Last night we ventured out to 4th Ave & President St in Brooklyn to see for ourselves, and found a brand new food cart. The way things are going in NYC with food trucks these days, a cart is a cheaper and safer way to go. Then you only have to worry about other vendors, not the police too.
It was only their 2nd day on the street, and they want to roll things out slowly, so they only had one item, Five Spice Pork Belly Buns. They cost $3 each.
Click through to find out how it was, as well as to get a look at their future menu.
The above photo is not my best one, but it gives you an idea what the pork buns look like as served at the cart. I also took some buns home for my family, and that photo (below) is not as pretty, but gives you a better idea of what’s inside the bun.
The buns themselves were pillow soft, but are made for eating right away. The juices from the meat soak through where the bun folds fairly quickly, so try not to travel too far before eating it.
The pulled pork was slow cooked and really tender. The meat was topped with crushed peanuts, cilantro and the same chopped mustard greens found in Bian Dang’s dishes.
Overall it was pretty tasty, but was saltier than I like. I could taste the five spice powder, but would have liked a stronger hand on it. Everyone’s taste is different, but a little less salt and a little more five spice powder is my recommendation. Don’t get me wrong – it was still really good. I’m talking more fine-tuning than major overhaul.
Thomas told me the next bun will be lemongrass chicken marinated with garlic and shallot infused fish oil and topped with homemade daikon and carrot relish.
The final bun they expect to roll out is spicy beef shank stewed with star anise, cinnamon and cloves and topped like the pork bun, with pickled mustard greens, crushed peanuts and cilantro.
As for where they will be parking the cart, Thomas told me that will be a matter of trial and error. The first two days were in the Financial District, but it was tough finding a good spot. I recommended certain parts of midtown to him, so we’ll see.
One thing that seems certain is dinner in the 4th Ave/President St area of Brooklyn. It’s only a few blocks from the commissary where they park the cart overnight, so stopping there for a few hours makes perfect sense. For those of us who don’t live around there, it’s right by the Union St station on the R train.
I’m looking forward to trying the other two buns, especially the spicy beef. Cinnamon, clove and star anise is a popular spice combination in my house, and it should be delicious with some heat on one of these buns.
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