It's 10 pm, 35 degrees, and a man in a lonely truck is cooking up fresh ice-cream waffle cones on the griddle. "I can't believe no one's ever thought of this before," he laughs, grabbing a fistful of Tillamook cheddar and dropping it into the batter. "This is going to make me rich!" Once it's ready, he rolls the waffle into shape and spoons in heapings of soft macaroni in a thick, comfortingly creamy Parmesan, Havarti and aged cheddar sauce, and finishes it with a sprinkle of paprika. This is not your average ice-cream truck. In fact, Awesome Cone is not really an ice-cream truck at all—the whole point is to put everything but ice cream in a cone: pulled pork, chicken and dumplings, udon noodles and anything else that should be rightfully eaten with silverware and crockery. It doesn't always work so awesomely—the vegan "O, Pioneer Cone" ($5) comes with a perfectly serviceable pasta and tomato-sauce filling, but it just doesn't marry with the sugary waffle, while the Fungus Cone ($5) is an utterly delicious mix of button mushrooms and garlic sautéed in fresh rosemary and wine, which isn't hurt by the cone but is just as good with a fork. But oh, piping hot housemade mac and cheese you can eat with your hands while stumbling home in the middle of the night. Why hasn't anyone thought of it before? It'll make him rich.
- Best bite: Mac + Cheese Cone, $6 (when available; itâs a special).
- Cheapest bite: Red beans and rice, $3.
Awesome Cone is located at 3221 SE Division St., awesomecone.com. Open noon-8 pm Tuesday-Thursday, noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday. $ Inexpensive. Cash only.