Rhode Island’s Best New Food Trucks

Thursday, June 20, 2013


Food trucks are "trending" everywhere from New York to L.A. We haven't taken a census, but we're willing to bet that per capita, Rhode Island has more of these four-wheel food fiestas than most states. We set out to find 5 new trucks for you to track down and found these 5...

Portu-Galo, East Providence

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One of the ethnic foods that doesn't get it' just due is Portuguese food. The big boys of Europe dominate the conversation but these are the same Mediterranean ideas and ingredients with a slightly different take. It's kind of like European soul food. Think white beans and kale; think fresh seafood; think grilled meats and sausages. When we heard about Portu-Galo opening a local food truck we were excited for what could be and they haven't disappointed. Levi and Tanya Medina serve good Portuguese food made the old way. Try the bifana with the pork cutlet. The caramelized onions and the slightly sweet Portuguese bread balance the spices perfectly. We are also big fans of tasty fries -- perfectly crisp and seasoned. If you're not so sure about Portuguese food and need some training wheels, order the stuffies -- these Rhode Islandf icons are some of the best we've had! www.facebook.com/PortugueseTruck www.twitter.com/PORTU_GALO

Noble Knots, Providence

The first time we had pretzel bread was at a dinner at Gracie's in Providence -- Chef Ciril Hitz of Johnson and Wales, who's an award-winning, nationally-known bread god, served his homemade version. It was love at first taste. If you haven't had this treat--originally a Pennsylvania Dutch specialty--it is rich and decadent and delicious. Now imagine thoughtfully-prepared sandwiches on said bread and you've got the idea of Noble Knots. (Just the idea, though, because if you leave without trying the tater tots or hush puppies you aren't getting all you can out of Noble Knots.) We heard the rumors of the braised short rib and it was excellent. We tried the pulled pork and were impressed. The roast chicken with bacon jam and avocado mousse was totally to die for, however. The slight saltiness of the pretzel bread with the earthiness of the avocado topped with the smoky/sweet bacon jam all combine to make a sandwich worth driving for. And perfectly crisp tater tots make us happy like nine-year-olds! www.facebook.com/NobleKnots www.twitter.com/NobleKnots 

Lotus Pepper, Providence

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One of the cuisines we don't always associate with food trucks is Asian. We almost always eat-in or take it home. But what happens if a hankerin' hits you during the day? Or when you're on the go? Well, head to College Hill and find Lotus Pepper for some of the most authentic Vietnamese food around. The Nguyen family produces all this love together with recipes handed down from generation to generation. The flavors are true and the ingredients fresh. We started with the ubiquitous bahn mi. This Asian sandwich is one of our favorites. We tried the version with the barbecued pork. Then we tried the chicken. Then we tried the beef. They were that good. All are topped with the traditional toppings of cucumbers, cilantro, carrots and onions in a slightly acidic dressing. The dressing cuts the fat of the sandwich and adds a nice punch. All are served on crusty bread that soaks up all the flavors. They also feature tasty stir-frys and perfectly cooked rices. www.facebook.com/LotusPepper www.twitter.com/LotusPepper

Eddie's BBQ, South Kingston

We love barbecue, but growing up in Rhode Island didn't afford us much of an opportunity to sample top-notch smoke. We love it because, for the most part, it's about taking humble cuts of meat and cooking them low and slow to bring out all their meaty goodness. Add in some hardwood smoke and you have a primal experience for us carnivores. We have a couple of good brick and mortar spots for barbecue here, but now good barbecue has gone mobile. Eddie's BBQ has brought the sticky goodness to Washington County. Find him in Narragansett and get ready for well smoked meats and creative sauces and sides. We not only loved the pulled pork but also the "crazy slaw". We won't spoil his secret other than to say we would put that stuff on everything if we could! You've got to find him on your next beach trip. Heck...grab some and take it to the beach with you! 499-9337, www.eddiesbbqri.com

Go-Spresso, South Kingston

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You can imagine that in a state as coffee-crazed as Rhode Island, there is an endless supply of people looking for their next cup. Now imagine that you are stuck in an office, dying for a good espresso. Will the office swill suffice for another long workday? We think not. Enter Go-Spresso. A mobile espresso and baked goods truck, Go-Spresso comes right to a set route of offices and delivers freshly made coffee drinks, smoothies, baked goods and to-go sandwiches. It's like they read your minds, right? Now imagine that you have a big meeting or conference coming up at your office. Hire them to show up for a special event and guarantee that the meeting hums along on nice buzz from a delicious espresso and a tasty pastry. It'll make you the office rock star--again! www.go-spresso.com


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