Tagged: sandwich

Shao Bing? Sure Thing!

I was expanding the horizon and expanding the parameters of my on and off sandwich obsession and found myself at Foumami, an “asian sandwich bar” on Franklin street. I had been thinking that the scallion pancake sandwiches at Mei Mei were the best thing since sliced bread, at least in the asian sandwich arena, but Foumami’s shao bing has given me something else to chew on, as it were.

I had the Braised Beef Brisket shao bing, with chilled braised beef brisket, scallions, kirby cucumber, and cilantro, for $7.95.


Foumami explains their bread thusly:

Shao Bings, the unleavened bread somewhere between focaccia and pita that makes all of our breakfast and lunch sandwiches special. Two separate sets of dough are combined and rolled out again to create a consistency that when baked at a high temperature is crisp and flaky on the outside, while soft and chewy on the inside.

Two different doughs? Color me impressed. As billed, the bing is flaky on the outside like phyllo and pancake chewy inside. The brisket was tender and not overcooked (though maybe a little overportioned) and nicely balanced with cool cucumber and scallions. The always-controversial cilantro, I could take it or leave it. The sandwich looks small in plan but it’s large in profile and quite satisfying. I will be back for more bing, that is certain.

Lucky locavore lunch on the Greenway

I’d stayed up late making a week’s worth of lunch boxes, each one a work of nutritious bento art, and naturally I left all of them in the fridge at home. How serendipitous, I thought, the Boston Public Market on the Greenway is right next door, I’ll just get lunch there!

As it turns out, a farmers market is not the best place for ready to eat food, but I took it as a challenge and cobbled together the a very local lunch:

Locavore lunch on the Greenway: the components

I gathered smoked salmon pate from Matt’s Amazing Smokehouse, grapefruit soda by Spindrift, from Union Square Donuts, spinach from Foppema’s farm, and a roll from Pain D’Avignon, and thanks to a couple of wooden tasting spoons from Matt’s, I was able to roughly slice the roll and spread the pate on it for a pretty good sandwich. A bench on the greenway served as both seat and table.

The locavore sandwich: salmon pate and spinach

Some farmers markets have more ready to eat food or accompanying food trucks, but with a little effort you can have a nice lunch and have plenty of leftover material for future meals.

Lunch at the solar breakfast truck

There’s just enough uncertainty in the food truck world that catching sight of the telltale profile of your favorite truck as you round the corner can still be a rush. Green Bean Mobile Cafe has an unusual profile because there are solar panels on top of the truck, in this case optimistically yet pointlessly tilted toward the grey sky of a City Hall Plaza spring day.

Green Bean Mobile Cafe Breakfast Menu Green Bean Mobile Cafe Lunch Menu

Breakfast – served all day – is the focus of Green Bean, but they also have some nice pressed panini on the lunch menu. Despite the presence of a waffle sandwich (!) I chose the turkey bacon panini, and took the cucumber salad side rather than the chips.

Turkey bacon cheddar tomato panini with cucumber salad, from Green Bean Mobile Cafe

This is a high-functioning sandwich. Perfectly griddled bread with a nice ribbed texture. Bacon, not too thick or overwhelming, cheddar cheese sharp enough, thin sliced tomato that didn’t try to escape, and BBQ aioli throwing in some creamy smoky stuff, too. What about the turkey? What a about it, it’s turkey, not much to say except that it didn’t get in the way and wasn’t too dry. All in all a harmonious bundle. I usually decline mayo or aioli, but this time I’m glad I forget to ask for it with without. What with the bacon and cheese and aioli on buttered bread, you’d have to have some kind of death wish to add chips, so I recommend the cucumber salad as a nice change of pace, palate-cleansing and touched with dill.

It’s a shame Green Bean doesn’t do breakfast (hello, Nutella bacon waffle!)  at City Hall. In fact, I don’t think any truck has done the breakfast shift there since Clover a year or two ago. I’ll have to make an early morning field trip to an earlier-rising truck zone.

