Rain Rain Go Away, So Tyson’s Bees Can Brighten my Day

It’s raining, it’s sunny, it’s raining, it’s sunny… hopefully you can watch the forecast and pick one of the sunny afternoons to pop over to Tyson’s Bees truck on the UPenn campus to check out what everyone has been buzzing about. Chef Tyson’s truck food is inspired by Korean and Thai cuisine. I highly recommend taking your food to the nearby courtyard of some Penn building (I am sure some Penn students can help us out with the name) which has tables overlooking a koi pond.

Getting food at the Tyson’s Bees means that for every time you first open your styrofoam container you will be greeted by a visual spectacle that you would never expect came from a truck. It doesn’t even matter what camera you have, snap a pic of their wares and your friends will think you should be a photographer for a magazine. It’s kind of like taking a picture of Gisele, it can’t be bad. Oh, and it all tastes pretty good too.

The first thing we opened was the kimchee and cheese quesadilla ($5) which was perfectly melted, but could have used some meat or chicken in there. The little scallion slices and the perfect quesadilla triangles were our first hint at how pretty this meal would be.

The much revered pork bun had me conflicted. The piece of meat itself is work of art. I love when a chef knows how to handle the fat on pork belly, and here it was creamy, salty perfection. Generally, I want a bigger piece for $3, it was barely 2 bites. But what made it seem even smaller was how overwhelmed the meat was in the bun. It was a feat of strength having to ignore the doughy bits in my mouth so that I could focus on only the decadent meat taste.

I had heard that the pork filling in the grilled bbq lemongrass pork bahn mi was excessive, but I didn’t find that at all. (Nick- I am jealous of your over filled sandwich!) The pork itself was seasoned with very typical Vietnamese spices, it tasted familiar. The extremely fresh, vibrant toppings of cilantro, cabbage, spicy banana peppers and shredded carrots  were a beautiful contrast of taste and color.

I like hot dogs, so by dressing one up in some fancy clothes and matching accessories, I have more of an excuse to get it. The O.G. dog ($5) is supposedly topped with short rib and kimchee. As you can see, there is cabbage and radish, but no kimchee on top. The short rib was not what I was expecting either; it kind of seemed more like ground meat. And my bun was burnt. So while the hotdog they use is nice, and it all tasted great together, maybe $5 would have been better spent towards trying a curry dish.

Despite some shortcomings, there wasn’t a single thing that didn’t taste good. I understand that beauty comes with a price, and its a nice change of pace from really anything. Sometimes you just want some pretty, trendy, fusiony truck food.

The + (What someone who likes this place would say)

  • Prettiest food you can get from a trunk
  • Very fresh veggie toppings on all dishes

The – (What someone who doesn’t like this place would say)

  • Too much money for the size of the food
  • Too much bun in the pork bun
  • I have a different idea of what short ribs should be

Tyson’s Bees, Spruce and 33rd St, follow on twitter, http://twitter.com/tysonbeesphilly



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    The bahn mi would have been 100x better if they used a sturdier roll. The Amoroso’s roll was a soggy mess by the time I was halfway through. Can’t argue with the flavors though.

  • I love fusion food. Looks like really interesting offerings there

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    richie i agree. the bun is usually pretty weak. however, the filling makes up the difference. i freaking love this place.
    by the way, the koi pond is the biopond at 38th and hamilton. you have to go through the courtyard (make a left onto what would be 38th if you’re walking away from center city).

  • tip: bring a DSLR and stick on your most offensive lens. MAKE SURE THEY SEE IT. Guaranteed 2x the filling.

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