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


  • Agreed re: bootleg packaging…I ended up balancing the paper bag w/ plates inside on top of the lemonade, with other hand at the ready to deliver a stiff arm in case some tourist taking a picture backs into me.

    I was definitely still hungry after mine, but it was delicious and relatively unique in this part of town. I will be back regularly.

  • “The lemonade was just sweet enough (borderline too-sweet)” what does that mean?

    although not traditional, the arepas do sound tasty. come to Herald Square.

  • I tried this place a few weeks ago. I wasn’t impressed with the food, though it was filling. The arepas are different than what I was used to. I got the quinoa arepa with beef and hogao. There was plenty of beef and the hogao was flavorful.

    They have a caramel based dessert which is gooey caramel between two thin wafers. It sounds amazing, but it’s borderline disgusting.

    Overall, I think Palenque is worth a visit.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.