Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Jibarito Stop

Location:  Location varies on daily basis.  Follow them on Twitter: @TheJibaritoStop
The Jibarito Stop on Urbanspoon

A Quick Word:
I recently stumbled across another one of Chicago's Food Trucks -- The Jibarito Stop.  This food truck prides themselves in being the first mobile Puerto Rican restaurant in the city.  After getting excited for a jibarito sandwich and waiting several minutes for them to open, I was extremely disappointed when their menu was lacking any sort of jibarito for that day.  I guess they are really limited in terms of what they offer and it changes on a daily schedule.  Anyway, they do offer some great flavored stews and just OK empanadas.  Overall, this food truck was average.  There wasn't anything that memorable about any of the food.  The drivers of the truck were nice about opening a little before their scheduled 11AM time to accommodate customers.  However, when comparing to the other trucks in the city, I would consider them better than a lot, but still fall short of the more established ones.  Keep working on it and hopefully I can try a jibarito soon!

What I Ate:

Pollo Guisado

After finding out the truck wasn't carrying any Jibarito sandwiches, I decided to still give them a try and order the Pollo Guisado.  This is a chicken stew dish that is made up of several chunks of chicken breast that has been cooked with potatoes until soft and tender.  It comes with a side of rice and beans.  I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the dish.  At about $7.00 for the stew, it actually came with more than I needed for lunch.  The stew was well seasoned with a lot of garlic and tomato paste flavoring coming through.  The rice on the other hand was extremely bland.  I highly suggest adding the sauce from the stew to the rice and also cutting up some of the fried plantains to add a wonderful sweetness to each bite.  If there isn't a jibarito on board, I actually recommend the chicken stew.

Fried Plantains

The fried plantains came with the meal at no additional cost.  They had a pleasant sweetness to them but where still a little unripe in my opinion.  I have had plantains at several restaurants and I enjoy them being a little more mushy and sweet.  They were still pretty good though and definitely a good amount to accompany the main dish.

Beef & Cheese Empanada

I was pretty disappointed in the beef and cheese empanada.  The dough was not well seasoned and the filling just appeared to be ground beef with a little pepper.  I didn't taste any cheese and even more disappointing was the so called hot sauce that came with the empanada.  Definitely missing a lot of thought when preparing.  It was a little oily and the crust wasn't crispy, probably because it was wrapped and sitting in the foil for a while.  I wish trucks could cook on board.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Follow them on Twitter to find their current location.
- They do take credit card which is great

- Don't expect them to have everything on their websites menu.  I have seen them around a couple of times and their menu is much more limited.  It is disappointing.

How far would I walk for this food?

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