What Charmin Bears Love: Food|Dogs|Sephora

Our foodie instincts take over when we're out and about.

Boston Food Trucks

on July 8, 2011

I don’t know if I’ve been oblivious, but I recently noticed an insurgency of food trucks in Boston.  I’m sure we always had some trucks that sold snacks, simple sandwiches or Chinese food, but these ones prepare the food on the spot.  Everywhere I turn I see a decorated truck promising some deliciousness.  Although I prefer a place to sit and eat, I do love the idea of street food.

Bon Me @ 460 Harrison Avenue (Summer Sundays @ Sowa Open Market)

Being a banh mi fan, I purposely went to the Bon Me food truck once I arrived at Sowa Open Market.  Sowa is only open Sundays over the Summer.  You’re not missing out on much though.  There were only about a handful of trucks and fewer vendors than expected.  Not much too see and  a bit lame if you ask me.  Anyway, I wanted to see why Bon  Me has 4 stars when their prices are ridiculous.  $6 for a “Vietnamese inspired” sandwich is robbery, but I’ll give it a shot.

Bon Me’s baguette is slightly longer than the traditional Vietnamese banh mi, but also skinnier in width.  I couldn’t really taste their pate.  Their mayo is a bit different, it’s much more orange and has a bit of a kick.  I don’t care much for it though. The pork was tough to eat and quite dry.  It’s really hard to believe that this is their best seller.  It’s probably healthier than my $3 traditional banh mi, but I’ll pass next time I see Bon Me.

Bon Me - Barbequed Pork Sandwich

Barbequed Pork Sandwich

Clover Food Lab @ 460 Harrison Avenue & Dewey Square

Another popular food truck that’s been making it’s name in Boston is Clover Food Lab.  I tried this truck at two different “locations,” but it’s probably the same truck.  I included Dewey Square because once Sowa Open Market closes after summer ends, you won’t be able to find the truck at 460 Harrison Avenue.

The first sandwich I tried was the Egg & Eggplant, a Middle-Eastern-inspired sandwich.  I love the fluffy easy-to-bite-down-on pita bread.  The eggplant was perfectly fried.  Surprisingly, I enjoyed the hard-boiled egg (I normally prefer mine scrambled, over-easy or poached).  The hummus was thinner than usual but yummy.  However, I hated the cucumber tomato salad tossed inside.  This has more to do with my dislike of cucumber than the sandwich’s taste.  But it still somewhat ruined it for me.

Clover Food Lab - Egg & Eggplant Sandwich

Egg & Eggplant Sandwich

Next I tried the Chickpea Fritter.  What is a chickpea fritter? It’s basically just a falafel (quite a few Middle-Eastern inspired items on Clover’s menu).  The falafel was delicious, arguably better than Falafel King.  It’s much lighter and you won’t feel guilty eating it.  The pickled vegetables were good.  The same hummus from the Egg & Egg were here, and the annoying cucumber and tomato salad as well.  I really just don’t like cucumbers, so if you are a cucumber fan, you might not mind it as much.  I didn’t know it’d reappear and just asked them to leave out the pickle (I don’t like pickles either).

Clover Food Lab - Chickpea Fritter

Chickpea Fritter Sandwich

Another one of Clover’s most popular items is undoubtedly their  Fries with Rosemary.  I’ve tried this on two separate occasions.  I don’t really understand the hype.  I thought the rosemary was too subtle to make a real difference for me.  The potato was fresh, but  it was quite oily.  They boast that their food is healthy and their fries are actually suppose to retain the least oil compared to many competitors.  The only explanation I can think of is the persons making it messed up, but I have no intention of going back for this anyway.

Clover Food Lab - French Fries with Rosemary

French Fries with Rosemary

Clover Food Lab - French Fries with Rosemary

French Fries with Rosemary

My overall impression of Clover Food Lab is that it’s affordable, healthy food.  Too bad I will be a hard one to win over with a no-meat menu.

Momogoose @ City Hall Plaza

Momogoose is probably my favorite food truck out of the three because 1) it offers the most variety and 2) there are items with reasonable prices.

I started off trying their baguettes.  It was a huge disappointment for $5, only $1 cheaper than Bon Me.  The baguettes were the same size as my $3 Vietnamese sandwiches from Chinatown.  There was no sauce whatsoever.  They pride themselves in fast service, but it’s really not that hard if you’re just slicing bread in half, scooping some pre-made meat in and tossing in some scallions, is it?  I had the signature pork and the bulgogi hogi.  The meat itself had a nice flavor, but it was very difficult to eat since the overall baguette was so dry.

Momogoose - Suon Nuong (Pork) Baguette

Suon Nuong (Pork) Baguette

Momogoose - Bulgogi Hogi Baguette

Bulgogi Hogi Baguette

What really sold me about Momogoose are their lunch bowls.  There’s a laundry list of flavors to choose from and you also get to pick your carb (white rice, brown rice or rice noodles).  My first lunch bowl was the Korean BBQ Chicken with brown rice.  They use white meat, so it was drier than I expected.  Healthier though!  I thought it was okay.  It tasted like home cooking from your beginner-cook girlfriend.  It’s not made from an iron chef.  Simple flavors, nothing as complex or thoughtful compared to the other two trucks.  What I liked about it was the price, $5.  It’s difficult to find a place that sells you a filling lunch for $5 nowadays.

Momogoose - Korean BBQ Chicken

Korean BBQ Chicken

My favorite to date was the Thai Spicy Fish with brown rice.  The fish was battered.  The sauce had good flavor.  I really enjoyed eating this for lunch.  Unfortunately, the second time I came back for it, they no longer offered fish.  I had to settle for chicken instead with the Thai spicy sauce and it just wasn’t the same.  Fish > Dry Chicken any day! Sigh!

Momogoose - Thai Spicy Fish

Thai Spicy Fish

After trying these three infamous food trucks, I decided that Boston’s food trucks just aren’t that special in terms of taste and what they offer.  Instead, they are usually selling 1) healthy alternatives, 2) convenience, and/or 3) affordability (with the exception of Bon Me).

Unfortunately, my food truck chase in Boston has been cut short.  I’ve recently moved to LA.  Instead, I will truck on in the West coast, where I bet it’s yummier anyway!

– Charmin Bear T


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