Friday, October 3, 2014

Food Trucks! Welcome to São Paulo!

In the past year, São Paulo has finally gotten with the program and started to have food trucks. This is very cool, but unfortunately, I feel like the trend has caught on, but not the "essence" of what food the food truck is. For me, the idea of a food truck is having the diversity and quality of a restaurant, but at a fraction of the price considering that you have eliminated the restaurant and service part of the equation. Plus, you get the added bonus of actually meeting the people preparing your food, allowing you to connect with the chef, the culture, and the idea of where the food comes from. São Paulo just skipped all that shit and went straight to jumping on the bandwagon of the "food truck movement" by having the trucks only available in posh areas and even some brand name trucks. For example, one of the first food trucks here was the "Jameson Truck", tricked out to the max. Now, there is even a Sadia truck, which is a brand name equivalent to Oscar Meyer in the US.

I'm not a huge fan of the direction that the food truck thing started here, but I am a fan of food...and even more a fan of international food, which is not so easy to come by here in São Paulo. Sure, you can find some nice, cheap places, but you really have to dig to get beyond the standard rice, beans, meat or pasta meal for a decent price. I also love eating in the food truck pavilion. There is something so satisfying about sitting on a plastic stool, drinking the beer you've bought from the supermarket, and enjoying the view of locals eating their lunch in the fresh air. Plus, these food truck fairs do offer an array of foods from different regions, which for me is always intriguing.

Today, my boyfriend, Thiago, and I hit up the Faria Lima Food Park, a little alley covered in graffiti where skateboarders used to ride. The trucks rotate through the week, but today we managed to try two of them.

First there was the Kebab truck. Kebabs are like rare gems in São Paulo, which in Europe is standard fare. We paid 16 reais (about $7) for some hearty meat, cabbage, tomato, and yogurt sauce wrapped in a grilled flatbread. It was delicious, but I will quote Thiago when I say that it didn't have that "whoaaaaaa" factor. I really enjoyed eating this street meat that is so familiar to the late night European drunkard, but Thiago was right, it was good, but just good.

Next we hit up 4Brothers, a burger truck which had the biggest line when we arrived. Brazilians LOVE burgers. WTF? It's like the easiest thing to do at home, but burger joints are popping up like weeds here in SP. This place had a nice option of a burger called the Brooklin (I'm not spelling it wrong, that's how they spell it here), which had mango chutney and goat cheese. I got a boner just at the words "goat cheese" because it is so hard to come by and so expensive here, so we ordered that. At a price of 22 reais ($10), it was pretty damn good. The meat was cooked to a nice medium rare, the bread was dark, fresh, and wheat (they call it Australian bread), with creamy goat cheese, but once again...missing that "whoaaaa" factor. I thought that maybe just a touch of something else would have made it amazing, like some caramelized onions. And, it was a bit small for my American stomach. Just wish I had a side of fries or a salad to make my 22 reais worth it.


Lucia Cardoso said...

Looks delicious:) Cool blog :*

Gregory said...

Glad you're back with this blog. I wished the food of Sao Paulo matched the quality of music I experienced while I was there. Keep looking for the food gems even if they are coming from you own kitchen.