If Flatiron were a brick-and-mortar restaurant, it would be a pleasant, middle-of-the-road café. Instead, it's a better than average truck, peddling farm-to-street fare.
We love fresh produce. We really do (not that you'd know it from something like 30 Burgers in 30 Days). The only problem with market-derived menus is that sometimes, the primacy of ingredients becomes overly exalted and the food turns out bland. The Flatiron Truck (@flatirontruck) suffers from that ill, but the truck is young, the menu is still small and their pork-chorizo burger argues otherwise.
As its name implies, the signature item here is a flatiron steak ($9), served on a bed of greens alongside a scoop of cubed, grilled potatoes. The potatoes could use more seasoning and the greens could use something -- anything -- to break up their monotony. The steak was tasty, cooked to a proper medium-rare, pink on the inside with a hint of char on the outside.
The $8 oxtail sandwich (not everything shoved into a baguette is a bánh mì, okay?) sounded intriguing, and, decorated with blood oranges against a tangled bed of frisée, it looked amazing, but it had none of the deep resonant flavor we associated with the long, slowly simmered oxtail dishes we love.
The other dishes were satisfying, but the pork burger ($7) actually left us wanting more. Mixed with chorizo, it had hints of peppers, paprika sweetness and just a bit of heat. It wasn't sloppy or overloaded with toppings, just a slice of melted cheese, a sprinkling of onions and some greens on a grilled sesame seed bun. This isn't a burger that that inspires regret and self-loathing. This is a burger with admirable restraint, a perfect lunchtime burger, a burger we could eat again and again.
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Skip the donut holes ($3). They may as well come from a grocery store box, and they're coated in a floral, vaguely orange-flavored goo, too thick to be a glaze and too thin to be a bona fide sauce. If you want donuts off a truck, the freshly fried, instantly addictive donut holes on the Buttermilk Truck.
Takeaway: Flatiron has a great ethos but needs to jazz up its menu if it wants to live up to its culinary promise -- except for the pork burger. Don't change a thing.