Sunday, November 21, 2010

HKFM's 3rd Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar

Hell's Kitchen Flea Market's sparsely populated 3rd Gourmet Food Truck Bazaar took place this afternoon under a gloomy sky. Participants included Manhattan based trucks Rickshaw Dumpling and Frites'N'Meats, and New Jersey based trucks Cinnamon Snail, Krave, and Lucinda Creperie (making its New York debut)- each vehicle wheeling a cornucopia of artisanal fare to 39th Street and 10th Avenue. Rickshaw Dumpling wasn't on my radar as its brick and mortar is two blocks from my apartment, so I made a beeline for New Jersey's finest (not too hard a feat as the bazaar consisted of a mere 5 trucks), and finished with Manhattan's Frites'N'Meats.

Cinnamon Snail's (one of the country's only vegan organic food trucks) Thanksgiving Special Sandwich- gravy simmered seitan, orange cranberry relish, fennel cornbread stuffing, hickory smoked caramelized onions, roasted garlic aioli, and marinated kale on a toasted French baguette- is pure bliss. I don't have the willpower nor the desire to sacrifice my dairy-based loves (cheese and chocolate milk) but this sandwich is so outstanding it could make anyone convert to a vegan way of life (at least for one afternoon!). The Thanksgiving Special Sandwich is such a monster that I reluctantly passed up the truck's baked goods; among them donuts with tempting flavors like pumpkin with maple spice glaze, s'mores, and peanut-butter chocolate cookie dough.

The exterior of the superb Thanksgiving Special Sandwich
A bit messy, but what Thanksgiving meal isn't

Parked on the south side of 39th Street was Krave's electric green truck, instantly recognizable. Krave has "[o]ne simple mission. Korean BBQ for all." Countless combinations of tender barbecued meat (tangy pork, sesame chicken and galbi short rib), brown or white rice, sour cream, shredded kimchi, monterey jack cheese, and a crunchy onion-cilantro relish make up Krave's reasonably priced Korean tacos, kimchidillas, giant kravers, and rice platters.

A $7.50 taco sampler- galbi short rib, sesame chicken and tangy pork
The $6.00 BBQ rice platter minus the rice as it was sold out

Lucinda Creperie's truck made its New York debut when it rolled into the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market today. A crepe-making novice, I wholeheartedly appreciate the art of mastering a good crepe. Lucinda Creperie doesn't disappoint- its thin delicacies come with a host of sweet and savory fillings, and customers can diverge from the menu to craft a crepe of their own design.

Lucinda Creperie's menu- dessert crepes include s'mores, tiramisu, nutella and dolce de leche
An improvised crepe- turkey, pesto, mozzarella, and spinach

Grass-fed Angus and Wagyu beef burgers from Frites'N'Meats are served with a wide range of toppings like savory onion jam, oven roasted tomatoes, cheese (brie, goat, cheddar, gruyere or blue) applewood smoked bacon, and garlicky guacamole, and are sandwiched between a freshly baked bun (brioche, potato onion or sesame seed). In an attempt to "save the world, one burger at a time", the truck's owners source ingredients from local purveyors DeBragga & Spitler ("New York's butcher"), Balthazar Bakery, and Murray's Cheese. Accompanying the juicy burgers are crisp, golden handcut double fried Belgian frites, a daily selection of rotating soups, and handmade desserts.

The menu at Frites'N'Meats
Handcut double fried Belgian frites in a checkered paper cone
A perfectly cooked grass fed Angus burger with raw onions, tomatoes, cheddar, and ketchup on a sesame seed bun