Comme Ci, Comme Ça Truck is a Moroccan Winner
Even though the Comme Ci, Comme Ca Truck isn’t out today we couldn’t help but post this… it’s just too good, and we couldn’t wait to tell you about it. Hopefully they’ll be back soon!
Last week Lunch’er “David” tipped us off to Comme Ci Comme Ça (Like This Like That, in French), a brand new Mediterranean truck on the street meat scene now parking on 54th St at Lexington. At the helm is Chef Samir, who was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco, and has created an authentic menu inspired by the dishes he grew up on (from their merguez sandwich to their chicken cous cous). All you have to do is look at the caricature of Chef Samir on the truck to know what you’re in for. He’s holding a chicken on his left, while hungrily eyeing up a scrumptious lamb on his right- and along with sous-chef Zac, they’ve been doing brisk business since they started in early July. Needless to say, this Midtown Luncher couldn’t wait to try it!
The merguez sandwich has been selling out within the first hour of the lunchtime rush and I missed out on my visit, but the Moroccan Kofta Brochette made for an excellent replacement. While I waited for my meal I saw them preparing the Mogador Burger (beef patty, sautéed mushrooms, eggplant spread, and veggies) for the guy in front of me. It was an enormous burger and for only $5 I will no doubt try this on my return trip.
My brochette was pretty big and packed with meat. The kofta was well spiced and perfectly charred on the outside (I love my carcinogens!), but still succulent and pink in the center. It usually comes with caramelized onions, green olives and green peppers, but I wanted to try the other grilled veggies and Samir gladly added roasted eggplant, zucchini, and red bell to the mix for no charge.
The bread is fresh from Parisi Bros. Bakery (30-17 Broadway, Astoria). The heart of the baguette is chewy and absorbs all the glistening juices from the beef kofta. The zucchini had lovely grill marks and the red bell pepper and eggplant added sweetness and texture. The sandwich alone is enough for one ravenous luncher, but I couldn’t leave without trying one more thing: their Moroccan cigars!
The chicken cigar was straight out of the fryer and sizzling hot. The pastilla sheets (layers of phyllo dough) come out uber crispy and browned. Inside were shredded chicken, toasted almonds and seasonings like cinnamon, rose water and a spice I could not pinpoint but seemed like saffron or some sort of yellow spice. I ripped one open so you can get a good look.
The pair came under a salad of mixed baby greens with Samir’s version of creamy white sauce and a tangy hot sauce. The hot sauce wasn’t spicy at all but still delicious and when mixed with the white it tasted slightly like Russian dressing.
Samir makes the sauces himself and sadly he underestimates their amazing ability to bump up the flavor of all his dishes. I wish I would have asked for some on my sandwich. Lesson learned, make sure to request some with you meal, it enhances the flavor and zest to all the cuisine. Even on the cigars, I was left wanting a little more of the hot sauce to dip in each bite.
Finally, it was all washed down with a mango iced tea. Cold, crisp and without any tannin aftertaste there was no need for any sugar, it was perfect just as is. I can safely say that Comme Ci, Comme Ça is definitely a winner and a welcome addition of the area. (And I look forward to checking out the rest of the menu…)
THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)
- Value and authenticity in every bite
- I love deep fried food and those cigars hit the spot
- Refreshing teas
- Vegetarian options like fire roasted veggies and caprese sandwiches
The – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)
- No lamb platters
- Head out early or items like the merguez will be all gone
- I wish they had a really spicy hot sauce
Comme Ci, Comme Ça Truck, 54th Street at Lexington