One of the veterans of the food truck scene is Jiannetto’s. They had 2 Italian food trucks in the city, one in midtown and one downtown, but now they only have one, and it alternates between the two neighborhoods.
Jiannetto’s is basically a mobile pizzeria, with high-temperature pizza ovens in the truck. They serve “Grandma”-style pizza, which has some sauce, and even less cheese. We’re not big Grandma pizza buffs, so we generally go for chicken or meatball parmigiana heros, or what we recently got, a Sicilian rice ball.
Jiannetto’s has 3 types of Sicilian rice balls they get from Papa Perrone’s: meat, spinach and 3 cheese, which are $5 each. As if often the case, we went for the meat option.
I was in the mood for a chicken parmigiana hero, so I went to Jianetto’s truck on 47th St between Park & Madison Ave. for Today’s Lunch. It cost $7.50, about what most chicken parmigiana heros cost in midtown pizzerias.
Upon opening up the sandwich two things caught my eye. First was all the cheese dripping on the edge of the sandwich (yum!) and the second was the size of the hero. It was around 10 inches long and plenty wide. Now don”t go accusing me of hero envy – I do just fine in that department – but it”s size was impressive.
The chicken itself was ok, if a little bland. It was all white-meat chicken breast, but was a little lacking in taste. Chicken breast can be like that sometimes depending upon the brand. Perhaps some additional seasoning during preparation would have helped. The breading also could have used a little more Italian seasoning. The breading appeared to have plenty of herbs, but it didn’t come through in the taste. We use 4C Italian bread crumbs at home, and it provides more flavorful breading than this cutlet had.
The tomato sauce was nice and helped bring up the flavor of the chicken cutlet, and the bread and cheese were both good too. Tasting just the chicken alone was a little bland, but in a bite with the sauce, cheese and bread, it was pretty good.
Today’s Lunch gets a 7.5 out of 10. It loses some points for the chicken cutlet, which didn’t have much personality, but the serving size was huge and I liked the sauce, bread and cheese. If they can up the quality of the chicken cutlet, this could be a great lunch. It was ok, but it could be so much better.
Today’s Lunch is stuffed shells from Jianetto’s Pizza & Catering truck on 47th St between Park and Madison Ave. They also have a truck downtown at Wall St and Front St. I’ve heard some good things about Jianetto’s, and based on that, put them on the NYSF Mobile Munchies twitter feed. Today it was time to try them out.
It was fairly busy at the truck, with a few people ordering and a few people waiting around for their food. I really wasn’t in the mood for pizza, and was originally going to have a sausage and peppers hero, but changed my mind at the last minute to stuffed shells ($7), one of my all-time faves.
It took around 10 minutes to get my lunch, and in that time, there was a steady flow of people ordering food, mostly pizza. Their pizza is square, with mostly sauce and fresh basil. It’s not one of the cheese-heavy pizza’s we’re used to, but they obviously had a regular following of people who like their pizza. In fact, one Park Ave suit came up and ordered 3 corner slices of pizza ($2.75 each). I’ll try their pizza another day.
They must have been out of garlic knots because when I got back to the office, there was a very nice looking and smelling platter of stuffed shells with a big hunk of fresh Italian bread that was crusty on the outside and soft in the middle, perfect for dipping in the chunky tomato sauce. Southern Italian food is all about the red sauce, and I really enjoyed theirs. It was slightly sweet, chunky with tomatoes, and clean and fresh tasting.
There were also 5 large stuffed shells under the sauce, with some parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. I was a little disappointed there was no mozzarella cheese on top, but that would have made it a much heavier lunch. It was already fairly heavy. The ricotta cheese inside the shells had a deeper and more intense flavor than the ricotta that I’m used to, and it was very good. There was also a little chopped Italian parsley in the ricotta cheese stuffing.
Today’s Lunch from Jianetto’s was a 9.5 out of 10. I really enjoyed their stuffed shells, which were as good as you get at the Italian pizzerias around town. It might not stand up to a really high-end Italian restaurant, but it was certainly one of the better stuffed shells platters that I’ve had for $7.