My next international trip may very well be to San Salvador.
After sampling some of the Salvadoran specials created by Cesar Alvarez of The Rollin' Kitchen, I realized that for the past 34 years I have be idiotically ignorant of the brilliant culinary offerings of an entire nation. For shame, Bridey.
Not that I was unaware of the potential of The Rollin' Kitchen, the food truck started by GR8 Plate Hospitality, to vend solid fare. Their transition from Cajun to Salvadoran food, however, is most welcome as the former represents an embarrassing lacunae in our local culinary landscape.
Although all the items on Alvarez's menu are appetizing, the absolute must-order dish is his take on the cemita, a type of Central American sandwich or torta that traditionally combines different meats with avocado, cheese, and salsas. The Rollin' Kitchen's cemita, stuffed with an over-sized piece of fried chicken seasoned with jalapeno and oregano, avocado slices, slabs of Oaxaca cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, and black beans, is a terrific confluence of crisp, juicy protein, botanical notes (both creamy and tangy), and dairy richness. This bastion of diverse flavors combined with its girth makes other tortas seem woefully pathetic.
And, listen up, Chamillionaire. The next time you be ridin' dirty through the streets of H-town, take along a most appropriate snack: Rollin' Kitchen's "dirty fries." A monstrous basket filled with fries and hot links smothered in chipotle mayo, cheese, and dusted with a generous amount of fresh cilantro, the "dirty fries" are as Alice Levitt most accurately put it, "real food truck food." Watch out if you get pulled over as the authorities might confiscate it as "contraband."
I'm eager to try Chef Alvarez's brisket and grits during my next visit, but I also would love to see his Salvadoran spin on tamales and quesadillas. Fall menu, perhaps? :-)