By Jenn LaVardera
Spring is officially in the air! What better way to enjoy the warm weather than to get outdoors on your lunch break and enjoy some of Boston’s tastiest food – from a truck! Food trucks have been hitting the streets all over the nation, serving up everything from simple, traditional street fair to gourmet, indulgent, and downright delicious eats. Here is a sampling of some of Boston’s best trucks, and where you can find them when your hunger strikes at Friedman.
*Note: I have listed the most convenient location to Friedman and a sample of menu items. For other locations and full daily menus, click on the links to the food trucks’ sites!
My personal favorite, the Clover truck is parked weekdays from 8am – 6pm on Summer St. & Atlantic Ave, right by the South Station T stop. Clover offers “a new type of fast food” and promises that the food is local, “just-cut”, and organic when possible. The menu varies slightly day to day and by truck (they have seven trucks total and a shop near Harvard), but tried and true favorites include the Egg & Eggplant and the Chickpea Fritter. Both sandwiches are served on warm pita with hummus. The French fries with rosemary are another must-have. At $5 per sandwich and $3 for fries, this truck is an affordable and convenient option for Friedman students at lunch time. Breakfast items include oatmeal, granola, baked apples, muffins, and breakfast sandwiches.
Admittedly, they “don’t make your grandma’s grilled cheese.” Brothers James and Mike and Chef Marc are putting new twists on everyone’s childhood favorite. Some of the combinations you’ll find at Roxy’s include muenster cheese with homemade guacamole and applewood bacon; fontina, braised short ribs and caramelized onions; mac and cheese with Portuguese chorizo (yes, on the sandwich); and Vermont cheddar topped with roasted eggplant and white bean ragout and artichoke puree. Of course, for those who stand by the classic sandwich they offer “The Rookie Melt” with Vermont cheddar and tomato. For a side, they offer handcut truffle fries and for dessert, grilled cheesecake. The sandwiches are always fresh and cooked to order, and yes, you can add bacon to anything. Friedman students’ best bet is to catch the truck outside of Copley Square on Tuesdays from 5-8pm and Fridays from 11:30am-3pm.
Though the name is simple, the food is anything but. The truck is owned and operated by David Harnik, Director of Catering at Au Soleil Baking and Catering, and Naomi Close, graduate of the Chef’s Training Program at Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City. The Dining Car serves freshly prepared meals featuring meats and seasonal produce that represent the local agricultural community. The globally-inspired menu includes crispy cauliflower, crimson chili, and of course freshly baked cider donut muffins and chocolate chip cookies. The sandwich options include New England pulled pork, Caprese, grilled chicken, and Mediterranean, and are all served on freshly-made bread. Winner of Best Food Truck in Boston 2011 by Best of Citysearch, the truck can be found Tuesdays on Boylston Street by Copley Square from 10:30am-3pm.
Started by a group of chefs accustomed to cooking up a staff meal for their fellow restaurant employees, Staff Meal offers a wide variety of items on its ever-changing menu. The truck can be found close to Friedman in Greenway – Chinatown Park on Fridays beginning at 11 am. The latest menu features unique variations on tacos: Chinese sausage, fried rice, black bean mayo, fried garlic; crab stick, scallion cream cheese, wontons, apple butter; and corned beef, picked cabbage slaw, fried onion strings. Past menus have offered creative sandwiches, gourmet mac n’ cheese, foie gras baklava, and griddled pound cake for dessert.
Parked outside of South Station on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 11am-2:30pm, Bon Me, started by Friedman alum Asta Schuette, is a nearby stop for Friedman students looking for bold, fresh, and fun Vietnamese cuisine. Their menu is simple: start with a sandwich, noodle salad, or rice bowl, then choose a filling of spice-rubbed all-natural chicken, barbequed pork, or organic tofu and shitake mushrooms. Each combination is only $6 for a generous and delicious serving. On a hot day pair your entrée with a cool and refreshing housemade beverage, including iced green tea, spicy-ginger lemonade, Vietnamese iced coffee, and Thai iced tea. Owners Pat and Ali suggest that first-timers order the sandwich, their decidedly non-authentic twist on the traditional banh mi.
Even dessert is hitting the streets by truck! And these are not your typical cupcakes – they are kick*ss! The artisanal bakers at Kick*ss Cupcakes bake from scratch every day in small batches, using only the best, all natural ingredients. That means no hydrogenated oils, shortening, trans fat, preservatives, or artificial flavoring. Flavors vary daily, but expect unique creations such as cinnamon chai pecan sticky, caramel mochiatto, mojito, and banana cream. Also on the menu are typical selections, such as red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla cupcakes, as well as gluten free and vegan options. Nearest to Friedman, the truck is parked on Boylston near Copley on Wednesdays (11am-3pm) and Fridays (3pm-10pm) and on Clarendon St. between Newbury and Boylston on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 3-10pm.
*Photos by author
Jenn is a first year Nutrition Communication student who loves to try new foods. An advocate of anything outdoors, she also enjoys running, sailing, and riding her bike.