Bongo Brothers: New York’s Cuban Food Truck

For lunch today I tried New York City’s Cuban food truck, Bongo Brothers, looking for the perfect meal for a hot summer day. This truck usually operates downtown or in the West Village during lunch time, but they ventured to Midtown twice this week.  Bongo Brothers first caught my attention with their dreamy truck design, sparsely decorated with a red and yellow palm tree logo that made me crave a vacation, hopefully their food would take care of that.

Offering sandwiches, platters and sides, I decided to get the $9 ropa vieja platter, shredded flank steak with red peppers and sautéed onions, served with white rice, black beans, and two platano maduros (sweet plantains). The meal was nicely packaged in a plastic container, which helped keep all of the flavor locked in on my walk back to the office.

The platter contained far more meat than I anticipated; almost half the box was filled with shredded steak, which is more than I can say for most meat platters I’ve eaten. Though the meat was plentiful, it wasn’t as flavorful as I had hoped. The sweetness from the plantains added a good amount of flavor though, and complemented the meat’s flavor and texture very well. The rice and beans were consistently good, and were slightly flavored from the generous helping of steak on top. The meal also came with a small bun that I assumed was meant to accompany the meat to make a small sandwich – which is exactly what I did.

Though the ‘ropa vieja’ itself wasn’t as flavorful as I had hoped, the side dishes and the quantity of meat provided more than made up for this. Bongo Brothers offers a good lunch at a great price, and in addition to the items I mentioned they have several other sandwiches and platters I would love to try, like the Cuban sandwich, the marinated pork and the mojo chicken.

You can pre-order from Bongo brothers and skip the lines here.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com

 

Village Voice’s Inaugural Choice Streets Event

On Tuesday night the Village Voice held its first annual Choice Streets event, a food event modeled after the popular Choice Eats event, but featuring food trucks rather than restaurants. Choice Streets was held right alongside the Intrepid, and guests could freely roam the ship, test out the simulators and eat and drink as much as possible from the vendors.

Over 20 food trucks attended the event, with a wide variety of Vendy award winning trucks, dessert and juice trucks and many of the more prominent food trucks seen throughout New York City. Some notable trucks we sampled were Solber Pupusas, Taim Mobile, Korilla BBQ, Bongo Brothers and Red Hook Lobster.

The event aimed to be a food and drink ‘tasting’ event, so each truck offered a small selection of what their menu has to offer, in addition to various beers and wines to try at different booths. Having never tried Solber Pupusas, I thoroughly enjoyed my first pupusa. Essentially it is a thick corn tortilla with shredded chicken inside of it, and topped with homemade pickled cabbage, jalapenos, onions and a tomato and makers mark based sauce. The pupusa completely lived up to its expectations, and proved to me why Solber Pupusas won the top price at the Vendy Awards in 2011.

With so many trucks to sample, it was hard to narrow down which ones to eat from. As the night got colder, I sought out a hot Cuban sandwich from Bongo Brothers, which was savory and delicious, despite the fact that many Cubans I know might object to mustard being in the sandwich. Taim Mobile and the Falafel King were both serving their signature falafel balls; ultimately Taim’s line was shorter so I tried their delicious green falafel in hummus. I also grabbed a hot slice of Valducci’s sweet pepper pizza, which was warm cheesy, and pretty much perfect.

Korilla BBW debuted a new fish taco for Choice Streets, which was light and refreshing. The fish was some variety of white fish, and came with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, corn and crushed kimchi flakes on a soft tortilla. This was the first time I had tried a fish taco from Korilla, and I can only hope they add it to their regular menu.

The final truck I stopped at was Red Hook Lobster, which I was delighted to see at a food tasting event, considering their lobster rolls sells for $16. Unfortunately Red Hook only had shrimp rolls to offer, which is understandable but a little disappointing. The shrimp rolls were very tasty, consisting of large shrimp in mayo and old bay in a hot buttery bun. Though small, Red Hook’s shrimp rolls put a perfect cap on the delicious food to try at this year’s inaugural Choice Streets.

DailyFoodtoEat is the official blog of FoodtoEat, a sustainable online food ordering and concierge catering service featuring your favorite restaurants, food trucks and caterers. Check out the deliciousness here: www.foodtoeat.com