Monday, February 6, 2012

Do you like good food? (and GARLIC?)

After months and months of planning, Borinquen Lunch Box finally started trolling the streets of Washington on Thursday, and the parking gods allowed them to bless Farragut with a visit to kick off a new week.  Serving Puerto Rican food, I understand the menu varies somewhat day-to-day.  Beef & chicken empanadas ($2/each), 3 types of sandwiches (all $8), and a special of chicken fricassee over rice ($7) totaled today's offerings.  After hemming and hawing between the Cuban and churrasco sandwiches, I landed on the churrasco because there was a special note that said it was made on freshly baked bread, which I had seen a photo of earlier in the day.  Let's just say I'm lucky I had no afternoon meetings, because hours later the garlic is still "with" me.  Having said that, the sandwich was incredible.

Lean skirt steak was marinated, chopped, and grilled, then generously stuffed in a half loaf of pillow-soft bread topped with tomatoes, shredded lettuce, shoestring potatoes, and "Puerto Rican sauce" (thousand island-ish made of ketchup, mayo, and garlic.)  Upon reading the menu I wasn't sure about the potatoes as they just seemed to unnecessarily add more carbs, but they did a perfect job to collect and retain some of the wonderful meat juices, particularly given how delicate the 'Pan Sobao' became by the same juices.  But as I said before, you need to really be aware that between the marinade and the Puerto Rican sauce, this sandwich is aggressively garlic-y yet possessing very appealing flavors overall if the garlic doesn't bother you.  It doesn't bother me, and the visit is worthy of 4 honks.

Other notes --
  1. I didn't love the chicken empanada I ordered just to try, but for $2, it fairly priced and could make a light snack.
  2. While this was not the slowest service one is likely to encounter with such a new truck, they would really benefit from leveraging the passenger jump seat up from to take orders from; both folks on the truck were operating out of one little window and that can quickly add unnecessary chaos.  I suspect it may have something to do with the fact the order taker didn't appear to speak Spanish and the (seemingly high) volume of people wanting to order in Spanish were forced to speak directly to the chef.  (Of the 7 people in front of me, 4 ordered in Spanish.  They all also spoke perfect English, but insisted on Spanish.)  Anyway, had the order taker been up front, the same interaction with the chef would not have been possible.  (Good or bad... HUM???)  Plus, of course, the muddled activity at the window would have been lessened.
  3. After placing my order, I received a loyalty card good for a free sandwich after 5 punches, along with a Blow-Pop.  Love the loyalty card, not sure I get the Blow-Pop, but ok.  Cute I guess.
  4. Finally, I wanted to recognize my truck cohorts for the organization of the line.  I've been noticing the trend over the last several weeks of the respectful (to other pedestrians) line, and today was no exception.  

Granted, this forms most easily when trucks are literally stacked on top of one another, but since the crowded sidewalks is one of the complaints of the truck-naysayers, I thought good truck-izens should be called out as well.

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