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RI’s Best Food Trucks

Thursday, April 26, 2012

 

Another day, another… food truck? It’s amazing – the absolute explosion of four-wheeled restaurants we’ve witnessed here in Providence. It was just a few years ago that our gastronomic city was void of these meals with wheels (well, except for Haven Brothers, of course, which started it all once upon a time…). Now it seems that every time we turn the corner, literally, we find another gem. We spent a week on the streets and have rounded up the five fine food trucks we love best.

 

Rocket Fine Street Food

We can’t thank the city of Torrington, Connecticut enough for its quiet winters. It was this winter slow down that led Rocket creators Joe and Patricia Meneguzzo to leave their hometown and move to ours. Providence has the same winters but it seems to hold outdoor business longer and stronger than most cities its size. And we are full and happy to follow them all year long. This is some of the best comfort food you can get anywhere. All local, all fresh and all thoughtful, this stuff rocks…or rockets as the case may be. A couple of our favorite are the grilled cheese with Narragansett Creamery Sea Salt Feta and Aquidneck raw honey and the Parisienne burger with caramelized onions, gruyere cheese and incredible roasted garlic aioli. They’re both delicious but we can’t stop thinking about that grilled cheese. Salty, sweet, a bit of crunch from the sea salt is all layered between bread from Seven Stars and fresh churned Vermont butter. That thing is a tour de force! 860-689-5585, http://www.rocketstreetfood.wordpress.com

Mijo’s Tacos

When Providence became a food truck friendly city, we knew one thing…follow the chefs and cooks who populate the city and we will find the best of the best. When you’re a cook you tend to eat standing up and working. It’s just part of the culture. There is no lunch hour, unless it’s between a split shift of lunch and dinner, so these guys relish their off-hour food. Chefs tend to also try new places so they can beat the crowds. One such place? Mijo’s Tacos. Mijo is a Spanish word that’s a term of affection between buddies… and boy do you want to be friends with chef and owner Peter Gobin. After several years in Southern California, he returned to Providence and so missed taco trucks that he created his own and Mijo’s was born. This is true, authentic SOCAL Mexican street food. All the flavors are spot on and the ingredients are local and fresh. Judging by the late night tweets of the next generation of chefs, we would get there before the local restaurants close and you have to fight the hungry, tattooed and burned masses. 752-9942, www.mijostacos.com @MijosTacos

Mama Kim’s

If ever there was a true Rhode Island partnership in a food truck its Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ. Sook Kim wanted to start a restaurant that would honor the cooking of her mother but found the idea of a full restaurant daunting. On a trip with her Brown Graduate son, she found her muse…food trucks. No longer did she see a food truck as something for construction workers on break. This was the way to get her authentic, Korean food to the masses. The partnership was born with R.I.S.D. students designing the logo; Brown Professors advising the business side and Johnson and Wales students man the trucks. Following Mama Kim’s on Twitter daily will cause drooling on your desk. Korean sliders? Wraps? Full meals with steamed rice and Banchan-Korean for side dish? All delicious, and all use local ingredients and all very authentic. You get a choice of meat or veggies that are all delicious but we can’t get away from the pork kimchi. Marinated pork belly and loin with house made kimchi combine to make a perfect bite. Follow on Twitter for daily specials and when you see the spicy garlic fried chicken…get there! 401-787-8977, www.mamakims.us @MamaKimsKbbq

Hewtin’s Dogs

The Grand-daddy of the new generation of food trucks is Matt Genuso co-owner and chef of Chez Pascal, in Providence. Chef Genuso’s love of all things sausage led him to start a hot dog cart across from the restaurant in Lippitt Park. The response was so great that they decided to seek out a truck to take their tasty, French inspired food on the road and boy were folks happy. Homemade sausage and hot dogs and daily creations have made this truck a must try in the city. The old idea of a food truck serving greasy, tasteless food has been replaced by a professional chef serving you a farm egg sandwich with pork belly and cheese or house made pastrami with spicy mustard and Swiss cheese. It’s gourmet to go and judging from the lines along North Main Street people are responding. This was the truck that set the bar for all the others to shoot for…and we’re glad that they keep right on rolling. Check them out through the restaurant website at www.chez-pascal.com or twitter at @ChezPascal

Like No Udder

When we heard vegan, soft-served, we have to admit that we were more than a bit skeptical. We did some research and found out that P.E.T.A. had named them one of the top five vegan friendly food trucks in America and that people swore by the tasty desserts this purple truck served. Well we headed out and found soft serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream made with no eggs, no hydrogenated fats , no dairy and no honey-which a lot of places will let slide. We found the ice cream very tasty and smooth. We did miss some of the richness from the eggs and cream, but to help protect animals that would otherwise not get protected, it made us feel good inside-and isn’t that part of what food is supposed to do? If you’re lucky enough to catch them at a day-long event, you may get some hot food items like vegan meatball subs but really, why take up room that could be used for a root beer float or a vegan pistachio shake? The best way to find Like No Udder is to check their website www.like-no-udder.com and use the G.P.S. system on the website or call 401-419-8869

 

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