One of the newest trucks on the scene at City Hall Plaza is Mediterranean Home Cooking, what looks like a family operation with no evident social media presence or brick and mortar location. But they do have one of my favorite things, a focused menu:
That’s right folks, we’re talking about byrek and that stars with B and ends with K and there’s a great deal of variability about what goes in between and inside. At Sabur in Somerville, it’s burek and it’s hand-stretched, at wikipedia, it’s börek and it’s everywhere from Armenia to Albania and lots of places in between. At Mediterranean Home Cooking, it’s fresh filo dough with olive oil and your choice of meat, spinach and cheese fillings. I had spinach (triangular) and meat.
Both shells were crisp and a little chewy while still flaky but not impossibly messy. I was expecting something more like spanakopita with lots of cheese but there was just a bit of something not as pungent as feta, allowing the spinach to be the star. It was leafy and not overcooked or minced beyond all recognition as sometimes happens in these things. Probably not a whole meal for most, but at $4, no complaints.
The meat byrek – beef, I’m pretty sure – was the standout. A seemingly more generous portion in general and not at all stingy on the meat but also nicely spiced and generously endowed with melty onions. Gotta love the onions. At just 50 cents more than the spinach, the meat byrek felt like most of a meal. Fries were on the menu with the burger but not listed a la carte, but I’m sure the peckish could make a special order.
It can’t be easy to compete side by side with the more polished Bacon Truck and Green Bean Mobile, but Mediterranean Home Cooking brings the byrek, and that’s something you won’t find in too many other places, and they deliver it simply and with a smile.
The menu board is improved and the prices have gone up, but the Chicken & Rice Guys still deliver exactly what they say and they do it very well.
Last year I had the chicken and rice, this time I tried the lamb and rice, small size.
I admire the focus and appreciate the results. Plentiful yellow rice, tender meat, three sauces to choose from (BBQ, white, and hot), pita and lettuce. Boom.
Yesterday the good folks at the Compliments food truck seem to have decided it was their duty to dispense compliments to their patrons. It certainly brightened my day. I got “hey, I really like your sunglasses” (they’re Warby Parkers, and it’s like looking through an Instagram filter all the time!) and the gent behind me was told he was “a beautiful man” even though or perhaps because he ordered the last focaccia.
I chose the grilled cheese with tomato because it seemed like the right thing to do and because I remembered the tuna melt I got from this truck last season was superb. I was not disappointed. It was a wonderfully toasted sandwich on good bread with good cheese. The tomato was just ok but it didn’t diminish the totality of the sandwich. Tomato is always a tricky element of a grilled cheese sandwich because it can be slippery, causing the sandwich halves to drift like tectonic plates. But I digress.
At the last minute I also ordered the fried cauliflower, though I’m a bit skeptical of the “too fresh” moniker. I like cauliflower almost any way except overcooked, and I’m now prepared to say that fried with sea salt and some spices is a very good way to have cauliflower. Crispy from the frying but not crunchy from the cauliflower, which was cooked just enough. Highly recommended.
Compliments to the chef!
I was sorely tempted to return to The Latin Spoon for empanadas on this almost springy Tuesday, but the Quest requires that I visit each truck in turn before repeating. I’d been to M&M Ribs before and enjoyed it, so it was nice to return to a familiar menu.
I seem to remember having pulled pork and collard greens last time, so I chose the beef brisket with a side of BBQ baked beans. I was quickly served up with a smile.
This is a fantastic sandwich. In contrast to the dry rub on offer at Lilian’s Smokin’ Rack, M&M’s BBQ is moist and saucy, exceptionally tender, and served on a bun. The sandwich size is generous but not coma-inducing, though the quantity of beans was a bit excessive, though no less delicious. The sauce is on the sweet side, not spicy, and gives a real sense that summer might some day arrive. At twice the price of a Lilian’s “slider” one might question the relative value for the money, but certainly not the absolute deliciousness.
At City Hall Plaza yesterday, there was a different kind of truck, more like a trailer really, offering Mexican sandwiches called tortas. It was Tenoch Movil, the roving branch of Tenoch Mexican restaurant of Medford and Boston.
This is my kind of food truck operation. Simple menu, simple pricing, do one thing – tortas, juicy Mexican sandwiches – and do it very well. Cash only, too, by the way.
I chose the Campechana, which was swiftly assembled, wrapped, bagged, and handed over with a smile. The smooth operation produces a smooth sandwich. Spicy pork is front and center in the form of carnitas and chorizo, but the buttery telera bread, creamy avocado, and mild Oaxaca cheese cool it down just enough to get set on fire again by the chipotle mayo.
The sandwich looks small but don’t let it fool you, there’s no need for a side, though we did have a frozen yogurt craving afterwards perhaps to shake off some of the zesty spices. I’ve been enjoying tortas at Aguacate Verde in Somerville and will continue to do so, but Tenoch has won a major share of my heart, and perhaps narrowed my arteries, too.