Three siblings, one truck, double awesome, local eggs

My tour of Boston City Hall food trucks is winding down. It looks like I won’t catch them all in April as I’d planned but it was great to catch up with the estimable Mei Mei team this week and finally sample their signature sandwich, the Double Awesome.


I don’t know if Mei Mei invented the scallion pancake sandwich, but I’m glad it’s here. The Double Awesome is filled with sharp Vermont cheddar, pesto, and two slow poached then fried eggs. I don’t usually dig on poached eggs or eggs in non-breakfast sandwiches, but this next sign meant I just had to go there.


Yes, these eggs were from happy vegetarian Rhode Island chickens from a family farm. And if you’re feeling a little edgy about eating poached eggs, these are the sorts of eggs you should be seeking out. Most of Mei Mei’s ingredients are locally sourced (where practical, it’s not 100%), but this little chalkboard made the point and connected it to that day’s menu. I couldn’t not get the eggy double awesome now.


It looks innocent enough, right? At first, it’s a grilled cheese sandwich on scallion pancake with pesto. The fried outside and the the white of the egg don’t make much initial impression as you savor the sharp cheese and garlicky pesto. But then, at some point, you get to the heart of the matter.


Now you’ve got a situation on your hands. The sandwich has gone full eggy on you. I hope you took some napkins. I’m not sure I’ll be ordering poached eggs straight up any time soon, but in this context, I can’t imagine them any other way, it just seems to pull the whole sandwich together.  Be warned though, I have to classify the Double Awesome as a Hot Mess since a scallion pancake just cannot contain things like a crepe or burrito can,.

One last note on the Mei Mei truck, check out this sign. As helpful and seemingly obvious as it is, I don’t think I’ve seen this info on any of the other trucks. Where to find them on other days, and where to find their restaurant, which I’ll write more about another time.


Operational Efficiency at Roxy's Grilled Cheese

Two weeks later, I kept my Cheese Weasel Day date with Roxy’s Grilled Cheese truck. You know how I like a simple menu: they offered five sandwiches, two add-ons and a single side.

Menu at Roxy's Grilled Cheese

What I really wanted was a grilled cheese sandwich made with sharp cheddar, ideally with bacon and avocado, most of the Green Muenster but not quite all of it. I just don’t dig the muenster cheese, and owing to the partially pre-assembled nature of Roxy’s sandwiches, some substitutions just can’t be made. I settled on the Rookie Melt, which was served up in just seven minutes.

The Rookie Melt at Roxy's Grilled Cheese

Behold the Rookie Melt. I wonder if I should be offended by the name? It’s cheddar and tomato, griddled up just right. The cheddar could be sharper (but it’s certainly not as dull as muenster) and the tomato runs the risk of sliding out of the sandwich, but no grilled cheese rookie would let that happen.

Compliments all around

Yesterday the good folks at the Compliments food truck seem to have decided it was their duty to dispense compliments to their patrons. It certainly brightened my day. I got “hey, I really like your sunglasses” (they’re Warby Parkers, and it’s like looking through an Instagram filter all the time!) and the gent behind me was told he was “a beautiful man” even though or perhaps because he ordered the last focaccia.


I chose the grilled cheese with tomato because it seemed like the right thing to do and because I remembered the tuna melt I got from this truck last season was superb. I was not disappointed. It was a wonderfully toasted sandwich on good bread with good cheese. The tomato was just ok but it didn’t diminish the totality of the sandwich. Tomato is always a tricky element of a grilled cheese sandwich because it can be slippery, causing the sandwich halves to drift like tectonic plates. But I digress.


At the last minute I also ordered the fried cauliflower, though I’m a bit skeptical of the “too fresh” moniker. I like cauliflower almost any way except overcooked, and I’m now prepared to say that fried with sea salt and some spices is a very good way to have cauliflower. Crispy from the frying but not crunchy from the cauliflower, which was cooked just enough. Highly recommended.


Compliments to the chef!

MMM MMM M&M ribs

I was sorely tempted to return to The Latin Spoon for empanadas on this almost springy Tuesday, but the Quest requires that I visit each truck in turn before repeating. I’d been to M&M Ribs before and enjoyed it, so it was nice to return to a familiar menu.

