Another Look at the New Palenque Colombian Truck
After reading Brownie’s recent preview of Palenque, the new Colombian truck that just started parking in Midtown, I knew I had to try it immediately. I braved the wind and the rain last week to get a hold of some delicious arepa goodness. In addition to the traditional corn, Palenque offers some unconventional varieties of arepa: quinoa, brown rice with flax seeds, and brown rice with sesame seeds. They have a variety of meat and vegetarian toppings, so everyone should be able to find an arepa combination that pleases them. Since Brownie already went the conventional route, I decided to branch out and try the quinoa arepa with beef ($8). They offered to add hogao for $1 extra, and who was I to argue? With that addition and my $2 sugar cane and ginger lemonade I ended up slightly over the ML limit, but for the sake of science I let it slide.
Now I’ve never been to Colombia, so I can’t speak to its authenticity, but I can tell you that this was delicious. The steak was well-seasoned and tender, the cheese was salty and refrshing, the hogao added an extra layer of vegetable flavor, and the sauces (a cilantro-based green sauce and a spicy mayo) complemented each other nicely. The cilantro flavor definitely stood out, so if you are a cilantro hater I’d have them hold the green sauce. The packaging was…let’s say minimal…the arepa was sandwiched between two paper plates and put into a paper bag, not the best way to transport something as drippy as this, especially in the pouring rain. A styrofoam container would make a huge difference.
The arepas are clearly made to order, and each takes a few minutes to prepare. Luckily the line wasn’t too long when I went, but if people start coming out in droves the wait times could get pretty long. I was a little worried that this baby wasn’t going to be enough food, but it was reasonably filling for its size. A hungrier person (or a regular ML-er) might need two to really fill up though, bringing you over the ML limit.
The lemonade was just sweet enough (borderline too-sweet), with little chunks of ginger settled on the bottom. It was a little small, but very tasty and refreshing. Overall, this was a delicious meal, although a little on the pricey side. These arepas are definitely a welcome addition to the food truck scene in Midtown, and once they work out all the kinks I think they’ll develop a pretty solid following.
The + (What someone who likes this place would say)
- Finally! Arepas in midtown!
- The food is very tasty and I like the variety of different options.
- Homemade sugar cane and ginger lemonade? Yum!
The – (What someone who doesn’t like this place would say)
- I’m starving, filling up here would mean breaking the ML limit.
- Quinoa? Brown rice? No thanks, I’ll stick to the classics.
- With this bootleg packaging, I’m worried about spilling on my suit.
Palenque Homemade Colombian Food, 51st St. btw Park + Mad