The Bread and Olives Truck Should Probably Be Charging Less Money
In May, we brought news of a new Lebanese truck, Bread & Olives. I’ve walked by the truck plenty of times – usually parked near 47th and Vanderbilt or on 46th street between 5th and 6th – but until now, we haven’t actually taken a look at their food.
Glancing at the menu, there’s a nice variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, platters, and desserts, but most items cost more than I really want them to. An appetizer of hummus is $5? A basic chicken salad goes for $10? Yikes! Sadly, I’ve come to accept the fact that overpriced food is sort of the norm in midtown, so I sucked it up and hoped for the best here. During my first visit, I went with the cheapest meat item on the menu, a chicken shawarma sandwich ($7).
Let’s start with the bad… this was a skinny sandwich. I wasn’t exactly starving at the end of it, but I would have appreciated if it were 20% to 30% bigger. Buy yourself a can of soda on the side and you’ll likely be satisfied. As for the contents, the chicken was pretty good! Sliced right off the spit, the meat was hot, white, and tender. Some bites were slightly charred, which was a good contrast in flavor and texture. The sandwich didn’t have a whole lot else in it (lettuce, pickles and a garlic-y white sauce), but the taste was enjoyable, if not a bit plain.
On my next visit, I wanted something pretty different, so I went with the kafta platter, a marinated beef, parsley, and onion mix over some rice ($9). I ordered the platter with white and hot sauce. Usually, $9 is more than I hope to spend on lunch, but I’ll make exceptions here and there if (a) the food is of a particularly high quality, or (b) the portions are big. So, just try to imagine my shock when I opened the container to find this:
Seriously? If all I’m getting for my nine bucks is one thin little strip of beef, that thin little strip of beef needs to be indisputably amazing. Was it? No. The kafta was well-seasoned and tasted fine, but it was bordering on dry and was definitely not at all worth the price.
The sides were also fine, but not mind blowing by any means. The salad was just made up of some lettuce with balsamic dressing. The hummus was refreshing, but they don’t give enough pita bread to wipe it all up with. I have no complaints about the rice, but the white sauce was a little too creamy for my taste and the hot sauce too mild and watery. I ate everything no problem, but given the price and the quality, there should have been more meat here.
The Bread and Olives truck doesn’t seem to have a twitter or facebook yet, but you can call the phone number on the side of the truck to see where they’re at. Granted, I haven’t tried everything on the menu, but if the kafta platter is representative of the portions for all platters, it’s probably best to stick to the sandwiches for now. The food is good, but to be frank, there are much better values to be found in the neighborhood.
Bread & Olives Truck, 516-660-4988