I have been chasing this truck down since I heard it existed. I am not sure why our schedules never aligned until this glorious day, but it was definitely worth the wait. The Jungle Curry with fried chicken in the above photo passed my husband’s spiciness test. There were many tasty sounding items on their menu; it made the decision hard on both of us. And while the Crab Red Curry caught my eye, I ended up settling on the Lemongrass Coconut Curry with pork meatballs, and a couple of bao buns to start.Continue reading
School is back in session, so the trucks are back! Some of them have moved locations, including this halal cart which used to be located on 13th Street in front of Speakman Hall. This, along with The Mexican truck and the two NY halal carts that were on the corner in front of Tuttleman are now located across the street from the Student Center, in front of Ritter Hall.
Now I must post a disclaimer here: I have started grad school at Temple so I won’t have as much leisure time to write these blog posts, but I’ll there are still places I haven’t visited so I’ll be sure to post semi-frequently. On to the review…
I had such high hopes for Top Bap, with all the fresh veggies going into my Bibim Bap bowl: carrots, spinach, turnips, bean sprouts, and mushrooms. Topped with an over-medium egg and sprinkled with sesame seeds, the dish looked like a colorful work of art. My problem is gochujang, a spicy Korean chili sauce. I don’t know if it’s that my palate for spicy food is just developing, if it’s not a taste I prefer, or if the depth of my spice-wussiness won’t let me enjoy gochujang, but every time I have it, it seems to overpower any other flavors or textures happening in Korean food. I am not a fan of kim chee, I don’t like Korean BBQ (as evidenced in my review of Cha Cha Truck), and even the dollop of gochujang under my egg sort of ruined this beautiful Bibim Bap bowl for me.
As I was walking past the Student Professional Organizations’ office, a smell of spices wafted out of the room. Some of my favorite students, officers from various student groups, sat in the room eating Indian food.
“What IS that?” I asked, my eyes widened. “And where did it come from?”
One of them offered me a bite of the Chicken Tikka. I asked the other, who is Indian, what he thought of the food.
“It’s good. Not very authentic but tastes good.”
I decided this would be my next venture for the blog. The next day I headed over to Samosa Deb’s, located in front of the Art building (why do they get so many of the best trucks over there??) and ordered the Chicken Tikka platter, which came with rice, pakora, veggies, and naan, all for $8.00.
I love Japanese food, but I have very little experience with teppanyaki. This truck on 12th street features both Japanese and Korean selections as well as some fusion between the two types of Asian cuisine. Teppanyaki, for those who have never had it, is a type of Japanese barbecue, using a iron grill to cook the food. This has been popularized by places like Benihana Grill, where diners are treated to a show as the chefs prepare their food. The chefs dazzle the guests with pizzazz and flair, flipping their utensils and lighting things on fire. Google “onion volcano” if you don’t know what I am talking about.
There is no shortage of choices here at E&E Gourmet, where photos of and menu signs surround the entire truck with everything from burgers to wraps to breakfast to rice platters and Middle Eastern selections. One morning, I was not feeling my usual breakfast of oatmeal or yogurt, so I stopped at the truck to check out the omelette choices.
This blog is becoming more and more fun, because it makes me stretch beyond my familiar eating habits and branch out to try new things. I have always been scared of jerk chicken, due to the use of scotch bonnets, which have always been way beyond my comfort level of spiciness. But on this day, I decided to be daring.
Would you look at the size of these tacos?! I was shocked as I opened up my container to find these huge chicken tacos, topped with pickled onions and sweet red chili sauce, seated on a bed of lettuce, encased in a flour tortilla. I could only finish two of them. Chop Chop is a Vietnamese food truck that serves tacos, banh mi, and rice platters in your choice of chicken or pork. For vegetarians, they have tofu served as banh mi or as a rice platter.
The three huge tacos sell for $6 in any of these flavors. Banh mi are $4.50 and rice platters are $6.50. Every order comes with a free can of soda or bottle of water. They run several rotating specials written on neon lit boards. They also offer several types of hot tea, coffee, and hot chocolate.
The week of Christmas at Temple was pretty much a ghost town. It was rainy and the students and faculty had all vacated the premises. Many of the administrators and support staff also took the days off preceding the Christmas holiday to extend the Winter Break. So as you could imagine, there was very little open on campus for food choices. Luckily for me, those hardworking fellas in the halal carts were still around and happy to serve.
Choosing a halal cart is difficult for a newcomer at Temple, being that there are at least three on Montgomery Street alone. Two of the carts are parked on Montgomery, just past 13th, in front of the Tuttleman Center. The third cart is parked next to the Bagel Hut on Liacouras Walk. That one claims to have higher prices due to inflation, so it costs a dollar more for platters than the other two.
On my first week at Temple, before I started this blog, I ate at the one on the corner of 13th and Montgomery. It was delicious, but after I told my coworkers I had eaten there, they told me I had eaten at the wrong halal cart. They said the one next to it was the best one. I was skeptical because the food I had was pretty good, and you get a platter of food and a canned soda for only $5. But I am humbled to say that they were right.
Full disclosure here: I hadn’t planned on starting a blog when I took the photos you will see in my first post, so I apologize for the quality. They were quick snaps I had planned to use as a reference for future orders, and then I got the idea to start this blog.
Location: Parked near Broad and Montgomery Streets
Phone number: 267-225-8624, to call in or text orders
Pay: Cash only
Cuisine: Asian, American, Breakfast, and Vegetarian selections
What I tried: Lemongrass Pork and Rice Platter
Delivery: This truck uses Habitat for their food delivery service.
On this day I was craving some Asian food and the lemongrass pork platter caught my eye as I was making my rounds past the many food trucks at Temple University. It is priced well at $5.50 and includes lettuce and tomato, rice, lots of marinated and grilled pork, and an over-medium fried egg. Judging by the menu items I am assuming this leans more towards Vietnamese food.