Food Truck Review: Teodora’s Kitchen
After a long, hard winter, Food Truck Season is just starting to bloom again in Columbus. This is the year to try Teodora’s Kitchen.
Teodora’s Kitchen is a great big, golden yellow Panamanian food truck. The portable kitchen has weathered winter’s hostility by teaming with a couple of local businesses: Seventh Son Brewing Company for evening eats, and some Sunday lunch gigs at Zauber Brewing.
A big board stationed beside the truck displays all the menu options. Lots of items are familiar to local eaters; there are tacos, empanadas and plantains.
The favorite so far has been the Carne Fritas ($10). It’s a jumbled mixture of flank steak, onions and tomatoes sautéed and served over beans and rice. It’s the quality of meat that really sets this dish apart. Cheep eats usually means cheap meats, but Teodora’s uses lean, steaky steak (absent chemical tenderizer taste). The beef has summertime grill flavor and elevates the street eats to sit-down food.
Also in the beefy department is the Ropa Vieja Sandwich ($8). It’s brisket that’s been roasted with olives and capers, then the mixture is shredded and served on perky buns. The combination is more harmonious than it might sound, making a sturdy latin-influenced sandwich.
Outside the comforting realm, the Veggie Tacos ($8) and Fish Tacos ($9) are kissing cousins. Both are filled with thinly shredded, soft strands of cabbage mixed with fresh cilantro. There’s also a tomatoey salsa mixing it up in there. In the case of the fish tacos, a fried finger of fish hides at the bottom. This addition inspired differing reactions, as it was firm and cool (as opposed to hot and crispy). Some table members were pleased with the firmness and others would have preferred a more familiar rendition.
Everyone loves Empanadas ($8), and the ones at Teodora’s Kitchen are destination worthy. First, they are generously sized and fresh fried. Second, inside those pockets is a loose ground beef mixture with the comforting qualities of meatloaf… and all the addictive qualities of fried pie.
Lots of funky things round out this menu, each one is worthy of attention. There is Cerviche, a very classic version of fish “cooked” (but not with heat) in lemon and cilantro. It’s easy to gobble down, which is saying something for cold fish.
There’s also a curious Potato Salad. It boasts the conventional mayo-based foundation, but it’s enhanced with beets which give the salad a mildly sweet flavor, and a party-pink hue.
And the Plantains: they might be the best around. That’s a strong claim, but well worth consideration. At most joints, fried plantains get a little black and charred in the fryer. Theodora’s Kitchen uses a different process, smashing them into perfectly golden flowers of crunchiness. It makes for extra-crispy, fried goodness.
The sides typically come with the entrees, but you can buy extras for $3 each.
You can follow Teodora’s using streetfoodfinder.com. Its evening gigs typically run from 5:30 until 9:30pm at Seventh Son located at 1101 North Fourth Street. It’s also been found serving the Sunday lunch crowd from 11am until 3pm at Zauber Brewing at 909 W. Fifth Avenue in Grandview.
For more information, visit www.teodoraskitchen.com.