Ever since I ventured to Explorers Club for brunch, I’ve been meaning to go back to review their lunch or dinner options, but haven’t found the time. After realizing that I could get an easy taste from the food cart version of the business at a recent food truck event at Hal & Al’s bar on South Parsons, I decided to give it a shot.
The mobile version of Explorers Club is exactly what it should be. A simplified street-food version of their menu that provides good food on the go, but also works as an advertisement for their brick-and-mortar restaurant. The cart is the small and simple “hot dog and gyro” variety, and their menu only contains three items (one of which was already sold out).
The Tempeh Wrap ($8) contains ground sweet chili and soy tempeh, corn, black beans, brown rice and sriracha slaw. The wrap is somewhat similar to an entree on the menu at the restaurant served in platter form. The mix of ingredients gave this wrap a sort of “veggie burger burrito” vibe through both the flavor and the texture. I’m not a vegetarian, but I can always appreciate some thoughtful, flavorful meatless menu items, and I’m sure my vegetarian friends would agree with me. That being said, after a few bites, the sriracha started to hit me a little too hard. I’m not sure if there was extra heat added in the making of this batch, or if this is normal heat level of their slaw, but I was totally unprepared for it. No where on the menu did it say spicy, and I certainly felt like a warning label was in order. This wrap was for serious lovers of spicy food ONLY. I’d love to try it again in a milder version.
The Mofongo Sandwich ($7) includes smoked pork, smashed fried plantains, roasted garlic and jalapeno slaw. It’s normally served on a ciabatta bread, but today they were out and turned it into a wrap for customers. Such is the way of the world when working on the fly at a food cart. Overall, I enjoyed this wrap much more than the Tempeh version. The slaw was a nice mix of sweet and spicy, and the pork was tender and juicy. The garlic was a surprise being included as whole cloves, but the roasted mild flavor was a nice compliment. The hints of cilantro and lime juice tied all of the flavors together nicely. This pseudo-burrito could certainly give Chipotle a run for their money.
Once again, this review is a bit short this time around, as their options were limited, but for good reasons. Food carts aren’t made to handle large menus. Despite nearly OD’ing on sriracha, I was pleased with what Explorers Club had to offer, and will certainly make time to visit their sit-down restaurant again soon.