Hitting the Streets for Fish Tacos and Cupcakes: Honest Tom’s and Buttercream

Today we are getting a report on two funky food  trucks on the Philly streets from Profiled Luncher Matt.

For the past year, I’d heard lots about Honest Tom’s Taco Truck, but never found myself near Drexel around lunch time.  A couple of months ago, they started parking in Center City on Fridays with Fish Tacos (they’ve since added Chicken and Sweet Potato tacos on Wednesdays) at their 18th and Vine location.

The menu at Honest Tom’s is small – one or two types of tacos per day (although they say they will soon add breakfast tacos), plus Stumptown iced coffee and lemonade.  Tacos go 2 for $5, with drinks at $1.50.

The tacos are pretty well stuffed – there’s a decent sized piece of grilled white fish (no fried stuff here), topped with some avocado and an onion, mango, and cilantro slaw.   Frank’s Red Hot and Louisiana Hot Sauce are available to top your tacos.  That said, I probably could have eaten 3 or 4, which starts getting a little pricey for lunch.

As for the taste – this is a great taco.  The fish is well seasoned and firm yet flakey.  The mango adds a nice sweetness and crispness, and the avocado ties the whole thing together in gooey fattiness.  While I liked the slaw, if you don’t like cilantro, you may not be able to get the slaw without it.  This taco doesn’t need cheese or sour cream – you get the salty, the sweet, and the fattiness anyway.  I really enjoyed the simplicity of the taco – there are other great tacos in this city but I don’t know of others that let the ingredients speak for themselves this much.  If I could add one thing to this taco, a little more crunch would have been nice (maybe some cabbage), but this was hardly a dealbreaker.

My Stumptown Iced Coffee was also especially tasty – for a coffee drinker like me, finding Stumptown is always a treat.

Honest Tom’s posts locations on twitter and facebook, but is usually at 18th and Vine on Fridays.  I expect to be back.

In order to drag coworkers Chris and Brett out for tacos with me, I also promised them cupcakes.  So we wandered over to Buttercream Cupcake’s truck on 20th and Appletree (half block north of Arch). I had gotten slightly addicted to NYC’s Cupcake Stop, so finding out that Buttercream had opened brought out that inner sugar high.

Buttercream was offering 10 types of cupcakes that day, including their two newest flavors: Turtle (vanilla cupcake with caramel frosting, chocolate, and pecans), and Lemon with strawberry cream cheese frosting.  We ordered a Turtle, a Red Velvet, and a Banana with Nutella ($2 each).

The red velvet cake was perfect – moist, yet rich, very red. Yet the frosting was a little bit of an issue for me – first off there was way too much of it – you couldn’t just take a bite without getting frosting everywhere.  Second, I would have liked a bit more of a cream cheese taste to the cream cheese frosting – it just was missing something.

The banana cupcake fared better for me.  Again, the cake was perfect, with real banana in the batter.  While the frosting was again a little overdone, it had a light texture and a good chocolate hazelnut flavor that added to the banana goodness.

Without friends and knives, I would have liked to been able to sample more flavors in mini form, but alas, they’re still getting their business plan down (according to the website they’re still trying to get a permanent baking space).  I’d like to see what they do over time with seasonal cupcakes but they’ve got a pretty good start here.

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Great fish tacos, quick and fairly inexpensive
  • Fresh ingredients
  • Stumptown Coffee

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • They’re only in CC on Wed and Friday
  • I don’t like fish or  cilantro
  • Very limited options

Honest Tom’s, check twitter for update locations

THE + (What somebody who likes this place would say)

  • Very tasty cupcakes in interesting flavors
  • I love frosting!

THE – (What somebody who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Too much frosting on the cupcakes
  • They’re not in center city nearly enough
  • No mini cupcakes

Buttercream, check twitter for update locations, 267-505-7486


Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.