Bistro Truck Brings Their Lamb Burger to Midtown Proper
Ever since they launched in 2009 and ultraclay gushed over their mixed grill platter, the question on everybody’s mind concerning the Vendy Award nominated Bistro Truck is when will they join the truck shuffle and come to Midtown. Up until two weeks ago, they were comfortable staying at their usual location in the Flatiron District on 17th and 5th Avenue. But as we previously announced, they’ve added four new locations to their roster and Midtown East got lucky on Thursdays when they’ve been showing up on 55th between Park and Lexington.
Besides a tasting at the Vendys, I had only tried the Morroccan truck once before. So last Thursday I was pretty excited they’d be nearby. I arrived at 1:00pm and was surprised to discover no line. While it was refreshing not to have to wait an hour at a food truck, I feel like a bigger Midtown welcome is in order for these guys.
The menu has been focused a bit since ultraclay’s review and it now includes Morroccan specialities like chicken and seafood pastilla along with their refined takes on street meat: lamb marrakech, dijon chicken, and vegetable tajine. The price of some of the sandwiches has also increased and a few new ones have been added, like an Old Bay fish sandwich.
I was drawn to the lamb burger, which has replaced the former Bistro beef burger. I was told this new burger was mostly lamb leg meat, but was cut with a bit of beef fat to reduce the gaminess. Honestly, if I hadn’t known it was lamb, I may not have guessed it. It had a very subtle gamey flavor and tasted more like an intense beef burger. It was unbelievably juicy and perfectly seasoned. I thought the combination of cheddar cheese with spicy harissa and the white Bistro sauce would be a little strange, but the fusion worked perfectly. Dare I say it, but this one rivals Shake Shack!
I had also been intrigued by the updated lamb marrakech, which is now made with lamb shank rather than leg meat. The price has also increased to $10 (which, of course, is the Midtown Lunch limit), but lamb shank is definitely more tender, fattier, and full of flavor.
It’s served on the bone on top of cous cous or basmati rice. Although $10 is a good deal for this quality food, my only gripe was that there wasn’t enough meat. Yet I found the stewed rich flavors to be fit for a king. The braised and roasted dark meat fell off the bone with each tug of my plastic fork. Almonds and mushrooms garnished the lamb and added a nice texture to the dish. A side of harissa was included to bring some heat and balance the white sauce. I didn’t toss my container until I unabashedly gnawed every last piece of meat off that bone.
I also tried their special Bistro Salad, which was a colorful array of chickpeas, marinated peppers, grilled portabello mushrooms, and creamy goat cheese on a bed of arugula. This was a filling, tasty alternative to all the lamb heavy dishes. We carnivores shouldn’t have all the fun.
This is street food at its most delicious and refined and it’s certainly worth the slightly inflated prices. They’ve been spending Thursdays on 55th btw. Park+Lex in Midtown, but make sure you check their twitter feed or the Midtown Lunch Twitter Tracker before heading out.