QBA Introduces New Menu Items Like Ropa Vieja
A couple of weeks ago, when QBA announced they’d be altering their menu to include some new specials, I hoped that this would change a pretty good cart into a great, must-visit cart. After all, there is no shortage of good Cuban options in Midtown- and as much as we love food trucks, isn’t it really all about the food? I’ve already written about the pork meal and the cuban sandwich and our Downtown editor Andrea tried the chicken meal. I think the consensus is pretty clear; the QBA meals with meat and rice and beans are good, and a solid lunch option, but not spectacular. According to their website, today the truck will introduce ensalada batabano, a salad with tomatoes, feta and scallions. And earlier this week they had ropa vieja, which we (naturally) had to go try.
The first new special they’ve introduced is ropa vieja. Described as “savory beef with red peppers in smoky paprika sauce,” the ropa vieja sounds different than their other meals, but as you can see it looks pretty similar. They’ve made a few changes since I first tried them, most notably that the pickled onions are now served on top of the beans, and there seem to be less of them. I like them being served on the beans, I don’t like less of them. The rice and beans were once again excellent.
The beef, on the other hand was not excellent. It wasn’t bad at all, but from the description I expected something more flavorful, something really stewing in juices. It mostly just seems to be shredded beef though. There wasn’t any discernible sauce. There are a few pieces of pepper underneath. They don’t add a whole lot but at least it’s a little more variation in the dish. The beef was also a little tough. Nothing too bad, but if you’re expecting really juicy, really tender meat, you may be disappointed.
Meals still come with your choice of sauce. I went with the jalapeno-cilantro again (they recommended it). It was less watery this time which I appreciated. Once again, it gives the meat most of its flavor. All in all, the ropa vieja doesn’t take QBA to the next level, but it’s another fine lunch option from them (although I’d probably go back for the pork before I’d go back to this- for whatever that’s worth).