Thursday, May 26, 2011

Eddie's Pizza Truck

After my success at the Gorilla Cheese truck, I was eager to see what else the newly discovered world of food trucks had to offer me. After poking around Twitter, I was pleased to learn Eddie’s Pizza Truck would be parked in my vicinity the next day. I did some research on Yelp, and read some rather questionable reviews. In the back of my mind I thought, “It’s only pizza, how bad can they really screw this up?” After all, this is New York, so maybe the reviewers were just very particular about their pizza.

Friday morning arrived, and I purposely took the long way to work to do some preliminary investigating. Sure enough, Eddie’s Pizza Truck was parked exactly where Twitter promised me it would be. I spent more of my morning than is normal to admit polling friends on Gchat and internally debating whether I should give it a try. Finally, my curiosity was victorious and I told myself I might as well give it a go, at the very least to squelch any future time wasting on Gchat. As they say, knowledge is power, and I needed the knowledge of whether or not this pizza was something my taste buds would thank me for.

The first setback arose when I was tempted by the advertised special. I tried to place my order, but the gentleman in the truck, while extremely pleasant, informed me they were out of basil, so I could not get the special. Regardless of the fact that basil seems like a strange ingredient to be out of (it’s not particularly space consuming), you’d think they’d at least erase the special from the dry-erase board, to prevent future customers like me from having their hopes crushed. It seemed as though Eddie’s Pizza Truck could use a lesson from my old cross country coach. He was a strong advocate of reminding us of the 5 P’s: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Perhaps Eddie’s should bring more ingredients for something they are advertising as a special.

After my initial disappointment, I settled for a plain pie with garlic. I figured that I should just go with the basics, because if they can’t get that right, then what can they get right? Moving along, my pizza was made relatively quickly, I re-entered my dungeon office, situated myself, and opened the box to see what awaited me. The Yelp reviews did not lie. This was VERY thin-crust pizza. One review I’d read compared it to a tortilla, and I would have to agree. The overall quality was mediocre at best. Sadly, there was nothing particularly distinguishable to note about this pizza. It wasn’t bad…but it wasn’t good either. Certainly edible, but nothing I’m jumping up and down to try again.

While the product was sub-par, I will give Eddie’s Pizza Truck credit for innovation and creativity. I do think the concept of personal pizzas freshly prepared and made to each customer’s order is worth some recognition. The idea is there, just not the product to back it up. Additionally, it was significantly less greasy than a regular slice. For once, I didn’t feel the need to lie down and let the pools of grease and globs of cheese rearrange themselves into various pockets of my stomach as I do after most other types of pizza.

That being said, I’m perplexed as to how these guys stay in business. This is a pizza truck in New York! They charged me $8 for a rather mundane version of pizza with no noteworthy aspects, and yet there are amazingly delicious pizza slices to be had for $2 or $3 on nearly every corner! While my curiosity is now satisfied, I think I’ll be sticking to the comfort of grease dripping down my hand and Italian men calling me “Mi amore,” (I’m talking about you, Ben’s Pizza), as opposed to a lack of basil and stomachaches. I learned my lesson: stomachaches are equivalent to quality.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gorilla Cheese

My first food truck experience occurred on my walk to work one morning. Still half asleep, I was on autopilot walking from the subway to my office, when a brightly painted orange truck drove past and caught my eye. Much like when Pauly D made fun of J-Woww’s ex Tom for sending her flowers after she blatantly cheated on him and dropped this pearl of wisdom “He’s a sucker,” I was similarly a sucker to this glowing orange vehicle. I made note of the name and googled it while pretending to be productive at my desk. The Gorilla Cheese truck menu was much to my liking, and after checking the Twitter @gcny1, I realized it was parked on Broadway and Spring near my office. The stars were aligned, I was destined to try it.

After patiently waiting to escape my hamster wheel cubicle, I finally found my escape route and began my journey towards grilled cheese delight. Lucky for me it was raining so there was no line. I ordered the Smoked Gouda w/BBQ pulled pork & onions on wheat and tater tots. To my dismay they had turned off the fryer already (poor business if you ask me, which I think you are since you’re taking the time to read this), so I could not get my desired tots. I settled with my sandwich and plowed past all the rich people strolling into rich people stores on Spring to get back to my desk so I could embrace my sandwich. I gleefully unwrapped my sandwich to see what treasures awaited my consumption. I was so hungry I wolfed down the entire first half while barely tasting it. Once my caveman needs were met I really sat back and enjoyed the second half. I didn’t want it to end. Each bite meant less sandwich. A real win-lose situation. The sweetness and juiciness of the pulled pork, combined with melted gouda and caramelized onions was a divine creation, and my first reaction was to check the site to see when then truck would be back again.

After reflecting upon my Gorilla Cheese experience I would definitely say its overpriced. Let’s be real - it’s grilled cheese. The “Classic” sandwiches (no toppings) range from $4.75 to $6.25. C’mon, you can get an entire burger from Shake Shack or Five Guys for that price. While I understand my sandwich was a bit more gourmet, $8.50 still felt like entirely too much. These guys don’t even pay rent! And yet, if the truck comes to my area again would I feel similar feelings of excitement and mostly likely purchase a sandwich? Yes.

rred on my walk to work one morning. Still half asleep, I was on autopilot walking from th