumber Salad speckled with black sesame seeds (one of the world’s healthiest foods), Bulgogi (Korean, thinly sliced Marinated Beef) hoagies topped with onion, green peppers and mushrooms, Buckwheat Soba Noodle Salad with broccoli and other veggies (best served at room temperature), and one of my personal favorites, the Spicy-hot Bison Dog topped with Sriracha* and Pepper Jack Cheese. (Sriracha is a type of Thai hot sauce made from sun-ripened chilies and garlic ground into a paste).
These heavenly bites come in white, Chinese-style take-out boxes, and nearby are always: chopsticks, forks, and napkins – along with condiments, including little containers of Sriracha, plus most anything you’d want for your hot dog. All the foods are prepared daily, and on site.
And the creator of all this goodness? None other than, Ruth Mossok Johnston – author, food columnist, consultant and culinary educator. I sought her out, and thankfully, she obliged. We’re absolutely thrilled to have her, and apparently, so are our customers, some of whom have taken to cheerfully eating while they shop, although we’ll soon add a couple of tables. Lunchtime is jammed from carry-outs. The Anticipation Queue.
“Everything is fresh, healthful, colorful and delicious,” said Johnston, adding that she’s always padding her repertoire, and tracking what people love most.
I’m telling you, these meals alone are worth hitting the store. Just look for the big red umbrellas, and prep for nibbling nirvana.