If Flatiron Truck, with its earnestly sourced café fare, suffers from a touch of blandness, Global Soul Truck (@globalsoultruck) has the opposite problem. This pan-ethnic truck, repatriated from San Francisco, approaches food with a gleeful “more is more” abandon, but sometimes, a little less can be a whole lot more.
The quality of the ingredients is high. (Plump, juicy grilled shrimp off a truck? Believe it.) So is the innovation factor. (If Joseph Centeno can cross culinary continents in the Lazy Ox Canteen, why not a food truck?) Even the willful flouting of truck food logistics — keep the food simple and easy to eat — is charming. A little restraint is called for.
The Hot Mess Sandwich ($6) is a perfectly tasty combo of hot links, grilled onions and peppers — until you add chipotle crema or basil pesto. All three of these things are great on their own but bizarre and pointless when combined. Louisiana hot links are the supermodel of the sausage world. Sure, you could dress her up in diamonds and fur, but she wont look any better than she does completely naked. The Hot Mess becomes even messier and more impossible if you choose any of the other add-ons: cheese ($1), bacon ($2), a fried egg with roasted garlic chile oil ($1). Why?
The Shrimp Toastie, while not the most economical item ($8 for three shrimp, $10 for four) is our favorite. Here too, a cacophony of flavors battles in the octagon of one's mouth for fleeting dominance. Arriving atop airy, thick-cut slices of something akin to Hawaiian bread, the tangy grilled shrimp are heady with garlic. And coconut. And curry. And a hint of maple. (Maybe that's the bourbon in the coconut bourbon curry?). Enough is enough. We call for detente, for restraint. Not enough crush the cook's creative impulses, just enough to reign them in and really let them shine.