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.
Above is the chicken bowl ($7), a heaping portion of succulent shredded meat torn off the bone and placed atop a bed of white rice. You can also get pernil, ropa vieja, or tostones if you do not want the pollo. From here, you get your classic bowl fare with red or black beans, and all the toppings you want. This particular array is the way the truck chef recommends it, which is lettuce, corn, cojita cheese, pico de gallo, and a drizzle of crema (hot sauce is optional, and it’s super burning hot sauce, so be warned). You can also get a few other toppings if you are feeling adventurous, but this is usually the way I go.
My pro-tip for “Blend Express” is to ask for a few tortilla shells (which they toss in a pair usually for free), and make your own tacos. They are the smaller corn tortillas, so throwing a few freebies is not a big deal in most cases.
The bowl itself is a harmonious grouping of many flavors, nothing particularly fancy, but everything just tastes good and wholesome. Crunchy corn, crumbly salty cheese, the acid from the pico de gallo, and the cool crema combine into one mighty forkful of non-pretentious goodness.
“Blend Express” also offers empanadas ($3), such as this beef one here. I do not always get the empanadas, but when I have, I love the shredded beef and its tangy red sauce inside. It also comes with a spicy hot sauce to dip or splash onto it, but again, it’s that killer hot sauce that not everyone can handle (especially not me). The masa shell is soft and yielding, and keeps the tasty filling wrapped up inside nice and warm.
So, why is it that I like “Blend Express” so much? Let me count the ways. One, I love Latin food, so that’s an easy A right away. Dos, the food is priced to move – bowls are $7, three tacos are $5, a burrito is $6, and a Cuban sandwich is $5! Three, really great portion sizes for the low price. Four – super quick lines, as even if there are 20 people ahead of you, you are not going to be waiting too long since they move their assembly line lightning quick.
Lastly, and most importantly, is their customer service. Even on my first visit there, I felt welcome and valued, and treated great by the entire truck staff. Going back on just my second visit, the staff remembered who I was, and it was easy for me to start bringing more people back. Everyone is quick to start up a friendly conversation or remember your order from your last visit, and how many other places will actually oblige you to give you for free what they would normally charge. The food is tasty, the staff is awesome, and frankly, it’s everything that you want in a food truck. Check them out and see if they end up in your weekly truck line-up too.
“Blend Express” travels around NYC on weekdays, as well as on weekends. You can follow them on Twitter to see where they will be next. “Blend” also has a restaurant with a much larger menu in Long Island City, located on 47-04 Vernon Blvd.