Checking Out Kimchi Taco Truck’s Kim-Cheesesteak
Speaking of cheesesteaks… I’ve not so secretly been
stalking following the new Kimchi Taco Truck ever since I first heard about them. The Downtown section of ML further piqued my interest, but I missed their first couple of visits to Midtown, once getting there just as they ran out of food. Well, the other week I finally I made it in time to check out their kim-cheesesteak.
The at time the truck was still working out the kinks… they had tweeted that they’d be ready at noon, but then weren’t able to open until 12:30. I arrived at 12:37 and there was already a long line (a bunch of people arrived right at noon and decided to wait). It took 30 minutes from arrival to departure with kim-cheesesteak in hand. They had 7 or 8 people on the truck working hard to manage the crowd, but doing lunch service in midtown is no easy feat. Hopefully they’ve worked everything out since then. still some efficiencies to be worked out.
The kim-cheesesteak comes with your choice of protein (Korean beef, spicy pork, or spicy chicken) sauteed with kimchi, topped with cheese wiz or provolone, and served on an Italian hoagie roll. I love me some daeji bulgogi so I decided to go with the “spicy pork” kim-cheesesteak ($7) with provolone because, hey, I’m Italian. For good measure I added in a side order of the Spicy Rice Cake–Grilled Rice Cake dipped in Korean Red Pepper Glaze and topped with Queso Blanco and green scallions ($3).
The Rice Cakes themselves were pleasantly chewy and tender. I grew up eating pasta with grated cheese as a snack (see the “I’m Italian” thing above) and when you add in the red pepper sauce this is like a pasta snack that your Korean Italian grandmother might make you. The fusion of the spicy sauce and the salty queso blanco works and is strangely compelling. I’d order this again.
Now onto the cheesesteak. The pork was tender and well marinated. For $7 this was a substantial sandwich and the hoagie roll performed admirably holding everything together. Those with a lighter appetite might be able to get by with 1/2 of the sandwich.
You can get the sandwich with mild or spicy sauce, or do as I did and get both. The sauces seemed to me to be a more liquidy version of the two pastes you typically get with bulgogi (I believe they are samjang and a type of miso–can any Korean food experts weigh in here? Chris H?). The spicy one adds enough heat to make your mouth a little warm but it wasn’t overwhelming. And the provolone goes surprisingly well with the spicy pork. My only complaint would be I wished that it had more kimchi. I was expecting it to have a hearty portion of kimchi on top, but I didn’t see any kimchi on it all, maybe the kimchi was chopped up really small–because the pork definitely had the flavor of kimchi. I would still get this sandwich again, but next time I’ll ask for extra kimchi!
The Kimchi Taco Truck has been hitting midtown on Wednesdays (52nd and 6th) and Fridays (46th and Lex), but as always, check the Twitter Tracker before you go, especially when there’s bad weather in the forecast. Today it looks as if they’re on 51st btw. 6+7th.