The menu at M&M Ribs

I seem to remember having pulled pork and collard greens last time, so I chose the beef brisket with a side of BBQ baked beans. I was quickly served up with a smile.

BBQ beef brisket sandwich from M&M Ribs truck

This is a fantastic sandwich. In contrast to the dry rub on offer at Lilian’s Smokin’ Rack, M&M’s BBQ is moist and saucy, exceptionally tender, and served on a bun. The sandwich size is generous but not coma-inducing, though the quantity of beans was a bit excessive, though no less delicious. The sauce is on the sweet side, not spicy, and gives a real sense that summer might some day arrive. At twice the price of a Lilian’s “slider” one might question the relative value for the money, but certainly not the absolute deliciousness.

Truckless Tenoch Totally Tackles Tortas

At City Hall Plaza yesterday, there was a different kind of truck, more like a trailer really, offering Mexican sandwiches called tortas. It was Tenoch Movil, the roving branch of Tenoch Mexican restaurant of Medford and Boston.

This is my kind of food truck operation. Simple menu, simple pricing, do one thing – tortas, juicy Mexican sandwiches – and do it very well. Cash only, too, by the way.

The menu at Tenoch Movil

I chose the Campechana, which was swiftly assembled, wrapped, bagged, and handed over with a smile. The smooth operation produces a smooth sandwich. Spicy pork is front and center in the form of carnitas and chorizo, but the buttery telera bread, creamy avocado, and mild Oaxaca cheese cool it down just enough to get set on fire again by the chipotle mayo.

Torta Campechana at Tenoch Movil

The sandwich looks small but don’t let it fool you, there’s no need for a side, though we did have a frozen yogurt craving afterwards perhaps to shake off some of the zesty spices. I’ve been enjoying tortas at Aguacate Verde in Somerville and will continue to do so, but Tenoch has won a major share of my heart, and perhaps narrowed my arteries, too.


Truth in Truckvertising at The Bacon Truck

Another wind-blown lunch at City Hall Plaza. Today, we chose The Bacon Truck. Judging by the line, most people felt there was no other choice, though Green Bean Mobile Cafe (with solar panels, a bit of a joke at City Hall Plaza) and Mediterranean Home Cooking (with burek, more on that next week) looked pretty good. You’ve got to give TBC credit for focus. I count 13 menu items (besides water and chips) with 12 of them containing bacon.  If that’s not enough, you can get extra bacon on a sandwich for $2 or something called “bunch o’ bacon” for $3. And their logo is a strip of bacon with a cowboy hat riding a pig.

The Bacon Truck menu

I chose BLAT: Bacon Lettuce Avocado Tomato. It’s fun to say and fun to eat. I skipped the aioli to stay focused and ordered mine on whole wheat. It was well toasted and had thick slabs of bacon protruding from all sides. The lettuce was shredded, not really my favorite thing, but it probably made the whole affair more manageable. A couple of bites in, I noticed that there was in fact no avocado and I’d been mistakenly given a simple BL-T. The baconeers apologized profusely, fixed the error and handed me a strip of candied bacon to boot.

BLAT from The Bacon Truck

With avocado firmly in place, I can say that the BLAT was superb. I really don’t know why you’d bother with mayo when you have creamy avocado in there. Salty, smoky, toasted, tomoatoey, it was almost all you’d want in a non-cheese sandwich, all for 8.5 dollars.

Healthy options! Ha!

It’s really not clear to me that any of these menu items could qualify as “healthy” even with all three of the options listed, but if you come to the head of the line for The Bacon Truck and order something “but hold the bacon” you are a true contrarian.

Cap'n Marden is a Trucking Codsend

Well, it’s not summer, it’s barely even spring, but Captain Marden’s Cod Squad truck makes the frozen wind tunnel of City Hall Plaza feel just a bit like the beach.


I had the crab cake sandwich, a burger-sized crabcake on a “Hazel’s Bakery Roll” with fries and fixins for $9. You can almost smell the salt air.


I’ve heard good things about their fried clams and will have to return for the fish n chips and calamari. I’ll leave the battle of the lobster rolls those those who roll that way.