Meals on Wheels: Our critics review Orlando's best food trucks
Mobile eateries have come a long way. We combed bazaars, pods and parking-lot lunch stops - and sampled more than a hundred dishes - to bring you critical reviews of some of Orlando's best food trucks
Published: May 3, 2012
Longtime chef Jeffrey Kerutis brings a little Manhattan to Orlando with breakfast bagel sandwiches like sunshine in your mouth. The Mari sandwich is for cream-cheese lovers ($6) with thick-sliced bacon, eggs the way you like them and whipped schmear on any one of seven different bagel flavors. Every Thursday at the Edgewood Farmer's Market, the KBurgers truck serves up juicy burgers and dogs with a gourmet twist. Locals love the extra juicy Lopez KBurger ($8). Served on a hoagie roll, it drips with sour cream sauce and a little-used, underappreciated sucker-punch ingredient: jalapeño jelly.
An island-inspired scene first draws you in - a white pooch in a hula skirt, surfboards stuck in the sand - but a look beyond finds limited menu options: three types of hot dogs with mix-and-match toppings. A friendly face swiftly handed out the first combo - spicy sausage, mango fruit sauce, garlic lemon “hula” sauce and yellow mustard - which came tucked inside a soft-and-sweet Hawaiian bun adorned with a silk tropical flower ($4.95). A messy first bite provided a burst of sugar from the mango sauce, but the juicy quarter-pound Sabrett lacked the promised punch of spice. The veggie dog ($4.95) - topped with hot chili sauce, pineapple fruit sauce and mango mustard - showed an effective balance of sweet and spicy, although the lukewarm dog and underwhelming meat-to-bread ratio fell short of the vivacious Kona Dog spirit.
Korean BBQ Taco Box
You never really know for sure what you're going to get with your order from this truck, but whatever they toss in the box to accompany your main dish of choice - soft tacos filled with lightly spiced pork ($6.99), a galbi sub with sweet marinated beef short rib ($7.99) or savory bulgogi with rice ($7.99) are all winners in our book - the variety makes dining here an adventure. Usually you get a piece of peppery, sticky Korean fried chicken, two pieces of fried cheese roll and a bit of egg omelet; occasionally, though, you're treated to a fried Korean meatball, fried tofu or a side of kimchi. A meal from KBBQ Box is a filling, if fattening, splurge.
La Empanada Food Truck
A joint venture of Black Bean Deli and food blogger Gabrielle Arnold (honestfare.com), La Empanada Truck takes the canny approach of super-specialization. Empanadas (and a side or two) are all they serve - some baked, some fried - filled with a smart mix of classic, sweet, and ever-more-inventive flavor combinations like chicken banh mi, sweet potato-and-chèvre and truffled mac & cheese. We tried picadillo ($3.50), a well-tuned classic: vegetables still tender-crisp within the savory, juicy ground beef enveloped in a crunchy fried pocket, and barbecued chicken and gouda ($3), sweet and sharp at the same time and perfectly gooey. For dessert, a mini dark-chocolate and cranberry pie ($2) evoked a melted Cadbury's Fruit & Nut bar.