There are few foods that are as fun to say as Schnitzel. With the exception of momos, few words put a smile on foodies faces as that one does. We have tried Schnitzel on this site before at Doma Na Rohu, but the difference for this review is that this schnitzel comes in a truck.
“Schnitzel & Things” has been in business since 2009, which is also when they won the prestigious Rookie of the Year at the Vendy Awards. Theirs was the first schnitzel truck in NYC, and it has been rolling down the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn on a daily basis since then. Does their flattened and fried meat capture the schnitzel magic that sit-down restaurants offer, or is this truck as tasty as the blackened crumby bits on the bottom of the deep fryer? Let’s take a bite and find out!
Regular readers here at Blowtorch Pudding have heard me sing praises about the “Bob & Jo” truck before, especially with their Galbi platter and the amazing Ramen soup and dumplings combination. Lo and behold, what was parked near my office one day but Bob & Jo, but this time not in their usual fashion.
Like mana from the heavens, Bob & Jo has gone to the next level of their business by expanding beyond trucks. Now sporting a smaller food cart (in addition to their truck), Bob & Jo can now bring their Korean BBQ into multiple spots in one day, doubling your chances to get a taste of this place.
Not only do they have a new look, but they also have a slightly different menu from the full-sized vehicle.
I want to introduce you to one of my favorite food trucks in NYC. Is it the best food truck I have ever tasted? Hardly, although it is very good (spoiler alert – this place gets a good review). “Blend Express” has been a weekly staple in my lunch rotation for nearly two years, and there are plenty of reasons why that you will soon discover.
Sporting the concept of Latin fusion, this truck offers tacos, burritos, rice bowls, and a few sandwiches as well, with tons of toppings to customize your meals the way you like it. I am going to show you one of my favorite truck comfort foods today, and see if I can convert you to “Blend Express” as well.
When your food truck has a monkey wearing sunglasses on it, you get high hopes for a playful and fun experience. The gigantic “Monkey Brothers Lab” truck pulled up into my neighborhood with their colorful red and orange vehicle, and become quite the attraction for on-lookers. Offering a diverse menu of burgers, cheese steaks, and tacos, I decided to try the old-standby of Mexican food. Tacos have become the litmus test for me with many food trucks that offer it as an option, but the end result was me diving into a barrel of monkeys that I wanted to escape from.
Full disclosure. I had no idea what a “momo” was, other than some kind of flying lemur from the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender”. Turns out that it is also the word that Nepalese, Tibetans, and Indians use to call dumplings.
“Chinese Mirch” has a restaurant on Lexington Avenue in Midtown, among other places across the US. They also have a roving food truck that made a stop near me recently, which specialized in their handmade momo’s. This bright red and peach colored truck attracted me with its siren call of steamed buns with meat in them, and I had to give them a try.
Few people can claim to be the first of anything in the city that never sleeps, but “Toum” has the distinction of holding one of those titles. Being the very first food truck to offer Lebanese fare through the streets of NYC has garnered it a good amount of attention, as well as earning it a pretty positive reputation. The name comes from a thick sauce found common in that part of the world made with garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, similar in texture to an aioli.
Their bright and colorful truck greets you with a smiling bulb of garlic, who is ready to sacrifice himself for your tastebuds. Serving meat and vegetarian options, I decided to indulge my inner T-rex and go Shawarma!
There truly is a glut of trucks that do the same preparation of other trucks, albeit with a different main ingredient. I have seen Korean food, American BBQ, and all sorts of other fusion cuisine vehicles that offer the same things – rice bowls, tacos, burritos. That’s not to say they are bad tasting, but it is nice to have a change every now and then when it comes to appearance. Enter “Palenque”.
Owned and operated by Viviana Lewis and Angela “Nena” Sierra, two Colombian ladies that call New York their home, the namesake refers to a village in their home country. The specialty of this food truck is arepas, which is a grilled flatbread covered with various toppings, both sweet and savory. You can eat it like a pizza, you can eat it like a sandwich, you can cut it with a knife and fork, or you can tear it apart with your bare hands like a grizzly bear. Manners go out the window when it comes to an arepa, and this truck will make sure that your experience is finger-licking good.
There are some ethnic foods that seem to be rarer than others when it comes to dining in Manhattan. Polish cuisine seems to be one of those that I have trouble finding, other than a few select spots that are dotted around the city. Luckily, someone heard the outcry for this type of food, and has mobilized that need on four wheels.
The “Old Traditional Polish Cuisine” Truck, or OTPC for short (because I am not re-typing that name out each time),has one of the most unique and awesome looking trucks out there. You can easily spot this truck amongst all the competitors with its faux-wood paneling and homely design. Other trucks go for modern looks, while OTPC goes for a classic home-cooking feel. It’s comfort food at it’s most comforting, so let’s dive in and eat!
Inside their restaurant colored with the hues of the Greek flag, “Souvlaki GR” promises a little bit of Mykonos in every bite. With a deep menu of classic Mediterranean fare at very moderate prices, the owners of the place decided to take the show on the road with a food truck.
Offering a much more limited menu than their brick-and-mortar locale, the Souvlaki GR truck offers a few different types of grilled sandwiches, all wrapped in a warm pita. Both omnivores and vegetarians have options here, whether its chicken, pork, bifteki, falafel, or grilled veggies, and the tantalizing smell of the open grill in the truck is like the siren’s song straight out of Homer’s Odyssey.
I tried to order from “Carl’s Steaks” a week before this review got posted, but even at noon when the lunch rush has only begun, the line to order from this truck was wrapped around the block. The following week it returned, I made a sneak attack to it at 11:30 when there was practically no one there yet, and finally got my Philly Cheesesteak.
“Carl’s Steaks” and their long, black truck are a sponsor of the Yankee’s and list that they are the “best sandwich in NYC” according to AOL Cityguide on the side of their truck. That is quite the claim to make, especially when we have already reviewed heavy-hitters like Alidoro and Olive’s who blew me away. I am a lover of all things cheese steak, and was glad to give this one a try, but when the truck is already placing it on a high pedestal before you can even order, my expectations were far greater than my reality.